Sunday
May 15
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXII
Issue 15
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too bad the tigers aren't in the a.l. east


I'm taking my 8-year old son out to Camden Yards today for the Orioles and Tigers series finale at 1:35 pm.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Tigers try to sign him to a contract once they see him run around the bases once or twice after the game.

They need help in Detroit. Big time.

We're sort of experts on that subject here in Baltimore when it comes to baseball teams and their inability to win. We watched the Orioles from 2000 through 2010, remember?

Last night's 9-3 victory over the Tigers marked seven straight wins for the Orioles and also sent the visitors to their 11th loss in 12 games.

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That's the look of a manager who is watching his team lose for the 11th time in 12 games.

If I didn't know any better, I'd think Detroit might be in the midst of a clubhouse effort to get manager Brad Ausmus kicked out the door. It looks to me like the Tigers don't care all that much whether they win or lose.

A team with that kind of offense -- or quality offensive players, at least -- shouldn't have it this hard, particularly given that they're almost guaranteed to win two out of every five games with Jordan Zimmermann and Justin Verlander on the mound.

All they would need to figure out is a way to win one of those "other" three games -- out of the five -- and they'd be playing .600 baseball and in the playoff hunt come October.

Instead, they can't beat anybody.

In this series, they've lost in every way imaginable.

Thursday night the Tigers staked themselves to a 5-0 lead after a decent start from Mike Pelfrey, but the bullpen came in and threw away the game as the O's rallied for a 7-5 win.

Friday evening, Justin Verlander outpitched Chris Tillman, but the Tigers couldn't push across two stinkin' runs in a 1-0 Baltimore win.

Last night, a Miguel Cabrera home run in the 6th inning broke a scoreless tie and gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead. If Detroit had any sort of bullpen at all, they might have lifted starter Anibal Sanchez at that point and tried to get by with an array of relief pitchers. Instead, Sanchez surrendered three runs in the bottom half of the sixth and a leadoff homer in the 7th and the rout was on.

The Tigers are a bad team.

Or, are they a good team playing bad baseball?

It doesn't matter, really, although one could make the argument that just a plain old "bad team" will stay that way all year while a good-team-playing-bad might turn things around in the near future.

I'm not an expert on this subject, but I swear it looks like the Tigers are trying to rid themselves of manager Brad Ausmus.

The players have heard the whispers and read the newspaper articles that suggest Ausmus might be in the waning days of his tenure in Detroit and they're doing their best to squelch it.

"We're the ones not hitting. We're the ones not scoring runs, not getting outs," J.D. Martinez said after Saturday's 9-3 drilling. "He (Ausmus) can come in here and try to hoo-rah us all he can, but at end of the day, we've got to find it within ourselves to get the job done."

Good answer.

But if the team doesn't start winning soon, as in, maybe, by the end of this coming week, the Tigers are going to have to make a decision.

They're already 8.5 games behind the White Sox, sitting in 4th place in the A.L. Central at 15-21. Thankfully, Minnesota's worse than Detroit -- and everyone else in the American League for the matter -- and the Tigers are free from the basement...for now.

Then again, before this crazy losing skid they're currently on, Detroit was in good shape through the first month of the campaign. At one point two weeks ago, they were 14-10 and positioned nicely behind the White Sox and Royals.

Today, they're 15-21 and starting to spin out of control.

A team with that kind of quality in their lineup shouldn't be losing 11 of 12 games. Heck, baseball being what it is and all, the other team is probably disinterested in half of those twelve games, and Detroit still can't get put together a small winning streak in that span.

While my son and I played catch in the yard on Saturday, he peppered me with questions about the team he'd be seeing today at Camden Yards.

"Are the Tigers any good, Dad?" he asked.

"No, not really," I replied.

"So the Orioles are going to win tomorrow (today), right?" He loves to know ahead of time what the anticipated result might be. Hopefully that's not the beginning of an interest in sports wagering on his part.

"Well, the Tigers have lost a lot of games recently," I said. "They're kind of due for a win soon."

"But if they're not any good, shouldn't the Orioles win?" was his his final question.

I didn't know how to answer that one, since we all know what a team did yesterday isn't always a good barometer for what they're going to today or tomorrow.

Ideally, though, the answer to that question was a resounding "yes". Based on what we've seen from the Tigers since Thursday here in Baltimore, today's tilt at the ballpark should go in our favor.

Again.

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local lacrosse wrap up: loyola pounds duke, hopkins gets slammed by brown


Loyola scored the game's first three goals and never trailed on Saturday, as Charley Toomey's team advanced in the NCAA college lacrosse tournament with a 16-11 spanking of Duke before 2,586 at Ridley Athletic Complex.

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Charley Toomey's Loyola Greyhounds are heading to Columbus, Ohio next weekend to take on either Denver or Towson in the NCAA lacrosse quarterfinals.

The victory was quite a turn around from a 15-6 drubbing that Duke laid on the Greyhounds on that same field back on March 12.

Boys' Latin product Pat Spencer had three goals and three assists in the first half alone and Zach Herreweyers scored six times on the afternoon as Loyola snapped a modest 2-game losing streak in the tournament and prevented Duke from making their 11th trip to the quarterfinals in the last 12 seasons.

Loyola will now face the winner of today's Denver/Towson game (5 pm) in next Sunday's action in Columbus, Ohio.

Freshman goalie Jacob Stover made 16 saves for Loyola on Saturday in the win over Duke, as the Blue Devils did just about everything right except put the ball in the net on Saturday afternoon. They out-shot Loyola, 44-43, collected more ground balls (44-30) and were dominant in the face-off department, winning 23 of 31.

Turnovers plagued Duke, though. They gave the ball back to the Greyhounds 19 times in the loss, while Loyola had only 11 turnovers.

Afterwarrds, Duke coach John Danowski lamented how the statistics didn't work in his team's favor.

"We outshot Loyola today, we out-ground-balled them, we won 23 out of 31 faceoffs, but they were the better lacrosse players," he said. "They had better players, and they made plays. Statistically, you look at it and you say, 'Wow, you guys must have won by a bunch.' That's not true today."

While Loyola moves on in the tournament, Johns Hopkins' season is over after a 17-8 loss at Brown on Saturday.

The Blue Jays trailed 6-2 at the half and it never got any closer, as #5 Brown eventually led 14-3 before the Blue Jays mounted a small 4th quarter rally.

They were certainly by far the better team today,” Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said. “When we got paired with them we knew they would be a challenge. We knew they style of play they employed would be challenging for us and certainly it was.”

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day on the verge of sixth win in 19 tries


It's not quite a "Tiger run", but it's in that vicinity.

Now, all Jason Day needs to do today is hold on to his four-shot lead at The Players and he'll have another big win to add his lofty total over the last two seasons.

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On the verge of winning for the sixth time in his last nineteen tournaments, Jason Day is clearly establishing himself as the best golfer in the world these days.

Day shot 1-over par 73 on Saturday, a day when nearly every player was at 75 or better, and he sits at -14 after three rounds at TPC Sawgrass, four shots ahead of Ken Duke, Hideki Matsuyama and Alex Cjeka.

A win today would give Day -- the #1 ranked player in the world -- his sixth win in the last nineteen worldwide tournaments he's entered.

That's the kind of stuff Tiger Woods used to do in his heyday, although the Australian -- with one major win thus far -- has a long way to go before matching the kind of sustained play that Woods displayed from 2000 through 2008.

Still, it's been an overly-impressive run from Day over the last year, with last August's PGA Championship culminating a great run that saw him win three times in four tries.

He got a little lucky on Saturday, chipping in for par from 10 yards off the green at #14, but he also hit some glorious shots down the stretch, including a towering 6-iron to six feet at the par-5 16th hole that set up a short-range eagle putt that he missed.

Day navigated the treacherous par-3 17th hole by making an 8-footer for par, then made par at the last hole to own a 4-stroke lead after 54 holes of play.

The greens were the big story on Saturday, as 38 players in the field had at least two three-putts and Sergio Garcia five-putted the 5th hole from about 8 feet. As they like to do when things don't go their way, a huge contingent of players openly complained about the speed of the greens in post-round interviews, but guys like Duke (65) and Matsuyama (67) weren't affected at all.

If Day holds on to win this afternoon, he'll further extend himself from the likes of Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both of whom failed to make the 36-hole cut at this week's event.

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springsteen coming to nationals park on sept. 1


I'm a huge fan of the Fall season around these parts, so the Labor Day weekend never bothered me much, but I know there are some who look at it with a twinge of sadness as it sort of marks the proverbial end of summer.

This year, Labor Day weekend will be quite memorable.

That is, if you're a fan of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

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Join #DMD on September 1st and see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Nationals Park!

Springsteen recently announced a series of late summer dates and his tour will touch down in Washington D.C. on Thursday, September 1st at Nationals Park. Yes, the Boss is coming back to the area!

And Drew's Morning Dish will be there!

We have a great event planned for the September 1st show and we'd love for you and your friends to be part of it. We've put together another one of our awesome bus packages for the Nationals Park show, which includes tickets to the concert, food, drinks, trivia and a whole night of great fun. We'll take you down to DC and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

#DMD has tickets in three areas of the stadium; upper level, club level and lower level. All seats are together, so bring a few friends along and enjoy the show with them!

Package prices for the three seating levels are:

$200 for upper level

$275 for club level

$295 for lower level

All packages include the bus ride, ticket, dinner on the way down to DC, beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack upon arrival at the stadium.

If you've never seen Springsteen live, this is an awesome venue for your first-ever Bruce show! If you're like me and you've seen him at Nationals Park before, you know that already. It's truly a great place to see a concert.

This will be my 25th time seeing Bruce Springsteen since 1978. It's a milestone of sorts, so I plan to celebrate it with a few special twists on the 1st of September and hope you're there to enjoy it all with me.

I can promise you this: If you attend the show with us, you'll get your money's worth and a lot more. We have some fun stuff in store for everyone.

I did have a "soft opening" yesterday for #DMD clients and those people who previously attended Springsteen shows with us and they gobbled up a good number of the available packages we have to offer. There are still seats in all three levels available, though.

If you're interested in purchasing one or more spots on our "Bruce Bus", you must send me an e-mail today to reserve your seat(s). Once I receive that e-mail, I'll confirm everything with you and you'll be all set.

You can reach me at: drew@drewsmorningdish.com


#dmd is heading to the u.s. open in pittsburgh on june 18


If you're looking for a great Father's Day gift -- and if that special Dad in your life is a golfer -- #DMD has just what you need.

How about a one-day trip to see the U.S. Open, live, at Oakmont CC in Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 18!!

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You'll get to see Oakmont CC in all of its glory, including the famed 3rd hole "Church Pew" bunkers, if you head to Pittsburgh with #DMD on Saturday, June 18.

#DMD has secured tickets to Saturday's round, along with a luxury motor coach, food, drinks and a great U.S. Open trivia contest with a $100 cash prize!

Our bus will leave the Towson area at 5:00 am on the 18th, arriving in Pittsburgh at 10:00 am. The first groups on Saturday will tee off shortly after 10 and the leaders don't start playing until 2:30 pm.

We'll spend all day at historic Oakmont CC and return to Baltimore on Saturday night.

The per-person cost is $275, which includes an all-day grounds ticket for the U.S. Open, plus round-trip motor coach transportation (tolls and parking alone would cost you $60) and breakfast and lunch on the bus, plus beer, soda and water throughout the trip up to Pittsburgh.

It's a great opportunity to see the course live and in-person on Saturday, then watch the final round on Sunday from the comfort of your living room!

You can use the "U.S. Open" tab at the top of #DMD to order your seats on the trip.


#dmd announces youth sports benefit fund, courtesy of jerry's toyota-scion


Somewhere in Baltimore County right now, there's a youth athletic organization in need.

Whether it's for youth field or facility repairs, lighting, a special once-in-a-lifetime trip for a team, or some other cause that requires financial support -- somewhere, there's a need.

And our friends at Jerry's Toyota-Scion have pledged their support, through a 2-month campaign designed to reward a local youth athletic organization with funding for their special project.

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This type of activity is precisely what #DMD has aspired to become since this venture was launched on August 25, 2014.

With the help of our Jerry's Toyota-Scion, we can finally start to make that footprint in the local community and truly help an organization that has great plans, but simply lacks the resources to get it done.

When I started #DMD almost two years ago, the central theme behind it all was "People helping People".

It's time to put that plan into action.

If you're involved in a local youth athletic organization that has a special project you're undertaking sometime in the remainder of 2016, #DMD wants to hear about it. We'll accept your "story" as an application for funding until July 1, 2016. A team of local sports enthusiasts will form a panel and consider all applications until the winner is announced on Friday, July 15, 2016. Funding will be available within 30 days of that announcement.

What sorts of projects or activities will #DMD and Jerry's Toyota-Scion consider? Anything and everything. Your organization might need $1,000 for scoreboard repairs at the baseball park you currently call home. Maybe you need $2,000 to build a sturdy, top-of-the-line concession stand so you can raise even more money in future years.

Perhaps there's a trip to Canton, Ohio for a youth football tournament and a visit to the Hall of Fame and $1,000 would go a long way in getting the team there.

If your youth organization has a financial need, the Jerry's Toyota-Scion Youth Benefit Fund might be that helping hand you're seeking.

The only real qualifier in this? Your youth organization must be in Baltimore County due to the marketing responsibilities each dealer agrees to within the Toyota family.

How do you submit your application? That's easy. On a PDF file which displays your team or organization's logo or letterhead, e-mail a "letter of application" with your requested funding and CLEARLY spell out your location, along with the financial need, how many people will likely benefit from the proposed activity, and what sort of impact this activity will have on your organization or team as a whole.

You can e-mail the letter (via PDF file) to Drew Forrester (drew@drewsmorningdish.com), at which point you will receive a confirmation reply that lets you know your organization's application has been received and is being considered.

It's that simple.

Youth athletic organizations have mastered the art of fund-raising, with car washes, bake sales, golf outings and much more. We encourage all of you to continue those efforts as you endeavor to enhance not only the activities you provide, but the programs and special events you offer for the young boys and girls in our area.

This is simply another piece of the puzzle, and while it's not possible to give assistance to every organization that applies, we promise to choose someone who will greatly benefit from the funding in 2016.

A special thank you goes out to Jerry's Toyota-Scion for their support of this project. They're eager to help out a local youth athletic organization in need.

Get your letter of application in today!


Saturday
May 14
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXII
Issue 14
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


labor day weekend just got much better


I'm a huge fan of the Fall season around these parts, so the Labor Day weekend never bothered me much, but I know there are some who look at it with a twinge of sadness as it sort of marks the proverbial end of summer.

This year, Labor Day weekend will be quite memorable.

That is, if you're a fan of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

X
Join #DMD on September 1st and see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Nationals Park!

Springsteen recently announced a series of late summer dates and his tour will touch down in Washington D.C. on Thursday, September 1st at Nationals Park. Yes, the Boss is coming back to the area!

And Drew's Morning Dish will be there!

We have a great event planned for the September 1st show and we'd love for you and your friends to be part of it. We've put together another one of our awesome bus packages for the Nationals Park show, which includes tickets to the concert, food, drinks, trivia and a whole night of great fun. We'll take you down to DC and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

#DMD has tickets in three areas of the stadium; upper level, club level and lower level. All seats are together, so bring a few friends along and enjoy the show with them!

Package prices for the three seating levels are:

$200 for upper level

$275 for club level

$295 for lower level

All packages include the bus ride, ticket, dinner on the way down to DC, beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack upon arrival at the stadium.

If you've never seen Springsteen live, this is an awesome venue for your first-ever Bruce show! If you're like me and you've seen him at Nationals Park before, you know that already. It's truly a great place to see a concert.

This will be my 25th time seeing Bruce Springsteen since 1978. It's a milestone of sorts, so I plan to celebrate it with a few special twists on the 1st of September and hope you're there to enjoy it all with me.

I can promise you this: If you attend the show with us, you'll get your money's worth and a lot more. We have some fun stuff in store for everyone.

I did have a "soft opening" yesterday for #DMD clients and those people who previously attended Springsteen shows with us and they gobbled up a good number of the available packages we have to offer. There are still seats in all three levels available, though.

If you're interested in purchasing one or more spots on our "Bruce Bus", you must send me an e-mail today to reserve your seat(s). Once I receive that e-mail, I'll confirm everything with you and you'll be all set.

You can reach me at: drew@drewsmorningdish.com

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drew's views on the
baltimore orioles

Covering the Orioles throughout the season is an important part of #DMD's service, so who better to take on the assignment than #DMD's founder? DREW FORRESTER will tell you why the Birds won or lost, who was responsible, and what to look for in upcoming games. It's brought to you by our friends at KELLY, the area's expert in all aspects of payroll service.


tillman shuts down tigers in 1-0 o's win


I don't know what happened.

Maybe Chris Tillman got tired of reading commentary, tweets and analysis that suggested Kevin Gausman was on the fast track to becoming the ace of the Orioles pitching staff.

Whatever the case, Tillman made another strong case for himself last night at Camden Yards, shutting down the Tigers on five hits over seven innings of work, as the Birds used an Adam Jones home run to win 1-0 and claim their sixth straight victory.

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Another stingy night on the mound lowered Chris Tillman's ERA to 2.58 on the year as the Birds edged the Tigers, 1-0, on Friday evening.

Detroit continued their early-season-free-fall, losing for the 10th time in 11 games. They've also been shutout four times already in 2016.

Oddly enough, Tillman wasn't the better starting pitcher on Friday night. Justin Verlander went eight innings for the Tigers, striking out eight, walking two, and allowing just four hits.

But one of those four hits was a 6th inning home run from Adam Jones, who just last week was hitting .200 with one home run. His 2-for-3 night on Friday pushed his average up to .248 and he has three home runs in the last four games overall.

Darren O'Day worked the eighth inning on Friday night, allowing one hit, while Zach Britton needed just eight pitches in the top of the 9th to close things out for the Birds, who are in first place in the American League East at 22-12, one game ahead of Boston (22-14), who lost at home to Houston on Friday night, 7-6.

The Tigers threatened in both the first and second innings last night, but Tillman was able to wiggle his way out of both mini-jams. In the first, the Tigers had runners at 1st and 2nd with two outs but Nick Castellanos hit into a fielder's choice, and one inning later, Detroit had runners at first and second with one out before Tillman got Jose Iglesias to hit into a double play to end the threat.

Detroit would only get one more base runner past first base all night. A Castellanos double to start the 7th inning got the Baltimore bullpen stirring, but Tillman buzzed through the next three hitters with ease to keep the score at 1-0.

It's hard to imagine that Detroit can't score any runs with the five hitters at the top of their lineup. Kinsler, J.D. Martinez, Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Castellanos are five tough outs, and then there's Justin Upton hitting sixth.

Those six were no match for Tillman on Friday night, though.


chris sale now 8-0 after win in new york


Chicago is just filled with rock-star pitchers these days, huh?

Everyone talks about Jake Arrieta with the Cubs. And that Jon Lester guy -- Arrieta's teammate -- isn't bad, either.

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For all the talk about Jake Arrieta, the city of Chicago might have an even better pitcher in their town, as Chris Sale is now 8-0 to start the season.

Oh, and former Orioles scrub Jason Hammel is now 5-0 with the Cubbies after he beat the Pirates yesterday, lowering his ERA to 1.77 in the process.

But it might be the White Sox who have the best pitcher in the Windy City.

Chris Sale improved to 8-0 last night with a 7-1 in New York, throwing a complete-game six hitter against the Yankees.

Sale's ERA on the year is now 1.67.

The White Sox are off to their best start in eleven seasons at 24-12.

We're looking ahead -- quite ahead, admittedly -- to October and wondering if there's any way at all we might see a Baltimore-Washington World Series.

Chicago baseball fans are dreaming a bigger dream, though. Could it wind up being the Cubs and White Sox? Could it? Holy cow...

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john pusateri
on lacrosse

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


Set your DVRs as one of the best weekend's in college lacrosse is upon us with the 1st round of the NCAA tournament. Let's take a quick look at each of the 8 games which feature 5 local teams (of which I only see 1 around for the weekend after).

#1 Maryland vs Quinnipiac (Sun 12:30pm) - The Terps are firing on all cylinders and are the hottest team in the country. The Bobcats have great record of 12-3, but have played one of the weakest schedules in the field. Their 3 losses were to quality teams Brown, Marquette and Fairfield in which they lost by a combined score of 44-19. The Terps could be due for a bad game...and would still win this game comfortably. I'll say the Terps take this one 13-3.

#2 Denver vs Towson (Sun 3pm) - Denver has been on the top of the rankings all year and feature one of the most exciting offenses and the best face-off specialist in the country in Trevor Baptiste. In addition, they might be a little sore after giving up the Big East title to Marquette last weekend. The Tigers have one of the best defenses in the country and are a worthy match-up with the Pioneer offense.

Worth noting that Denver has only been held to under 11 goals 4 times this season and they are 2-2 in those games. But the Tigers might not win more than a handful of face-offs so their offense will be holding the ball for long periods to limit their possessions. However, Drenner, Seider, Parks, and the rest of the Tiger offense need to be very efficient.

Not sure that will be enough as I see the Pioneers winning this one 13-8.

#3 Notre Dame vs Air Force (Sat 7:30pm) - If you like defense, you'll love this game as both rank in the top 5 defensively. Notre Dame is one of the top ranked teams but they like to keep games close which has bit them a few times this year. Air Force is 15-2 and have played 10 games decided by 2 goals or less winning 9 of them,.including a road win against Duke. The Fighting Irish will definitely have their hands full with the Falcons and this should be one of the best games of the weekend. I'll give the home team the advantage, but won't be shocked to see Air Force in the next round.

#4 Yale vs Navy (Sun 5pm) - This shapes up to be a defensive battle as fairly hot Bulldogs take on the somewhat cooled off Midshipmen. However, it appears teams figured out late the key to stopping Navy's offense is shutting off stars Casey Rees and Patrick Keena and taking their chances with the rest of the team. Maryland and Army did that and held Navy to 5 and 3 goals respectively. Expect Yale to follow the same strategy and take down Navy 8-4.

#5 Brown vs Johns Hopkins (Sat 5pm) - Brown is one of the tournament favorites at 14-2 and has the best offense in the tournament, scoring 16.75 goals per game. They feature a three-headed monster on attack that has scored 155 goals this year and are led by probable Teewarton winner Dylan Molloy with 56 goals and 50 assists. They play an exciting brand of lacrosse and score a lot in transition, quite like another Hopkins opponent, Rutgers, only better.

Rutgers scored 30 goals on Hopkins in 2 games so this will be a very tough game for the Blue Jays. In the Bears two losses, opposing goalies for Harvard and Bryant had great games and made a combined 31 saves. On the flip-side, the Bears give up only 8.6 per game. The young Blue Jay squad with a record of 8-6 has been a solid team all year and has been in all games save for their first loss to Rutgers, while playing one of the toughest schedules and missing 4 productive offense players.

In the end, this is a bad match-up on the road for the Blue Jays and I see them falling 17-11.

#6 Marquette vs North Carolina (Sat 2:30pm) - This could be one of the best games of the weekend, and could be the worst given the inconsistency of both. UNC certainly had its share of puzzling defeats (Hofstra, UMass) but so has Marquette including Ohio State and a 16-1 loss to the Blue Devils. But the Golden Eagles were awarded a tourney seed based on its Big East Championship win over Denver.

A big key to that game was Marquette's Zachary Melillo winning 12 of 23 face-offs against one of the nation's best, Trevor Baptiste after only winning 6 of 20 against him just a few weeks prior in the regular season matchup. Marquette more defensive oriented allowing 8 goals per game while UNC's strength is its offense scoring close to 13 goals per game. Both teams win face-offs at around 57% so this one should be a treat...if both are playing their best.

#7 Loyola vs Duke (Sat 12pm) - Should be an interesting rematch and much closer than when Duke took down Loyola 15-6 2 months ago. In that game, Duke's Kyle Rowe was almost unstoppable at the face-off X, winning 19 of 23 draws and Myles Jones had a field day with 5 goals and 3 assists. Since then Loyola made a switch in goal to Jacob Stover who has had a stellar season saving at 61% and Patrick Spencer went on to be Loyola's QB on offense earning Patriot League Rookie and Offense POY honors, finishing with 30 goals and 41 assists.

This is usually the Blue Devils time of year to shine, but they've been inconsistent all season and are certainly susceptible to being beat. The Greyhounds having had a great season ever since that first game and should come out with plenty of confidence.

But I don't think it will be enough and see Duke winning again 12-10 over Loyola.

#8 Syracuse vs Albany (Sun 7:30pm) - Given the teams rankings, this seems to have the makings of a good game. But way back in February, the Orange manhandled the Great Danes 16-7 by dominating face-offs (20 of 27) and getting 59 shots including putting 33 on cage. Albany went on to have a much better season, only losing to the Terps by 3 before their hiccup to the eventual America East Champions, Hartford.

Syracuse went on to an 11-4 season including becoming the ACC champs who deservedly feel slighted having been bumped down to the #8 seed. The Orange also went on a mid-season slump but corrected itself after making a goalie switch to Evan Molloy who's come up big saving at 58%.

I'm feeling another dominant, but closer, Orange victory.

Next Round Predictions

#1 Maryland vs #8 Syracuse

#2 Denver vs Duke

#3 Notre Dame vs North Carolina

#4 Yale vs #5 Brown

Final Four Prediction: Maryland, Brown, Notre Dame, Denver

Dark Horses: Duke, Syracuse

Likely To Be Upset: Marquette, Maryland

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#dmd is heading to the u.s. open in pittsburgh on june 18


If you're looking for a great Father's Day gift -- and if that special Dad in your life is a golfer -- #DMD has just what you need.

How about a one-day trip to see the U.S. Open, live, at Oakmont CC in Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 18!!

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You'll get to see Oakmont CC in all of its glory, including the famed 3rd hole "Church Pew" bunkers, if you head to Pittsburgh with #DMD on Saturday, June 18.

#DMD has secured tickets to Saturday's round, along with a luxury motor coach, food, drinks and a great U.S. Open trivia contest with a $100 cash prize!

Our bus will leave the Towson area at 5:00 am on the 18th, arriving in Pittsburgh at 10:00 am. The first groups on Saturday will tee off shortly after 10 and the leaders don't start playing until 2:30 pm.

We'll spend all day at historic Oakmont CC and return to Baltimore on Saturday night.

The per-person cost is $275, which includes an all-day grounds ticket for the U.S. Open, plus round-trip motor coach transportation (tolls and parking alone would cost you $60) and breakfast and lunch on the bus, plus beer, soda and water throughout the trip up to Pittsburgh.

It's a great opportunity to see the course live and in-person on Saturday, then watch the final round on Sunday from the comfort of your living room!

You can use the "U.S. Open" tab at the top of #DMD to order your seats on the trip.


#dmd announces youth sports benefit fund, courtesy of jerry's toyota-scion


Somewhere in Baltimore County right now, there's a youth athletic organization in need.

Whether it's for youth field or facility repairs, lighting, a special once-in-a-lifetime trip for a team, or some other cause that requires financial support -- somewhere, there's a need.

And our friends at Jerry's Toyota-Scion have pledged their support, through a 2-month campaign designed to reward a local youth athletic organization with funding for their special project.

X

This type of activity is precisely what #DMD has aspired to become since this venture was launched on August 25, 2014.

With the help of our Jerry's Toyota-Scion, we can finally start to make that footprint in the local community and truly help an organization that has great plans, but simply lacks the resources to get it done.

When I started #DMD almost two years ago, the central theme behind it all was "People helping People".

It's time to put that plan into action.

If you're involved in a local youth athletic organization that has a special project you're undertaking sometime in the remainder of 2016, #DMD wants to hear about it. We'll accept your "story" as an application for funding until July 1, 2016. A team of local sports enthusiasts will form a panel and consider all applications until the winner is announced on Friday, July 15, 2016. Funding will be available within 30 days of that announcement.

What sorts of projects or activities will #DMD and Jerry's Toyota-Scion consider? Anything and everything. Your organization might need $1,000 for scoreboard repairs at the baseball park you currently call home. Maybe you need $2,000 to build a sturdy, top-of-the-line concession stand so you can raise even more money in future years.

Perhaps there's a trip to Canton, Ohio for a youth football tournament and a visit to the Hall of Fame and $1,000 would go a long way in getting the team there.

If your youth organization has a financial need, the Jerry's Toyota-Scion Youth Benefit Fund might be that helping hand you're seeking.

The only real qualifier in this? Your youth organization must be in Baltimore County due to the marketing responsibilities each dealer agrees to within the Toyota family.

How do you submit your application? That's easy. On a PDF file which displays your team or organization's logo or letterhead, e-mail a "letter of application" with your requested funding and CLEARLY spell out your location, along with the financial need, how many people will likely benefit from the proposed activity, and what sort of impact this activity will have on your organization or team as a whole.

You can e-mail the letter (via PDF file) to Drew Forrester (drew@drewsmorningdish.com), at which point you will receive a confirmation reply that lets you know your organization's application has been received and is being considered.

It's that simple.

Youth athletic organizations have mastered the art of fund-raising, with car washes, bake sales, golf outings and much more. We encourage all of you to continue those efforts as you endeavor to enhance not only the activities you provide, but the programs and special events you offer for the young boys and girls in our area.

This is simply another piece of the puzzle, and while it's not possible to give assistance to every organization that applies, we promise to choose someone who will greatly benefit from the funding in 2016.

A special thank you goes out to Jerry's Toyota-Scion for their support of this project. They're eager to help out a local youth athletic organization in need.

Get your letter of application in today!


Friday
May 13
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXII
Issue 13
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


keeping machado is important, but not as easy as it looks


Manny Machado's torrid start to the 2016 campaign has Orioles fans everywhere clamoring for the franchise to make Machado a happy man and gift him a long-term deal now, even though he's still under team control through the 2018 season.

It's a great idea, but perhaps not as practical as everyone might assume it is.

Baseball wise, it appears like Machado will have few equals over the next three seasons. The other two names often mentioned before Machado are Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, but that's about the extent of the list of players who can even be arguably ranked above Manny in terms of value.

Trout, of course, is the phenom centerfielder for the Los Angeles Angels who has already bagged one MVP award and finished second two other times. And he's not yet 25 years old.

Harper, the brash, flamboyant outfielder for the Nationals also has himself one MVP honor -- before his 24th birthday -- with space in the trophy case for, oh, about four or five more, at least.

Other than those two, I'm not sure there's anyone in baseball with a better skill set and promise for the future than Machado. And that's not to say those two are better or more valuable than our third baseman in Baltimore. That's a debate for another day.

Star players will soon be getting $35 million per-season

The Angels locked up Mike Trout before his first rookie contract was halfway finished and he's now under their control until the 2020 campaign. He makes $16 million this year, $20 million next season and -- ready for this? -- $34 million per-year in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

That's what it cost the Angels to buy Trout's loyalty last year when they struck a new deal with him.

Harper, one would assume, is looking to snag a deal of at least $40 million a year and at some point in that new (assumed) seven or eight year contract, his salary would likely rise to somewhere in the neighbord of the $50 million per-season mark.

What's the word for that? Outrageous comes to mind.

I bring all that up just to point out the "obviously obvious".

Manny Machado is, right now, a baseball player with value somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million per-season and wouldn't even get off the couch to answer the text from his agent if a proposed new contract extension didn't have a bunch of 3's in it and, perhaps, even a 4 a couple of times.

In other words, Machado's a $30 million per-season player -- easily -- by the time the 2018 or 2019 campaign rolls around.

The Orioles just got in an off-season peeing match with Chris Davis over what apparently was $7 million TOTAL over seven seasons.

If they got sticker shock at a $161 million deal, what's going to happen to them when Machado's agent asks for $261 million over seven seasons?

And let's also say this before we glide into the delicate area of whether or not extending Machado now is, in fact, the prudent move: Machado might not want to sign right now.

Yes, I know, your knee-jerk reaction is to say, "C'mon, man, of course he'd sign now, all we have to do is give him a fair, mega-mutha deal and he'd take it."

Maybe he would.

Maybe he wouldn't.

Rarely would a player ever come out and say he wants to be the game's highest paid performer, but my guess is they'd all take great pride in being that guy...the one who finally breaks the bank and gets a $500 million deal for ten seasons or something wildly obscene like that.

Is that worth holding out for, in Machado's case?

It all depends on how greedy you are, I suppose, and how much impact your rational thinking agent and accountant have on you once the club sends along an extension offer that clearly wouldn't net you as much money as a new deal would in a few years time.

I have no idea what it would take, today, to lock Machado down for six more seasons after this one. My guess is it would require something similar to what Trout will be getting in those years ($34 million) and then a few more bucks thrown in for good measure.

I figure $200 million for six years would do the trick, but that might even be a hair low.

There are plenty of other salient points to make about the team's payroll over the next three to five years that could greatly impact Machado's position.

Chris Davis is on the books for $23 million per-year for the six seasons that follow this one, although a significant chunk of that money is deferred.

Adam Jones has two more seasons left on his deal at roughly $17 million per-year and then, following the 2018 campaign, he'll be a free agent, too.

And what to do with Mark Trumbo? The Birds will face a Nelson Cruz-like decision with him at season's end, it would appear, and Trumbo, like Cruz, will hold the upper hand. He's looking a lot like a $20 million a year player right now based on the first month or so of the 2016 campaign.

Oh, and there's Kevin Gausman, too, who is perhaps on the verge of a breakthrough season that will garner him lots of attention as well.

It's easy to say "pay the man" when you aren't paying him

And, then, there's Manny, who is clearly better than all of those guys listed above and will want to be paid like it in a way the Orioles and owner Peter Angelos never envisioned possible.

$40 million per-season for a baseball player?

I'm not sure how you sign up for that if you're the team.

I get it. That's the "price you pay", as Springsteen sings on his glorious double album, "The River".

But, can you run your franchise effectively over the long run by giving one player $30 million, $35 million and then, in the final year or two of that deal, upwards of $40 million per-season?

I'm just not sure signing anyone to that kind of contract is smart business.

In today's game, there are really only three risks when it comes to signing players to long-term, over-the-top, historical contracts. The most obvious one, of course, is injury, whether or not that's on the field or off the field. Sure, the teams have insurance to cover themselves in the event something unfortunate happens, but the injury risk is very real and very much a factor.

Because it's 2016 and baseball players still use PED's with regularity, that's always a concern as well, particularly -- I hate to say this -- when power and home runs are involved. You always hope it's not your guy that gets popped, like Chris Davis did back in 2014, but you never know who's next on the pee-test-hit-list.

And, finally, most importantly, is simply the financial impact within the organization of pledging something like $200 million to an employee without knowing, for certain, that the nation's economy will allow for that sort of expense over the next decade.

Machado might not want to sign right now, for starters.

He might prefer to just keep on making his arbitration-related salary until he becomes a free agent and then head off to New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Arizona or any other free spending franchise with a whopper of a TV deal who hands out $250 million deals like they're napkins at a fast food restaurant.

If I'm the Orioles, I'd try to lure him now for a new 6-year deal, but I'm not sure how crazy I'd be willing to get at this point. $180 million for six years? That's $30 million per, obviously.

That's a lot of freakin' money, friends.

The debate here isn't about statistics vs. value or anything even remotely close to judging whether or not Machado is worth that kind of cash. The league and the current run of contracts say he probably IS worth that sort of dough.

It's more about whether or not giving a 23 year old kid $200 million over the next six seasons is the right move for your organization given your current obligations and others you anticipate having to make over that same time period.

And always keep in mind, Machado might not even want your money right now, no matter how much you wave at him.

After all, why take $200 million now when you might be able to get $400 million three years down the road?

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drew's views on the
baltimore orioles

Covering the Orioles throughout the season is an important part of #DMD's service, so who better to take on the assignment than #DMD's founder? DREW FORRESTER will tell you why the Birds won or lost, who was responsible, and what to look for in upcoming games. It's brought to you by our friends at KELLY, the area's expert in all aspects of payroll service.


tigers bullpen implodes as birds win, 7-5


It was like the 2014 playoffs all over again last night at Camden Yards.

And the Orioles didn't even need Delmon Young to rescue them this time around.

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Not too shabby with the glove, and occasionally decent with the bat, too, Jonathan Schoop's big 2-RBI triple gave the Birds a 7-5 win last night at Camden Yards.

The visiting Detroit Tigers surged to a 5-0 lead after their top half of the sixth inning on Thursday night, but even that wasn't a safe advantage, as the Birds scored twice in the sixth inning and five more times in the seventh frame to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in a 7-5 triumph before 14,918 spectators.

Once again, it was the Tigers beleaguered bullpen who gave away the game, as the Tigers lost for the 9th time in their last 10 outings.

The Orioles collected 12 hits on the night and 10 of them were singles. In a surprising turn of events, the Birds scored seven times without the benefit of a home run.

Jonathan Schoop's two RBI triple in the seventh inning was one of those two "non-singles" and it put the O's up, 7-5. The Orioles entered that inning down 5-2, but Alex and Justin Wilson (not related, except by the fact they both stunk on Thursday night) couldn't hold off the Baltimore bats, as Adam Jones, Chris Davis and Pedro Alvarez all delivered RBI singles before Schoop's triple plated the final two runs.

Every Oriole starter except Mark Trumbo (0-for-3) had a hit on Thursday night.

Ubaldo Jimenez got the start for the Birds and was pretty lousy, as he's prone to be three out of every five starts. Jimenez went five innings and allowed nine hits and four earned runs on the evening. He walked four and struck out two. Maybe "pretty lousy" is a too-nice term for that kind of outing.

Vance Worley allowed four hits in two innings of relief work to get the win, with Zach Britton needing only thirteen pitches to retire the side in order in the 9th and earn his ninth save of the season.

The Orioles have won five straight overall and are now 21-12 on the year.

The same two teams go at it again tonight -- weather permitting -- at Camden Yards, with Justin Verlander opposing Chris Tillman.

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this weekend in
english soccer


Contributed by #DMD's English Premier League Reporter
MATTHEW CARROLL

After thirty-seven long weeks, the final round of the Barclays Premier League kicks off this weekend as the season comes to a close with Matchweek 38. After Sunderland’s mid-week survival, Newcastle United and Norwich City will be joining Aston Villa next season in the Championship and all eyes will now turn to the city of Manchester, where cross town rivals will battle it out for fourth place and next season’s final Champions League spot.

On a personal note, thank you for allowing me to give you a small glimpse each week into the world’s top soccer league, I hope you enjoyed the weekly previews and I hope to see you all again next season. All ten of the weekend games will be kicking off simultaneously on Sunday morning, and as usual you can catch all of the action live on NBC and the NBC Sports Network, as well as a special final match day feature on SyFy, CNBC, Esquire, USA, E!, Bravo, Oxygen, and msnbc.

10am – Bournemouth @ Manchester United – Old Trafford, NBC Sports Network

After a far from consistent and sometimes maddeningly frustrating season, Manchester United improbably held their Champions League fate in their own hands following their 1-0 victory over Norwich City last weekend, but a mid-week defeat at West Ham United in the final game of the 112-year history of the Boleyn Ground now means they will need cross town rivals Manchester City to lose on Sunday versus Swansea and to win their final match when Bournemouth visits Old Trafford this weekend if they are to qualify for the Champions League next season.

If history is any indication, they look set to put all the pressure on City with Bournemouth who, despite losing only three of their last twelve away matches in the league (W5 D4 L3), have managed only one win against the top five teams in the league (W1 D2 L6), which coincidentally was against United, while being outscored twenty-two to five. They have never won in their four trips across all competitions to Old Trafford (L4) where United have conceded the fewest goals in the league this season (eight) and have taken nineteen points from a possible twenty-one in their last seven top flight matches.

10am – Manchester City @ Swansea City – Liberty Stadium, NBC

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With a victory over Swansea City on Sunday, legendary manager Pep Guardiola will have Champions League football to look forward to when he takes over at Manchester City next season

With United’s mid-week loss at West Ham, Manchester City’s European future is once again back in their own hands, needing only a point when they travel to face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium to ensure that new manager Pep Guardiola will be in the Champions League next season. A point is by far a guarantee however, as the Swans will be hoping to continue to their recent run of good form, which has seen them take all six points from their last two games against Liverpool and West Ham, as they try to end the season on a high note and dull the taste of what will be remembered as a bitter season.

The victory over Liverpool guaranteed a sixth consecutive season in the top flight for Swansea, who were languishing in the relegation zone after the New Year but have taken points in ten of their last fifteen games (W7 D3 L5) to ensure their Premier League safety with time to spare. The Swans have won their last four league matches at home but they could find it difficult to extend their best run of home results in their history of the league against a City side who will be desperate to hold onto fourth place in the table and who have won six of the last seven meetings with the Welsh side (W6 D1).

10am – Sunderland @ Watford – Vicarage Road, Oxygen

Sunderland twice overturned one goal deficits against defending league champions Chelsea with Jermain Defoe’s strike just three minutes after Fabio Borini’s equalizer earning a crucial three points for the Black Cats last weekend. The comeback set the stage for the Black Cats to ensure their Premier League survival, and in the process relegate their bitter Tyneside rivals Newcastle United as well as Norwich City, with a 3-0 win over a downtrodden Everton side at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday, leaving their weekend trip to face Watford at Vicarage Road on Sunday with considerably less intrigue.

After starting the season without a win in their first nine games, never moving higher than 17th in the table, and spending just thirty-nine days outside of the relegation zone all season long, Sunderland lost just one of their last ten league matches, which included a five game unbeaten run where they picked up eleven points from a possible fifteen, to pull off their fourth successive “Great Escape” with a game to spare, avoiding the hazards of a potentially tricky trip to Watford having won just one of their last seven league away matches (W1 D4 L2) and only one of their last fourteen final day fixtures (D2).

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#dmd is heading to the u.s. open in pittsburgh on june 18


If you're looking for a great Father's Day gift -- and if that special Dad in your life is a golfer -- #DMD has just what you need.

How about a one-day trip to see the U.S. Open, live, at Oakmont CC in Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 18!!

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You'll get to see Oakmont CC in all of its glory, including the famed 3rd hole "Church Pew" bunkers, if you head to Pittsburgh with #DMD on Saturday, June 18.

#DMD has secured tickets to Saturday's round, along with a luxury motor coach, food, drinks and a great U.S. Open trivia contest with a $100 cash prize!

Our bus will leave the Towson area at 5:00 am on the 18th, arriving in Pittsburgh at 10:00 am. The first groups on Saturday will tee off shortly after 10 and the leaders don't start playing until 2:30 pm.

We'll spend all day at historic Oakmont CC and return to Baltimore on Saturday night.

The per-person cost is $275, which includes an all-day grounds ticket for the U.S. Open, plus round-trip motor coach transportation (tolls and parking alone would cost you $60) and breakfast and lunch on the bus, plus beer, soda and water throughout the trip up to Pittsburgh.

It's a great opportunity to see the course live and in-person on Saturday, then watch the final round on Sunday from the comfort of your living room!

You can use the "U.S. Open" tab at the top of #DMD to order your seats on the trip.


#dmd announces youth sports benefit fund, courtesy of jerry's toyota-scion


Somewhere in Baltimore County right now, there's a youth athletic organization in need.

Whether it's for youth field or facility repairs, lighting, a special once-in-a-lifetime trip for a team, or some other cause that requires financial support -- somewhere, there's a need.

And our friends at Jerry's Toyota-Scion have pledged their support, through a 2-month campaign designed to reward a local youth athletic organization with funding for their special project.

X

This type of activity is precisely what #DMD has aspired to become since this venture was launched on August 25, 2014.

With the help of our Jerry's Toyota-Scion, we can finally start to make that footprint in the local community and truly help an organization that has great plans, but simply lacks the resources to get it done.

When I started #DMD almost two years ago, the central theme behind it all was "People helping People".

It's time to put that plan into action.

If you're involved in a local youth athletic organization that has a special project you're undertaking sometime in the remainder of 2016, #DMD wants to hear about it. We'll accept your "story" as an application for funding until July 1, 2016. A team of local sports enthusiasts will form a panel and consider all applications until the winner is announced on Friday, July 15, 2016. Funding will be available within 30 days of that announcement.

What sorts of projects or activities will #DMD and Jerry's Toyota-Scion consider? Anything and everything. Your organization might need $1,000 for scoreboard repairs at the baseball park you currently call home. Maybe you need $2,000 to build a sturdy, top-of-the-line concession stand so you can raise even more money in future years.

Perhaps there's a trip to Canton, Ohio for a youth football tournament and a visit to the Hall of Fame and $1,000 would go a long way in getting the team there.

If your youth organization has a financial need, the Jerry's Toyota-Scion Youth Benefit Fund might be that helping hand you're seeking.

The only real qualifier in this? Your youth organization must be in Baltimore County due to the marketing responsibilities each dealer agrees to within the Toyota family.

How do you submit your application? That's easy. On a PDF file which displays your team or organization's logo or letterhead, e-mail a "letter of application" with your requested funding and CLEARLY spell out your location, along with the financial need, how many people will likely benefit from the proposed activity, and what sort of impact this activity will have on your organization or team as a whole.

You can e-mail the letter (via PDF file) to Drew Forrester (drew@drewsmorningdish.com), at which point you will receive a confirmation reply that lets you know your organization's application has been received and is being considered.

It's that simple.

Youth athletic organizations have mastered the art of fund-raising, with car washes, bake sales, golf outings and much more. We encourage all of you to continue those efforts as you endeavor to enhance not only the activities you provide, but the programs and special events you offer for the young boys and girls in our area.

This is simply another piece of the puzzle, and while it's not possible to give assistance to every organization that applies, we promise to choose someone who will greatly benefit from the funding in 2016.

A special thank you goes out to Jerry's Toyota-Scion for their support of this project. They're eager to help out a local youth athletic organization in need.

Get your letter of application in today!


Thursday
May 12
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXII
Issue 12
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


proud of my team, despite the results


It's not often that I bore you with details of my Calvert Hall High School golf team, so I hope you'll give me a pass this morning as you read the next few words.

It is, after all, a "sports topic", even though it's only high school golf.

And, yes, golf is a sport. That's why it's a sports topic. But that's not why I'm bringing up my golf team today.

We finished our regular season yesterday, succumbing to the best team in the conference, St. Paul's, by a score of 18.5 to 2.5. The scoring system we use in MIAA varsity golf is a bit complicated, so I won't put you to sleep with the details of how the points work.

But, yes, in case you're wondering, 18.5 to 2.5 is a blow-out. It's like losing 9-2 in baseball, which the Twins did yesterday when the Orioles battered them in Minnesota.

St. Paul's, I'd like to point out, finished 12-0 in the conference, a significant accomplishment considering they had go 6-0 on the road. Their ultimate goal is to win the championship, of course, but a 12-0 record in the regular season is a wonderful testament to their outstanding coach, Rick Collins, and to the make-up and character of their team.

You are what your record says you are

Yesterday's loss to St. Paul's gave us at Calvert Hall a final record of 4-8. In the 7-team A-Conference, that put us 5th out of 7 teams. For the first time in my four years at Calvert Hall, we missed the playoffs.

We weren't that far away from making the post-season, though. Two matches -- one against McDonogh and the other vs. Gilman -- ultimately decided our fate. In both, we just needed a few things to work in our favor on the 11th and 12th holes (we play 12-hole matches in our conference, I told you the scoring system was wacky) and we would have won those two matches and made the post-season.

On both occasions, though, those things didn't work out in our favor. And we lost.

That defeat at Gilman on April 28 effectively ended our hopes for the post-season. But we still had four matches remaining.

And now, the story begins.

We carried nine players this year at Calvert Hall. Our roster was thin on experience and deep on youthful exuberance. We had one senior and eight juniors, but only three players on the roster had played any meaningful "minutes" for us in previous seasons.

With the playoffs out of reach a few weeks back, I called up two players from our JV program. I figured it would give those two a chance to spend some time with the varsity players, and, just as importantly, get each of them a little bit more familiar with my style so they didn't get cold-water-in-the-face next March when they made the move to varsity and encountered me for the first time.

We went 2-2 in those four final matches.

None of my players threw in the towel or gave up, ever.

When I inserted three players (one, a varsity player who hadn't played at all during the season but deserved the chance to play) in those matches, including the two JV call-ups, none of my guys complained or whined about not getting to play.

No one treated the newcomers with indifference. For one, I wouldn't have tolerated that. More importantly, my guys themselves simply wouldn't have behaved that way. They welcomed the newcomers with open arms, made them feel welcomed, and urged them on when they finally saw varsity playing time.

In the first of those four matches, junior Jake Gensits, playing for the first time all season, won the 10th and 12th holes to secure 2.5 points out of the available 3 points in his individual match. In other words, he beat his opponent, individually.

One of the best scenes of the season, for me, was watching one of our juniors, Max Pflugrad, jockey his teammate around those final few holes, helping him read putts, urging him on, and politely fist-bumping him when he rolled in a nice 6-foot putt for par at #10.

Max had his own opponent and result to worry about, but in the spirit I wanted from him, he made Jake's match just as important as his own.

Being a good teammate takes time and effort

This past Tuesday against Mount Saint Joseph, the first of the two JV call-ups got his day in the sun (well, in the drizzling rain, actually) and once again, the results were equally impressive.

Kevin Scheidhauer, a sophomore, made his varsity debut for us against the Gaels. It didn't start out great. When I saw Kevin after the third hole, he was already 3-down, meaning he had lost each of the first three holes to his opponent. When you're playing 12 hole matches and you lose the first three, you're really behind the proverbial eight ball right from the start.

Scheidhauer, though, didn't lose.

He won the 8th, 11th and 12th holes to claim a "half" as we call it in golf, or a "tie" as most of you commonly refer to it. Out of the three available points, Scheidhauer snagged 1.5 of them.

As fate would have it, Max Pflugrad was again the teammate -- playing in the #5 spot for us -- who was in the same group with one of the JV guys, and just like he did with Gensits in the Spalding match, Pflugrad worked diligently with our 10th grader to get him around the golf course, all the while also needing to focus on his game in order to secure the three points that were at stake in his match.

Pflugrad won his match and guided Scheidhauer through those final few holes to help him rebound from an early 3-hole deficit to wind up tying his more experienced opponent.

Finally, in yesterday's match against St. Paul's, the other JV call-up got his shot, as Evan Crum played in the #6 slot for us. The first six holes (or "the front six" as we call it) went heavily in favor of the St. Paul's player. Crum was 5-down after six holes.

No, he didn't come back to win or tie. That's not how this story ends.

But what Crum did do was even more important and, hopefully, a great lesson to all of my players who stood behind the 12th green in the rain at Baltimore Country Club to watch Crum and his opponent play the 12th hole.

He never gave up.

After losing the first six holes, 5-down, Crum extended the "back six" as far as he could. He was 1-down on the 12th tee, a miracle, sort of, when you consider he lost the first six holes in blow-out fashion.

At that daunting, narrow, and very dangerous par-5 hole, Crum hit his drive right down the middle of the fairway. In the pouring rain, too, if that matters.

He then expertly played his 2nd shot just short of the creek that borders the front of the green.

That left him with a delicate 25-yard shot to an uphill putting surface, with the flag all the way in the back of the green.

Crum played a terrific shot in the middle of the green and the ball stopped 15-feet below the hole.

His birdie putt came up short and then his opponent, who himself had played a wonderful short chip from five yards off the green, sunk a 6-footer for birdie that ended the day for Crum.

He didn't get any points, but at that stage, he didn't need to, honestly. Playing that 12th hole the way he did, in front of 20 players and another 20 or so parents, coaches, etc., was more important than stealing a half point there at the very end.

It's OK to lose, as long as you learn from it

The final hole of our 2016 season was played, precisely the way it should have been played, by a young man who three weeks ago was on the JV team. I should have taken a picture of Crum as he trudged up to us after his match was complete. Soaking wet, back on his shoulder, disappointed...but not defeated. He was a perfect representative for my golf team in those fifteen minutes of the season.

It's here where I'll give a nod to our JV coach, Ryan Richardson, who has done an outstanding job over the last three seasons preparing his players for the next step.

His team's record, much like our record, isn't all that great, but that's not what JV golf is all about. JV golf is about sending kids to the varsity program and having them ready to contribute, which Scheidhauer and Crum both did in their brief but meaningful moments with us.

We'll take our "down season" with dignity and move on. As we say in our team prayer before the match, "God, give us the strength to deal with victory or defeat with equal degrees of humility."

Our golf wasn't always great. I could have done more as a coach, for certain. When we needed to perform well in a few critical matches, we didn't. The margin for error is razor-thin, and we wound up nicking ourselves a couple of times at key moments when just one less putt or one fewer shot might have made the difference in winning or losing.

Alas, our record was 4-8 and that's what we were. As I told the team after yesterday's match, that's why golf is the greatest of all the sports. There's never any denying who was better. If I shoot 71 and you shoot 72, I was better. If your team beats our team, 18.5 to 2.5, your team was better. Golf is results-driven.

As the famous saying goes, "There aren't any pictures on the scorecard, just numbers."

Interestingly, though, while the numbers say we were 4-8, the picture tells a different story. A better one, too, I think.

Our team didn't throw in the towel, never gave up, and played as hard as they could until the final putt on the 12th hole from a St. Paul's player ended our season.

A St. Paul's parent gave me the ultimate compliment yesterday, as a coach, when he said on the 6th tee, "You'd never know your team was 4-7 the way they're competing out here today."

That's probably the best thing I could have heard all day.

Calvert Hall won't be down for long, that I promise you. I'll spare you the details, but the Cardinals will rise again in the MIAA and when we're back on top, the final few weeks of this 2016 season will be the catalyst for that rebound.

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drew's views on the
baltimore orioles

Covering the Orioles throughout the season is an important part of #DMD's service, so who better to take on the assignment than #DMD's founder? DREW FORRESTER will tell you why the Birds won or lost, who was responsible, and what to look for in upcoming games. It's brought to you by our friends at KELLY, the area's expert in all aspects of payroll service.

more jumbo from trumbo as birds blast twins


The Orioles belted four more home runs on Wednesday afternoon in Minnesota and completed an abbreviated 2-game sweep of the Twins with a 9-2 win that pushes the O's record to 20-12, good enough for a first-place tie with the Red Sox, who are 21-13.

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In what is looking like another Nelson Cruz situation, Mark Trumbo is making himself awfully appealing to a team this coming off-season with 11 home runs in the first five weeks of the 2016 campaign.

Mark Trumbo continued his torrid early-season power spree with two more home runs, including a 427-foot whopper in the first inning that stayed in the air so long they were able to show a movie during the flight.

Chris Davis and Adam Jones also connected on long balls for the Birds, who got another decent start out of Tyler Wilson. Granted, it was the Twins he was facing, but Wilson got the job done nonetheless, going seven innings and allowing just six hits and two earned runs.

Every Baltimore starter in the lineup got a hit except for Ryan Flaherty. Yes, even Caleb Joseph...

The Twins stink, so winning twice there isn't anything to jump up and down about, but as our very own Brien Jackson noted a couple of weeks ago, all of these games count. Winning those two in Minnesota might make the difference between finishing 92-70 or 90-72 -- and that difference could get the team in the playoffs this October.

And now the Tigers come to town at 15-18 and losers of 8 of their last 10 outings, including a 3-2 defeat last night in Washington D.C. that included a record-tying 20-strikeout performance from Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer.

I'm not expecting the Orioles to win all four games with Detroit between now and Sunday, but they're ripe for the picking right about now, that's for sure.

As I wrote back in March when I predicted the Birds would win the American League East, there's little chance you're going to be able to silence the Baltimore bats in 2016. It might happen once a week or so, but this Buck Showalter team is going to wear you out over the course of nine innings.

Trumbo is off to a terrific start, now hitting .323 with a .372 on-base percentage after Wednesday's two-homer, three RBI afternoon.

Jones, it appears, is starting to round into form after a dismal first month of the season. He connected on home runs in both games in Minnesota and also had the game-winning hit on Tuesday evening in the 5-3 victory over the Twins.

Despite going 1-for-5 yesterday, Manny Machado continues to scorch everything thrown at him, now hitting .359 with an unheard of .417 on-base-percentage. His base running failures notwithstanding, this might be the best start to a season in O's history.

I'll write more about Machado tomorrow here at #DMD and look more closely at the pros and cons of signing Machado to a long term deal now, if, in fact, he would even accept one.

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john pusateri
on lacrosse

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

towson ousts hobart, faces #2 denver next


#10 Towson 18 - Hobart 5

Once again, the Tiger offense rebounds off of a poor performance in a big way hanging 18 on the NEC Champ Statesmen to advance to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament.

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Coach Shawn Nadelen's Towson Tigers face defending NCAA titleist Denver next after yesterday's home win over Hobart.

How dominate was this performance? Hobart's goalie Jackson Brown actually had a good game, making 19 saves on 51 shots from the Tigers, who put 37 on cage.

It also helps that Towson's defense held Hobart's offense to less shots (17) than Tigers goals. CAA Co-Player of the Year Ryan Drenner was the leader of nine different Towson scorers with 4 goals, while Alec Burckley got the job done at the face-off X winning 13 of 20 for the host Tigers.

If you would have told Coach Nadelen that he had to play one of the tournment's play-in games but could make two requests, he would have asked for A) a home game and B) an easy game that allowed him to clear his bench early so that his team was well rested for the next big game.

Those two mythical requests were both granted. That big game is now set as the Tigers face the reigning champs, #2 Denver, at 3pm this Sunday in Colorado.

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#dmd is heading to the u.s. open in pittsburgh on june 18


If you're looking for a great Father's Day gift -- and if that special Dad in your life is a golfer -- #DMD has just what you need.

How about a one-day trip to see the U.S. Open, live, at Oakmont CC in Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 18!!

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You'll get to see Oakmont CC in all of its glory, including the famed 3rd hole "Church Pew" bunkers, if you head to Pittsburgh with #DMD on Saturday, June 18.

#DMD has secured tickets to Saturday's round, along with a luxury motor coach, food, drinks and a great U.S. Open trivia contest with a $100 cash prize!

Our bus will leave the Towson area at 5:00 am on the 18th, arriving in Pittsburgh at 10:00 am. The first groups on Saturday will tee off shortly after 10 and the leaders don't start playing until 2:30 pm.

We'll spend all day at historic Oakmont CC and return to Baltimore on Saturday night.

The per-person cost is $275, which includes an all-day grounds ticket for the U.S. Open, plus round-trip motor coach transportation (tolls and parking alone would cost you $60) and breakfast and lunch on the bus, plus beer, soda and water throughout the trip up to Pittsburgh.

It's a great opportunity to see the course live and in-person on Saturday, then watch the final round on Sunday from the comfort of your living room!

You can use the "U.S. Open" tab at the top of #DMD to order your seats on the trip.

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#dmd announces youth sports benefit fund, courtesy of jerry's toyota-scion


Somewhere in Baltimore County right now, there's a youth athletic organization in need.

Whether it's for youth field or facility repairs, lighting, a special once-in-a-lifetime trip for a team, or some other cause that requires financial support -- somewhere, there's a need.

And our friends at Jerry's Toyota-Scion have pledged their support, through a 2-month campaign designed to reward a local youth athletic organization with funding for their special project.

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This type of activity is precisely what #DMD has aspired to become since this venture was launched on August 25, 2014.

With the help of our Jerry's Toyota-Scion, we can finally start to make that footprint in the local community and truly help an organization that has great plans, but simply lacks the resources to get it done.

When I started #DMD almost two years ago, the central theme behind it all was "People helping People".

It's time to put that plan into action.

If you're involved in a local youth athletic organization that has a special project you're undertaking sometime in the remainder of 2016, #DMD wants to hear about it. We'll accept your "story" as an application for funding until July 1, 2016. A team of local sports enthusiasts will form a panel and consider all applications until the winner is announced on Friday, July 15, 2016. Funding will be available within 30 days of that announcement.

What sorts of projects or activities will #DMD and Jerry's Toyota-Scion consider? Anything and everything. Your organization might need $1,000 for scoreboard repairs at the baseball park you currently call home. Maybe you need $2,000 to build a sturdy, top-of-the-line concession stand so you can raise even more money in future years.

Perhaps there's a trip to Canton, Ohio for a youth football tournament and a visit to the Hall of Fame and $1,000 would go a long way in getting the team there.

If your youth organization has a financial need, the Jerry's Toyota-Scion Youth Benefit Fund might be that helping hand you're seeking.

The only real qualifier in this? Your youth organization must be in Baltimore County due to the marketing responsibilities each dealer agrees to within the Toyota family.

How do you submit your application? That's easy. On a PDF file which displays your team or organization's logo or letterhead, e-mail a "letter of application" with your requested funding and CLEARLY spell out your location, along with the financial need, how many people will likely benefit from the proposed activity, and what sort of impact this activity will have on your organization or team as a whole.

You can e-mail the letter (via PDF file) to Drew Forrester (drew@drewsmorningdish.com), at which point you will receive a confirmation reply that lets you know your organization's application has been received and is being considered.

It's that simple.

Youth athletic organizations have mastered the art of fund-raising, with car washes, bake sales, golf outings and much more. We encourage all of you to continue those efforts as you endeavor to enhance not only the activities you provide, but the programs and special events you offer for the young boys and girls in our area.

This is simply another piece of the puzzle, and while it's not possible to give assistance to every organization that applies, we promise to choose someone who will greatly benefit from the funding in 2016.

A special thank you goes out to Jerry's Toyota-Scion for their support of this project. They're eager to help out a local youth athletic organization in need.

Get your letter of application in today!


Wednesday
May 11
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXII
Issue 11
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ovechkin, caps come up empty again as penguins win game six in overtime


Like they've done so many times before, the Washington Capitals came up with a new way to lose their biggest game of the season last night in Pittsburgh.

Nick Bonino's goal 6:32 into overtime gave the Penguins a 4-3 win over the Capitals and eliminated Washington from the playoffs, 4-games-to-2, spoiling a spirited rally from 3-0 down that saw Barry Trotz's team come just one score away from forcing a dramatic Game 7 on Thursday night in D.C.

Alas, they'll be no Game 7.

And the Caps, once again, are left pondering a number of questions as yet another playoff failure gets added to the long list of their annual spring-trip-ups.

Something always happens in the playoffs -- most of it bad

No one that follows the team with any degree of passion at all is surprised by what happened last night or what happened in this year's playoffs. The Caps, of course, are as prone to losing in the post-season as any team has ever been, in any sport, anywhere.

The franchise has now been around for 43 years and has played in 42 seasons overall (there was no hockey played in 2004-2005 due to a lock out) -- and they've yet to win a Stanley Cup. In fact, they've only been to the Finals once.

This year, though, was finally going to be different.

The Caps bolted through the regular season with 120 points, their second highest point total ever, and captured the league's President's Trophy, which goes to the team with the most points over the 82-game campaign. They looked different this time around, though, and most NHL experts were willing to cast aside the previous 41 seasons of futility and eagerly point to this spring as the one that would finally serve the Caps favorably.

Because matters such as these are deeply rooted and fairly complex, it's hard to say exactly what goes on with the Capitals every spring.

Some will label it "choking", and they'll make good, fair points while doing so.

Some will call the Caps "unlucky", and they'll also make reasonable points while carefully analyzing wacky bounces of the puck, bad breaks and other nit-picky things that don't fall in Washington's favor.

Others will point to the team's influx of European players and wonder, simply, if the team is "tough enough" for the meat-grinder style of playoff hockey.

I see reality in all three of those assessments, honestly.

Choking is a nasty, nasty word in sports. It essentially says about a player, "you can't handle the moment". It questions your intestinal fortitude, mainly, and any athlete with a shred of personal integrity would fight you at the drop of a hat if you called them out for having nothing under the hood.

The Caps, though, have mastered the art of choking and making it look like something else. This year is a perfect example.

They weren't really all that good against the Flyers in the first series and nearly gagged away a 3-0 series lead before pinching a 1-0 road win in Game 6 to oust Philadelphia.

Pittsburgh scored the big goals, Washington didn't

The Pittsburgh series featured five one-goal games and three overtime affairs. The Penguins won four of the five one-goal games and two of the three games that needed an extra session. When the Capitals needed someone to step up, no one could. The moment, apparently, was too big for them.

Defenders of the franchise will argue against that theme -- "choking" -- and they'll point to bad breaks, lucky bounces for the other team, and anything else that conspired against the Caps that wasn't within their direct control. Those points aren't without merit, but relying on them to explain yet another playoff disappointment is avoiding the stark truth about the players that make up the current roster.

They're not winners.

That might be different than calling them "losers", but when you cut them open, it all looks the same.

Under the gun, when the games are do-or-die, the Capitals don't have players with enough guts to get the job done.

That's not me telling you that. That's the team's history telling you that. I'm just the guy pointing it out to you.

Chief among those players who can't win the big game is, of course, the Capitals all-world-everything, Alex Ovechkin, who has now made the playoffs nine times in his career and has never once advanced to the Conference Finals, let alone capture a Stanley Cup.

I say, simply, that Ovechkin isn't a winner. He's a terrific player, indeed, but he's just not a winner.

That's a harsh criticism for a 3-time league MVP and a certain hockey Hall of Famer, but it's the way I've seen him for nearly a decade now. And, no, this isn't a reaction to last night's loss in Pittsburgh. I've never seen Ovechkin as a "winner", mainly because -- ready for this? -- he's never won.

When people ask me "What more do you want the guy to do?", I point to the two overtime games the Capitals lost against the Penguins as a prime example and just say this:.

"Just score a goal in overtime when the game -- and the season -- is on the line. That's a good start..."

Instead, guys like Patric Nordqvist and Nick-Freakin'-Bonino wind up doing that. And Ovechkin winds up on the golf course before they run the Preakness. Again.

Washington's flaws as a team were exposed in the post-season, and Ovechkin is far from a "flawed player". He might not be a winner, but what held the Capitals back against the Flyers and Penguins was mostly out of his control.

Everything has to click in the post-season

The team's defensive corps was super-shielded by the heroic play of goalie Braden Holtby all season long. While Holtby was great, the defensemen in front of him were just OK, nothing more. In the free-flowing style of regular season play, those warts weren't exposed enough to cause concern. In the post-season, though, where one goal can send you home for the summer, every player is under the microscope.

Three in-season pick-ups turned out to be almost useless across the board.

Mike Richards, who used to be a good player a few years back, scored 2 goals and 3 assists in 39 games during the regular season and then -- you almost can't believe this is true, but it is -- failed to register a single point in 12 playoff games. Nothing. Not even a cheap assist somewhere along the way.

Daniel Winnik did the exact same thing as Richards, except he scored his 2 goals and 3 assists in 20 games for the Caps after coming over in February from the Maple Leafs. Like Richards, he didn't record one point in 12 playoff games.

Defenseman Mike Weber hardly even played after coming in from Buffalo at the three-quarters mark.

I'm glad those three guys aren't camping with us anytime soon. We'd have to find someone else to light the fire at night because they have zero spark between them.

Speaking of playoff futility, the team's leading scorer during the regular season, Evgeny Kuznetsov, finished the post-season with one goal in 12 games. Had he not vanished like the S.S. Minnow, Washington might have survived that series with the Penguins.

This, if you've followed the Caps for any length of time, has become a regular rite-of-passage every April or May. And by "this", I mean, going through the roster and highlighting which players gagged it in the post-season, bottomed out after solid regular seasons, or failed to deliver in the clutch when just one goal might have made the difference.

It's an ugly part of the process. The players change a bit from year-to-year, but the results are always the same, except for that one lone year in 1997-98 when the Caps made it to the Stanley Cup Finals only to get whipped in four straight games by Detroit.

Something happens when the playoffs roll around and the Capitals are always on the bad end of those "happenings".

"Choking" might not be the right word, but it's the one that fits the easiest.

As you'll over the next couple of days, there will be writers, analysts and "experts" who call the whole "choking story" a lazy narrative, but there's no other way to say it that doesn't sound like a white-collar defense of the same old song and dance.

The Capitals, despite every piece of evidence pointing to the contrary, were simply not able to win in the playoff again this spring.

Call it whatever you want.

Any way you slice it, they're losers.

42 seasons and counting, now.

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john pusateri
on lacrosse

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


Game of the Week: #10 Towson vs Hobart (Wed. 4pm - Johnny Unitas Stadium)


In a rematch of a pre-season scrimmage, Towson gets to host NEC champ Hobart in the NCAA play-in round today at 4 pm.

In the winter exhibition game, the Tigers took down the Statesman 4-2, but that was just a scrimmage.

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A playoff date with Denver awaits Shawn Nadelen and Towson University if they can get past pesky Hobart today at home.

The Statesman have been on a bit of a hot streak upsetting Bryant in the NEC semis 7-6 (just a few weeks after losing to them 15-2), then taking down NEC favorite St. Josephs 11-7. On the season, the Statesmen have scored 9.5 per game while giving up 9.6. But in the past 3 games they've averaged 11.0 goals per game while only allowing 7.7. goals per game. During that stretch, Hobart goalie Jackson Brown has been hot saving at 59.6% while their offense has been sharing the rock with 21 of their 33 goals assisted.

Meanwhile the Tigers continues the season trend of great defense followed by just enough offense to get the job done.

In the past 3 games, tremendous defense was at the core of Towson's success, as they've only allowed 5 goals per game. They've received great goalkeeping with Tyler White averaging 11 saves per game while pressuring opposing offenses into 13.3 turnovers per game. Towson's offense on the flip side has been a lot cooler, averaging just 6.7 goals per game in the same stretch. Interestingly, the Tigers are putting 18.3 shots on goal per game while taking 30.7 shots per game. While they should be taking more shots, they are only scoring on 21.8% of them, well below their 29.0% regular season average in which they averaged 11.2 goals per game.

This game is certainly a tough call to make. Given Hobart's recent success against quality teams and Towson playing just good enough to win, you'd think the Tigers are being set up for the "cleat of reality". Perhaps they are, but Towson's offense seems to respond after laying an egg this season and the Statesmen might have felt like they just played their Super Bowl in the NEC championship. Towson might also feel a little slighted having to go the play-in game route once more considering they are ranked #10.

As noted, this game will be a close one, so I'm going to go with the home team Towson Tigers to take down the Statesmen 8-7.

The Big Picture

Tourney Field Commentary (with host listed first) - Was able to pick all the teams who were in the dance, just not in the correct order and dance partners. Let's take a look at each seed by pairing.

#1 Maryland vs play-in winner of: Quinnipiac vs Hartford - As predicted. The Terps have been the most consistent and best team, which in this crazy season makes them ripe for an upset. Hartford lost to Quinnipiac earlier in the season in OT, but just upset Albany in the America East semis. Not sure who will win this week's play-in game, but very sure neither will be playing past Sunday.

#2 Denver vs play-in winner of: Towson vs Hobart - Somewhat as predicted. Figured Denver to be the #2 because of the Ohio State quarter final location and their win against Notre Dame. Also figured Towson, Air Force and Navy to be interchangeable seeds and the committee didn't feel the CAA was as strong and certainly frowned on Towson's late season loss to Delaware (as did I).

#3 Notre Dame vs Air Force - Per the previous explanation, this feels right. Notre Dame was one of the best teams all year. Air Force and Towson are fairly even, so travel was the factor in this match-up.

#4 Yale vs Navy - Somewhat of a surprise given Yale's loss to Brown. In most cases, the committee was really high on the conference winners from the past weekend. Navy was the last team in because of their RPI, but if we are looking how well teams are playing right now, Rutgers is the better team and has a legitimate beef. If not for the rule of the weakest conference AQs being in the play-in games, one could argue for Navy and Towson switching.

#5 Brown vs Johns Hopkins - A bit of a head scratcher and it appears Brown needed to win the Ivy to remain the #4 seed even though they beat Yale just a few weeks ago. Not surprised to see Hopkins in the tourney nor slip down in the seeding after losing to Rutgers again (this time at home).

#6 Marquette vs North Carolina - Predicted UNC's seed correctly, but Marquette going from a bubble to a seeded team is one of the biggest surprises. Their high RPI, bolstered by beating bubble-team Villanova and #2 Denver, must have been the deciding factor. Guess the committee threw out the 16-1 defeat to Duke. While Marquette is a good team, I don't think they've earned hosting a tourney game.

#7 Loyola vs Duke - Not too far off on my prediction, nor am I surprised. Loyola should be hosting a game while Duke has enough losses to keep them from hosting. Very tough draw for Greyhounds who got taken to the woodshed by the Blue Devils earlier this year. Albany could be here instead of Duke but travel was probably an influence.

#8 Syracuse vs Albany - The other surprise of the tournament The Albany seeding makes sense given their losses. But the champs of the ACC, the toughest conference in the land, behind Yale, Loyola and Marquette is a bit of a stretch. Syracuse had a tougher schedule and is ranked higher than all these teams and also had the same record as Marquette. As for common opponents, Syracuse lost to Notre Dame 17-7 while Marquette lost to them in OT. However, Syracuse beat Duke 14-9 in the ACC championship and lost to them in OT in the regular season while Marquette lost to Duke 16-1 (yes, it's worth repeating). I'm thinking the Orange will be playing this tournament with a chip on their shoulder.

Final Four Prediction: Maryland, Brown, Notre Dame, Denver

Dark Horses: Duke, Syracuse

Likely To Be Upset: Marquette, Maryland

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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.


It's not a major championship, but when 24 of the top 25 players in the world gather for a golf tournament, it sure feels like one.

That's the case this week in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where only Charl Schwartzel is missing among the world's best 25 players as the TOUR visits TPC Sawgrass for the annual Player's Championship.

The storylines are numerous, starting with Jordan Spieth, who hasn't played since coughing up the Masters a month ago, and the guy who beat him, Danny Willet, who claims to have played just 18 holes of casual golf since capturing the green jacket back on April 10.

The world's #1 ranked player -- Jason Day -- is on site, as is Rory McIlroy, who probably could be #1 again if he cared enough to get there.

By today's standards, the golf course isn't all that long (7200 yards) and rewards great ball strikers more than anything else. If putting and short game work are the keys at Augusta National, just getting the ball on the green in a safe place is paramount at TPC Sawgrass.

With those nuances out of the way, let's go through our six man fantasy team for this week's event and try to make you some money for that summer vacation you're planning.

Let's get the cheapest player, dollar wise, out of the way first. Scott Piercy is an extraordinary value at $6300. While his record at TPC Sawgrass isn't all that great, we saw a guy win last week on TOUR (James Hahn) who had missed eight straight cuts. In other words -- don't overthink it too much. Piercy makes a lot of birdies, which seems like a good recipe for success this week.

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Already a winner of a World Golf Championships event, a victory for Russell Knox at this week's Players Championship would elevate his status big-time.

I really like the golf came of Rafael Cabrera-Bello. He's finished T17 or better in all four of his stateside events this year and I could see the Spaniard liking the layout of TPC Sawgrass and sniffing around over the weekend like he did at the Match Play back in March when he finished 3rd. He's good value as well at $7,100 -- a steal really, at that amount.

The Players is precisely the kind of tournament Marc Leishman could win. It would say, perhaps, that he's just about ready to break through to that next level, something he almost did last summer at the British Open before losing in a playoff to Zach Johnson. Putting is his only bugaboo, but if he rolls it well this week, Leishman could most certainly be a factor. And, at $7,300, he's a sold investment given that you'd like to use some big money on the top players in the world.

If you're picking a team for the Player's and Sergio Garcia isn't on it, you're making a mistake. He's a true "horse for the course", with a victory at TPC Sawgrass and nine Top 10 finishes overall. He's one of the best ball strikers in the world, still, and that's the ultimate reward at this golf course. Putting has plagued him from time to time, but he hits the golf ball as well as anyone in the field. Even at $9,900, he's a must play on your team.

Nothing about his history says Jason Day is ready to break through with a win at TPC Sawgrass, but this is a logical next step for the #1 ranked player in the world. He does everything well, so there's no sense in pointing out his strengths and matching them with what the golf course offers. He's pricey, at $11,100, but you have to buy one of the top guys and I'm going with him.

If ball striking and greens in regulation are paramount this week, which all the stats and trends indicate they are, Russell Knox is the man for the job, and he's who I'm picking to win. He's extremely affordable ($7,600) as well, which is important when you're trying to squeeze six players into a $50,000 roster limit. Knox is in the Top 10 in virtually every greens in regulation category on TOUR (72.10%) and with length not being a major issue this week, all the signs point to Knox being in the hunt come Sunday afternoon.

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#dmd is heading to the u.s. open in pittsburgh on june 18


If you're looking for a great Father's Day gift -- and if that special Dad in your life is a golfer -- #DMD has just what you need.

How about a one-day trip to see the U.S. Open, live, at Oakmont CC in Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 18!!

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You'll get to see Oakmont CC in all of its glory, including the famed 3rd hole "Church Pew" bunkers, if you head to Pittsburgh with #DMD on Saturday, June 18.

#DMD has secured tickets to Saturday's round, along with a luxury motor coach, food, drinks and a great U.S. Open trivia contest with a $100 cash prize!

Our bus will leave the Towson area at 5:00 am on the 18th, arriving in Pittsburgh at 10:00 am. The first groups on Saturday will tee off shortly after 10 and the leaders don't start playing until 2:30 pm.

We'll spend all day at historic Oakmont CC and return to Baltimore on Saturday night.

The per-person cost is $275, which includes an all-day grounds ticket for the U.S. Open, plus round-trip motor coach transportation (tolls and parking alone would cost you $60) and breakfast and lunch on the bus, plus beer, soda and water throughout the trip up to Pittsburgh.

It's a great opportunity to see the course live and in-person on Saturday, then watch the final round on Sunday from the comfort of your living room!

You can use the "U.S. Open" tab at the top of #DMD to order your seats on the trip.

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#dmd announces youth sports benefit fund, courtesy of jerry's toyota-scion


Somewhere in Baltimore County right now, there's a youth athletic organization in need.

Whether it's for youth field or facility repairs, lighting, a special once-in-a-lifetime trip for a team, or some other cause that requires financial support -- somewhere, there's a need.

And our friends at Jerry's Toyota-Scion have pledged their support, through a 2-month campaign designed to reward a local youth athletic organization with funding for their special project.

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This type of activity is precisely what #DMD has aspired to become since this venture was launched on August 25, 2014.

With the help of our Jerry's Toyota-Scion, we can finally start to make that footprint in the local community and truly help an organization that has great plans, but simply lacks the resources to get it done.

When I started #DMD almost two years ago, the central theme behind it all was "People helping People".

It's time to put that plan into action.

If you're involved in a local youth athletic organization that has a special project you're undertaking sometime in the remainder of 2016, #DMD wants to hear about it. We'll accept your "story" as an application for funding until July 1, 2016. A team of local sports enthusiasts will form a panel and consider all applications until the winner is announced on Friday, July 15, 2016. Funding will be available within 30 days of that announcement.

What sorts of projects or activities will #DMD and Jerry's Toyota-Scion consider? Anything and everything. Your organization might need $1,000 for scoreboard repairs at the baseball park you currently call home. Maybe you need $2,000 to build a sturdy, top-of-the-line concession stand so you can raise even more money in future years.

Perhaps there's a trip to Canton, Ohio for a youth football tournament and a visit to the Hall of Fame and $1,000 would go a long way in getting the team there.

If your youth organization has a financial need, the Jerry's Toyota-Scion Youth Benefit Fund might be that helping hand you're seeking.

The only real qualifier in this? Your youth organization must be in Baltimore County due to the marketing responsibilities each dealer agrees to within the Toyota family.

How do you submit your application? That's easy. On a PDF file which displays your team or organization's logo or letterhead, e-mail a "letter of application" with your requested funding and CLEARLY spell out your location, along with the financial need, how many people will likely benefit from the proposed activity, and what sort of impact this activity will have on your organization or team as a whole.

You can e-mail the letter (via PDF file) to Drew Forrester (drew@drewsmorningdish.com), at which point you will receive a confirmation reply that lets you know your organization's application has been received and is being considered.

It's that simple.

Youth athletic organizations have mastered the art of fund-raising, with car washes, bake sales, golf outings and much more. We encourage all of you to continue those efforts as you endeavor to enhance not only the activities you provide, but the programs and special events you offer for the young boys and girls in our area.

This is simply another piece of the puzzle, and while it's not possible to give assistance to every organization that applies, we promise to choose someone who will greatly benefit from the funding in 2016.

A special thank you goes out to Jerry's Toyota-Scion for their support of this project. They're eager to help out a local youth athletic organization in need.

Get your letter of application in today!


Tuesday
May 10
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXII
Issue 10
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


ray lewis didn't fail espn, they failed him


Truth of the matter, Ray Lewis was never that good on television in the first place.

And that's coming from an acknowledged card-carrying member of the Ray Lewis fan club.

Just like I can listen to Springsteen sing any song, any time, any where, I can also listen to Ray Lewis speak on just about any subject and appreciate the effort he's giving.

Lewis was relieved of his duties at ESPN on Monday after three seasons as an "analyst" and a pre-game and post-game host on their Monday Night Football broadcast.

I wasn't surprised in the least. Unlike the playing field, where Ray dominated for 17 seasons, his work on television wasn't all that good.

ESPN has always had trouble figuring it out

However, it wasn't Ray Lewis who failed ESPN. In fact, it was the other way around. ESPN failed him.

I thought Lewis might turn out to be an extraordinary television "face" when he started with ESPN in 2013. He was, by anyone's standards, a true prodigy when it came to understanding the nuances of football and how the players all fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, moving from point A to point B, sometimes not moving at all, sometimes moving to a position on the field that simply allowed someone else on the team to excel and contribute on that particular play.

Ray Lewis had a gift of understanding football in a way that few people ever have.

He was a master chess player in a football uniform.

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Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is out at ESPN after three seasons as an analyst.

And that's what ESPN should have tried to extract out of him, but they never did.

Instead, ESPN put Lewis in a collar and tie (and the occasional extraordinary hat) and turned him into football's version of Johnny Weir, the wildly outrageous ex-figure skater who now parades around the horse racing circuit for NBC during their coverage of the Triple Crown series every May and June.

ESPN, it turns out, didn't want Lewis the football player, they wanted Lewis the preacher.

When the lights went on and the camera pointed at Lewis, they asked Ray to step back in time and play the role he formerly played for all those years in Baltimore. He'd use those same buzz words on TV that he spit out so many times in that corner seat in the Ravens' locker room -- "greatness", "historical", "dedication", "superior", "heart".

And while that might have been what most of America thought they wanted to hear from Ray, the reality is they were missing the best stuff #52 could offer.

ESPN should have had Ray Lewis dissecting the game of football on our television screen, not barking about the journey or the path or the rise to fame and how your "inner being has to be willing to take that next step, like a man."

I wanted Ray to tell me why A.J. Green torched that Ravens secondary -- again.

I wanted Ray to explain how the Steelers knifed through the Kansas City defensive line for 125 yards of rushing.

I wanted Ray to show me, with X's and O's and that magical TV pen, how New England was able to stop Andrew Luck.

But I never got that kind of substance from Lewis in his three seasons at ESPN. Instead, we got Ray the pontificator, and it just wasn't all that compelling.

Analysts should do just that -- analyze

There's some sort of sea change going on at ESPN, you might have noticed. I'm not sure what's happening -- and they're not saying much -- but they're handing out pink slips over there like Steph Curry sinks three-pointers.

Maybe ESPN has finally figured it after all these years. We want less style and more substance from them, not the other way around.

Tell us why that play worked, or how badly that player performed, and teach us something about the sport we're watching.

NBC's golf coverage has received constant criticism over the years because of one man: Johnny Miller. Miller was a great player for a short period of time in his golf career, but his work in the TV booth has gained him far more notice -- good and bad -- than golf ever did.

Miller, you see, is ALL substance and little style. He doesn't say it very gracefully or with nearly the smooth sound that Lewis delivers to us when he talks about football, but Johnny Miller will (gladly) explain to you exactly what it is that you're watching.

Miller uses words like "nervous", "choking", "downright awful" and "regrettable" to get his message across. Some have criticized Miller's analyst work, calling it "too harsh" or "too personal", but the truth is, golf's a very personal game. It's just you, the club and the ball. No one else is to blame for that 8-iron you just hit into the pond.

So, when a player on the 17th hole hits a hook into the left bunker and can't get it up and down for par, Miller will take out his trusty TV pen and show us why that golf swing didn't work on that particular shot and how a closed clubface at impact was the culprit of a shot gone astray.

He might also throw in a "choking dog" comment or two, because that's what he feels is also going on at that moment, but Johnny Miller is there explaining what we're watching in ways that few other guys on TV ever have or ever will.

He's not the most popular guy on TOUR, by the way, but NBC didn't hire him to make friends with the players and say cute things about them on TV.

When ESPN brought Lewis on board back in 2013, I assumed they were going to give us a guy who would explain football in easy, simple terms.

Instead, they gave us a player with a spiritual connection to the game that didn't come across very well on our TV sets.

I wanted to hear Ray Lewis talk about the inner workings of what we were watching -- ESPN wanted Ray to give a sports sermon.

They failed Ray Lewis at ESPN.

He had a lot more to offer than they realized he did.

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season on the line for the caps tonight


The good news? The Caps are 1-0 in "elimination games" so far this spring.

The bad news? If they're 1-1 this time tomorrow, their season is over.

The Caps and Penguins will do battle again tonight, this time in Pittsburgh, where Washington has failed to win in two tries already in this best-of-7 series.

If Washington doesn't win this evening, it's golf time for Barry Trotz's team.

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If the Caps are to win tonight in Pittsburgh, it's natural to expect that Alex Ovechkin will have to play a key role.

The Capitals would be well served to ignore all of the statistics that are connected to tonight's game six, but since most of the players presumably own a computer, a smart phone and know how to look things up on the internet, my guess is they already know the truth.

The Caps are 1-7 lifetime against the Penguins in playoff competition and staring 1-8 in the face unless they can win tonight and again on Thursday evening back in D.C. The players have changed, the buildings are different, and nothing is all that similar between this year's match-up and the one that took place, say, back in 2001, but with the exception of one year, Washington never beats Pittsburgh in playoff hockey.

The series, though, is far from over.

Like I said after they lost Game 3 and Game 4, it's the first team to win four games, not two...or three.

And until the Penguins do indeed win that fourth game, I'm going to continue to press forward and assume the Capitals are going to come out on top.

At the beginning of the series, I picked Washington to win in seven games. I'm not changing my tune now.

Even though it admittedly goes against nearly every piece of evidence in their playoff history, I think the Caps will rise to the occasion tonight at the Consol Energy Center and send the series back to the Nation's Capital for what should be an epic 7th game on Thursday.

All they need to do is play with the intensity and obligation to their job that they did on Saturday night in their 3-1 win, and the Caps will be just fine this evening.

Pittsburgh will do their best to not let that happen, of course.

The Penguins are particularly skilled at sensing when the game is starting to shift and the tide of momentum is piling up in favor of their opponents. That's when they do "the little things" that disrupt the flow, stop the game, and halt the wave that's working against them.

Pittsburgh can play a "nice game" or they can turn heel and muck it up with you in the corners for ten minutes, flipping the game around to something you'd prefer not to encounter.

Washington plays their best hockey when there's a healthy mix of flair and pounding. The Caps don't shy away from anyone, but sometimes they get too caught up in who has the bigger car, so to speak, and they're easy to take out of their game once that moment arrives.

Tonight's task should be simple for Barry Trotz: Get the Caps to play their brand of hockey and don't permit the Penguins to dictate the tempo and the style of the game.

The Caps have long been regarded as playoff chokers.

They have a chance to change that -- or at the very least, modify it -- by winning Game 6 tonight on foreign ice.

There's no doubt they're capable of pulling it off.

But the proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes. Let's see if the Caps can muster up enough heart to stare adversity in the face tonight and send the series back to D.C.

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curry returns and scores 40 in golden state's overtime win


Portland pressed Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors on Monday night and they got a whopping dose of Steph Curry in their face in reply.

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Two weeks of inactivity didn't seem to bother Steph Curry last night, as he poured in 40 points for Golden State in their overtime win at Portland.

Curry came off the bench -- his first game in two weeks after suffering a mild knee injury in the previous series with Houston -- and scored 40 points for the visiting Warriors as Golden State claimed Game 4 in Portland, 132-125, to take a 3-1 series lead.

The Trailblazers jumped out to a 16-2 first quarter lead and forced Kerr to use his star player to squelch the uprising.

In came Curry, who promptly missed his first nine three point attempts of the game.

But the rust wore off quickly and the Warriors got their sea legs under them in time to make a game of it, with Curry scoring 23 points in regulation.

That, as it turned out, was just the beginning for the reigning NBA MVP.

His 17-point outburst in overtime set a new NBA record and moved the Warriors to within one win of a return to the Western Conference Finals, where they'll meet the winner of the Oklahoma City-San Antonio series that's currently deadlocked at 2-games-apiece.

Game 5 of the series will be Wednesday night at Golden State, where the Warriors are 5-0 thus far in the playoffs.


#dmd is heading to the u.s. open in pittsburgh on june 18


If you're looking for a great Father's Day gift -- and if that special Dad in your life is a golfer -- #DMD has just what you need.

How about a one-day trip to see the U.S. Open, live, at Oakmont CC in Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 18!!

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You'll get to see Oakmont CC in all of its glory, including the famed 3rd hole "Church Pew" bunkers, if you head to Pittsburgh with #DMD on Saturday, June 18.

#DMD has secured tickets to Saturday's round, along with a luxury motor coach, food, drinks and a great U.S. Open trivia contest with a $100 cash prize!

Our bus will leave the Towson area at 5:00 am on the 18th, arriving in Pittsburgh at 10:00 am. The first groups on Saturday will tee off shortly after 10 and the leaders don't start playing until 2:30 pm.

We'll spend all day at historic Oakmont CC and return to Baltimore on Saturday night.

The per-person cost is $275, which includes an all-day grounds ticket for the U.S. Open, plus round-trip motor coach transportation (tolls and parking alone would cost you $60) and breakfast and lunch on the bus, plus beer, soda and water throughout the trip up to Pittsburgh.

It's a great opportunity to see the course live and in-person on Saturday, then watch the final round on Sunday from the comfort of your living room!

You can use the "U.S. Open" tab at the top of #DMD to order your seats on the trip.

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#dmd announces youth sports benefit fund, courtesy of jerry's toyota-scion


Somewhere in Baltimore County right now, there's a youth athletic organization in need.

Whether it's for youth field or facility repairs, lighting, a special once-in-a-lifetime trip for a team, or some other cause that requires financial support -- somewhere, there's a need.

And our friends at Jerry's Toyota-Scion have pledged their support, through a 2-month campaign designed to reward a local youth athletic organization with funding for their special project.

X

This type of activity is precisely what #DMD has aspired to become since this venture was launched on August 25, 2014.

With the help of our Jerry's Toyota-Scion, we can finally start to make that footprint in the local community and truly help an organization that has great plans, but simply lacks the resources to get it done.

When I started #DMD almost two years ago, the central theme behind it all was "People helping People".

It's time to put that plan into action.

If you're involved in a local youth athletic organization that has a special project you're undertaking sometime in the remainder of 2016, #DMD wants to hear about it. We'll accept your "story" as an application for funding until July 1, 2016. A team of local sports enthusiasts will form a panel and consider all applications until the winner is announced on Friday, July 15, 2016. Funding will be available within 30 days of that announcement.

What sorts of projects or activities will #DMD and Jerry's Toyota-Scion consider? Anything and everything. Your organization might need $1,000 for scoreboard repairs at the baseball park you currently call home. Maybe you need $2,000 to build a sturdy, top-of-the-line concession stand so you can raise even more money in future years.

Perhaps there's a trip to Canton, Ohio for a youth football tournament and a visit to the Hall of Fame and $1,000 would go a long way in getting the team there.

If your youth organization has a financial need, the Jerry's Toyota-Scion Youth Benefit Fund might be that helping hand you're seeking.

The only real qualifier in this? Your youth organization must be in Baltimore County due to the marketing responsibilities each dealer agrees to within the Toyota family.

How do you submit your application? That's easy. On a PDF file which displays your team or organization's logo or letterhead, e-mail a "letter of application" with your requested funding and CLEARLY spell out your location, along with the financial need, how many people will likely benefit from the proposed activity, and what sort of impact this activity will have on your organization or team as a whole.

You can e-mail the letter (via PDF file) to Drew Forrester (drew@drewsmorningdish.com), at which point you will receive a confirmation reply that lets you know your organization's application has been received and is being considered.

It's that simple.

Youth athletic organizations have mastered the art of fund-raising, with car washes, bake sales, golf outings and much more. We encourage all of you to continue those efforts as you endeavor to enhance not only the activities you provide, but the programs and special events you offer for the young boys and girls in our area.

This is simply another piece of the puzzle, and while it's not possible to give assistance to every organization that applies, we promise to choose someone who will greatly benefit from the funding in 2016.

A special thank you goes out to Jerry's Toyota-Scion for their support of this project. They're eager to help out a local youth athletic organization in need.

Get your letter of application in today!


Monday
May 9
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXII
Issue 9
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


#dmd announces youth sports benefit fund, courtesy of jerry's toyota-scion


Somewhere in Baltimore County this morning, there's a youth athletic organization in need.

Whether it's for youth field or facility repairs, lighting, a special once-in-a-lifetime trip for a team, or some other cause that requires financial support -- somewhere, there's a need.

And our friends at Jerry's Toyota-Scion have pledged their support, through a 2-month campaign designed to reward a local youth athletic organization with funding for their special project.

X

This type of activity is precisely what #DMD has aspired to become since this venture was launched on August 25, 2014.

With the help of our Jerry's Toyota-Scion, we can finally start to make that footprint in the local community and truly help an organization that has great plans, but simply lacks the resources to get it done.

When I started #DMD almost two years ago, the central theme behind it all was "People helping People".

It's time to put that plan into action.

If you're involved in a local youth athletic organization that has a special project you're undertaking sometime in the remainder of 2016, #DMD wants to hear about it. We'll accept your "story" as an application for funding until July 1, 2016. A team of local sports enthusiasts will form a panel and consider all applications until the winner is announced on Friday, July 15, 2016. Funding will be available within 30 days of that announcement.

What sorts of projects or activities will #DMD and Jerry's Toyota-Scion consider? Anything and everything. Your organization might need $1,000 for scoreboard repairs at the baseball park you currently call home. Maybe you need $2,000 to build a sturdy, top-of-the-line concession stand so you can raise even more money in future years.

Perhaps there's a trip to Canton, Ohio for a youth football tournament and a visit to the Hall of Fame and $1,000 would go a long way in getting the team there.

If your youth organization has a financial need, the Jerry's Toyota-Scion Youth Benefit Fund might be that helping hand you're seeking.

The only real qualifier in this? Your youth organization must be in Baltimore County due to the marketing responsibilities each dealer agrees to within the Toyota family.

How do you submit your application? That's easy. On a PDF file which displays your team or organization's logo or letterhead, e-mail a "letter of application" with your requested funding and CLEARLY spell out your location, along with the financial need, how many people will likely benefit from the proposed activity, and what sort of impact this activity will have on your organization or team as a whole.

You can e-mail the letter (via PDF file) to Drew Forrester (drew@drewsmorningdish.com), at which point you will receive a confirmation reply that lets you know your organization's application has been received and is being considered.

It's that simple.

Youth athletic organizations have mastered the art of fund-raising, with car washes, bake sales, golf outings and much more. We encourage all of you to continue those efforts as you endeavor to enhance not only the activities you provide, but the programs and special events you offer for the young boys and girls in our area.

This is simply another piece of the puzzle, and while it's not possible to give assistance to every organization that applies, we promise to choose someone who will greatly benefit from the funding in 2016.

A special thank you goes out to Jerry's Toyota-Scion for their support of this project. They're eager to help out a local youth athletic organization in need.

Get your letter of application in today!

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drew's views on the
baltimore orioles

Covering the Orioles throughout the season is an important part of #DMD's service, so who better to take on the assignment than #DMD's founder? DREW FORRESTER will tell you why the Birds won or lost, who was responsible, and what to look for in upcoming games. It's brought to you by our friends at KELLY, the area's expert in all aspects of payroll service.


machado hammers oakland, as birds win two of three from athletics


It's almost too easy for Manny Machado these days.

The wildly talented Orioles third baseman put on a hitting clinic on Sunday, knocking in six runs with a 2-run home run and a grand slam -- his second of those this season -- as the Birds erased a 3-0 deficit and roared to an 11-3 victory at Camden Yards.

The victory gave Baltimore the series win, as the O's won Saturday night's game after Oakland captured the series opener earlier in the afternoon.

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Another day, another six RBI for Manny. Ho hum...

The Orioles are in first place in the American League East at 18-12, a half-game ahead of the Red Sox (18-13), who got two home runs from David Ortiz on Sunday night to beat the host Yankees, 5-1.

Machado's first inning home run on Sunday cut Oakland's lead to 3-2. The A's nicked Baltimore starter Chris Tillman for three runs in the first inning, but from there Tillman was sharp, allowing just two more hits on the afternoon while improving his record to 4-1. On the day, Tillman went 6.1 innings with 7 strikeouts and 4 walks, allowing just those three earned runs in the first.

At the plate, Baltimore feasted on Oakland starter Kendall Graveman, scorching him for four home runs in 2.2 innings of work. Machado, Pedro Alvarez, Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo all hit round-trippers for the O's. Joey Rickard added a homer in the 4th before Machado's grand slam in the 8th closed the scoring.

The game featured a funny moment, too, although I assume Adam Jones wasn't smiling on the team flight to Minnesota early Sunday evening.

With the game out of reach and a long road trip ahead, Oakland skipper Bob Melvin opted not to use a relief pitcher in the bottom of the 8th inning, instead inserting catcher Josh Phegly to face Jones and Mark Trumbo, who needed a double to hit for the cycle at that point.

Phegly promptly struck out Jones, who is mired in a woeful slump to start the 2016 campaign, and forced Trumbo to ground out to shortstop to end the inning.

When you're losing 11-3, it's the little battles that count, I guess, and Oakland manager Bob Melvin scored an insignificant victory in that inning by getting Phegly to retire Jones and Trumbo.

Jones went 1-for-5 on Sunday night and now sits perfectly on the Mendoza Line through 30 games, hitting .200 with just 1 HR and 9 RBI on the season.

Whether it's related to his early season injury or not, something's clearly not right with the Baltimore centerfielder.

His teammate at first base, Chris Davis, is also hitting .200 on the year, but he has 8 home runs and 19 RBI to show for his efforts thus far.

Thankfully, there's Manny Machado. His 2-for-4 day raised his average to .350, with a .403 on-base-percentage in the 30 games to date. His 22 RBI are second on the team to Trumbo's 24.

The O's are in Minnesota for a 3-game series that starts tonight. Here are the pitching match-ups against the Twins.

Monday, 8:10 pm -- Tyler Wilson (O's) vs. Jose Berrios

Tuesday, 8:10 pm -- Kevin Gausman (O's) vs. Phil Hughes

Wednesday, 1:10 pm -- undecided (O's) vs. Ricky Nolasco

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plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Below is a side-by-side view of the 1973 and 2016 Kentucky Derbys. The videos are frame-locked and synched on the first discernible movements of the front panels on the starting gates.

I’m not an expert on horse racing, but do enjoy the drama that unfolds as the various strategies employed either (in one case) succeed and (in all other cases) fail. In both 1973 and 2016, two races run in remarkably similar ways, horses tried to steal the race with bursts of early speed. Danzing Candy this year and Shecky Greene in ‘73 both had their dreams shattered and hearts broken on the far turn as they ran out of steam, and for all time will be described, for their efforts on The First Saturday in May in The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports, with that dreaded racing-industry description, also ran.

Both winners showed championship heart as they out-dueled very game competitors [Sham in ‘73 and Gun Runner in 2016] down the stretch. The difference is that this year’s race featured a late charge by a third horse, Exaggerator, who can proclaim, for what it’s worth [nothing to his detractors and everything to his supporters], that he would have caught the winner had only the race been longer. This difference of opinion, however, makes for a very interesting race over on Northern Parkway come the third Saturday in May.


This contribution was provided by #DMD horse racing enthuiast George McDonnell.

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hahn beats castro for second pga tour win


James Hahn made a 4-foot par putt on the first playoff hole to beat Roberto Castro and earn his 2nd career victory on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Hahn earlied missed a 6-footer at the same hole that would have given him in the win in regulation, while Castro calmly rolled in a 7-footer of his own a few minutes later to send the event to a sudden death playoff.

X
After three-putting the 18th hole in regulation to fall into a playoff, James Hahn didn't make that same mistake the next time he came to that green.

Back at the same hole -- #18 -- for the playoff, Castro promptly hit his first drive of the sudden death session into the creek that borders the entire length of Quail Hollow Country Club's final hole, which made par nearly impossible for him. He did manage to knock in a 6-footer for bogey that forced Hahn to sink his close-range putt for par and the win.

Golf's a crazy game.

Hahn came into the week having missed eight straight cuts and was putting himself in position to lose his playing privileges on the PGA Tour with continued poor play over the summer.

Now, with the win, his status is locked in for two years and he's headed back to the Masters in 2017.

Justin Rose finished one shot out of the playoff at 8-under par, while Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy -- both with 66 on Sunday -- ended the day two shots shy of Hahn and Castro at 7-under par for the tournament.

3rd round leader Rickie Fowler stumbled badly on the front nine and wasn't able to put anything together until late, shooting 74 in the final round to finish at 7-under par as well.

On the fantasy golf front, I was able to get five of my six players to play the weekend and made a little cash for my efforts, with only Kevin Kisner (my predicted tournament winner) failing to play on Saturday and Sunday.

The rest of my team -- Rory McIlroy, Daniel Summerhays, Emiliano Grillo, Daniel Berger and Colt Knost -- got in four rounds, which almost always guarantees you something, particularly when a couple of your players (McIlroy and Summerhays) are under par for the event.

This week's TOUR event is The Player's, one of the biggest "non-major" events of the year. #DMD will have a full preview of the tournament on Tuesday and fantasy golf selections on Wednesday.


#dmd is heading to the u.s. open in pittsburgh on june 18


If you're looking for a great Father's Day gift -- and if that special Dad in your life is a golfer -- #DMD has just what you need.

How about a one-day trip to see the U.S. Open, live, at Oakmont CC in Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 18!!

X
You'll get to see Oakmont CC in all of its glory, including the famed 3rd hole "Church Pew" bunkers, if you head to Pittsburgh with #DMD on Saturday, June 18.

#DMD has secured tickets to Saturday's round, along with a luxury motor coach, food, drinks and a great U.S. Open trivia contest with a $100 cash prize!

Our bus will leave the Towson area at 5:00 am on the 18th, arriving in Pittsburgh at 10:00 am. The first groups on Saturday will tee off shortly after 10 and the leaders don't start playing until 2:30 pm.

We'll spend all day at historic Oakmont CC and return to Baltimore on Saturday night.

The per-person cost is $275, which includes an all-day grounds ticket for the U.S. Open, plus round-trip motor coach transportation (tolls and parking alone would cost you $60) and breakfast and lunch on the bus, plus beer, soda and water throughout the trip up to Pittsburgh.

It's a great opportunity to see the course live and in-person on Saturday, then watch the final round on Sunday from the comfort of your living room!

You can use the "U.S. Open" tab at the top of #DMD to order your seats on the trip.


Sunday
May 8
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXII
Issue 8
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


Happy Mother's Day!

All of those athletes you watched on Saturday have, for the most part, one thing in common.

They were inspired to greatness by their Mother.

And let's also remember that doctors, teachers, police officers, anyone and everyone -- they also had wonderful, supportive, mothers.

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Please know, also, that this is not to say that fathers haven't also played a key role in the development of young men or women. They have, for sure.

Today, though, we celebrate our mothers.

For we all know, it was Mom who put in unbelievable time and effort to help make us what we've all become.

Today, we say "thank you".

And those of you who no longer have a Mother alive today to celebrate this holiday know all too well the pain you feel at not being able to say "thank you" to her -- again.

My Mother was the engine of our family, working a 9-5 job and still somehow gathering up enough energy -- after a late afternoon coffee and a 10-minute battle with a crossword puzzle to get her brain in gear again -- to shuttle me and some of the neighborhood kids to whatever practice or game was on our schedule that day.

Like a lot of you, sports was nearly a daily activity for me growing up and that passion required someone, anyone, to get me from point A to point B in a timely fashion. My Mom took on that task with nary a complaint, unless I struck out with the bases loaded or missed an easy chance in front of the net, at which point she might have mumbled, "I would have stayed in the car if I knew you were going to do that..."

I never heard my Mother complain about the schedule I gave to her. She never looked at a 2 pm baseball game in Glen Burnie and a 7 pm hockey game in Severna Park and said, "Nope, I can't do that today. I don't have the time."

Even when she got sick for the first time in 1984, she carried on like a trooper, tired, out of energy and emotionally distressed at her condition. None of that mattered. If there was food to cook, laundry to do or games to get to, she checked them off her list like Manny Machado drives baseballs into the gap. In other words, she was precisely perfect.

My Mom passed away on July 21, 1987.

I was 24.

My days of being carted around by her were gone by then, but just when I truly started to realize what sort of impact she had on me and how the future would bring us even closer together, she was no longer with us.

But that's the end of the sad story.

Instead, let's look around today to see how all of the other mothers in the world have so impacted not only their sons and daughters, but just life in general.

No matter what sport you watched yesterday, a mother was involved.

Someone had to take Caps goalie Braden Holtby to hockey practice when he was growing up. I'm sure his mom was right there for him.

Who shuttled Chris Davis to baseball games as a youngster? Probably his adoring mother.

When Damian Lillard wanted to play travel basketball at age 10, who carted him to games and practices? Mom, most likely.

Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, and the rest of today's top golfers had a cooperative, loving mother who made sure they always made it to the first tee on time.

I'm not being dismissive of the roles a Dad or a Grandfather played in our development. They were key, too. And they'll get their day in the sun on June 19.

But today is Mother's Day and it's the day we honor her for all that she did for us.

I'm blessed these days to have another mother in my life, my wife, Joanne, who takes on duty whenever it calls and serves as a wonderful mom to our two children, Ethan and Lucy.

I see lots of my Mom in Joanne, and nothing warms me more than to catch a moment between the kids and her that reminds me of what life was like when I had a mother I adored like they do with her.

Given my extraordinarily busy schedule, I put an immense amount of stress on Joanne to "get it all done" and she does so without a whimper or a complaint. Our children, someday, will remember all of this just like I remember my own mother's devotion to me and all that I did or needed.

If your Mom is still alive today, make sure you take time to reinforce how much you appreciate, respect and love her.

If she's not still here on Earth, take a few minutes to offer a thought or two in prayer and remind her that you're always thinking about her, but today, especially, you've been called to remember how much she meant to you and how much love she gave without asking for anything in return.

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holtby crushes penguins, 3-1, in game 5


The stat sheet says Braden Holtby made 30 saves in Saturday night's 3-1 win for the Capitals that staved off elimination and sends the two teams back to Pittsburgh for Game 6.

About 20 of those saves could have been goals.

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When the Caps needed it most, goaltender Braden Holtby delivered, producing a superb 30-save effort in Saturday night's 3-1 win over the Penguins.

That's to say, they were "real" saves, not the harmless-puck-bouncing-into-the-mid-section kind, but the sizzling-shot-from-15-feet-away kind that were destined for the back of net if not for Holtby interrputing the puck's path.

Alex Ovechkin scored on a scorching shot from 35 feet out early in the first period and then T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams added second period tallies as the Caps built a 2-goal margin heading into the 3rd period. From there, it was all Holtby over the final twenty minutes.

The game represented Washington's best offensive "effort" of the series, with the word "effort" in quotes for a reason. The Caps worked hard in the offensive end, plugged up the boards nicely to keep pucks alive, and got traffic in front of the net with regularity, which led, in part, to both the first and second goals of the game for Barry Trotz's team.

What the Caps needed on Saturday night, they got. Sixty minutes of effort, mainly, and a relentless forechecking scheme that shortened the game in their favor.

Had the Washington forwards and goal scorers done their job early in the 3rd period, the game would have been a 4-1 or 5-1 affair, but Matt Murray came up with several outstanding saves himself in the opening five minutes and then Pittsburgh tried to work their way back into the game.

Close-range chances from Malkin, Kessel and Kunitz were denied by Holtby, including a remarkable glove save that was destined for the net until the Washington netminder plucked it from mid-air just in the nick of time.

You felt like the Caps might be in trouble if Pittsburgh could just push across that second goal at some point, but they never could.

The 3-1 win pushes the series a 6th game on Tuesday, where a Washington win there would completely flip the momentum for a 7th and deciding game in D.C. this Thursday night.


nyquist storms to a win at the derby


Well, it looks like we have ourselves a horse race in Baltimore on May 21.

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Now 8-0 all-time, Nyquist received a terrific ride from Mario Guiterrez on Saturday to win the Kentucky Derby.

Nyquist improved to 8-0 in his young career and became the fourth straight favorite to win the Kentucky Derby, surging past a group of horses with a quarter mile to go and holding off a game, but late charge from Exaggerator to win the first leg of horse racing's triple crown.

It sets up an expected showdown between those two at Pimlico on May 21 that should be well worth watching. Exaggerator is now 0-4 lifetime against Nyquist, with a pair of runner-up finishes in the mix.

Nyquist was the superior horse on Saturday, but he received spirited competition from Danzing Candy and Gun Runner, who held on in the final 50 yards to finish 3rd.

Here's a look at the top 10 finishers from Saturday's Derby.

1. Nyquist -- Received an expert ride from Mario Guiterrez and showed power when needed.

2. Exaggerator -- Didn't get the greatest of starts, but closed with fury.

3. Gun Runner -- Fought the good fight, but lacked a burst when needed.

4. Mohaymen -- Didn't get the best trip from Rosario. Worked hard to get 4th.

5. Suddenbreakingnews -- Another horse who got pinched early and suffered.

6. Destin -- Had to go wide in the stretch and lost too much ground.

7. Brody's Cause -- Tried to keep up early, lost ground, then closed hard.

8. Mo Tom -- Was in position halfway home, but Lanerie took him wide and he suffered.

9. Lani -- Broke poorly, bumped, and had to fight hard to get 9th.

10. Mor Spirit -- Didn't have much early, asked to run late, and barely did.

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john pusateri
on lacrosse

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


big ten and caa championship highlights


#3 Maryland 14 - #17 Rutgers 8

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Rambo to the rescue! Maryland's Matt Rambo chipped in 3 goals and 3 assists on Saturday as Maryland secured the #1 seed in the upcoming NCAA lacrosse tournament by winning the Big 10 title.

I almost had this score right, with Maryland getting 14. But Terps goalie Kyle Bernlohr even robbed me when he stole a few sure goals from Rutgers saving 12 overall on 7 goals allowed. The Terp offense continues to be balanced, patient and efficient. Don't let the high shot total (47) fool you as they take some extra ones to prolong possessions and prevent shot clock calls. When they really want to score, they usually do and did plenty in this game. Matt Rambo led the Terps with 3 goals and 3 assists and Bryan Cole added 4 goals. Hard to believe this team started 1-2, but they've ended at 14-2 and have surely locked up the #1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

#11 Towson 4 - Fairfield 2

We knew it would be a close and low scoring game, but six total goals? I don't mind a good defensive battle, but there seemed to be a lot of stand and watch the dodger offense from both teams. Both goalies more than made up from the first game in which they let in a total of 29 goals, with Fairfield's Tyler Behring saving 11 and Towson's Tyler White saving 15. But Towson decided to start moving more on offense in the 2nd half and it paid off. Spencer Parks was the Tigers offensive hero with 2 goals and an assist. Towson is having one of the best seasons in team history at 14-2, are CAA Champs, and have a shot at by-passing the play-in game in the NCAA tourney.

The Big Picture

Tournament Picks

Criteria - Typical NCAA selection committee considerations include; automatic qualifiers (AQ), RPI, big wins, rankings in the polls, travel friendliness (quarterfinals at Ohio State and Brown), "what have you done for me lately" along with some bias toward well-established programs. I'll keep these in mind when making my selections. Just one AQ to be decided with Harvard taking on Yale in what should be another exciting rematch in the Ivy League final. I'm picking Yale, but Harvard could very well win and throw my selections out of whack.

AQs (10 total) - Brown (Ivy), Marquette (Big East), Maryland (B1G), Syracuse (ACC), Loyola (Patriot), Air Force (SoCon), Towson (CAA), Hobart (NEC), Hartford (America East), Quinnipiac (MAAC)

At-Large Locks - Denver, Notre Dame, Yale, Duke, Albany, Johns Hopkins

Bubble Teams (either probable, possible, or doubtful) - with some conference tourney upsets and still one tourney final to go, only 2 of the teams below will make it.

North Carolina (probable) - Some puzzling loses along with some great wins.

Navy (possible) - Great season, but faded late in the season after the emotional OT victory to Army, with poor showings against the Terps and Army in the Patriot semis.

Rutgers (possible/doubtful) - 2 wins over Hopkins, a good win over Penn State. Semi-poor showing against the Terps and low RPI will probably keep them out.

Harvard (doubtful) - The win over Brown was great, but they still need to (and can) win the Ivy League AQ. And thus throw a wrench into the brackets.

Bubbles Burst - Villanova, Penn State, Stony Brook and Bryant.

Tourney Field (with host listed first)

#1 Maryland vs play-in winner of: Quinnipiac vs Hartford

#2 Denver vs play-in winner of: Air Force vs Hobart

#3 Notre Dame vs Towson

#4 Brown vs Navy

#5 Syracuse vs Marquette

#6 Loyola vs North Carolina

#7 Albany vs Johns Hopkins

#8 Duke vs Yale

(NOTE: Brown Quarterfinals Bracket will include Brown and Maryland while Ohio State Bracket will include Denver and Notre Dame)

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#dmd is heading to the u.s. open in pittsburgh on june 18


If you're looking for a great Father's Day gift -- and if that special Dad in your life is a golfer -- #DMD has just what you need.

How about a one-day trip to see the U.S. Open, live, at Oakmont CC in Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 18!!

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You'll get to see Oakmont CC in all of its glory, including the famed 3rd hole "Church Pew" bunkers, if you head to Pittsburgh with #DMD on Saturday, June 18.

#DMD has secured tickets to Saturday's round, along with a luxury motor coach, food, drinks and a great U.S. Open trivia contest with a $100 cash prize!

Our bus will leave the Towson area at 5:00 am on the 18th, arriving in Pittsburgh at 10:00 am. The first groups on Saturday will tee off shortly after 10 and the leaders don't start playing until 2:30 pm.

We'll spend all day at historic Oakmont CC and return to Baltimore on Saturday night.

The per-person cost is $275, which includes an all-day grounds ticket for the U.S. Open, plus round-trip motor coach transportation (tolls and parking alone would cost you $60) and breakfast and lunch on the bus, plus beer, soda and water throughout the trip up to Pittsburgh.

It's a great opportunity to see the course live and in-person on Saturday, then watch the final round on Sunday from the comfort of your living room!

You can use the "U.S. Open" tab at the top of #DMD to order your seats on the trip.


Saturday
May 7
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Issue 7
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no more excuses for the caps

It's win or go home tonight for the Caps at the Verizon Center, as Barry Trotz's team is up against the wall in Game 5 of their playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Tonight's the night, as Rod Stewart once sang.

It's either win, or head to the golf course.

And tonight, there are no excuses.

Nothing matters this evening except winning.

It's about the players, not the excuses

It's gut check time for Ovechkin.

It's gut check time for Backstrom.

It's guy check time for Kuznetsov.

It's gut check time for Oshie.

And for Holtby, Niskanen, Alzner, Carlson -- and all the rest of them.

We'll see what they all have under the hood tonight in Game 5.

If the Caps have any heart at all -- even a morsel of intestinal fortitude -- they'll win tonight and force Game 6 on Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

But those words -- "Caps" and "heart" -- don't often collide in the same sentence.

And that's because, historically, the Caps have had no heart when it comes to matters such as these, where their season and dreams are on the line and they have to put forth the most quality effort they can produce in order to survive.

Folks who have followed the team for a long time (I'm in my 40th year of being a Caps die-hard) have bristled at the notion that the Capitals lack guts, but they do, plain and simple.

They've forever been gutless, frankly, which is one of the biggest reasons why the franchise has made just one trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in its history, despite a handful of talent-laden teams over the years that coulda, shoulda, woulda skated around with the Cup held high in June.

In the playoffs, it's all about winning and that's it

In this series, Caps fans have bemoaned everything they could to gloss over the truth -- "bad luck", "refs out to get us", "too many pucks off the post", "choppy ice", "other team's hot goalie", "weird bounces" and countless other excuses all designed to avoid dealing with reality.

The Caps don't win in the playoffs -- every year -- because they just don't have the heart it requires to get to that next level.

It's that simple.

Supporters of the team will point to the fact that in this series, every game has been decided by one goal and the Caps have been snake-bit by it all, coming up on the short end three times out of four despite not deserving such a cruel fate.

One-goal games in hockey are like field-goal games in football. You better get used to them, because they'll be around all season long.

And the good teams, the teams with heart and guts and that something "extra", will find a way to pinch those one-goal games in THEIR favor. That, by the way, is exactly what the Penguins have done in this series. They've found a way.

When Pittsburgh needed to jump ahead and hold on for dear life in Game 2 in Washington, they found a way.

When Pittsburgh needed to put the Caps on the ropes in Game 3 at home, then hold on again at the end, they found a way.

When Pittsburgh needed to turn the series upside down in overtime of Game 4, they found a way.

At every turn in this series, when the game was on the stick of the Penguins, they found a way to win.

When the game was on the stick of the Capitals, they won the series opener and then threw up on themselves in the next three games.

It's all about heart.

The Penguins have it and the Capitals don't.

If you can't win an elimination game at home...

Tonight, though, because it's a 7-game series and no one yet has four wins, the Caps get a chance to redeem themselves in front of their faithful fans in D.C.

This game keeps Washington alive tonight.

But the game also stands to showcase precisely what's been wrong with the Caps since 1974.

They're not winners.

Or, at least, they never HAVE been winners. We all thought this spring was going to be different, perhaps, and with a win this evening, that dream of "different" will still be flickering.

But if the Penguins head home tonight as series winners, they'll be no room for excuse makers in Washington D.C.

If the Caps lose tonight, everyone will have to accept the truth: They're gutless.

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from the desk of
brien jackson

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

One last post on the 2016 NFL Draft, and then I'm ready to put it in the rearview mirror and get on with baseball season. This time, to fit the Ravens' first round value in context, I'm going to grade all of the top ten picks, with an evaluation of where I see each player's career likely going. Pretty straightforward right? Ok, let's get to it.

#1 Los Angeles Rams- Jared Goff QB Cal: I like Goff a lot as a prospect, especially compared to Carson Wentz, and the Rams definitely did right in picking between the two. I'm not wild about the huge haul they made to move up to get him, however, and frankly it really felt like a desperation move to go with their move to the big city of Los Angeles. Still, you can't win big without a franchise quarterback, but in the Rams' case that offense still needs a lot of help, and now they're down bullets they could have used to add to the roster. But I think Goff has a really good shot to be the sort of franchise quarterback who, with a good team around him, could take you to a Superbowl title, and that's a commodity you just can not be without in today's NFL. Grade: B

#2 Philadelphia Eagles- Carson Wentz QB North Dakota St: To start with, there was no alternative for the Eagles here. They moved up to the second spot in the draft specifically because they loved Wentz, so he was the pick no matter what. Wentz is one of the more polarizing players in recent memory. Scouts like his size and makeup, but his stats and performance at a small school are not exactly awe inspiring, and he's been fumble prone, which makes you wonder how he's going to translate to a MUCH higher level of competition. He's drawn comparisons to Joe Flacco, but you get the impression that's because they're both big guys who didn't go to FBS schools and little more. I get a worrying flashback to Brandon Weeden when listening to scouts talk about Wentz myself. Most of all I think the Eagles were badly mistaken to give up so much to move up six spots for him, because Chip Kelly left this roster a complete wreck and trading so many high picks is going to set back their rebuilding effort tremendously, even if Wentz is good. Grade: D+

#3 San Diego Chargers- Joey Bosa, DE Ohio State: Not a whole lot to say about this pick. The Chargers have the first pick that isn't devoted to quarterbacks, and they get the guy I've had rated as the best player in this draft from the start. Grade: A

#4 Dallas Cowboys- Ezekiel Elliot, RB Ohio St: Man, I hate having to write this, but what a disaster this was. Yes, Elliot is a versatile, do-it-all-back but...he's still a running back. And running backs just aren't this valuable in the NFL, both because the running game is so relatively unimportant and because running backs are so relatively easy to find (the Ravens picked up the second best back in the draft in the middle of the fourth round). The Cowboys' outstanding offensive line actually compounds the problem, as a much smaller investment should still yield big payoffs for their offense. Finally, making things even worse for Dallas is that they reportedly rejected to an offer to trade down to the Ravens spot, which would have given them an extra pick and almost certainly left them picking Elliot anyway. Grade: F

#5 Jacksonville Jaguars- Jalen Ramsey DB Florida St.: By the book, this is a good pick. Ramsey was a consensus top five prospect and probably the best guy left on just about every board here, so the Jaguars are, in theory, making the right pick. I just don't see it in Ramsey though. He lacks the technique to play cornerback, and as a safety he just doesn't have the ball skills to be worth a top ten pick. I think he's going to be viewed as a Mark Barron-esque bust in 3-4 years, so we'll put this pick right in the middle. Grade: C

#6 Baltimore Ravens- Ronnie Stanley, OT Notre Dame: We've covered this one before, obviously, but I still really like it. The Ravens fill one of their biggest holes with one of the draft's thinnest positions, and they get their pick of the litter. A lot of people will continue to lament that they passed on Laremy Tunsil, but the more I watch of them the less difference I see between the two value wise. Tunsil plays with better balance at this point, but Stanley is a better pass rusher with superior vision and instincts, and he fits the Ravens zone blocking scheme. I can absolutely believe they viewed him as a better prospect than Tunsil. Grade: A

#7 San Francisco 49ers- DeForest Buckner, DE Oregon: Another pick you can't argue with. I saw Buckner as the second best prospect in this draft with the highest overall ceiling. If he learns some pass rushing moves he could be the best 5-technique DE in the league sooner rather than later. Grade: A

#8 Tennessee Titans- Jack Conklin, OT Michigan St.: Not to overstate things at all, but this might have been the single worst pick in the draft. With Tunsil, who the Titans had consistently been linked to with the first overall pick, they moved back up to the eighth pick and...threw everyone a curveball by picking Conklin. The whole sequence was puzzling, and while swapping with Cleveland here seemed like a sure thing beforehand if Stanley or Tunsil was here, passing on Tunsil absolutely felt like an overreaction to the Tunsil video situation. Conklin is a solid lineman, but I don't see him sticking at LT. That might not be a huge issue in Tennessee, where Taylor Lewan is capable of holding down the blindside, but if they weren't going to pick Tunsil here they could have stayed pat and either made a smaller jump up for Conklin later, or simply waited for Conklin or Taylor Decker, who was still on the board when the 15th pick came around. Grade: F

#9 Chicago Bears- Leonard Floyd, OLB Georgia: One of the worst value picks in the first round. Floyd is a quick rusher off the edge, but he lacks lower body strength right now, and may never develop the kind of strength he'll need to beat tackles in the pros. He's not necessarily a bad prospect, but I'm not sure he's that much better than Shaq Lawson, Noah Spence, or Kamalei Correa either, and the Bears actually moved up two spots for him. Grade: D

#10 New York Giants- Eli Apple, CB Ohio St: A bit of a surprise pick, but Apple was really rising in the weeks leading up to the draft. Really long and athletic, he needs to fill out his frame some more but has plenty of time left to grow. Fierce competitor on the field who may develop into the best DB in this class. On the other hand, the Giants passed on Vernon Hargreaves, who's the best cover guy in the draft right now. Grade: B

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john pusateri
on lacrosse

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

Let's take look at Towson and Maryland vying for conference championships, then take a stab at selection Sunday picks for the NCAA tournament.

#3 Maryland vs #17 Rutgers (Sat 6pm - Homewood Field)

After both teams scored a combined 30 points in the semis, you'd think there would be fireworks in store for Saturday night in Baltimore.

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Maryland has the edge in the goalkeeping department in tonight's Big 10 Final, with All-American Kyle Bernlohr in net for the Terps.

And you may be right with both offenses clicking the way they've been lately. In their first match-up, the Terps came from behind in the 2nd half, erasing a 3-goal deficit and coming up with 8 2nd half goals to win 11-8. The Terps outshot the Scarlet Knights 44-30 in that contest, got a big game from Will Bonaparte at the face-off X (winning 15 of 13) and their defense caused 8 turnovers. Rutgers played an emotional, fast-paced game against Hopkins Thursday night, while the Terps didn't seemed to have to work that hard against Penn State.

After the way the Scarlet Knights celebrated their win the other night over Hopkins, you'd thought they won the B1G. Do they have enough in the tank to keep it going against arguably the best team in the country? I'm thinking maybe for a half, and then they fade like the previous game as Maryland takes down Rutgers 14-10.


#11 Towson vs Fairfield (Sat 1pm - Johnny U Stadium)

The tournament's top seeds face each other in what should be a closer contest than the regular season game.

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Everything is set up perfectly for Towson coach Shawn Nadelen and his Tigers. They're at home in today's CAA final, playing a team they just knocked off two weeks ago.

Towson, coming off a bad loss to Delaware three weeks ago, took out its frustrations on the Stags the week after in their first meeting this year, 18-11.

In that game, Stags goalie Tyler Behring let in 14 goals and only saved 4 before being replaced, as the Tiger offense opened up a 10-3 lead at half and cruised the rest of the way. Behring redeemed himself against Hofstra by saving 14 shots in their 11-8 semi-final victory and it was Hofstra's goalie Jack Concannon with the cool hand only saving 6 while giving up 11. Another big factor in Towson's previous victory was their defense causing 9 turnovers.

It's fairly obvious that this should be a closer and lower scoring affair. And while this game smells of trap for the Tigers, I expect Towson to prevail 10-8.


The Big Picture

Bubbles To Burst - With #4 Albany and #16 Stony Brook both losing in the America East semi-finals, the Vermont-Hartford American Conference Tourney winner will get the AQ, meaning one of the bubble teams might not make the tourney. In addition, with Bryant losing in the NEC semis, their potential bubble has more than likely burst. This should also move some potential automatic qualifier winners up from the play-in games. I just might very well play the lottery when I submit my tourney picks to #DMD, because if I hit those, I'm probably good for also taking down Powerball.

Tournament Picks

Criteria - Typical NCAA selection committee considerations include; automatic qualifiers (AQ), RPI, big wins, rankings in the polls, travel friendliness (quarterfinals at Ohio State and Brown), "what have you done for me lately?" along with some bias toward well-established programs. I'll keep these in mind when making my selections. Also, I'm guessing on some conference tourney winners which we won't know until later.

Automatic Qualifiers (10 total) - Yale (Ivy), Denver (Big East), Maryland (B1G), Syracuse (ACC), Loyola (Patriot), Air Force (SoCon), Towson (CAA), St. Joseph's (NEC), Hartford (America East), Quinnipiac (MAAC)

At-Large Locks - Brown, Albany, Notre Dame, Duke, Johns Hopkins

Bubble Teams (either probable, possible, or doubtful)

North Carolina (probable) - Some puzzling loses along with some great wins.

Marquette (probable) - Good enough resume and high RPI.

Rutgers (possible) - 2 wins over Hopkins, a good win over Penn State and a good record make it tough to keep them out.

Navy (possible) - Great season, but faded late in the season after the emotional OT victory to Army, with poor showings against the Terps and Army in the Patriot semis. Early season wins against Air Force and Loyola might not be enough.

Villanova (doubtful) - After a great start, never seemed to be the same after getting waxed by Brown. Besides being the state of Pennsylvania champs (beat Penn, Penn State, Bucknell & Drexel) no big time wins. Losing to Marquette a second time keeps them out.

Stony Brook (doubtful) - They pounded Rutgers earlier in the season, but losing to Vermont in the America East semis will most likely be unforgiveable.

Penn State (doubtfull) - Great win over Denver, but too many losses and a poor showing against the Terps in the B1G.

Bryant (doubtful) - Big win over Brown nullified by early bow out in NEC semis.

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#dmd is heading to the u.s. open in pittsburgh on june 18


If you're looking for a great Father's Day gift -- and if that special Dad in your life is a golfer -- #DMD has just what you need.

How about a one-day trip to see the U.S. Open, live, at Oakmont CC in Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 18!!

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You'll get to see Oakmont CC in all of its glory, including the famed 3rd hole "Church Pew" bunkers, if you head to Pittsburgh with #DMD on Saturday, June 18.

#DMD has secured tickets to Saturday's round, along with a luxury motor coach, food, drinks and a great U.S. Open trivia contest with a $100 cash prize!

Our bus will leave the Towson area at 5:00 am on the 18th, arriving in Pittsburgh at 10:00 am. The first groups on Saturday will tee off shortly after 10 and the leaders don't start playing until 2:30 pm.

We'll spend all day at historic Oakmont CC and return to Baltimore on Saturday night.

The per-person cost is $275, which includes an all-day grounds ticket for the U.S. Open, plus round-trip motor coach transportation (tolls and parking alone would cost you $60) and breakfast and lunch on the bus, plus beer, soda and water throughout the trip up to Pittsburgh.

It's a great opportunity to see the course live and in-person on Saturday, then watch the final round on Sunday from the comfort of your living room!

You can use the "U.S. Open" tab at the top of #DMD to order your seats on the trip.


need a last minute 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
May 6
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXII
Issue 6
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derby winner will have lots of "spirit"


It's hardly "official" or anything, but I've always looked at the first Saturday in May as the true arrival of spring.

You know, once they race the Kentucky Derby, that warm, sunny days are just around the corner.

Maybe that's why I love the race so much.

Twenty horses will gather at Churchill Downs tomorrow for the first of the three 2016 Triple Crown races. In two weeks, the series moves to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, and three weeks after that, they'll head to Belmont Park in New York for the running of the Belmont Stakes.

Like most years, it's a wide open field as they converge on Churchill Downs. The post-position draw is ultra-important at the Derby, with pieces of history embedded in virtually every starting gate position. For example, no horse has ever won the Kentucky Derby from the 17th position. Until this year...

Here's a quick snapshot of each horse, their Friday morning odds, their jockey and how #DMD sees them moving through the 1 and 1/4 miles of Churchill Downs.

1. Trojan Nation, 50-1, Aaron Gryder -- Hasn't won a race, yet. That won't change tomorrow.

2. Suddenbreakingnews, 20-1, Luis Quinonenz -- Everyone likes this horse. So do I. Has a chance.

3. Creator, 10-1, Richardo Santana, Jr. -- Won the Arkansas Derby. Will hit the board on Saturday.

4. Mo Tom, 20-1, Corey Lanerie -- Hasn't done much lately, but had strong workouts this week.

5. Gun Runner, 10-1, Florent Geroux -- Has raised eyebrows this week with his workout times.

6. My Man Sam, 20-1, Irad Ortiz, Jr. -- 2nd in the Blue Grass, but that field was pretty weak.

7. Oscar Nominated, 50-1, Julien Leparoux -- Your Aunt Betty has a better chance of winning.

8. Lani, 30-1, Yutaka Take -- Won the U.A.E. Derby, but hasn't adjusted well to his stall in KY.

9. Destin, 15-1, Javier Castellano -- Give all Todd Pletcher entries a look-see. This horse could win.

10. Whitmore, 20-1, Victor Espinoza -- The jockey has won the last two Derbys. Don't be shocked...

11. Exaggerator, 8-1, Kent Desormeaux -- Won the Santa Anita Derby, but it came on a sloppy track.

12. Tom's Ready, 30-1, Brian Hernandez, Jr. -- Tom's Ready ISN'T ready, as it turns out.

13. Nyquist, 3-1, Mario Gutierriez -- Undefeated in 7 races. Everyone loves him. Expect him to fight.

14. Mohaymen, 10-1, Junior Alvarado -- Was awful in the Florida Derby, but impressive elswhere.

15. Outwork, 15-1, John Velasquez -- Won the Wood Memorial, but the times were ssslllooowww.

16. Shagaf, 20-1, Joel Rosario -- Just happy to be in Kentucky. No shot.

17. Mor Spirit, 12-1, Gary Stevens -- Has finished 1st or 2nd in every race he's run. Interesting...

18. Majesto, 30-1, Emisael Jaramillo -- 2nd in the Florida Derby, could be a factor if pace is slow.

19. Brody's Cause, 12-1, Luis Saez -- The Blue Grass winner got unlucky with the 19 post position.

20. Danzig Candy, 15-1, Mike Smith -- Lots and lots of speed, but has to get ahead early to capitalize.


How #DMD sees the race: Gun Runner jumps out to an early lead and those who were impressed with him earlier this week at Churchill Downs are kicking themselves twenty seconds into the race for not putting more money on him. Destin settles in nicely and looks like he's the horse to beat 1/2 mile into the race, with Whitmore hanging around along with Brody's Cause and Creator. Nyquist gets pinched early and has to make up a lot of ground, which he tries to do with a 1/2 mile to go. Gary Stevens stays calm and pushes Mor Spirit to the top of the pack as they get to the top of the backstretch, with Whitmore and Suddenbreakingnews hot on his heels, joined by a late surge from Mohaymen. As they head for home, Stevens keeps Mor Spirit in front, with Whitmore, Nyquist and late-popper Destin all making it interesting.

#DMD's top five at the Derby

1. Mor Spirit (17)

2. Destin (9)

3. Nyquist (13)

4. Suddenbreakingnews (2)

5. Whitmore (10)


#dmd's kentucky derby contest is available for 20 of you!


If you have Twitter, you have a contest. Or something like that.

The #DMD Kentucky Derby contest is officially open for business, with the first twenty people to tweet the words "Give me a horse!" to @itsahooded4iron entered in the contest.

How does it work? Pretty easy. Once I get the 20 entries, I'll simply draw you a horse from the field, using a trusty slip of paper and a baseball hat for the selection process.

And, just like the real thing, we'll pay first, second and third place. First place receives four tickets to an Orioles home game in 2016, second place receives a $50 gift card from Glory Day's Grill and third place receives a $25 gift card from Glory Days Grill.

There is only ONE way to enter. You must enter using Twitter. Just tweet the words "Give me a horse" to @itsahooded4iron and we'll notify you shortly thereafter which horse has been randomly chosen for you. Good luck!

And remember, you have to be among the first 20 to get in!

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good, great, or elite?


A wise man once observed that the most important component of a horse race is a difference of opinion. Presumably he spoke of the opinions of humans that organized, participated in, and wagered on the races, and not of the horses themselves. It is of some passing silly interest to me, and has been since an afternoon in June, 1973, whether horses did in fact have opinions, and if so, of what character might they be.

Jack Nicklaus, in a discussion with TV commentator Heywood Hale Broun, confessed that he was moved to tears as he watched Secretariat break away from Sham on the far turn and blaze to the finish line in a time that staggered even veteran horsemen.

Broun, renowned for his insight, responded, “All your professional life you’ve been striving for perfection. In that race you finally saw it.”

Sham saw that perfection, too. For seven furlongs on that Saturday he was right next to it. And he had seen it three weeks before, in Baltimore, and two weeks before that in Louisville.

In the Derby, Sham’s strategy was to stalk the leader and overtake him at the head of the stretch. He executed perfectly. Shecky Greene held the lead. Sham sat right outside him then began his challenge on the far turn. He began to pass him on the straightaway for home. I wonder at what point Sham realized he wasn’t the stalker, but the stalkee. All the time Sham was moving on Shecky Greene, Secretariat was moving on Sham. The two ran neck and neck for a hundred yards, then Secretariat’s speed burned Sham down, and although they both broke the Derby record, Secretariat finished two lengths in front.

I wonder if Sham knew then what he was up against, or if he still believed he could beat the big red horse.

Secretariat and Sham made their ways uneventfully to Pimlico. It didn’t go as smoothly for Penny Tweedy, Secretariat’s owner, and her husband John. On race day, as the Tweedys lunched at the Pimlico Hotel, the parking guy smashed up their car. They walked to the track. On arrival they realized they didn’t have their credentials. They paid for admittance. As they watched their horse being saddled, Mrs. Tweedy’s arm was burned by a bum's cigarette. As the couple walked to their seats, Mr. Tweedy’s wallet was picked from his pocket. He said, “We have to win this race today just to break even.”

Early in the Preakness, it appeared that Sham was sticking with his Derby strategy. Racing around the first turn he tucked in just behind the leaders, Ecole Etage and Torsion. Secretariat dawdled in last (sixth) place. It looked like they would hold these positions down the backstretch, and that the chess match would begin on the far turn.

Watching a replay of the race, it almost seems as if we can read Secretariat’s mind at this point. “Gentlemen,” he says, “this isn’t a board game, it’s a horse race. Now – who wants to run?” And with that he opens the jets, moving from last to first in under 10 seconds, and setting a blistering pace.

With Secretariat in the lead, Sham expends precious energy to catch up, and tucks in just behind and outside him. Down the backstretch they race. Both horses must know that there will come a time when Sham makes his move to pass. What does a champion think at this point? What does a champion do?

Secretariat realizes that to pass him, Sham must first catch him. I think Secretariat decided to take the decision of when to make the move out of Sham’s hands. He picked up the pace a notch.

The video shows what happened when Secretariat took the lead. Every time Sham got close, Secretariat increased his speed. Secretariat was known to have no fear of turns, and raced around them at almost the same speed that he generated on straightaways. Shortly into the stretch, Sham was beaten. His jockey whipped him mercilessly, but there was nothing there. Secretariat had legs and he didn't. The race ended with Secretariat ahead of Sham by two lengths and the rest of the field trailing by 10 lengths.

Secretariat’s jockey Ron Turcotte has at various times described curious events at Belmont Park on the day of the 1973 race. Almost all fans cheered Secretariat as he saddled and walked toward the track. But some didn’t [because that’s the New York way] and they jeered and catcalled at him. Turcotte said that when his horse heard negative noise, he looked up into the stands directly at the heckler, then shook his head and made a noise that sounded like laughter. Turcotte also said that Secretariat declined, politely but firmly, almost all the urges to gallop to get warmed up. He said the horse walked slowly and looked closely at everything, as if he were burning the images of what he saw into his mind. Indeed, in the replay, the video shows Secretariat ambling slowly up to the starting gate and looking at it as if inspecting it. It's just crazy to think that Secretariat knew what was going to happen in the race, a race that would leave anybody who knew anything about racing shaking his head in utter disbelief.

No words are needed to amplify the 1973 Belmont. Watch the replay and see if, as it did for Jack Nicklaus, the race moves you to tears. It may serve as a personality test, depending on whether you cry because of Secretariat's performance or Sham's broken heart.


This last video is for loyal #DMD reader and instructive commentor, The Wizard, who puts forth Forego, born in the same year as Sham and Secretariat, as a great horse. Forego started 57 races in his career, winning 34 of them, finishing second nine times and third seven. He ran in the 1973 Kentucky Derby and finished fourth. He earned almost $2 million in his six-year racing career. He was a big horse, and in the industry they called him fractious, which I think in his particular case meant he was more intereted in fillies and mares than in training to race. So his owners did what they had to do, and the programs thereafter listed him as a gelding.

This is a replay of the 1974 Woodward Stakes, that year open to four-year-olds and up. The video is lousy but the race is great. Forego runs a game race. I have half a mind to argue with The Wizard, suggesting that Forego, with a career .596 winning percentage and in the money in 50 of 57 races, might just be an elite thoroughbred. Please do enjoy!

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college lacrosse tournament central


Johns Hopkins played host to the Big Ten tournament on Thursday and Towson hosted the CAA Tournament, so local lacrosse enthusiasts had plenty of action from which to choose on a chilly, overcast spring day in Baltimore. Let's see how the games played out involving the local teams.

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Matt Rambo's 3-goal game on Thursday was part of a 16-goal Maryland explosion that sends the Terps to the Big 10 Final on Saturday against upstart Rutgers.

#3 Maryland 16 - #18 Penn State 9 - In one of their biggest offensive outbursts of the season, the Terps went up 6-0 in the 1st quarter and never looked back. Maryland featured 7 different goal scorers with Matt Rambo (3g 2a), Connor Kelly (4g) and Colin Heacock (3g 1a) leading the way. Kyle Bernlohr continued his winning ways with 12 saves.

#16 Rutgers 14 - #8 Johns Hopkins 12 - In a back and forth entertaining game, that started out as defense optional (8-8 at half) Rutgers pulled away with 2 late goals in the 4th and their goalie Kris Alleyne made key stops late to get the win against the Blue Jays. Adam Charalambides led the way with 5 goals for the Knights. Ryan Brown led the Blue Jay offense with 5 goals and 2 assists. The Blue Jays controlled the face-off X in the 2nd half winning 9 of 12. But Alleyne was up for the challenge making several saves that turned into transitional goals.

#11 Towson 10 - Drexel 6 - The Tigers started out hot going up 6-2 in the first half, then cruising to the 10-6 victory. Towson featured 9 different goal scorers including defenseman Nick Gorman's heave at the end of the 1st quarter that Drexel goalie Jimmie Joe Granito treated too casually and let in off his stick after the horn had blown. (NCAA now allows shots taken before the horn blows to count if they reach the net after time expires in the period.) Towson's defense held the Dragons to just 26 shots and Tyler White made 9 saves.

Towson will host Fairfield on Saturday, May 7, for the CAA title. Face off is 1 pm at Johnny Unitas Stadium. The Tigers defeated Fairfield two weeks ago in the only regular season meeting between the two teams.

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

MATTHEW CARROLL

When Tottenham were unable to hold a two goal lead against Chelsea on Monday night, Leicester City completed the most improbable run in sports history as the 5,000-1 long shot lifted the Premier League trophy for the first time in the club’s 132 year history. There is still plenty to play for as we enter Matchweek 37 of the Barclay’s Premier League, with places in the top four still to be decided and two more teams facing relegation from England’s top flight, so be sure to tune in and catch all of the action live this weekend on the NBC family of networks or online at NBC Live Extra.

Saturday, May 7 (all times eastern)

7:45am – Manchester United @ Norwich City – Carrow Road, NBC Sports Network

The Premier League survival hopes of Norwich City were dealt a blow when they were unable to overcome substitute Danny Welbeck’s second half strike in a 1-0 defeat at Arsenal, their third straight defeat leaving the Canaries, who do have a game in hand, in nineteenth place and two points adrift of safety. They will welcome Manchester United to Carrow Road to kick-off the Matchweek 37 action on Saturday morning, looking to become the first promoted side to pull the double over the footballing giants following the club’s first ever win at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

United have won four out of their last six league games (W4 D1 L1) but were unable to hold a one goal lead in their 1-1 draw with Leicester last weekend, which not only paved the way for the Foxes to lock up the title the next day but also left the Reds, who do have a game in hand as well, four points back of crosstown rivals Manchester City for the final Champions League place next season. They will be confident to continue their late season charge against Norwich, who have lost four of their last seven league games at home (W1 D2 L4) and five of the previous seven against United at Carrow Road.

10am – Newcastle United @ Aston Villa – Villa Park, NBC Sports Network

Winter signing Andros Townsend’s pacey free kick, and third string goalkeeper Karl Darlow’s penalty save only minutes later, earned Newcastle United a crucial point with a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace as they continued their recent run of good form at just the right time. The victory made it eight points for the Magpies in their last four games (W2 D2) and the Norwich result, coupled with Sunderland’s draw at Stoke City, once again moved Newcastle out of the bottom three with only two games remaining, one of which is a trip this weekend to Villa Park to face the already relegated Aston Villa.

Villa looked to be making the most of their final weeks in the Premier before two goals from Troy Deeney in the game’s final three minutes extended their losing streak to eleven games and equal the club’s worst run of consecutive league losses since 1963. They are likely to find more misery against Newcastle who have not lost in their last nine league matches against Villa (W5 D4) and, knowing that both relegation rivals Norwich and Sunderland have a game in hand over them, will be desperate to get all three points against the league’s worst side to move one step closer to survival.

Sunday, May 8 (all times eastern)

11am – Arsenal @ Manchester City – Etihad Stadium, NBC Sports Network

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With legendary manager Pep Guardiola set to take over next season, could Sergio Aguero and Manchester City really miss out on next season's Champions League?

While the title chase is now done and dusted and the battle for Premier League survival rages on, there is still one more bit of business to decide in the season’s final weeks, and that is a finish in the top four of the table and qualification for next seasons Champions League. Following the results of the last seven days, this spot has become all the more precious for Manchester City, with their 4-2 loss in the league to Southampton dropping the Citizen’s into fourth place and their semifinal second leg defeat to Real Madrid knocking them out of this season’s competition.

They will welcome Arsenal, whom they have not beaten in their last four meetings (D2 L2) and who hold more victories over City than any other team in the league (23), to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday hoping to keep desperate hold of their spot in the table, with the Gunners now unbeaten in their last eight league matches and with three clean sheets in a row following the victory over Norwich, which moved the North London club up to third place to all but assure their place in next seasons Champions League, three points ahead of City and eight points clear of West Ham United and Manchester United.


#dmd is heading to the u.s. open in pittsburgh on june 18


If you're looking for a great Father's Day gift -- and if that special Dad in your life is a golfer -- #DMD has just what you need.

How about a one-day trip to see the U.S. Open, live, at Oakmont CC in Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 18!!

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You'll get to see Oakmont CC in all of its glory, including the famed 3rd hole "Church Pew" bunkers, if you head to Pittsburgh with #DMD on Saturday, June 18.

#DMD has secured tickets to Saturday's round, along with a luxury motor coach, food, drinks and a great U.S. Open trivia contest with a $100 cash prize!

Our bus will leave the Towson area at 5:00 am on the 18th, arriving in Pittsburgh at 10:00 am. The first groups on Saturday will tee off shortly after 10 and the leaders don't start playing until 2:30 pm.

We'll spend all day at historic Oakmont CC and return to Baltimore on Saturday night.

The per-person cost is $275, which includes an all-day grounds ticket for the U.S. Open, plus round-trip motor coach transportation (tolls and parking alone would cost you $60) and breakfast and lunch on the bus, plus beer, soda and water throughout the trip up to Pittsburgh.

It's a great opportunity to see the course live and in-person on Saturday, then watch the final round on Sunday from the comfort of your living room!

You'll be able to use the #DMD trips tab at the top of the website later on Wednesday afternoon, or you can e-mail me directly today to reserve your seat(s): drew@drewsmorningdish.com


need a last minute 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
May 5
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXII
Issue 5
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caps in trouble after 3-2 ot loss in game 4


This time around, it's the Caps who are going to have to create a post-season miracle.

Patric Hornqvist scored 2:34 into overtime on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh to give the Penguins a 3-2 win and a 3-1 series lead, pushing the Caps to the brink of an early dismissal in their best-of-seven playoff series.

Washington is 1-8 all-time against Pittsburgh in the post-season.

Unless something dramatic -- and out of character -- happens in favor of the Caps, that's going to be 1-9.

This 3-1 series hole isn't all that surprising given the Caps proclivity for playoff choking, but that doesn't make it any less disappointing.

After leading the entire league in regular season points, Washington now has to win three straight games against the Penguins or their season is over. It's the first team to win four, not three, but things aren't looking all that good at this point.

Beagle's early goal failed to inspire

Wednesday's game started off perfectly for Barry Trotz's team as Jay Beagle plopped a weird angle shot over the shoulder of young Pittsburgh netminder Matt Murray just a couple of minutes into the first period. That, I thought, was just what the doctor ordered for the Caps; a bad goal to rattle Murray, perhaps, and a 1-0 lead to get their engine started early.

It didn't do much of anything, though, as Pittsburgh would tie the game later on in the first period and the tenacity and hunger the Caps showed throughout most of Monday night's Game 3 wasn't there in last night's Game 4.

That Washington tied the contest at 2-2 and sent it to overtime wasn't anything to brag about. The Caps had gobs of third period chances and converted on none of them, including a couple that were on the stick of Alex Ovechkin, but he failed to deliver the crucial goal that would have tied the series.

Not to simply equate making $10 million with scoring big goals -- it's a tad more complicated than that -- but Ovechkin has routinely failed to earn his whopping paycheck in April or May, and this time around doesn't look much different. On Wednesday night, he had several chances to be the hero, but couldn't come through when it mattered most.

Washington actually had the best scoring chance of overtime early on, but the puck fell on the stick of Mike Richards, who moved in on a 2-on-1 break but couldn't put the puck past Murray from 15 feet out. Asking Richards to score a big goal is akin to asking Charlie Brown to make a 29-yard field goal for you at the buzzer. Ain't happenin'...

Hornqvist's goal was a bit of a mess, as Caps defenseman Mike Weber was trying to swipe a puck out of harm's way, but instead dinked it right on the stick of the Pittsburgh player, who one-timed it past Braden Holtby for the game-winner. Weber, excuse makers were noting afterwards, wouldn't have even been playing in the game if not for the suspension of Brooks Orpik, who was serving the second of his three-game penalty for crushing Olli Maatta in Game 2.

The goal wasn't Weber's fault, per-se. It was more "unlucky" than anything else, but the Caps had one glorious overtime scoring chance and botched it, and the Penguins had one of their own and connected on it.

After the game, analysts on the Caps post-game show on CSN Mid-Atlantic bemoaned Washington's run of bad luck, unfortunate breaks, near misses and just about anything else they could think of besides the obvious: Washington's hockey team just doesn't have the heart to win in the post-season.

Pretty simple -- win three straight or go home

Perhaps this is one of those very rare occasions where the Caps stare a 3-1 series deficit in the face and rebound to win the next three games and give the other team a summer's worth of heartache. That, as Caps fans know all too well, is what typically happens against their team, not in favor of their team. It would be nice -- for only the third time in their history -- to see the Capitals turn the tables on a 3-1 deficit and pull off a Game 7 miracle in D.C. next Thursday night.

To do that, or to get just one win, frankly, the Caps will need to find someone to step up in Game 5 this Saturday night at the Verizon Center. There are plenty of candidates for that role.

I'd list a bunch of players here, but the reality is that no one in particular is exempt from being the hero. There are guys, of course, who haven't done a thing in the four games thus far, so naturally it would be nice to see them make even a modest contribution in Game 5.

The team's leading regular season scorer, Evgeny Kuznetsov, has rendered himself completely useless in this post-season, something most of us probably didn't see coming.

Justin Williams had a goal in Game 3, speaking of lucky bounces, but that's about all he's done in ten playoff games. He did have a nice assist on John Carlson's second period goal on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, but by and large he's failed to deliver over the last three weeks.

Ovechkin, of course, is the guy everyone looks to for some sort of breakout game, but you might be better off waiting for Laremy Tunsil to pass you the bag of Cheetos. You may get those quicker than you'll get a couple of goals from Ovechkin in a playoff game against the Penguins.

I could go on and on about the Washington offense, which wasn't all that good over the last ten weeks of the regular season, had one really good game in the Philadelphia series and sputtered the other five games, and now hasn't done much of anything in four games against the Penguins.

If T.J. Oshie doesn't score in overtime in Game 1, the Caps could be on the first tee at Congressional Country Club today.

But if Mike Richards finds the net in the first minute of overtime last night, we're deadlocked at 2-games apiece and momentum is back on the side of the Caps.

Caps need a scoring hero to step up

"If" is a big word, though. "If" Boston wouldn't have recorded the song "More than a feeling", we probably wouldn't have heard of them. "If" the Orioles would have handled Jake Arrieta right, he'd be in Baltimore still instead of lighting up the National League with the Cubs. "If" Rahim Moore wouldn't have misplayed that Flacco-to-Jones throw in Denver, John Harbaugh still wouldn't have a championship ring.

If Richards -- or anyone else -- would have scored in overtime last night, the whole serires would be different.

Alas, it didn't happen.

And the Caps, predictably, are swimming upstream again in this playoff series with the Penguins.

It's not over yet, I'm telling you. The Caps didn't get this far by being a scrub team who can't respond to adversity. It's the first team to four, not three, as I keep trying to remind myself.

But there's no more room for error as far as Washington's concerned.

Someone has to step up and be the hero on Saturday.

I just hope he's wearing red and not white.

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o's mail it in as yankees win 7-0


Thankfully, there aren't many of those games in a season.

The Birds looked like the last place team on Wednesday night at Camden Yards, and C.C. Sabathia -- for one night at least -- looked like a slice of his former self in a 7-0 Yankees win before 15,998 brave baseball lovers at Camden Yards.

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Lefty C.C. Sabathia looked sharp on Wednesday night, striking out six in seven innings of work to improve to 2-2 on the year.

Sabathia went seven innings and allowed just six hits on the night, striking out six and walking two to improve to 2-2 on the year.

The big New York lefty was actually out-pitched by Tyler Wilson for the first five innings, but things got messy in the sixth as the visitors scored three times, including one run created by a bad throw from Wilson to first baseman Chris Davis.

T.J. McFarland and Dylan Bundy struggled to get anyone out in the 8th inning, as New York batted around en-route to a four-run inning that put the game away and emptied the stands.

Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-3 for New York and Brian McCann had a 3 RBI night while going 2-for-5 at the plate.

The Yankees snapped a 6-game losing streak with the win.

McFarland might have written his ticket to Norfolk with that performance, as the O's are expected to recall infielder Paul Janish over the weekend once his paternity leave expires.

If the pitching wasn't all that good in the game's latter half on Wednesday night, the offense stunk it up from the very first pitch of the evening. Baltimore collected only seven hits in all, with Manny Machado picking up two of them to raise his average to .355.

There was no "jumbo from Trumbo" on Wednesday, as the designated hitter's bat cooled off after a two home-run night on Tuesday, but Trumbo did have a hit in the 7-0 loss.

Caleb Joseph's early season woes at the plate continued, as the part-time catcher went 0-for-4 to sink his batting average to .189 on the season.

Joey Rickard managed a hit on Wednesday, but his work at the plate has been less than sterling over the last two weeks, as he's now hitting .269.

Adam Jones (.205) and Chris Davis (.219) both went 0-for-3 on Wednesday.

I guess when you get shut-out 7-0, no one's going to do much of anything offensively, right?

Masahiro Tanaka (New York) and Kevin Gausman (Baltimore) face each other tonight in the series finale at Camden Yards.

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#dmd's local lacrosse preview


Lots of local conference tournament action on Thursday including the B1G Conference Tournament at Homewood Field and the CAA Tournament at Towson that features 3 local teams. As already witnessed in previous tournaments from the weekend, anything can happen and these two are no exception. Let's take a quick look at each, citing reasons for why the local teams will win and how they could lose.

#3 Maryland vs #18 Penn State (Thurs 5:30pm) - In their previous meeting this season, Maryland down by as many as 4, came back to take the lead in the 4th. Only to give it back to the Nittany Lions then force OT, in which Bryan Cole hit the game winner. That started a 3 game losing streak for Penn State in which they lost to the Terps, Hopkins, and Rutgers by a total of 3 goals combined, then finally beating Michigan last weekend to make the tournament. Meanwhile, Maryland continued their 11-game win streak by pretty much handling their next 4 opponents (Rutgers, Navy, Ohio State, and Hopkins).

How Maryland will win? To match their great defense, the Terps offense has been very efficient and balanced the past 4 games after struggling against Penn State. In addition, the Terps will feel a little more at home at Homewood considering is a 30 minute bus ride from College Park if that plus, just playing the Blue Jays there last weekend.

How the Terps could lose? - Overlooking the Nittany Lions who've been snakebit against the others in the B1G tournament. Also, feeling comfortable knowing they are a Top 4 seed in the NCAA tournament, win or lose. Penn State has plenty of confidence and can play with any team in the country, just as they did in a win against Denver. Not to mention the extra motivation of possibly securing an automatic bid should they beat the 3rd ranked team in the land.

Outcome - Maryland's defense won't allow Penn State to put 67% of its shots on cage like it did last time. Nor will the offense take a nap like it did to allow Penn State to go up 8-4. Maryland continues to play well, downing the Nittany Lions 11-7.

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Hopkins will need a big game from someone on offense on Thursday against Rutgers. Could it come from Wilkins Dismuke?

#8 Johns Hopkins vs #16 Rutgers (Thurs 8pm) - In their first meeting, Rutgers had a coming out party a month ago, downing the Blue Jays 16-9 at Piscataway, NJ. They beat Hopkins in most phases of the game including offense, defense and face-offs. Hopkins did look a little weary then from a mid-week match-up with UMBC that proved tougher than expected.

How Johns Hopkins will win? The Blue Jays will be at home with their regular skipper on the sidelines as Dave Pietramala missed the previous game. Hopkins offense will probably be more patient and effective this time around. The Blue Jays will also have some motivation to play much better after the original showing. Hopkins should be fresher this time around with 5 days rest as opposed to the 4 days rest they played on in the first match-up. Rutgers will also be playing on the same amount of rest.

How the Blue Jays could lose? Rutgers offense is no joke and its attackmen (Bieda - B1G Offensive POY, Charalambides - B1G Freshman of the Year, and Heningburg - B1G 1st Team All Conference) were and still are a tough match-up for a young Blue Jay defense. Rutgers will also want to prove the first game is no fluke and may have been looking ahead to this match-up last weekend when it lost to Ohio State. Another win against the Blue Jays will only strengthen the Scarlet Knight's NCAA tourney resume.

Outcome - The Blue Jays will play tougher this time around with something to prove and a chance at hosting a 1st round NCAA tourney game. Hopkins should also shoot better and get a few more goals on Rutgers goalie Kris Alleyne. But it will not be enough as Rutgers will seize a slim possession advantage at the face-off X, which is all its efficient offense will need to win the game 12-10.

#11 Towson vs Drexel (Thurs 4pm) - Towson won the first meeting a month ago 11-7 in which the game was tied 5-5 at the end of 3 quarters. After which, Towson had a huge 4th quarter, outscoring the Dragons 6-2 to seal the victory. As noted in the first game, the Dragons come to play when they face Towson beating the Tigers last year in the regular season in a close game (11-10) then falling to the Tigers in the CAA semis last year 11-8.

How Towson will win? By picking up where they left off in the last game when it scored 6 against the Dragons in the 4th quarter. 8 of Towson's 11 goals in the first game were unassisted, which seems to imply Drexel wasn't sliding a whole lot. In addition, the Dragons are very sloppy with the ball averaging just over 13 turnovers a game.

How the the Tigers could lose? Towson seems to like to play the CAA teams close and this could haunt them like it did in their loss to Delaware. Drexel goalie Jimmy Joe Granito is certain capable of stone-walling Towson shooters. He has a 55.3% save percentage on the year and in the 1st game, stopped 15 of 20 Tiger shots on goal through 3 quarters before the Tigers figured him out in the 4th.

Outcome - The Tigers have something to prove in the CAA and while Drexel has a solid goalie, not sure he's saving 16 again. Also, Towson is getting more production out of its midfield with Mike Lynch recently, which has been freeing up the attack. As previously noted from the first game, Towson should win this game by 4-5 goals, but Drexel will find a way to make the Tigers uncomfortable. But this game will go to Towson 10-7 this time around.

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derby favorite nyquist draws #13


The favorite at the 142nd Kentucky Derby will start from lucky post position No. 13 this Saturday.

Nyquist, now listed as the favorite at 3-1, earned the No. 13 spot at Wednesday’s post position drawing.

Mohaymen, another popular horse among bettors, will be one post over at No. 14.

In all, 20 horses learned their post positions at Churchill Downs, and you can see where they’ll start below.

1. Trojan Nation

2. Suddenbreakingnews

3. Creator

4. Mo Tom

5. Gun Runner

6. My Man Sam

7. Oscar Nominated

8. Lani

9. Destin

10. Whitmore

11. Exaggerator

12. Tom’s Ready

13. Nyquist

14. Mohaymen

15. Outwork

16. Shagaf

17. Mor Spirit

18. Majesto

19. Brody’s Cause

20. Danzing Candy

#DMD will reveal a Kentucky Derby contest in Friday morning's edition, so be sure and check back to see how you can win Orioles tickets and gift cards from Glory Days Grill.


#dmd is heading to the u.s. open in pittsburgh on june 18


If you're looking for a great Father's Day gift -- and if that special Dad in your life is a golfer -- #DMD has just what you need.

How about a one-day trip to see the U.S. Open, live, at Oakmont CC in Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 18!!

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You'll get to see Oakmont CC in all of its glory, including the famed 3rd hole "Church Pew" bunkers, if you head to Pittsburgh with #DMD on Saturday, June 18.

#DMD has secured tickets to Saturday's round, along with a luxury motor coach, food, drinks and a great U.S. Open trivia contest with a $100 cash prize!

Our bus will leave the Towson area at 5:00 am on the 18th, arriving in Pittsburgh at 10:00 am. The first groups on Saturday will tee off shortly after 10 and the leaders don't start playing until 2:30 pm.

We'll spend all day at historic Oakmont CC and return to Baltimore on Saturday night.

The per-person cost is $275, which includes an all-day grounds ticket for the U.S. Open, plus round-trip motor coach transportation (tolls and parking alone would cost you $60) and breakfast and lunch on the bus, plus beer, soda and water throughout the trip up to Pittsburgh.

It's a great opportunity to see the course live and in-person on Saturday, then watch the final round on Sunday from the comfort of your living room!

You'll be able to use the #DMD trips tab at the top of the website later on Wednesday afternoon, or you can e-mail me directly today to reserve your seat(s): drew@drewsmorningdish.com


need a last minute 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
May 4
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Issue 4
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it's fun seeing the yankees stink this bad, but gets your laughs in now


There they are, all the way down at the bottom of the American League East standings.

NEW YORK, 8-16

How funny is that?

There are certain things in sports that nearly all of us can revel in, and the New York Yankees sitting alone in last place is one of them.

It doesn't happen much, of course, which makes their free-fall all that much better.

They're not familiar with this in New York

You just know it's driving them nuts...and there's not a thing they can do about it.

Last night's 4-1 Orioles win over the Yankees at Camden Yards was a pretty good piece of evidence on why the Yankees are awful (so far) in 2016.

Their starting pitching -- minus Masahiro Tanaka, who throws tomorrow night -- is horrible. We think the Birds' starting pitching is shaky? New York's is abysmal.

Monday night's starter was supposed to be a new-generation-savior for New York. Instead, Luis Severino is likely headed back to Triple-A Columbus after falling to 0-4 following last night's outing in which he surrendered three earned runs in six innings of work and coughed up the other run himself with a silly error covering first base.

Tonight's New York starter is C.C. Sabathia, the once dominant left-hander who is now just working hard to avoid the disabled list in 2016 and have his 2017 contract guaranteed. That's how far he's fallen. Sabathia -- one of the game's best pitchers a decade ago -- is just trying to stay injury free so he can get paid again next season. Meanwhile, the losses keep piling up.

None of their other starters are all that good either except for the aforementioned Tanaka. Ivan Nova, Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda all have ERA's above 5.00 a game. Too bad this isn't a six-game series in Baltimore...

Even the seemingly invincible New York bullpen has coughed up a few leads already this season.

And the bats. Oh, the bats. New York's offense looks like the Ravens did without Joe Flacco. Sorry and limp.

They're not "veterans", they're just "old" now

Alex Rodriguez, who sure looks awfully good for a 40-year old, tweaked his hamstring last night and might miss some time. At some point soon, it's likely another one of the fossils in the New York dugout like Beltran or Teixeira will make their annual trip to the disabled list as well.

And don't forget about Jacoby Ellsbury. He's good for a DL trip or two during the season as well. Ellsbury once applied for a bit part in a Charmin toilet paper commercial but the executives doing the casting thought Ellsbury was too soft, even for their brand.

The Yankees have one starter -- Starlin Castro -- hitting .300 or better and everyone else is roughly in the .250 range.

Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann both have three home runs in the first month of the season. Mark Trumbo of the Orioles had two homers in about 75 minutes last night, if you're looking to rub a little salt in the wound of a Yankees fan at the water cooler sometime today.

Yes, this New York team is old, brittle and just not very good.

And it's wonderful to see. That is, unless you're a fan of the Bronx Bombers.

Sure, part of the delight in seeing the Yankees labor in last place is steeped in jealousy. That's easy to admit. We here in Baltimore could only wish that our baseball team would have enjoyed the kind of success the Yankees have had since 1996.

The Yankees have won five World Series' in the last 21 years and have made the playoffs in 18 of those 21 campaigns. So, yes, we're jealous in Charm City.

But, that was then, this is now, as the great S.E. Hinton once wrote.

Now, today, the Yankees are terrible.

And it's great to see.

Unfortunately, it's not going to last all that long.

Laugh now, because the Yankees will rise again soon enough

Not counting Sabathia's potential for earning $25 million next season, the Yankees currently have just $123 million on the books for 2017.

No more Teixeira, no more Beltran, no more $250 million in team salaries that New York general manager Brian Cashman has been hamstrung with over the last few years.

In other words -- the Yankees are about to become big spenders again.

They'll be targeting anyone and everyone who is headed to Cooperstown and wouldn't mind a nice little 8-year contract to help prepare them for the second half of their respective careers.

The three biggest young names in baseball -- Trout, Harper, Machado -- will all be courted by New York, you can bet on that.

Each of the three will likely feel a connection to the Yankees, too. Trout grew up in New Jersey, about 125 miles from New York City.

Harper's ego will almost certainly want him in New York, the owner of a $40 million a year deal and the guy responsible for "resurrecting" the Yankees after a down period.

And Machado would love to slide up to New York and replace his idol, Alex Rodriguez, at third base, or take over at shortstop for the Bronx Bombers and make everyone forget about Derek Jeter.

At least one of those studs is going to be in New York in a few years and there's nothing any of us can do about it. In Baltimore, we just hope it's not OUR stud who jumps ship for the Evil Empire.

So, let's all take great delight in the Yankees' current plight, because it's not going to last very long. They'll be re-tooling soon enough, you can bank on that, and when they start throwing their money around, lots of guys in baseball are going to get rich.

And their team will be really good again.

For now, though, they're awful.

Go ahead and giggle. You deserve it, and so, too, do the Yankees.


With spring in full bloom now and summer right around the corner, it's time to start thinking about your lawn and property and how you're going to take care of it once the grass starts growing like wild fire. If you're in the Southern Anne Arundel County area or over on the Eastern Shore, #DMD has new corporate partner who can take care of all of your landscaping and lawn service needs.

We'd like to welcome "All Seasons Lawn and Landscaping" to the family and ask that you give them a call if you're in need of some extra special care for your lawn or property.

They service the Annapolis, Cape St. Claire, Grasonville and Eastern Shore areas and will provide quality service and fair, competitive pricing for your lawn or landscaping needs. Best of all, they're doing the work themselves, not farming it out to another company or contractor to get the job done. When you book a job with "All Seasons", they'll be there to do all the work from start to finish.

Among their areas of expertise: Full mowing services, including trimming. Mulching, weeding, pruning and garden installation.

Let them know you're a #DMD reader and they'll give you 20% off on their first visit.

You can reach "All Seasons" at 410-739-4574 or check out their website at www.allseasonslawnandlandscaping.net (or just click on their ad on the right side of this page).

Welcome aboard All Seasons Lawn and Landscaping and thank you for joining up with Drew's Morning Dish!

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caps face critical game 4 tonight, penguins lose letang


It's almost like this is too titled in Washington's favor now.

The Caps have never been one to enjoy prosperity, which is why Tuesday's news that the NHL has suspended Pittsburgh's Kris Letang for tonight's game four doesn't have me jumping for joy.

Sure, losing Letang really hurts the Penguins, but the Caps aren't all that good at taking advantage of someone else's plight.

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Although Pittsburgh's young netminder, Matt Murray, has been the talk of the series thus far, Braden Holtby is still the best goaltender playing tonight in Pittsburgh and one of the biggest reasons why the Capitals are still favorites to oust the Penguins.

Just go back to the recent series with the Flyers, where Washington raced out to a 3-0 lead and then had to hold for dear life to win that series in six games.

Nothing's ever easy for the Capitals, especially in the playoffs, which is why the Letang suspension -- while great news for Caps fans -- doesn't necessarily mean anything tonight.

The Penguins lead the series 2-games-to-1, which makes this evening's affair in Pittsburgh ultra-critical for the Capitals.

It's the first team to win four, not three, but I don't think we'd be feeling all that warm and fuzzy about Game 5 (or 6, or 7) if Washington stumbles tonight and falls behind 3-1 in the series.

Hopefully Caps coach Barry Trotz showed his team the final eleven minutes of Monday night's Game 3 loss, where his team peppered Pittsburgh with electrying offense and scored a couple of goals to turn a snoozer into a one-goal nail-biter with a minute or so left.

If the Caps can play with that same kind of desperation tonight -- but do so in an organized, developed way -- they'll even the series and head back to D.C. with momentum on their side.

It would be nice if Washington got a little bit of help offensively from guys like Kuznetsov, Burakovsky and Williams, each of whom made major regular season contributions but have stunk like your Aunt Betty's feet at the summer picnic in the nine playoff games this spring.

Then again, I'm sure Penguins fans are hoping for an appearance from their rock star, Sidney Crosby, who hasn't done jack-squat in the three games against the Caps thus far.

I'm calling a 4-1 Washington win tonight.

Unlike Game 2 and Game 3, where the Capitals were asleep in the first forty minutes, they'll come out flying tonight and get ahead early. That will make things much easier, and the hot goaltending of Braden Holtby will send the Caps home deadlocked at 2-games apiece.


if there's a game 7, who wants to go?

There's lots of hockey left, of course, but if the Caps and Penguins do manage to extend the series to a 7th and deciding game, it would take place at the Verizon Center next Thursday, May 12.

And Drew's Morning Dish has tickets and a bus all lined up for those of you who want to go down to DC for that final game of the series.

The upper level tickets include unlimited in-game food, beer, wine and soda in one of the private lounges at the Verizon Center. Our bus will depart from the Towson area at 4:30 pm and we'll have plenty of drinks and snacks on the bus ride down to D.C.

#DMD only has 24 tickets and lounge passes for the game, so if you're interested in getting on the reservation list, please e-mail me today: drew@drewsmorningdish.com

We'll take the first 24 people who respond via e-mail.

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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.


The PGA Tour is in Charlotte, North Carolina this week at Quail Hollow Country Club, the final event before next week's "fifth major", The Players, at TPC Sawgrass.

Quail Hollow is an outstanding venue and one that rewards guys who drive the golf ball a long way. The par 5's are the feasting holes, which is why it's important to have a long hitter or two in your fantasy team.

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Look for Kevin Kisner to atone for last year's near-miss at Quail Hollow CC in Charlotte.

It's also a course that rewards the strong putters, which is why I have a couple of flat-stick wizards in my starting six this week.

My team is led by Rory McIlroy, who has already won twice in his career at Quail Hollow. It's a horses for courses thing, and you can expect McIlroy to be in the hunt on Sunday afternoon.

I love the golf game of Kevin Kisner, who nearly won in Charlotte a year ago and is back to get his revenge in 2016. He's enjoying a solid season thus far, with one win and a current 5th place ranking on the FedEx Cup points list. He's 11th on the TOUR in birdies-per-round (4.18), which, if he follows that form this week, should put him on the first page of the leaderboard.

The next four guys aren't household names, but when you load up with two big-timers like McIlroy and Kisner, there's not much money left to spend.

So, I'm going with good putters and cut-makers for my four roster spots.

Emiliano Grillo is a 23-year old from Argentina who misses a fairway about once every two months. He currently ranks 6th on the TOUR in driving accuracy (70%) and has made 10 cuts in 12 starts this season, with one win as well.

I also like Daniel Berger, the long-hitting Floridian who has become one of the game's better ball strikers over the last two seasons. His accuracy off the tee could hurt him this week in Charlotte, but if his driver cooperates accordingly, he could make a nice showing at Quail Hollow.

For my two final two picks, I'm going with Daniel Summerhays and Colt Knost, both of whom are cut-making machines and can hopefully yield four days worth of points for fantasy players. Knost has made 13 of 14 cuts with four top 25 finishes while Summerhays has made 11 of 14 cuts with five finishes in the Top 25.

I'll take Kevin Kisner to win, by the way.

Others worth considering: J.B. Holmes, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Ryan Moore, Harris English, Ben Martin, Anirban Lahiri, Chad Collins, Shawn Stefani


#dmd is heading to the u.s. open in pittsburgh on june 17


If you're looking for a great Father's Day gift -- and if that special Dad in your life is a golfer -- #DMD has just what you need.

How about a one-day trip to see the U.S. Open, live, at Oakmont CC in Pittsburgh on Saturday, June 17!!

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You'll get to see Oakmont CC in all of its glory, including the famed 3rd hole "Church Pew" bunkers, if you head to Pittsburgh with #DMD on Saturday, June 17.

#DMD has secured tickets to Saturday's round, along with a luxury motor coach, food, drinks and a great U.S. Open trivia contest with a $100 cash prize!

Our bus will leave the Towson area at 5:00 am on the 17th, arriving in Pittsburgh at 10:00 am. The first groups on Saturday will tee off shortly after 10 and the leaders don't start playing until 2:30 pm.

We'll spend all day at historic Oakmont CC and return to Baltimore on Saturday night.

The per-person cost is $269, which includes an all-day grounds ticket for the U.S. Open, plus round-trip motor coach transportation (tolls and parking alone would cost you $60) and breakfast and lunch on the bus, plus beer, soda and water throughout the trip up to Pittsburgh.

It's a great opportunity to see the course live and in-person on Saturday, then watch the final round on Sunday from the comfort of your living room!

You'll be able to use the #DMD trips tab at the top of the website later on Wednesday afternoon, or you can e-mail me directly today to reserve your seat(s): drew@drewsmorningdish.com

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need a last minute 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
May 3
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXII
Issue 3
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caps face huge game 4 in pittsburgh after 3-2 loss on monday night


The most oft-used phrase about the Washington Capitals -- "nothing they do surprises me" -- is back in play again after last night's 3-2 loss in Pittsburgh pushed the Penguins to a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

Yes, the Caps are in trouble again, only this time it's May instead of April and the stakes are just a tad bit higher than they were in the previous series when Washington raced out to a 3-0 lead only to see the Flyers scratch their way back to 3-2 before the Caps eliminated them with a Game 6 win in Philly.

Oddly, though, I'm not worried.

Well, if it's the playoffs, I'm ALWAYS worried about the Caps because, here it comes -- nothing they do surprises me. But I'm genuinely not all that worried about the 2-1 series deficit the Caps are currently facing.

I figured all along this would require seven games for the Caps to advance.

It's the first team to win four, not two

Pittsburgh has two of the four wins they need, but this is a lot like trying to throw a no-hitter in baseball. Every piece of success is elusive in its own way.

And Washington's play last night was decent enough to have me thinking they might be ready to break out and prove to everyone that what they did in the regular season wasn't a fluke.

This looks and feels a little bit like last year's first-round series with the Islanders, where the Caps fell behind 2-games-to-1 before eventually winning in seven games. They never quite hit their stride for more than a game or two in that series last spring, but the other team tries, too, remember.

And Pittsburgh's not chopped liver, despite an uneven regular season that featured a mid-season coaching change and a choppy last month that saw them wobble into the playoffs.

Monday's game in the Steel City featured yet another new way for the Caps to lose. This time around, unlike Saturday's Game 2 loss where the offensive output was sluggish at best, embarrassing at worst, Barry Trotz's team looked energized and lethal from the opening whistle.

Yes, it took them 49 minutes to score a goal in Game 3, and the 3-0 hole they were in was too much to overcome, but there were more than enough good signs on Monday night to look ahead to the rest of the series with legitimate hope.

The series is far from over.

If the Caps can play with the same sort of controlled desperation they showed on Monday night, Washington might very well win the next three games in a row and move on to the conference finals.

That probably seems a tad ambitious for a team that's still struggling to put pucks in the net, and Pittsburgh has their own reasons to think the series is well within THEIR grasp, but the fact remains that the Capitals appear to have found something on Monday night, despite losing.

They looked a lot more like the best team in hockey -- albeit in the regular season, yes -- and a lot less like the scared, "here it comes again" group that we saw in Game 5 of the Flyers series and throughout most of Game 2 against the Penguins last Saturday in Washington.

Everyone was worked up last night about the Kris Letang hit on Marcus Johansson in the first period.

I was far more agitated by the fact that Washington fell behind 3-0 and didn't really start getting their motor going until Alex Ovechkin scored with a little over 11 minutes remaining in the game to start a late Caps rally.

The Letang hit will be handled by the NHL, or not, perhaps, but it wasn't nearly as vicious or reckless as the Brooks Orpik hit on Olli Maatta on Saturday night, one that Orpik himself has now deemed "a bad mistake" in wake of Maatta's inability to play in Game 3 on Monday night.

Johansson came right back and played again in the second period and throughout the rest of Monday night's game. Maatta still doesn't remember his date of birth or which mailbox belongs to him.

And even though I understand what the NHL is trying to do with these "head shots", the fact remains that hockey -- much like football -- is a wildly uncontrollable physical sport with guys hurling themselves into each other in all areas of the ice. Trying to police that aggression is understandable, but more a waste of time than anything else, in my opinion.

Washington's offense is better than it looks

The more pressing issue for me -- on the record, I think Letang should be suspended for one game, but I wouldn't howl or scream if the league doesn't sit him out -- is Washington's failure to secure any kind of offensive contribution from the likes of Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky, Jason Chimera, Jay Beagle, Justin Williams and Mike Richards.

Williams actually scored a goal on Monday night, a late knock-in of an Ovechkin shot that hit the post, but he's been woefully inept throughout the nine playoff games this spring, in direct contrast to what we thought we'd see from him in the post-season.

Burakovsky and Chimera both have one playoff goal, while Beagle has two.

Kuznetsov, the team's leading regular season scorer, has been running scared since the first puck dropped in the Philadelphia series. Some guys just aren't built for the post-season and it's looking like that profile might fit Kuznetsov, who wouldn't be the first European player to vanish in the playoffs if he continues to offer little or no production in this series with the Penguins.

Richards hasn't scored a goal in the playoffs yet this spring and had a couple of more great chances fall by the wayside on Monday night. Let's be honest, here: You can never count on an ex-Flyer to do anything positive for you.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has a 2-1 series lead and their two big guns, Crosby and Malkin, haven't done much of anything either. Crosby has been horribly ineffective in these three games vs. Washington, which might bode well for the Caps or, could simply mean he's due to break out and have an important goal or two in the series.

The story thus far for the Penguins has been the play of 21-year old rookie goalie Matt Murray, who had himself a whopper of a game on Monday night, making 47 saves, including a handful of stops in traffic late in the contest when the Caps had crawled back to within a goal at 3-2.

Murray is red-hot, admittedly, but he's one or two bad goals away from having his star fade and reality setting in.

And if you're playing the odds, you'd bet Washington's netminder, Braden Holtby, will steal at least one game in this series, much like he did in the Game 6 win at Philadelphia last week.

I'll still take our goalie over their goalie in a 7-game series.

Let's just hope it gets that far.

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yankees stumble in at 8-15 as o's face roster moves


The Orioles are in the midst of a stretch where they play 17 of 20 games in Baltimore, and they're getting a special kind of break this week when the last place Yankees make their first of three trips to Baltimore in the 2016 campaign.

New York comes in at 8-15, with their usually-dependable bullpen suffering from some early season woes and an offense that has generated the third fewest runs (81) in all of baseball.

And they were just swept in a three-game weekend series at Fenway Park.

There's not much better than seeing the Yankees in last place, even if it's only May 3rd.

X
Orioles third baseman -- now shortstop for the time being -- Manny Machado was named the American League's Player of the Month for April.

The Orioles are no longer occupying first place in the A.L. East, their 7-0 start to the season equalized by a recent run of 10 losses in their last 17 games, but nothing about this series with New York worries anyone in Baltimore who professes to be a fan of the orange and black.

New York will send Severino, Sabathia and Tanaka to the mound over the next three nights, with only Tanaka causing any reason for concern. Tonight's Tillman vs. Severino match-up clearly favors the Birds, and Baltimore has feasted on Sabathia in Camden Yards over the last few years.

Tanaka's legit, yes, but certainly not unbeatable. He's no Chris Sale -- or that other Chicago pitcher, the Arrieta guy -- that's for certain.

Baltimore got some bad news on Monday when it was announced that J.J. Hardy will miss the better part of two months with a fractured foot. Ryan Flaherty will likely move to third base for the time being and Manny Machado will slide over to shortstop with Hardy on the D.L.

The Birds will also likely recall infielder Paul Janish at some point later this week -- he's currently on paternity leave with Triple-A Norfolk -- and be forced to make a corresponding roster move to stay at the 25-man roster limit.

I'd guess a pitcher gets sent packing, but who? The logical choice would be Vance Worley, but he showed a sliver of value on Sunday when he was able to go through three innings in relief of Ubaldo Jimenez. If not Worley, who exits the locker room to make room for Janish when he arrives? T.J. McFarland would also be a candidate, but, like Worley, he can also give you 60-70 pitches if necessary in long relief.

There aren't really any offensive players worth considering at this point. Nolan Reimold has done enough to stick around, although everyone secretly assumes he's going to get hurt at some point in the next four weeks since he and the injury bug are best friends. Pedro Alvarez hasn't done much of anything, but you're not sending him packing just one month into his tenure. And Joey Rickard is here to stay, both because of his performance thus far and his Rule 5 status.

I guess the O's could snip the cord with Hyun Soo Kim, but that seems unlikely, too. Unless they like handing out $7 million going-away-gifts, that is.

So, Worley seems the most natural guy to go, although we all know Dan Duquette doesn't necessarily think like the rest of us.

In the meantime, the Yankees are in town, and they're not doing much of anything these days.

Only one New York starter, Starlin Castro, is hitting above .300. Alex Rodriguez leads the team with five home runs, but he only 14 hits on the season, total. Jacoby Ellsbury, Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran are each off to their typical slow April starts.

Maybe a visit to Camden Yards is the tonic the Yankees need, but I don't see any way they can win more than one game in the series.

In fact, it's far more likely the O's sweep New York than it is the Yankees figure out a way to win two of three here in Charm City.

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greatness — absolute or relative?

This is a story of a magnificent thoroughbred race horse whom the Fates treated most unkindly.

The Fates
Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos—the Fates of ancient Greek mythology—control the thread of every life. They ensure that the fate assigned to every being by eternal laws runs its course without obstruction. – Sham coulda done without 'em.

In the 99th running of the Kentucky Derby, this horse ran a faster time than any horse had run in all previous Derbys.

In all the Derbies run after the 99th, no horse has run an equal or faster time than this horse.

In the 98th running of the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore two weeks later, this horse again posted a faster time than any horse had posted in any previous year.

And again, as in the Derby, no horse has run an equal or faster time than this horse in any subsequent Preakness race to this day.

So, in three weeks this horse would be be running in the Belmont Stakes for the Triple Crown as the odds-on favorite, right? Sadly, nope. Horse racing is a sport, and sports are those oddly contrived contests in which anything can happen, and frequently does, and this is why sporting events are among the most interesting, engaging, discussed, predicted, dissected, analyzed, and de-constructed subjects of our existence.

The horse was named Sham, and he finished a close second to Secretariat in those first two Triple Crown races of 1973.

1973 Derby finish
Sham's torment begins at Churchill Downs . . .

The chances that any horse would break the records for both the Derby and the Preakness were long. That two horses would do it in the same year was quite simply a wager that would never be offered at any price! That the second-best time in both those races would not be bettered for at least another 42 years would have been unthinkable.

Only three other horses besides Sham and Secretariat entered the Belmont Stakes that year: Private Smiles, Twice a Prince, and My Gallant. These were otherwise strong three-year-olds, but totally outclassed in 1973. Sham's strategy in the race was to take advantage of what his trainer and most others in the know thought was his ace-in-the-hole – superior stamina. He would set a blisteringly fast pace, burn Secretariat out, then coast home ahead of the rest of the small and inferior field. It's easy to say in retrospect, but this was about the wrongest strategy that was ever thunk up.

1973 Preakness finish
continues at Pimlico . . .

Secretariat started from the one-hole and Sham was sent off from the outside post, the five-slot. At the start, Sham raced toward the lead, and had it by the first turn. Secretariat saw him on his right and started to move up to keep pace. Jockey Ron Turcotte tried to hold him back. Turcotte later said that he might as well have tried to hold back a locomotive under full steam going down a steep hill. It was then that Turcotte sensed that his horse knew precisely what he was doing, and that his function on this day was simply to not fall off the horse before the finish line.

On the back stretch, the two horses ran neck and neck, with the rest of the field wilting badly under the savage pace set by Sham. Sham held a quarter-length lead. Secretariat matched him exactly for about a furlong. Sham's strategy at this point appeared sound. Then, impossibly, Secretariat increased the pace! Sham might have realized, if horses realize stuff, what P. G. Wodehouse meant when he wrote of “life slipping on the brass knuckles.” Sham was running at his full-out top speed, and, incredibly, was being caught and then passed! Something was terribly wrong. With each long, graceful, and incredibly powerful stride, Secretariat increased his lead over Sham, to a length, then two, four, then six, eight and ten.

1973 Derby finish
and mercifully ends at Belmont Park.

The Belmont was over at that point. Secretariat would win and become the first Triple Crown winner since Citation in 1948, 25 years before. Sham would fall back, mercifully and tearfully reined in by jockey Laffit Pincay, who realized his splendid animal was second best. But it's at this point that the race goes from merely spectacular to the realm of the surreal. Secretariat continued to increase his lead!

Veteran race announcer Chic Anderson, who'd seen it all, and had probably seen most of it twice, had never seen anything like this. His call of the race after the far turn, as the red, white, and blue of an American flag briefly comes into view, still causes chills: “Secretariat is widening now. He is moving like a tremendous machine!

And seconds later, disbelief in what he is seeing apparent in his voice, “But Secretariat is all alone! He's out there almost a sixteenth of a mile away from the rest of the horses!”

Then it goes from surreal to downright plum crazy, impossible, something's-wrong-with-the-universe goofy. Secretariat picked up the pace again, showing off in all his glory down the stretch for the 69,138 fans who saw this miracle. He blazed by the mile-and-a-quarter pole in one minute and fifty-nine seconds flat. This is the Derby distance, at which five weeks before Secretariat had set the record of 1:59.4 (which still stands today), and here he smashed through that time with still a quarter of a mile to go in this race, in what is the supreme test of endurance for three-year-olds. He entered the stretch with an 18-length lead, and Anderson called the final margin at the finish line to be 25 lengths. A review of the race film showed the actual margin to be 31 lengths!

To put Secretariat's feat in stark perspective, based on their respective winning times, Secretariat would have beaten American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown winner, by 17 lengths in the Kentucky Derby, by 27 lengths in the Preakness Stakes, and by 12 ½ lengths in the Belmont Stakes.

Poor poor Sham, who in ANY other year would have been hailed as one of the all-time greats, would have beaten American Pharoah by 14 lengths in the Derby and 24 lengths in the Preakness. The Pharoah would have beaten Sham in the Belmont, but it's safe to say Sham ran the last third of that race in the fog of disbelief and with a broken heart.

Sham never raced again after the Belmont Stakes. A hairline fracture of his leg forced him into retirement.

Ali slipping a punch
"Not even close, Big Fella!"

In sports, nature sometimes provides physical advantage.

Ted Williams (although after his retirement, he denied it) was reportedly able to see the stitches on a baseball, and determine its rotation, immediately after it left the pitcher's hand. His vision was tested at 20/5. “Perfect” human vision is 20/20. This means that Williams could see from 20 feet away what other humans with perfect vision could see at five feet.

He proved this once, in full bright daylight, by pointing to the planet Venus, which none of those with him could see. An astronomer later confirmed that Teddy Baseball had pointed to exactly where the planet would have been at that date and time.

The German sprinter Armin Hary shared an advantageous attribute with Muhammed Ali. Both were tested and found to have the ability to respond to a stimulus (conscious reflexivity) in one hundredth of a second. The next fastest humans ever tested came in at twelve hundredths of a second. Thus Hary, on hearing the gun, had more than a tenth-of-a-second head start from the blocks, and Ali, perceiving a punch launched at his jaw, had extra time to snap back his head and watch his opponent's glove swish the air in front of his nose.

Armin Hary
Armin Hary (far lane) held his advantage out of the blocks to win Olympic gold in the 100-meter dash in Rome in 1960.

In thoroughbred racing, an important and often determinative factor is cardiopulmonary capability. A horse's muscles, working at unrestrained-gallop speed, burn through prodigious amounts of oxygen. The more oxygen that gets to the muscles, the better they perform. Oxygen is delivered to muscles by blood. The heart pumps blood. Therefore, the larger the heart, the more fuel it can deliver to the straining muscles.

Dr. Thomas Swerczek, head pathologist at the University of Kentucky, performed the necropsy (horse autopsy) on Sham after Sham died at a ripe old age. An average thoroughbred's heart weighs between seven and nine pounds. The doctor put Sham's heart on a scale. It weighed a phenomenal 18 pounds!

Since 1973, three horses have captured the Triple Crown: Seattle Slew in 1977, Affirmed in 1978, and American Pharoah in 2015. In the Derby, comparing posted times, Sham would have beaten Affirmed by 6½ lengths, Seattle Slew by 11½ lengths, and American Pharoah by 14 lengths. In the Preakness Sham would have beaten both Seattle Slew and Affirmed by four lengths, and bested the Pharoah by 24 lengths.

The linksmen among us know the Golf Gods frequently deliver crushing psychological body-blows to those who compete in that sport. But the Horse Gods give up nothing to their golf brethren in terms of unkindness, perversity, and cruelty to the victims with whom they toy.

Dr. Swerczek also performed a necropsy on another horse who lived to a ripe old age. He described his and his pathology team's reaction on seeing this horse's heart: “We just stood there in stunned silence. We couldn't believe it. It was perfect. There were no problems with it. It was just this huge engine.” This heart weighed 22 pounds. You know to whom it belonged.

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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.


Monday
May 2
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXII
Issue 2
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closing out "hard questions"


First, I'd like to again apologize for skipping a few days with this, the final installment of "Hard Questions".

When I initially planned out the series, I completely whiffed on the fact that Friday, April 29 was the morning after the NFL Draft. Around here, the Draft is king and takes the spotlight, so I made the decision to hold off on Part 5 of "Hard Questions" and use it in today's edition.

Thanks again to Mark Emerson for approaching me almost six months ago and lighting the fire for this series. I did my best to put it off, but his persistence won out in the end. And, looking back now, I enjoyed doing it, despite my initial skepticism.

It won't become an annual thing, though. The past is the past. This one trip down memory lane was fun, but I'll be moving forward from here on out, maybe even having some "new" radio news to deliver to you sometime this week. Stay tuned...

And with that, let's get to Monday, May 2, and Part 5 of "Hard Questions".

Mark: "OK, you can 'fess up now, who was Merton from Indianapolis?"

DF: "I have no idea. You could be him for all I know. Someone once told me he used to call talk shows as far back as the 1980's with that same shtick. I don't remember the first time he called in and spoke with me, but I always enjoyed his involvement in the show."

Mark: "I don't think everyone around town felt that way. He could really wear on you, especially if you were an old Colts fan."

DF: "Which, I was. I went to a lot of Colts games with my Dad in the 1970's and 1980's.

I wasn't always cool with how personal Merton got, and there were a couple of occasions where I had to tell Glenn or Luke or whoever was producing, "The next time he calls in, tell him to gear it town a notch with some of the personal stuff about other callers", but I prided myself on letting anyone call the show and have a role as long as they weren't getting me in trouble with the FCC."

Mark: "And he never did that?"

DF: "No, no. Not even close. He said a lot of things that aggravated me and the listeners, but he never came close to saying something that would have the FCC at our door.

In the end, I think the same today that I thought back when I was doing the show. It was a gag, a skit. I don't think the guy was really from Indianapolis. He was probably in Owings Mills or Towson or Dundalk.

But if you took into consideration he was just a 3-minute caller in a 4-hour show and he was part of the craziness, he blended in perfectly."

Mark: "I'm disappointed. I thought maybe this was the moment when you revealed that you knew him and confessed that it was all organized on the inside at the station."

DF: "Nope. Never met him. Don't know him. But I had a bunch of great laughs with him over the years."

Mark: "What about Bob in Parkville, he's real, right?"

DF: "Yes, yes, very much so. But he doesn't live in Parkville anymore. Bob's a staple among Baltimore talk shows, and not just sports, either. I've heard him on different stations over the years talking current events, politics and so on.

I always enjoyed hearing from Bob. He could get a little redundant and long-winded at times, but he reminded me so much of my Dad, who passed away in 2003, that I always left him as sort of an ode to my father and all the Dads out there who were feisty and opinionated like mine was, and like Bob in Parkville is.

Bob has great passion about sports, which is really all you want from a caller. He brings his "A game" nearly every time he calls. It makes the show better."

Mark: "I know you're aware of this because I've seen you comment on it before, but your former boss no longer takes phone calls from listeners because he says it brings down the quality of the show. I assume you're against that theory?"

DF: "Of course. I mean, a talk radio show is supposed to bring the community togther. How can you bring the community together if you exclude the community from participating?

The average person listening to a talk show of any kind is more than capable of rendering a thoughtful opinion or, perhaps, even having more knowledge about the subject at hand than the person behind the mic who is hosting the show.

If I, as the host, can't coax a dozen or so "quality calls" -- if that's the goal, I think labeling the callers like that is kind of silly, personally -- from the people listening to me over four hours, maybe I'm the problem. That's how I would look at it, I think.

Let's be honest, the host is generally serving as the show's moderator or facillitator. Nothing more. When you have a guest on from the NHL Network to talk about the hockey playoffs, you're not bringing that person on the show to trump him or her with YOUR knowledge of the sport. You're bringing them on because they, by nature, are supposed to know more than you do about the league, the players and the playoffs. And when they share that wisdom with the audience, you have "a quality guest".

So, this notion that the talk show host has to be the smartest guy/girl in the room is a fallacy. People come on the air all the time who have more knowledge than the host(s), including, sometimes, even the callers who chime in on a certain subject.

Any talk show host who thinks they're inherently smarter than EVERY caller or guest who will call their show that day or night is wrong. Plain and simple, they're wrong."

Mark: "Who's the best radio sport talk personality in Baltimore?"

DF: "Wow, that's a doozy. I have no idea. I'm not even sure how to judge that contest.

I don't know what "best" even entails. Are we talking about who's the best interviewer? Who's the best with the callers? Who knows the most about sports? Who follows the local teams more closely than anyone else?"

Mark: "Who's the best? Let me put it this way. You start your own radio station and there's an expansion draft of all the on-air talent in town and you're allowed to take any one person you want. Who would it be?"

DF: "OK, I can do that. I've always been very partial to Ken Weinman. I think he's very well rounded, and if someone calls in about golf or hockey he'll be the first one to say, "Look, I don't really follow those sports all that much, but I'll try to have a conversation with you about it." But, overall, I think he's as good on the air as anyone I've heard anywhere.

I don't know Ken at all. He worked briefly at my former station a couple of years before I got there, but he had some sort of flare up with the owner and that was the end of that.

But I listened to him quite a bit when he was doing an evening show on 105.7 and I thought he was an excellent host. Fair with the callers, opinionated enough to keep you tuned in, and still somewhat of a homer for the Baltimore teams, which is cool, too."

He'd be my first draft choice."

Mark: "Are you happy with Drew's Morning Dish?"

DF: "Yes, of course. I'll still contend it's a work-in-progress, but we're making strides every day. I equate DMD to a golf swing. It's never perfect. There's always something to work on or improve.

But, yes, I'm happy with it at this point, no doubt. There wasn't really a model to follow back on August 25th, 2014, when the first edition came out on that Monday morning. No one in town has a website just like this one, so I didn't have a blueprint to consider.

We've definitely done a lot of flying by the seat of our pants, that's for sure.

There are several team-related sites who all do an excellent job. Tony Lombardi's site, ProFootball24x7.com is the best one in Baltimore for covering the Ravens. Orioles Hangout and Camden Chat are both strong sites for baseball fans in town. But none of them do what I set out to have Drew's Morning Dish do, because they're covering teams specifically and I'm more interested in daily discourse about anything going on in the world of sports.

And the people who market with us and advertise on the site are the lifeblood of the whole venture. Without the corporate partners, I'm doing something else for a living. And I'm very aware of that, so I do my best to make sure they're happy with their investment and that they see a return on the dollars they spend.

It's my job to get the corporate partners connected with MY community. That's how it becomes the "people helping people" theory that I brought up on the day I launched the site. I'll give you a website to visit every day -- one that I hope you like. I'll bring some corporate partners along who will market to you -- and their involvement means you won't have to pay a nickel for the content. And you visit the site as often as you can and if the opportunity presents itself to use one of corporate partners, please simply mention to them that you saw their ad at Drew's Morning Dish and that you appreciate their involvement with DMD.

Everyone wins in that scenario."

Mark: "What's your dream job?"

DF: "If you mean, dealing with reality, what's my dream job as opposed to like, playing on the PGA Tour, which is my not-in-reality dream job?

Mark: "Yes, realistically, do you have a dream job waiting for you?

DF: "I'd probably like to write for The Golf Channel's website, or Golf.com, or any one of the sites that has a little bit of artistic and content freedom that allows for thoughtful opinion-based pieces on stories circulating on the PGA Tour. Short story, my dream job would be covering the PGA Tour for a living, I suppose."

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o's get "sold" (like everyone else does) in sunday finale, 7-1


Chris Sale cruised through 5.1 innings of work on Sunday at Camden Yards and limited the O's to five hits and one earned run as the White Sox earned a series split with a 7-1 win.

Sale is now 6-0 on the year with a sparkling 1.66 ERA. He didn't have his best stuff on Sunday, walking four hitters in addition to allowing five base hits, but it was plenty good enough to keep the O's off the scoreboard while Chicago built up a 6-0 lead after a 5-run top of the 5th inning.

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Off to the best start of his career, Chris Sale is now 6-0 on the year after yesterday's 7-1 win over the O's.

Ubaldo Jimenez went 4.2 innings for the Orioles, allowing seven hits and six earned runs while falling to 1-3 on the year.

Nolan Reimold singled in the only Baltimore run in the bottom of the 6th.

Manny Machado was the only Oriole with two hits in the game. Mark Trumbo struck out three times on the day, while Reimold, Chris Davis and Jonathan Schoop whiffed twice.

J.J. Hardy fouled a ball off of his foot in the 5th inning and wasn't able to take his spot at shortstop in the 6th. Machado moved to short and Pedro Alvarez was inserted as the third baseman for Buck Showalter's team.

Closer Zach Britton, who suffered an ankle injury on Saturday night, showed up at the ballpark on crutches and in a walking boot on Sunday, but says his injury still remains "day to day" and that a trip to the disabled list isn't imminent.

The O's are off today before welcoming the Yankees for their first visit of the season this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Camden Yards. The Yankees come to town at 8-15 and in last place in the A.L. East, having just been swept in a weekend series at Boston.

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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.


Before I get into a full review of the Ravens' draft, let me echo what Drew said yesterday: The commentary surrounding the NFL Draft process, specifically from fans and fan centered websites, has become completely ridiculous.

Everyone gets invested in players they had barely, if even, heard of just months ago, and blow up minor differences in prospect quality into seemingly world important issues. The explosion of interest in the scouting combine has only made things worse, with ultimately minor differences in "measurables" now convincing fans that some players are better than they are, and downgrading the ratings of others.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the explosion of anger over the Ravens' second round pick.

It started predictably enough, when they traded away the chance to draft Myles Jack, who has become an object of fixation with a bunch of bloggers and fans over the past couple of months.

There's more to it than 40 times and combine stats

Jack himself is a great illustration of the problems with a lot of pre-draft commentary, and how the fixation on 40 times and other combine stats have distorted everyone's perception of prospect status. Is Jack a great athlete? Absolutely. Is he a great football player? Maybe, but he certainly isn't a perfect player, and has flaws no matter where he plays

As an edge rusher he doesn't show great bend or technique in rushing the passer, and as a middle linebacker he often isn't strong in taking on and shedding blocks and fighting to the ball carrier. He made up for that with all of that athleticism in college, but that doesn't always work in the NFL.

Proponents basically argued that he'd be like having a safety playing linebacker, ignoring all of his deficiencies when it comes to actually playing linebacker in the pros. This gets hand-waved away by invoking my least favorite word to enter the glossary of draft speech in recent years: "versatility."

Like Jalen Ramsey, the other obsession of local "draftniks" in recent months, Jack is a "versatile defender," which seems to be a polite way of saying "I don't actually know what position he's going to be good at playing...but look at those vertical jump numbers and that wingspan!!!!"

And that's putting aside that no one cursing the Ravens for passing on the guy who fell out of the first round entirely has actually seen the guy's medical reports, so they have no way of properly considering the actual risk factor in the pick.

But at least Jack was a consensus top ten talent before the injury concern came out, and thus the frustration at passing on him in the second round can be understood. If you're red-faced angry because the Ravens drafted Kamelei Correa instead of Noah Spence, then you really need to consider limiting your football intake to the actual games and stay away from the offseason altogether, because the NFL Draft just can't be good for your health.

Look, on a personal level, Noah Spence was probably my favorite player in this draft. I loved him at Ohio State, and at one point thought he was going to be better than Joey Bosa. I was disappointed when his personal problems got him kicked out of the Big Ten, and really happy that he got his life in order and was still a top draft prospect.

I've written that Spence might be the best pure pass rusher in the draft, and that's totally defensible. He has excellent pass rush moves already, and a ton of speed and quickness to the outside. But he's not perfect or without major on-field problems as well.

He doesn't use his hands well when he's engaged with blockers, and thus he's a do-or-die rusher who has to beat his man on the first move or he's basically out of the play. In addition, Spence has virtually no power rush at all, and is actually surprisingly lacking in power at the point of attack altogether.

Correa could be the real deal

Correa, for his part, is more athletic than Spence, stronger, better at setting the edge in the run game, and is a raw athlete in need of refinement -- but has a lot of upside. Like Spence, he has a legitimate claim to being called the best edge rush prospect in the draft as well, and the notion that Spence is clearly a better prospect than Correa and that the Ravens are idiots for not taking him is ridiculous, and probably born out of nothing more than people reading a few early mock drafts that projected Spence as a top 10 or 15 pick.

Frankly, I blame the Ravens and their constant repetition of the "best player available" mantra for this state of affairs too. It's not so much that their approach is wrong, but the simplistic way it's been presented leads to a lot of poor understanding of how you actually go about getting value on draft day. And that, value, is actually the primary thing you're looking for when making selections.

Case in point: Ronnie Stanley. Was he the "best player available" at the sixth pick? Probably not. Even if we set Laremy Tunsil aside for a second, my own board had DeForest Buckner as the second best prospect in the entire draft.

So that makes Stanley a bad pick, right? Not at all, because Stanley easily represented more value at the pick than Buckner, unless you strongly believe the latter is a generational talent.

Simply put, this draft was incredibly deep with defensive linemen and pass rushers, so deep that the Ravens drafted a player who could easily be a better pass rusher than Buckner, at the same position, a whopping 63 picks after Buckner came off the board.

All of the quality offensive tackles, by contrast, were off the board entirely after the Lions picked Taylor Decker with the 16th overall pick. So, long story short, the Ravens had a lot of chances to draft quality pass rushers, but the early first round was their only chance to make a significant impact at the left tackle position.

There's a really strong case to be made that Stanley was a much better value at the selection than Buckner would have been.

It's also important to remember that just ranking every player from one to whatever is entirely oversimplified, and that for most spots on the board you have a dozen or so guys who are basically comparable in overall value individually.

So, going back to Drew's point yesterday, making "hot takes" about individual players and how awesome they are now is the wrong way to go about draft analysis.

Let's wait a year or two before we judge these rookies

You really don't know how good any one player is going to be, because almost all of these guys still have real work to do in developing, both from a skill standpoint and just in the physical development of their bodies.

Remember, the group of fans that follow the draft most closely were absolutely over the moon when the Ravens traded up in the second round to get Arthur Brown back in 2013, and thought that draft (which included Matt Elam in the first round) was a clear home run for the team.

This year, just for example, if Bronson Kaufusi fills out his 6'7" frame a bit more and develops some power in the lower body, he could easily end up being a more productive player than Buckner in three or four years, especially if Buckner doesn't learn to play low more consistently or develop some plus moves.

In the long run, development is far more important than just picking the guys with the most potential because, to state the obvious, potential isn't worth anything if it doesn't translate to results. When it comes only to making the picks you own on draft day, the only thing that matters is value at those selections.

So with that in mind, you can put me in the group who thinks the Ravens did really well this weekend.

No, they didn't get this year's version of Amari Cooper, but finding the Rookie of the Year isn't anywhere close to being the most important thing about the draft.

When you stack up all of their picks, what you do see is that they drafted a lot of very good athletes, and definitely made themselves a faster team, particularly in the defensive front seven.

They also drafted a number of high upside players who could be stars in a few seasons, as well as finding mid-round picks like Tavon Young and Kenneth Dixon who should contribute meaningfully this season.

Most of all, however, they got excellent value at each one of their picks in the first five rounds, save maybe for potentially overdrafting Cincinnati wide receiver Chris Moore. That's really all you can ask for out of draft weekend, and if you do that consistently and have coaches who can mold these guys into good pros, you're going to have drafts that look really good four or five years down the road.

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#dmd's weekend lacrosse review


Game of the Week: Maryland 11 - Johns Hopkins 8

I'll take credit for getting the score right and how the game played out (including a decent run at the record for shot clocks) but there were some things which occurred that didn't necessarily play out to the script I wrote. Let's take a look at the deciding factors:

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Kyle Bernlohr made several game-changing stops on Saturday at Homewood Field as Maryland won the B1G regular season title with an 11-8 win over Hopkins.

"BURN-lore" - Did the Terps Kyle Bernlohr have a great stats day saving only 7 and allowing 8? No. Did he make some of the most spectacular saves of the season? Yes he did! Whether it was stopping Ryan Brown missiles or point blank shots on the crease, Bernlohr showed the poise and cat-like reflexes that make him an All-American goalie. Several of those saves were back-breaking momentum killers for the Blue Jays and he was clearly in Hopkins shooter's heads who only put 15 of 35 shots on cage.

Pick Your Poison - As noted, the Terps can beat you with anyone as the starting attack of Rambo, Heacock and Maltz finished with 6 goals (2 a piece) and 1 assist while the starting midfield of West, Cole, and Kelly finished with 4 goals and 5 assists. The offense was patient and almost seemed like they were waiting for the shot clock before they went to work with more than a few goals scored with the 30-second timer on, picking apart the Blue Jay defense when it had to.

Slop-kins - On offense, the Blue Jays committed 12 turnovers as the Terps either forced them on the face-offs, attacked Hopkins clears (allowing only 10 of 13) or just in their regular defense. This sloppiness erased Hopkin's 17 of 22 face-off advantage. Hopkins' Brock Turnbaugh was doing well in the cage, (11 saves on 11 goals allowed), but his defense didn't do him many favors as several early slides and no second slides left Terps wide open on the back side of the crease allowing for easy slam dunk goals.

Next up: Both teams are at Hopkins Homewood Field this week for the B1G Tournament as the Terps face Penn State while the Blue Jays get a rematch with Rutgers.

Local Games --

#12 Towson 8 - Hofstra 7 - Towson puts on an excellent defensive performance, holding Hofstra to just 23 shots and forcing 7 turnovers. Joe Seider comes up big in this close contest with 3 goals. The Tigers host the CAA Tournament and will play #4 seed Drexel, who won their last 2 conference games to make the tournament, on Thursday at 5pm.

#10 Loyola 14 - Army 6 - Freshman Pat Spencer has a field day against the Black Knights including 5 goals and 5 assists to help crown Loyola as Patriot League Champs. As with the regular season contest, the Greyhounds went ahead early in the first quarter and kept pouring it on offensively and defensively. With the losses in the Top 10 this week, Loyola now has a great chance of hosting a 1st round NCAA tournament game.

#5 Albany 15 - UMBC 14 OT - Apparently, the Retrievers didn't get the memo about this being an easy game for the Great Danes as UMBC overcomes a 6-goal deficit in the 4th quarter to force overtime, only to come up short in OT. Nate Lewnes was a monster, delivering 10 goals in the Retrievers season finale.

St. Josephs 12 - Mount St. Marys 5 - St. Joes hangs 10 on the Mount in the first half and the NEC Conference leaders never looked back. The Mount's season ends with a record of 6-8. A slight improvement over the 5-10 season from the previous year.

The Big Picture:

#7 Syracuse 14 - #14 Duke 8 - Duke had cut the Syracuse lead down to 9-8 with 7 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Then the monsoons hit forcing the game to be delayed a few hours. After which, the Orange rained an additional 5 scores down on the Blue Devils.

#1 Denver 14 - #18 Marquette 11 - In another snowy game in Denver, the Pioneers open up a 6 goal lead after being tied at half to cruise to victory.

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

#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.


Sunday
May 1
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only thing predictable about the draft is that it's unpredictable


One of the oddest days of the sporting year is the one that follows the NFL Draft.

That's the day where folks look at the roster of players who were just selected by their favorite NFL team and then decide, on the spot, whether or not that team had a "good draft" or a "bad draft".

And no one has played a game for money yet. Well, I probably should re-word that, if you know what I mean...

None of those players selected have played a game at the pro level, let's put it that way.

And yet, folks are doling out grades and assumptions on an effort that might literally take three or four years to mature.

Let's give everyone a chance to play, first

It's kind of like ranking your chances of marrying a woman after one date. There's a lot of ground to cover between night number one with her and walking down the aisle. You think you might have the right one, but only time will tell.

The Rams wouldn't have picked Jared Goff if they didn't think he has the goods to be a top level quarterback in the NFL. But, as we've all seen over the last decade or so, Goff could turn out to be Aaron Rodgers or he could become Kyle Boller. One of those Cal quarterbacks came into the league with a high profile and high ceiling and is still playing. The other is on a beach somewhere looking at YouTube videos of that time he played well against the Vikings.

As for the Ravens, it appears the overall consensus around town is that the team's draft lacked "sizzle".

Mike Preston of The Sun wrote on Saturday that Ozzie Newsome has lost his "drafting nerve", no longer willing to make a daring selection or take a player that might represent a gamble on the team's part.

Preston basically called Newsome a chicken, perhaps because Ozzie and Company didn't select pot-smoking-video-star Laremy Tunsil with the sixth pick on Thursday night.

The Ravens were always going to take Ronnie Stanley, I believe, but here's what I really know about the whole process. It makes no sense, none at all, for the Ravens or any team in the NFL to make a public comment on why they chose player "A" over player "B", or who they were considering at a certain spot in the draft, or anything else about their drafting decisions.

Any information a team distributes about the way they draft players can be used against them next April. Oh, and don't forget, you have players on your team that you went ahead and drafted AND, you have players on other teams that you passed on who will someday play against you or, perhaps, even play FOR you, as well.

Mike Wallace is a perfect example of this. When the Steelers drafted him in the 3rd round in 2009, who knew that he'd someday play in Baltimore? No one, of course.

But, what if in the draft aftermath that spring someone would have asked Newsome about Wallace's selection by Pittsburgh and Ozzie would have said, "Honestly, we didn't value that player in the least. We checked him out, but were really unimpressed."

How would that have affected Wallace's decision to join the Ravens this past off-season if the team's general manager, albeit seven years ago, would have said something dumb like that to the media?

And how would it have made Ronnie Stanley feel yesterday to read a quote from Newsome that said, "Yeah, well, we really wanted Tunsil. He rated out much higher (insert joke here) than Stanley, but when the video surfaced, we decided to go with the inferior player, so we took Stanley instead."

No one within the Ravens front office is going to leak, hint or otherwise disperse information about the team's drafting board that could rattle the players they just selected. With all due respect to Adam Schefter, Mike Mayock or any of the other "professionals" who have said this weekend that the Ravens were going to take Tunsil until the video surfaced, I call shenanigans on those "reports". That news would simply NEVER come from the Ravens.

There's nothing to be gained from doing anything except praising the players you just picked.

And there's certainly nothing to be gained from "grading" the draft when none of the players have played a game in the NFL yet.

Let's grade the 2016 draft in 2019

I get it, it's a way to fill a few stories and kill four hours of talk radio, so somewhere in there lies a sliver of value.

But you can watch video and highlights of any player and try to translate them into what he's going to do in the NFL and all you're doing is guessing.

It sure looks like Ronnie Stanley knows what he's doing.

It also appeared as if Michael Oher was going to be a rock star in the NFL, and he wound up being half-a-dud by the time the Ravens wished him farewell after five seasons.

I've participated in a lot of goofy "made for media" stuff over the years. Game predictions, season predictions, daily fantasy sports...I've done it all. But I can proudly say I've never once issued a "grade" for a team's draft.

Give me an "A" for effort on that one, I suppose.

I've just never understood how we can judge the draft before the players have ever taken a snap in the NFL.

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caps sleepwalk through 2-1 loss to penguins


A handful of late quality scoring chances that went by the wayside came back to haunt the Capitals last night, and Eric Fehr beat his former team with the game-winning goal, as Pittsburgh evened the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals with a 2-1 win at Verizon Center on Saturday night.

Washington's play over the game's first forty minutes was wildy uninspiring, as the Penguins dominated the first two periods but held only a flimsy 1-0 lead heading into the final twenty minutes.

A Marcus Johansson power play goal early in the 3rd period gave the Caps life, and they actually held the better of the play for the next ten minutes or so.

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Eric Fehr came back to haunt his old team last night, scoring the game-winner in D.C. as the Penguins tied the series at 1-1 with a 2-1 win over the Caps.

But, within minutes of one another, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Alex Ovechkin and Mike Richards all missed glorious scoring opportunities, and just seconds after the Richards gaffe from close range, Fehr re-directed a Evgeni Malkin pass over the shoulder of Braden Holtby and that turned out to be the game's final goal.

Richards was wide open in front of the goal with the game on his stick and couldn't deliver. And you knew, then, that a miss like that would probably come back to haunt the Caps.

The loss also included a pretty nasty cheap shot from Washington's Brooks Orpik, who leveled Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta with a vicious hit to the head early in the first period.

Orpik was also the guy defending Fehr when he was able to dink the game-winner past Holtby with 4:28 left in the game, a fitting justification for the Caps defenseman who will perhaps be suspended by the NHL for the blow-to-the-head on Maatta, who didn't return for the rest of the night and is questionable for Monday's Game 3.

Holtby was his usual stellar self in net, making 33 saves and keeping the Caps in the game in the second period when Pittsburgh threw everything at him but the kitchen sink.

On the other end, 21-year old Matt Murray, who played just 13 regular season games, overcame his Game 1 nerves and turned in a more-than-respectable Game 2 effort despite only facing 24 shots on goal. Murray made a handful of superb saves in the 3rd period when the Caps finally decided to break a sweat, keeping Pittsburgh in the game long enough for Fehr's heroics with under five minutes to play.

The Caps' offense continues to stumble and bumble, with Ovechkin getting gobs of chances every night, but no pucks in the back of the net. At least The Great Eight is involved, which is more than can be said for Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky and Justin Williams.

Kuznetsov led the team in regular season scoring and has been a complete no-show in the team's eight playoff games to date. I hope David Copperfield returns him to the team in time for Monday's Game 3 in Pittsburgh.

Burakovsky scored 17 goals in the regular season and has one tally thus far in the eight post-season contests thus far, while Williams -- with 22 regular season tallies -- has been woefully inept at both ends of the ice vs. the Flyers and Penguins.

Truthfully, only Johansson, Backstrom and Ovechkin have been consistent contributors offensively, and we all know -- based on history -- that Backstrom has the ability to disappear at any given moment.

On the plus side, Matt Niskanen and Karl Alzner were both terrific in Game 2 and have both been ultra-solid in the eight playoff games this April. Niskanen was particularly outstanding in last night's 2-1 loss, breaking up more than a handful of odd-man rushes and 2-on-1 opportunities when the Penguins took the play to the Caps throughout the middle period.

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britton injured in 8-7 loss to white sox


You'll have to forgive O's skipper Buck Showalter if he doesn't care much about losing 8-7 to the White Sox on Saturday night.

There's something more at stake for his team this morning.

Orioles closer Zach Britton suffered an ankle injury -- at first blush, it looked really serious -- that the team is now deeming a "day-to-day" situation, and his 9th inning replacement, Vance Worley, gave up a game-winning single to Jose Abreu as the Birds fell at Camden Yards for just the second time in eleven home games so far in 2016.

Britton's injury overshadowed what was a rather strange game from start to finish.

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The injury to closer Zach Britton is far more concerning than last night's 8-7 loss to the White Sox.

It included the ejection of White Sox manager Robin Ventura in the 3rd inning, who argued about a challenge that wasn't reversed and got the heave-ho with his team up 3-1. Honestly, I think Ventura was right to bark like he did. It sure looked to me like Manny Machado grabbed the leg of Chicago second baseman Brett Lawrie as he was about to make a throw to first base that very well might have resulted in a triple play for the visitors.

Speaking of the third inning, adding to the game's weirdness was a three-minute juncture that included Jonathan Schoop failing to come up with three balls that virtually any major leaguer or minor leaguer would have easily collected.

An off-target throw from Manny Machado somehow slipped past Schoop, who was stationed at second base and poised to start an inning-ending double play. The ensuing throw back into the infield from Mark Trumbo then grazed off of Schoop's glove and bounded into shallow left field, but no runners were able to advance. And moments later, a ball blooped just over Schoop's head bounced off of his glove for a run-scoring error as the White Sox increased their advantage to 3-1.

It was almost like Schoop lost a contact lens or something and couldn't see the ball well. It was that strange and that obvious that something wasn't right.

The second baseman would atone for that Keystone Cops episode with his 3rd home run of the season in the 4th inning that tied the game at 3-3.

Chicago then bloodied Darren O'Day in the top of the 8th, as the usually-reliable Baltimore set-up man squandered a 5-4 lead and surrendered a RBI single to Abreu and a 2-run homer to Todd Frazier that staked the White Sox to a 7-5 lead.

That lasted all of about ten minutes, as Chris Davis plated two runs in the bottom half of the eighth with a double to deep centerfield. Joey Rickard popped out to right to end the inning, leaving Britton to come in for the top of the ninth.

After retiring the first two batters on strikeouts, Britton bounded off the mound in an effort to field a bunt from Adam Eaton, but the closer landed awkwardly and fell to the ground, hobbling off under the assistance of the team's training staff.

Worley couldn't get the third out, or at least not until Chicago went ahead 8-7. He walked Carlos Sanchez, which moved Eaton to second, and then Abreu delivered the game-winning single to break Baltimore's modest three game-winning streak.

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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 wrap up draft with busy saturday


The Ravens were busy on the final day of the draft, with eight total selections on Saturday, five of which came in the fourth round alone.

Rather than make a big to do of analyzing every aspect of all of these late round picks, I'm just going to provide a brief overview of each selection.

Tavon Young, CB Temple: It takes them until the fourth round, but right off the bat they grab a cornerback, the glaring omission from the draft's early rounds. Young is undersized at 5'9" and 180 pounds, but he's quick with good ball skills, and should compete as a nickel back right away.

Chris Moore, WR Cincinnati: A receiver with 4.5 speed, he's a complete one trick pony all the same. Showed a lot of skill at hauling in the deep ball in college, but he won't get the free releases he's accustomed to at the next level, and his footwork, hip turns, and route running are all below average, plus he doesn't do much in special teams. Don't expect much of anything out of him in 2016, but he could develop into a weapon over time.

Alex Lewis, OT Nebraska: Played LT in college, but lacks the foot speed, balance, and athleticism for the position in the pros. Has the length to play outside on the right, but could also make his living at guard. He's pure depth for now, but with Eugene Monroe all but officially gone, he's an upgrade on James Hurst, and could really be worth something if forced into action at guard.

Willie Henry, DT Michigan: A hybrid lineman who could play 3 or 5 technique, Henry has a lot of raw ability that just needs to be refined. Good quickness and natural athleticism, his fundamentals are subpar across the board. Doesn't keep his body square in pursuit, gets cut down too often at the line, and gets caught leaning and putting his head down at the point of attack. These are all coachable flaws, however, and while Henry may be the one of the least valuable fits in terms of need for the Ravens, their long history of developing defensive linemen from the middle rounds makes this an impossible pick to hate.

Kenneth Dixon, RB Lousiana Tech: The Ravens backfield is getting really crowded, and at least a couple of the current backs won't be with the team when camp ends, but it's hard to pass up on Dixon sitting here all the same. The first thing you notice about him is his great skills as a receiver out of the backfield, not merely catching and running but going downfield, showing great body control, and coming down with balls not many backs have a real shot at. He'll have a chance to be the team's 3rd down back right away, but he also shows exceptional vision that fits perfectly in the Ravens' zone running scheme. Don't be surprised if he's the number one guy on the depth chart before the season ends.

Matt Judon, DE Garden Valley State: Led all collegiate players in sacks last year...but has a long way to go to get anywhere near that level in the pros. Relied on pure athleticism in college, and comes in lacking in basically all areas of technique. Doesn't control his hip level or use his hands well at all, he's a pure project, but one with good athleticism and a great natural feel for hunting the quarterback.

Keenan Reynolds, QB/WR Navy: A local favorite and the NCAA all time record holder for touchdowns scored, Reynolds was an option quarterback in college and will attempt to transition into a slot receiver and kick returner role. I don't expect much, if anything, from him early on given that he's changing to an entirely new position, but he does have the athleticism and playmaking ability with the ball to make it work and be a productive role player once he gets some work in from the new position. If he adjusts to it quickly, he might make the active roster as a returner.

Maurice Canady, CB Virginia: Tall and long, Canady has the frame of a pro corner, but doesn't have great speed, quickness, or fluidity. Gets beat over the top often, and isn't comfortable backpedaling with receivers because of it. Decent depth as injury insurance, but lacks speed and toughness to make me think he's any kind of diamond in the rough kind of player here.


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.


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O's SCOREBOARD
Sunday, October 1st
Orioles
0

Rays
6
WP: B. Bell (5-7)

LP: K. Gausman (11-12)

HR: Casali (1)

RECORD/PLACE: 75-87, 5th place