Thursday
June 30
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIII
Issue 30
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three months in and our orioles are as good as anyone


Don't look now, but that lead in the American League East is starting to swell. The Orioles are on quite a roll.

Taking full advantage of the schedule maker's kindness by facing the hapless Padres four times in a week, the Birds crushed San Diego -- again -- on Wednesday afternoon, 12-6, moving Baltimore to 47-30 on the year.

Toronto and Boston are now 5.5 games behind and the Yankees, who pulled off a startling six-run, ninth inning comeback last night, are nine games back and fading faster than the Counting Crowns did after their debut album, August and Everything After.

The Orioles have the better part of a month to decide how active they want to be at the trade deadline. This is where Dan Duquette makes his money.

There's always a train of thought, particularly when you're rolling along and humming nicely with what you have, that changing things up just for the sake of changing them isn't going to help. And it could wind up hurting you, in fact.

Not having to play both Cleveland and Texas is important

In the O's case, they clearly need another starting pitcher (or two) and potentially even another left-handed bat. Pedro Alvarez has been OK -- nothing more -- so someone to swing from that side of the plate might not be a bad idea. But here's hoping the Birds don't give up something of real value to get this year's version of Gerardo Parra, who was a zero here as a 2-month rental last season.

As is usually the case with teams looking to improve at the trade deadline, the Birds will be scrounging for a starting pitcher this month. They don't have much on the farm to give in return, so the odds are pretty decent that they won't be landing a top-notch starter with a couple of years left on his contract.

Not to look ahead too far, but since that's what we do around here, I'll go ahead and do it.

Finishing first overall in the American League will really have its advantages in October. If current form holds true for the next three months, it will be Baltimore, Cleveland and Texas winning the division and a host of others battling it out for the two wild card berths and the one game playoff.

Cleveland has a very good team, as their current 12-game win streak shows. They have four good-to-very-good starting pitchers and a workmanlike club that wins a lot of games by simply outpitching the other team and scraping together four or five runs themselves.

If you believe in the run-differential stat, the Indians are the team to beat in the American League. They're at +91 runs scored vs. runs allowed through 77 games.

Texas has good starting pitching as well, although it's not of Cleveland's ilk at this point. They do have more offensive firepower than the Indians, though they've only scored 17 more runs than Cleveland and they've played two more games to do it.

The message with those teams? You'd prefer not to play one of them in the first round of the playoffs if at all possible.

That's why this month of July is super-critical for the Orioles. If they can stay comfortably ahead in the East, they'll have real reason to try and make a big move or two at the deadline and bolster the club's pitching staff for the stretch run.

I don't see any reason to fiddle with the lineup. Yes, we have a wart or two, particularly in left field, where the combination of Hyun Soo Kim and Nolan Reimold is by far the team's weakest position point. But even those blemishes can be covered up by the offense, and Kim himself has improved by leaps and bounds at the plate over the last 50 games.

If you look at the history of playoff baseball, one thing consistently stands out: Good pitching beats good hitting.

You've heard that phrase before, no doubt, and it's etched in the mind of anyone who follows baseball closely. The mashers typically get silenced come playoff time.

That's why the Orioles need another starter or two.

Don't leave it up to Jimenez, Wright and Wilson

It could turn out that Yovani Gallardo becomes one of those de facto additions, simply because he missed all of May and most of June with shoulder issues. If he has a productive July and re-establishes himself as a quality starter, that's one less trade the Birds have to make at the deadline.

A starting three of Tillman, Gausman and Gallardo isn't half-bad, though Gausman remains the mystery out of that group.

After that, the O's don't have much, obviously. Jimenez is no good and the other two -- Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson -- aren't a whole lot better. If one of those three guys are your #5 starter come playoff time, that might be OK, because they won't see much starting action.

Getting another starter, someone who can be the #4 at worst, is paramount for the Orioles.

And so, too, is finishing first in the American League.

If Cleveland and Texas face one another in the first round, that eliminates a very good team and, more importantly, subtracts one that you don't have to face in the post-season.

There's still lots of baseball left. I'll keep saying that over and over until the dust settles in early October. But now is the time for the Orioles to be proactive and get a piece or two that can help them reach the World Series for the first time since 1983.

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is every baseball division race going to be a blowout?


Here we are about to enter the month of July and all six division races are on the verge of being blowouts.

A team or two will falter and a few others will get red-hot over the last three months, so don't expect this trend to continue, but the fact is that right now, no division race is all that close as we put a cap on the month of June.

In the A.L. West, it's looking like the Texas Rangers are going to cruise-control their way to the division title, although it's worth reminding everyone that Houston had a similar advantage (10 games) last year in July and wound up petering out down the stretch and allowing Texas to catch and pass them on the final week of the regular season.

The Rangers currently lead the West by nine games, with Houston (42-37) now five games over .500 after a disastrous month of April.

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Reigning A.L. Cy Young winner Corey Kluber is just one of the reasons why Cleveland has jumped out to a 6-game lead in the A.L. Central.

In the A.L. Central, the Cleveland Indians have parlayed their current 12-game winning streak into a 6-game advantage over Kansas City and a 7.5 game edge on Detroit.

Cleveland looks like the team to beat at this point, but K.C. has endured a number of injuries so far this season and yet they're still hanging around. If they add an arm and a bat at the deadline, they could be a tough out in August and September.

The inevitable market correction the Indians will face at some point in the next 60 days should close the gap on the A.L. Central race, but Cleveland's starting pitching isn't a fluke. They should be able to hold on and win that division.

We all know what's happening in the A.L. East. The Orioles have separated themselves from the pack over the last 20 games and are really just now starting to hit their stride. Expect the Birds to win 96 games and cruise to their 2nd division title in three years.

That leaves the likes of Toronto, Boston, Kansas City, Detroit and Seattle to battle it out for the two wild card spots and the 1-game playoff to see who faces the team with the best record. There's no telling how that's going to turn out, but on pedigree alone, I like Toronto and Kansas City there.

The N.L. East has the Washington Nationals on top, with the surprising Marlins now 5.5 games back, followed by the Mets, six games behind. I don't see either of those two chasers catching the Nationals, though. A wild-card berth is the best they can hope for in Miami or New York.

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Can Jake Arrieta and the Cubs pitching staff hold on for the last three months of the regular season and send the Cubs to the World Series for the first time since 1908?

The Chicago Cubs still rule the N.L. Central, with a comfortable 11-game lead over the Cardinals. If you believe in that theory of "good pitching beats good hitting", Chicago is set up very nicely for a long playoff run in 2016. But because they're the Cubs, don't expect the playoffs to be a walk-in-the-park for Joe Maddon's team. Something is bound to come up...

The N.L. West race focuses on two things: Can the Giants add one more starting arm to their rotation and how serious is the back injury to L.A. superstar Clayton Kershaw?

San Francisco currently leads the division by six games over the Dodgers, who are still awaiting word on whether or not Kershaw has to make a trip to the disabled list.

L.A. is 14-2 in games started by Kershaw this season. And they're 29-35 without him. He can't start every game in the post-season, mind you, but with him the Dodgers have a chance and without him, they don't. Period.

If current form holds true, expect the Dodgers and perhaps either the Cardinals or Mets to grab the two wild card spots. From there, "pitching beats hitting" should hold true, again.

At least that's what Cubs fans are hoping for in Chicago.

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today is the last day to submit your application for #dmd's 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!

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only ten seats left on our springsteen bus, sept. 1 at nats park


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.

We have lower level and upper level seats left for the show.

Package prices for the two seating levels are:

$200 for upper 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.

If you're interested in purchasing one or more spots on our "Bruce Bus", just visit the top of the page here at #DMD and click on the "Bruce" tab. Payment information is there for you.

Any other questions about the trip/concert? You can reach me at: drew@drewsmorningdish.com



#dmd comments


George     June 29
@DF – Back from the vitamin store and jacked on B-12. Seems it was indeed exactly as you described. Mea culpa. It was one heck of an exhibition at Hayfields. Eger’s caddy had at least a two-shot distraction value, so you should have been low in the foursome that day. The woman caddying for the Sarge in the pro-am was his daughter Kelly. She travelled with him because the family expected him to collapse at any time because of heart problems. A wonderful and loving daughter. I see on Wikipedia he lived for five or six more years after Hillendale.

Thanks for setting me straight on your lowest rounds at various courses: -4 at Mt. Pleasant and -6 at Hayfields.

Josh     June 28
Drew,



Sounds like it's time for a DMD Challenge at The Mount! Something like $75 a golfer. A portion of proceeds to charity

M     June 28
Ball is a jerk of the highest proportion.



I hope his kid gets sent to the D League so we don't have to hear his loud mouth old man anymore.

Mike from Reisterstown     June 28
@DF - let us know who you are caddying for. I'm bringing the boys out on Friday and we'll try to follow you for a couple of holes.



When you shot that 66 at Hayfields, was that from the tips? If so, pretty damn impressive.

Jerry     June 28
DF, thanks for the caddy story at Caves Valley. I signed up. Hope to meet you out there on 7/12.

DF     June 28
Trying to catch up on a few comments directed at me.



@Tim -- No, I'm not PLAYING in the golf tournament at Caves Valley, I'm caddying in the pro am on Wednesday, July 12. You can, too. Information is in today's edition of #DMD (above).



@JR -- Nothing got deleted. A troll'ish attempt to try and create a stir. Nothing more.



@Chris B -- Can't imagine the Ravens are interested in him. If he didn't pass their physical in January how is he going to pass it in July? Just a guess, but I think they'll pass if, in fact, he does return to the NFL.

Chris Bennett     June 28
Hey Drew just curious what you think of the Zachary Orr situation. Any chance we get him back for this season?

JR     June 28
Did the thread get deleted as predicted?

DF     June 28
@George --



My old friend, you better get yourself checked in down there or increase your vitamin intake. Your memory has left you like my left-handed putting acumen left me. Overnight...



You indeed DID caddie for me at Hayfields. You know how I remember that? Two ways -- First, Eger (who was a professional at the time, not an amateur) had a late 20's female on his bag and she walked and you complained that I had you and my bag in a cart. ha ha



Second, the day before, I arranged for you to play in a Pro Am at Hillendale, where you played with Orville Moody and I caddied for you. Oddly enough, Moody also had a young lady of 30 or so on HIS bag. Must have been nice to be a former U.S. Open champ back in those days. ;)



Please note that my low Mount Pleasant score of 67 was a TOURNAMENT low. I shot lower than that just goofing around with you guys. But, yes, of the two (Hayfields and Mount Pleasant), the lower of my two scores would have occurred at Hayfields. But -- you're counting SCORE. Hayfields has four par 5's, remember...Mount Pleasant has two of them. And those Hayfields greens stay relatively the same throughout the day. At Mount Pleasant, you can have a six foot putt at 9:00 break right to left and then at 2:00 pm, it might break left to right. ha ha




George     June 28
@DF – You are getting old and your memory fails. It wasn’t me on the bag when you played with David Eger. I remember the round, so must have been in your gallery. But I KNOW it wasn’t me on the bag because I’d never, even jokingly, call someone who just shot 66 an amateur hack. And I seem to remember that David himself was an amateur at the time, wasn’t he?

This allows a slender opening to segue subtly back to Mt. Pleasant. I note you confessed previously here to a low of 67 in all the hundreds or perhaps thousands of rounds you played there, while you cruised around a course you played only infrequently in 66.

Curiouser and curiouser!

dazed and confused     June 28
I am definitely bewildered by the Brien comments, he did not even post an article today, did he?

Thatguy     June 28
10% of the time Brien has a point, 90% it is so poorly expressed, either cause of word choice, grammar, sentence structure, or just bad writing, hard to discern what he's saying.

Just my 2 cents

BR     June 28
The cheap shots at Brien are really getting old. Find someone else to pick on guys.

Steve in Hunt Valley     June 28
@Clayton, I still don't see what's wrong! But thank you for posting that anyway. I must be missing it.

Bob     June 28
Clayton, thank you. I misunderstood what you all were complaining about. I thought you were upset with bad grammar. I see now. Thanks again.

Clayton     June 28
Rich Bob Lincoln





"At this point it's almost a foregone conclusion that the former Super Bowl starter's career NFL career is over."





"What is unusual though is the passive aggressive campaign that the league, the media, have fans have waged against him in order to dance around the blatant fact that he's being run out of the league for his social activism."





"Tebow was certainly a cultural lightning rod to some, but worse from the perspective of a team he had a legion of obsessed fans and an entire major television network dedicated to trolling them with hyperbolic claims about his talent and constant demands to play him."

Tim     June 28
Drew is it true you are playing in the Senior golf championship at Caves Valley in July? My dad is marshaling and he wanted to know if you know what time you're playing. Good luck!

Lincoln     June 28
Rich, Bob:



There's nothing at all wrong with Brien's article today.



As is typically the case when I see critiques of him, they're off base and over the top.



He's clearly disliked by the masses here for reasons I'm not aware of, but today's article in particular is not worthy of this much complaining.

Bob     June 28
Glad @Rich said it first. I'd like to know what I'm missing with Brien's writing. I read it and it looks fine to me.

Rich     June 28
I will probably regret this but I consider my fairly well schooled and I don't see much of anything wrong with what Brien wrote today. Not trying to pick a fight here but if you're going to come to the site and critique is writing and blame him for being a poor writer you should at least point out the mistakes so we all know you're actually not full of hot air. I've read through it three times now and I don't see what's wrong with it. My 2 cents.

mike from catonsville     June 28
I forgot to mention, about 90% of the parents on "Friday Night Tykes".



Total worthless discussion but still think it's fun to point out knucklehead sports parents.

RJ     June 28
About 3 months ago the owner of DMD said that he was very in tune and was "caring" about the quality on his site. Obviously he was blowing smoke as many many errors still get through. Brien is an embarrassment when it comes to quality, please proof read his content. It is really difficult to get through and deserves the critiques it gets. People who point out the errors should be lauded not banned and censored. Threads will surely disappear today.

CJ     June 28
@Ghost

Right on. I have come to the conclusion that at this point anyone who mentions wrestling, follows it in any manner and is over the age of 16 has latent feelings for men in tights or is a intellectual moron. It shouldn't be something that grown men are into. That whole thing is odd. Fake, homo-erotic and insipid. All things that serious men should avoid. It is not sports. Eric the Midget loved wrestling and he had a IQ of 90.



As some have said there isn't much insight any longer, just spitballing. And Brien's columns are actually getting worse. That dude can't write, makes tons of errors and defends the indefensible. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. And we have yet to have proof that he ever had a byline on his claimed resume.



Who has the best record in the AL East the past 10 games? The Baltimore Orioles(tied). Another good week and do we see the new spit ball come out. "They just might be in this". They are contenders right now. Because their record says so. All of the teams have holes. The O's need their "have done it" guys get into form. We may be seeing signs.

HERMAN     June 28
We've entered that horrible time frame of sports hell where pro football is still in what feels like the distant future, and the distractions of the NBA and NHL championships are all done. All that's left is baseball and with the local team tanking that's nothing but frustration. All that's left is the British Open to distract from the humidity. These are the toughest days to have to crank out a daily column. They need to borrow from Bill Simmons, mix a little pop culture and daily life into the mix, human interest stuff. Keeps things fresh when the sports world runs dry. These are the dog days. Has training camp opened yet.........?

ghost of pgav/monk/ETC     June 28
Did we morph to the dark days already cause of the O’s slump? First the silly “winner contest” and now we get consecutive days of “Serena vs men”, “Kaeperdick” and now a non-story about this Ball guy (which BTW, how is he an “NBA problem”, and why would anyone “root against the Lakers” because his kid happens to play for them??).

Why not a little more on the O’s little streak other than “looks like TOR mailing it in”? They were declared dead long ago and now are just 2 games behind the O’s. Oh yea, O’s aren’t trying either. What happened to “sports insight and opinion”? Guess we’re focusing on opinion now, which would be fine if the topics were actually interesting. I for one would prefer to hear Drew’s take on things that matter, which I generally enjoy reading (esp the golf stuff). Oh well, SOD have at it


Cash Is King     June 28
90% of NBA players wish they had a dad who cared as much as Lonzo's dad. I agree, he is over the top and a blatant self promoter...but at least he was still raising his kids.

mike from catonsville     June 28
DMD needs to set up a contest for the worst parent(s) of all time.

Todd Marinovich

The Williams sisters

Earl Woods

The idiot Ball

Michelle Wie's dad





Looking for help from the DMD- certain there's plenty more these were just top of mind.

unitastoberry     June 28
Vince McMahon is a genious. Well minus his ill fated attempt to play pro football in yet another winter/ spring league with everyone thinking basketball,hockey,baseball etc. Maybe one day a billionaire will start a pro football league in the FALL on SUNDAYS. It worked for the AFL.

Tom J     June 28
Could not agree more about this A$$ Clown Ball. I have never wanted to see someone crash and burn more than him and his kids. It's one thing to be the crazy parent as the kid is the star, it's another when you want to be a bigger star than the kid.

Clayton     June 28
Ray ray: +1 . Probably the worst article ever to appear in print.

Ray ray     June 28
Does NO ONE proofread these articles? Brien Jackson's article is or should be embarrassing to the DMD.

George     June 27
Directors of companies have, by law, the responsibility to stockholders to make business decisions based on the bottom line. Failure to do so [by, e.g., making a decision that is moral but costs the corporation money] opens them to personal liability for breach of fiduciary duty.

Colin Kaepernick started 11 games for the 49ers in 2016. They lost 10 of them.

Forty-niners owner Jed York voiced support for what he mistakenly called Kaepernick’s constitutional right to kneel during the National Anthem, and donated large sums of money to organizations supporting the quarterback’s protests of the unwarranted shooting of civilians by police officers.

Kaepernick demanded a salary of $10 million, far more than other free-agent backup quarterbacks who did sign with teams this year.

The NFL, like the PGA Tour, has subtly incorporated the flag, the military, and the police into its branding, and attempts to portray itself as a “patriotic” entity. Owners and directors need not talk with one another (that is, conspire) to realize that Kaepernick’s presence degrades this brand.

It’s nice to see an athlete join the likes of Jabbar, Jim Brown, and Ali and to forego the billions of Woods and Jordan. But I don’t want Kaepernick as my team’s backup quarterback even for only seven or eight million dollars, and would not presume to suggest to owners of other teams that they SHOULD want him.

Jason M     June 27
Strong words from Brien J. and I think he's obviously right, NFL: teams don't want the circus coming to town and hijacking their camp or their season. As soon as a team brings in Kap for trainign camp, every single TV camera in the lower 48 will be camping out and requesting credentials. The 24/7 networks will bloviate and the old footage of him kneeling will play over and over with an American flag in the background. Kap has been black balled like Ray Rice, and the NFL has sent a message to all the younger Ray Rice's and Colin Kapernik's out there. While what they did was vastly different, but the net effect was that they brought negative attention to their team and league, and they have the same scarlet letter on them now. Now, me personally, I like to think there are second acts in American lives and someone like Ray Rice could be deserving of another chance, but apparently my thinking runs counter to the prevailing wisdom of the league.

Veritas     June 27
PICTURES. They are the reason that guys get blackballed. WE can't know for sure but maybe guys who have been convicted/charged with abuse hurt their victims more than Ray Rice, but there were no PICTURES of it. And Kaepernick(I think it was the equipment managers around the league who colluded to get him out of the league because his name is hard to spell) was shown on TV with pictures of his stance. If he had just been vocal about it, he may have been Okay. The NFL is in sales, and Kap's "look" was anti sales. Guys like Brien who believe in Russian collusion(how that story is whip snapping back at the accusers is astonishing) believe that evil white man are colluding against Kaepernick. They just don't want the headache about answering questions about him. Kind of like a husband who comes home 40 minutes late and has to answer question after question about where he's been. Franchises just don't want to hear it. Avoiding a confrontation and Kap is not a unreal talent. Dave Kingman hit 35 homeruns in his last year in the cavernous Oakland stadium(half the games), but he was a pain in the butt. Now that was collusion.



We can never know how well any female athlete in a power sport would do against men, but as was pointed out yesterday there is evidence. Just because Serena is a powerful women(against women) she has almost no power in terms of mens tennis. Two things are against her. One, the top 1000 men are faster than her and can get to more balls than her and two the spin that men put on the ball is more intense than any woman. Drew says that one offs could happen. That is nonsensical. Could a 11 year old baseball player ever get a hit off a AAA pitcher? It is just a difference in power. And though Serena is powerful, she is no where near as powerful as any man who plays tennis at the pro level. Not even close. Riggs is inconsequential. He was never a power player, was 55, drunk, bloated and was in bad shape. He destroyed the No. 1 female player in the world (Court) who was a POWER player.



It is all not provable, but basic science and logic tells us that she would not EVER beat a male pro tennis player EVER.

mike from catonsville     June 27
IMO Women can be competitive with men at "non" physical sports such as , bowling, curling, archery and some physical sports as car racing, jockey. Head to head physical sports not so much. The best UCONN women's teams would get blown out by bad D-3 mens teams.

It's an interesting discussion but doesn't mean anything. Enjoy the women athletes for their ability. The women have made such great strides and their sports can be just a riveting as the men. I actually like watching them , especially the golf, because not playing at a reasonably high level, you can identify with the yardage and the clubs they hit, unlike the mens game.



As for Serena how she's ever been able to pass the "juice" test is beyond me. She is unlike about 99% of women athletes. Look at her sister and pics when she was younger. I believe medical science has played a role. I haven't seen many female athletes as jacked as she is.

Davey     June 27
Let's not forget that Bobby Riggs was 55 years old when he played Bille Jean King. And that earlier that year, he had beaten Margaret Court (then the No. 1 woman tennis player) handily. I remember Chris Evert once saying in an interview that her brother, who never rose above being a good college player, could easily beat her even in her prime. It's just a different game that men are playing because of their physical attributes.

Steve from Vero Beach     June 27
@ Herman, Totally Agree with your assessment of Kaepernicks situation, you make your own bed that you sleep in, deal with it !!!

unitastoberry     June 27
Back in the late 1960s early 1970s you would see the occasional fan at Memorial Stadium not stand for the anthem I suppose to protest the Vietnam war? They would be taunted and even spit on as the game would progress and the odds were a fist fight would insue.

I have tons of problems with the US government. And yes they don't listen to us middle class pions and are robbing us blind etc etc. But you stand for the anthem because of the people who died and got dismembered that fought for you no matter how corrupt the government gets. You want change make speeches and write articles and get people to vote especially in local and state elections they are the most corrupt.

HERMAN     June 27
@BJ

Pro sports is first and foremost entertainment. It's best not to antagonize the customer base, go ask the "Dixie Chicks". Kaepernick's stance does not endear him to the paying public, in fact, it antagonizes them. It's all right to take a stand, as long as you are willing to pay the price for it. And now Kaepernick is paying that price. He has made himself toxic, there is no one to blame for his lack of pro football employment past his mirror.

Bill W.     June 27
It was a pleasure meeting you yesterday at Baltimore Country Club. I love your site.

New reader     June 27
This site should go national. The breadth of the articles is outstanding.

Ron Panell     June 26
Drew, nice meeting you today at the Blaise Cook tournament at BCC! Love your website. You have a new daily reader. And congrats again on your great play today!

HERMAN     June 26
@DF



I fully realize that today's players have a work out regimen that would put the 1960's tour pros to shame. And that even some of the smaller guys in stature are just "jacked". They get maximum rotation and turn, get everything out of club arc and club-head speed possible, and that bringing "athletes" into the game has just changed everything.

However, the equipment is also "jacked", particularly the ball. They have to do something to curb the hang time.

And while I am the absolute worst golfer alive who plays regularly, another thing that is bothersome is the club numbers. Pros are tweaking down the loft a few degrees so the 7 iron they are hitting from 200 is the same as a 5 iron from the 1960's. Every club is turned down. It's an ego thing, I used to play weekly with a guy who turned his clubs down a few degrees. He wanted to hit his 7 190.

Better athletes playing the game has helped the distance, but you can't argue the equipment today is just "juiced".

I just wish it would help me. I can't swing at all anymore, no tech change is going to help an awful swing and horrible ball striker.


Chris in Bel Air     June 26
Fact: The O's have now played 78 games and are 37-38.

Opinion: The O's will need to win at least 87 games to make a playoff appearance.

Fact: In order to win 87 games, the O's will need to finish 50-34.

Opinion: Given the way the starting pitching has performed so far, I don't see that happening.

Ghost of JROB     June 26
As a lover of MP, the idea of restoring the course sounds great. I have no idea of how much it would cost but I'm very sure it would require a private/public partnership of which the city of Baltimore is incapable. I also do not believe the community could support the upgraded/renovated facility. Courses are going out of business. Bulle Rock can't hack it. Clubs are struggling. Golf is shrinking. I support George's idea but also believe it would be a great boondoggle.

DF     June 26
Herman....I think I may devote a piece soon to golf equipment and how it has changed the game...but not nearly as much as something else that has made the professionals so much better. Equipment and the ball are second....

unitastoberry     June 26
Fact-Ravens only have one player in the player picked NFL top 100. Yanda

Opinion- The Ravens are not very good especially on offense. No stand out runnng back, no stand out center, no stand out right tackle, no stand out left guard, no stand out tight end, the defense which appears to be decent will be on the field all game. The best offensive weapon could still be the kicker. Please prove me wrong.

DR (the original)     June 26
@Brien this actually happened, in January 1998 at the Australian Open. His name is Karsten Braasch. A (former, now) German professional, once ranked as high as No. 38 in the world. He beat Serena (16 yrs old at the time) 6-1 and Venus (18, maybe?) 6-2. At the time he was ranked No. 203.

Just the Facts     June 26
Hey Brien

You might want to google Karsten Braasch vs the Williams sisters.

He beat them both handily and was drinking before and during the informal matches.

In 2013 Williams said she doubt that she would win a single point against Andy Murray if they played.



Just because people think that top flight women can compete against males doesn't make it so.

Of course Brien gets it wrong again.

Brien Jackson     June 26
"Serena Williams played the 200th ranked man in the late 1990's. After playing a round of golf and smoking cigs and drinking beers during change overs, the man beat her 6-1. It wasn't close and the man was half hearted. If she played someone in the top 100 she might not win a game and would be hard pressed to win points of any kind. Most men in the top 1000 would smoke her and a high probability that the only ones who would lose would be due to nerves. "



LOL. Well done, this is the best parody I've read in weeks!

Wednesday
June 29
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIII
Issue 29
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


an interesting look at what we've become at #dmd


In yesterday's edition of #DMD, the trail of comments provided by readers took an interesting twist -- well, several interesting twists, actually -- as some folks defended Lionel Messi and others defended their right to criticize him.

Because those who comment almost always have their own agenda to push, the flare-ups are inevitable. And that's not just here at #DMD, that's at any website you'll find anywhere that offers the kind of content that provokes thought, contemplation and establishing your own position on the subject matter being discussed.

My daily schedule is such that I don't often get to check on the comments until late in the day or even into the evening, so it's interesting to see the back-and-forth and tenor of what people are thinking during the day. Yesterday was no different.

During one multi-layered comment provided by "Monk", the following statement was made: "This space (DMD) is not unbiased and honest reporting. It is persuasion pieces and the main gist is to not report on games. It is to get the readers engaged and the aim is to get people to think in different ways. There is no beat writer, there are no hard iron clad reporting of the daily games played."

I was beaming with pride when I read that.

It seems odd, I suppose, to appreciate something that was intended to be a dig at either the site or the author, but there was a nugget of truth in Monk's comment that summed up what we do -- or try to do -- here at #DMD.

"It is to get the readers engaged and the aim is to get people to think in different ways."

Bingo.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

The other stuff, "not unbiased and honest reporting", for example, was just bush-league, psych-out stuff, to borrow a phrase from The Big Lebowski.

True, we do not cover every game, every morning. That's definitely a fact. But that has nothing to do with the integrity of the website or the content we provide.

If you really, really want to know how the Orioles beat the Padres last night, 11-7, you've long since gone to a prominent national website with the box score and recap there for you at the click of a button.

We do "report" on the games (see below for the Orioles-Padres recap) but most certainly not on a daily, full-length basis. That's just not what I think this website should do.

What we should do, though, is precisely what Monk -- maybe even accidentally -- complimented us on with those words: "It is to get the readers engaged and the aim is get people to think in different ways."

I'm an ardent web-reader, mostly about sports, largely about golf, and occasionally about music. Oddly enough, I don't "comment" myself, but I spend lots of time reading comments from readers because I think that's far more interesting than the actual content itself.

And you get a snapshot of the majority opinion on a subject and, in reply, you also see people willing to stand up for what they believe in even if they're in the minority.

I see a lot of that here at #DMD and I like it.

There are certainly times when I peruse the comments and I cringe at some stuff I see, but that's through the eyes of the website owner/author and not through the eyes of a guy just sitting in his living room chair checking out #DMD to see what people are commenting about (today).

What I want, mainly, is reader engagement, and when we get it -- even if some of it runs against the grain of what I consider "web decency" -- I accept it all and I'm grateful for it, too.

You can't ask for people to comment and then object to it when commentary comes along.

That would be like doing talk radio but not taking phone calls from the people listening. Sitting behind a microphone and saying, for example, "I think (political candidate) is a bad choice for President" and then not allowing the people on the other side to call in and tell you who THEY like runs counter to why you opened the mic in the first place.

I couldn't care less whether or not Lionel Messi ever plays another soccer game. His role in the world of soccer means zero to me, personally.

What I do care about, though, is my 8-year old son -- who DOES care -- seeing Messi quit after losing a game and thinking that sort of behavior is acceptable. That's when I have to start parenting, and explaining to him that quitting doesn't solve anything and likely does more harm than good, on a variety of levels.

I don't have any real issue with Manny Machado other than he sets a bad example occasionally. If Buck Showalter is OK with it, I guess I should be, too. But I'm hearing Buck ISN'T all that OK with it...so there's that.

So, if you sift through the chiding that Monk occasionally sends our way, you'll get a morsel worth championing, and yesterday's comment -- It is to get the readers engaged and the aim is to get people to think in different ways -- was just that occasion.

That's why we're here.

Both microphones are open at this station.

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o's pound hapless padres, 11-7


As I watched the Orioles bat around in the 6th inning last night and score seven runs, the only thing I could think was this: How on earth did we lose a game to these clowns in Baltimore last week?

And how have the Padres won 33 games this season? Were half of those forfeits or something?

Like a good team should when they're facing hot garbage, the Birds ran up the score on the hosts from San Diego last night until a couple of weak bullpen arms made the final score look much closer than it was. Baltimore's 11-7 win was over with by the 5th inning and then cemented in the 6th.

X
It wasn't spectacular by any means, but Ubaldo Jimenez gave the Orioles five innings of good-enough work on Tuesday night in the 11-7 win at San Diego.

The win put another "w" next to Ubaldo Jimenez's name. He only allowed three hits in five innings, but that's because he allowed four other baserunners to reach first base because he couldn't throw a strike to them. Give Jimenez credit, though. He worked out of a jam or two and had five strikeouts on the night to offset those four walks.

The game was all about the Baltimore bats. Adam Jones led off the game with a home run, Hyun Soo Kim nine-ironed one out in the 5th, and Chris Davis stood for a moment or two and admired his 420 foot shot to straight away centerfield to lead off the 6th.

Every Orioles starter other than Jimenez had at least one hit on the night with Schoop, Machado and Davis collecting three each.

Davis, in fact, is now almost up to the respectable line, currently hitting .247 on the year with a MORE than acceptable on-base-percentage of .359.

Oliver Drake gave up three earned runs in the 7th on a Will Myers home run and T.J. McFarland surrendered three more in the 9th, but even he couldn't cough up an 11-4 lead.

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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 schedule gets wacky for a month now, as tournaments normally held in August have been shifted to July so the TOUR can allow the big name players to play golf at the Rio Olympics in August.

No one is actually going to play, of course, because of the Zika virus, but the PGA Tour didn't know that two years ago when they set the schedule for 2016.

This week's stop is at Firestone CC in Akron, Ohio, where they'll be playing the Bridgestone Invitational, formerly known as "The Tiger Woods Invitational" after he won there a gazillion times back when he was good.

It's a World Golf Championships event, which means a lot of the best players in the world are there to chase bigger checks than usual and the "half-a-major" status that goes with beating a high quality field.

Without further adieu, here's who I like this week in Ohio:

For starters, just look at the track record of the event since 1999. It's very rare that a no-name wins at Firestone. Sure, Craig Parry ducked in somehow and won in 2002, and Hunter Mahan triumphed in 2010, but it's a place where major champions usually litter the leaderboard.

It's also one of the rare courses that Keegan Bradley plays well anymore, although he's not in this week's field.

And with Woods not available to play this year, everyone shows up on Thursday and thinks they might win.

X
Firestone CC is perfect for the big bombers on the PGA Tour, so expect Bubba Watson to be there on Sunday when the dust settles.

Here's who I'm taking on my fantasy team this week:

For starters, remember that everyone makes the cut here, so you're not trying to pick "cut-makers" that guarantee you four days worth of points. This is, truly, an effort to try and assemble the best six-man team for the course at hand.

I really like the golf game of Emiliano Grillo and at $7,000 this week, he's a no-brainer play for me. If cut-making is indicative of consistency -- which, it is -- this guy is on the verge of establishing himself on the PGA Tour. He's made 14-of-17 cuts this year.

Let's go with the hot hand of William McGirt this week. He won a fairly big event, The Memorial, earlier this month and is one of those guys who could be on his way to winning something even bigger...like this week in Akron. Cost: $6,800.

I like the golf game of Danny Lee a lot, and I suspect at some point in 2016, he's going to win a golf tournament. It could be a tad ambitious to think this could be the week, but he's capable of doing it if his putter gets hot. Most weeks, that's all that holds him back from contending. Cost: $7,400.

It's about time for Kevin Kisner to win something and this very well could be his time to shine, too. He's too good to be stacking up Top 25's and Top 10's. Cost: $6,800.

The week of the U.S. Open, I told you I was going to keep riding the Dustin Johnson train until I benefitted from it or got thrown off of it. Well, I benefitted at Oakmont, finally. And I'm sticking with him this week, too. He'll devour Firestone the way Tiger used to -- the only question, as always, will be his putter. Cost: $11,600

I'm taking Bubba Watson to win this week at Firestone. His cost ($10,100) is perfect, as it gives you the chance to take one of the others like DJ, Spieth or Jason Day and team them together. Watson has the length to be 4-under par before the day starts. He just needs to avoid making a big number on one of those par 5's and he should be well in the hunt on Sunday.

Others to consider: Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Marc Leishman, David Lingmerth, Anirban Lahiri, Chris Kirk

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final call to submit your application for #dmd's 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!

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only ten seats left on our springsteen bus, sept. 1 at nats park


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.

We have lower level and upper level seats left for the show.

Package prices for the two seating levels are:

$200 for upper 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.

If you're interested in purchasing one or more spots on our "Bruce Bus", just visit the top of the page here at #DMD and click on the "Bruce" tab. Payment information is there for you.

Any other questions about the trip/concert? You can reach me at: drew@drewsmorningdish.com



Tuesday
June 28
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIII
Issue 28
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


messi's decision sends a bad message


No one likes a quitter.

Well, maybe except for the other teams and opposing players that no longer have to face you.

In the case of Argentina soccer star, Lionel Messi, his decision to retire from the national team and its international competition can categorically be defined as "quitting".

And it's a very poor look for a guy who has emerged as one of the greatest players in modern history.

X
Lionel Messi's shocking retirement from international play -- if it holds true -- tells us more about his character than perhaps we'd like to know.

Messi and his Argentina team fell in Sunday's Copa America final vs. Chile, losing 4-2 in penalty kicks after the teams played to a scoreless draw in regulation and extra time. That Messi himself missed a penalty kick was almost earth-shattering news, but his sudden retirement after the game was enormously shocking.

"I can't take this anymore, it's not good for me," Messi said after Argentina's 3rd straight loss in a major international final. They were defeated by Germany in the championship game of the 2014 World Cup and lost to the same Chile team -- again in penalty kicks -- last summer in the Copa America final.

Perhaps there's more to it than we know. There have been rumors of dysfunction within the Argentine soccer federation and the team's style of play doesn't center on Messi and his extraordinary skill set the way his club team in Spain -- Barcelona -- does.

But it reeks of "I didn't win so I'm picking up my ball and going home" and it's just an awful message to send to millions and millions of 8, 10 and 16 year olds who idolize Lionel Messi.

There's a time to step away, but make sure it's the right time

Not wanting to play anymore because of your age or the team around you getting younger is one thing. American Clint Dempsey is on the verge of experiencing that very thing, although there's a chance this most recent Copa America play might earn him one more run with a U.S. World Cup team, if they qualify for Russia in 2018.

It's one thing to be phased out by a new coach or a new system of play, too. That happens, although it likely would never happen to the likes of Messi because he's the centerpiece of every coach's dream team.

Just up and quitting after a loss? And after you missed a penalty kick? A sad, sad way to go out, and, more importantly, the complete wrong message to youngsters growing up and wanting to be just like you.

It's true that some of these international competitions have become almost too big for their own good. The pressure gets so big, so intense and so meaningful that it's almost impossible to expect anyone to be able to compete at their highest level.

Golf's Ryder Cup has taken on that sort of look over the last decade-and-a-half or thereabouts. It's become too big for its own good.

But if Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson -- at the height of their career(s) -- would have missed a 4-foot putt for par at the 18th hole that turned out to be the "losing putt" in a Ryder Cup match with Europe, you can bet neither of them would have quit afterwards.

Messi is too good to go out like this.

And it all begs the question, "What happened that turned out to be the final straw?"

Neither answer is worthy, mind you, but it would be interesting to know. Is he quitting because his team lost in a final again? Or because he missed a crucial penalty kick that contributed to Argentina's loss?

If he would have made the kick but Argentina still wouldn't have won, would Messi have quit afterwards?

Or was it the double-whammy of the team losing (and Messi getting blanked in regulation and extra time) AND the missed penalty kick?

Quitting because you lost isn't how you got good in the first place

Mind you, there's no answer reasonable enough -- other than injury -- to justify a 29-year old icon shutting it down, but the one thing you simply can't do is quit after a loss.

I wasn't born in Argentina and know little about their culture, but I can't imagine it's much different than the United States in terms of the way young children and teenagers look up to their sporting heroes. And we, or those of us who are parents, at least, want our children to idolize the right athlete, even though that might be an awfully narrow window to squeeze into these days.

My 8-year old son knows who Messi is, but not enough to be confused with his announcement on Sunday night and the message it sends. Now, if Adam Jones or Joe Flacco suddenly up and quit like Messi did, I'd have some explaining to do. And I wouldn't like having to do it.

With time and some good advice in his corner, Messi will hopefully rescind that retirement statement and vow not to go out like that. True, he's not quitting the game completely, he's just no longer going to play in international competition for Argentina, but it's all one-and-the-same.

Your team lost.

You made a key blunder that contributed to the losing.

And now, you're quitting.

It's a terrible message to send and blemishes an otherwise out-of-this-world career.

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a follow-up on last week's machado discussion


Last Friday when the O's started their 4-game series with the Rays, I authored a piece here essentially asking for Manny Machado to clean up his act.

It was all put out there in the wake of his suspension and some other oddities about his play this year that have been questioned by baseball followers both locally and nationally, including O's team broadcaster Jim Palmer.

A couple of people responded with messages about Machado's style of play and defended him and a couple of others wondered why I was "picking on" Machado.

X
Is it too much to ask our star athletes to meet higher standards?

One e-mailer, Scott, said "people like you (me) are what's wrong with sports coverage today, all you do is bring up the negative."

I don't need to respond to that criticism, directly, because I was glowing in my endorsement of Machado as a player. I referenced him as a legitimate MVP candiate and more than stood up for him as a bonafide superstar, which he is.

But that doesn't mean his flaws -- whether they're character or athletic -- shouldn't be pointed out.

In fact, it's even more important that someone, somewhere, gets to Machado and makes him understand what his role is as a growing superstar in one of America's most popular sports.

That's kind of what Palmer is trying to do on TV broadcasts when he rakes Machado over the coals for lack of hustle or a base running blunder.

Our own Brien Jackson authored a comment earlier this week in which he said, basically, that Machado not running out ground balls isn't a big deal.

E-mailer Curtis said "Machado is good enough to know when he has to hustle and when he doesn't have to hustle. Let him figure that out."

Perhaps over time what has really happened in our country is we've simply become tolerant of lower standards. You can probably trace that same theme to lots of other things besides sports. But it sure seems like we've decided not to push quite as hard for our athletes to be stand-up people and, more importantly, display true quality on the field, court, ice, etc.

All I want from Machado is constant effort and a team-first mentality.

That could be a little too pie-in-the-sky for any athlete in today's world, granted, but it's still worth desiring.

I haven't seen every L.A. Angels game in Mike Trout's career, but I googled the words "Mike Trout Lack Of Hustle" and found nothing.

Maybe he, too, doesn't leg out long singles and turn them into doubles. I don't know.

For all I know, Trout makes a base-running blunder in every series like Machado does.

Ultimately, a player is only as good as his most prominent weakness.

I don't think Machado has a weakness as a player, except for the fact that he's a lousy base-runner. Whether that's because he's not paying attention, doesn't care, or just isn't cerebral enough to understand the nuances of doing it the right way, his base running skills are woefully inept.

Thankfully, that's not a big deal in the overall scheme of things.

But it's absolutely fair to mention it and categorize as a "weakness" in Machado's game.

If we're going to pay these guys $25 million a year to throw and hit a baseball, or throw and catch a football, or pass and shoot a basketball, shouldn't the demands for quality go up, not down?

Or have we settled on mediocre standards in 2016?

KELLY banner ad

final call to submit your application for #dmd's 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!

SAFFER banner

only ten seats left on our springsteen bus, sept. 1 at nats park


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.

We have lower level and upper level seats left for the show.

Package prices for the two seating levels are:

$200 for upper 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.

If you're interested in purchasing one or more spots on our "Bruce Bus", just visit the top of the page here at #DMD and click on the "Bruce" tab. Payment information is there for you.

Any other questions about the trip/concert? You can reach me at: drew@drewsmorningdish.com



#dmd comments


George     June 29
@DF – Back from the vitamin store and jacked on B-12. Seems it was indeed exactly as you described. Mea culpa. It was one heck of an exhibition at Hayfields. Eger’s caddy had at least a two-shot distraction value, so you should have been low in the foursome that day. The woman caddying for the Sarge in the pro-am was his daughter Kelly. She travelled with him because the family expected him to collapse at any time because of heart problems. A wonderful and loving daughter. I see on Wikipedia he lived for five or six more years after Hillendale.

Thanks for setting me straight on your lowest rounds at various courses: -4 at Mt. Pleasant and -6 at Hayfields.

Josh     June 28
Drew,



Sounds like it's time for a DMD Challenge at The Mount! Something like $75 a golfer. A portion of proceeds to charity

M     June 28
Ball is a jerk of the highest proportion.



I hope his kid gets sent to the D League so we don't have to hear his loud mouth old man anymore.

Mike from Reisterstown     June 28
@DF - let us know who you are caddying for. I'm bringing the boys out on Friday and we'll try to follow you for a couple of holes.



When you shot that 66 at Hayfields, was that from the tips? If so, pretty damn impressive.

Jerry     June 28
DF, thanks for the caddy story at Caves Valley. I signed up. Hope to meet you out there on 7/12.

DF     June 28
Trying to catch up on a few comments directed at me.



@Tim -- No, I'm not PLAYING in the golf tournament at Caves Valley, I'm caddying in the pro am on Wednesday, July 12. You can, too. Information is in today's edition of #DMD (above).



@JR -- Nothing got deleted. A troll'ish attempt to try and create a stir. Nothing more.



@Chris B -- Can't imagine the Ravens are interested in him. If he didn't pass their physical in January how is he going to pass it in July? Just a guess, but I think they'll pass if, in fact, he does return to the NFL.

Chris Bennett     June 28
Hey Drew just curious what you think of the Zachary Orr situation. Any chance we get him back for this season?

JR     June 28
Did the thread get deleted as predicted?

DF     June 28
@George --



My old friend, you better get yourself checked in down there or increase your vitamin intake. Your memory has left you like my left-handed putting acumen left me. Overnight...



You indeed DID caddie for me at Hayfields. You know how I remember that? Two ways -- First, Eger (who was a professional at the time, not an amateur) had a late 20's female on his bag and she walked and you complained that I had you and my bag in a cart. ha ha



Second, the day before, I arranged for you to play in a Pro Am at Hillendale, where you played with Orville Moody and I caddied for you. Oddly enough, Moody also had a young lady of 30 or so on HIS bag. Must have been nice to be a former U.S. Open champ back in those days. ;)



Please note that my low Mount Pleasant score of 67 was a TOURNAMENT low. I shot lower than that just goofing around with you guys. But, yes, of the two (Hayfields and Mount Pleasant), the lower of my two scores would have occurred at Hayfields. But -- you're counting SCORE. Hayfields has four par 5's, remember...Mount Pleasant has two of them. And those Hayfields greens stay relatively the same throughout the day. At Mount Pleasant, you can have a six foot putt at 9:00 break right to left and then at 2:00 pm, it might break left to right. ha ha




George     June 28
@DF – You are getting old and your memory fails. It wasn’t me on the bag when you played with David Eger. I remember the round, so must have been in your gallery. But I KNOW it wasn’t me on the bag because I’d never, even jokingly, call someone who just shot 66 an amateur hack. And I seem to remember that David himself was an amateur at the time, wasn’t he?

This allows a slender opening to segue subtly back to Mt. Pleasant. I note you confessed previously here to a low of 67 in all the hundreds or perhaps thousands of rounds you played there, while you cruised around a course you played only infrequently in 66.

Curiouser and curiouser!

dazed and confused     June 28
I am definitely bewildered by the Brien comments, he did not even post an article today, did he?

Thatguy     June 28
10% of the time Brien has a point, 90% it is so poorly expressed, either cause of word choice, grammar, sentence structure, or just bad writing, hard to discern what he's saying.

Just my 2 cents

BR     June 28
The cheap shots at Brien are really getting old. Find someone else to pick on guys.

Steve in Hunt Valley     June 28
@Clayton, I still don't see what's wrong! But thank you for posting that anyway. I must be missing it.

Bob     June 28
Clayton, thank you. I misunderstood what you all were complaining about. I thought you were upset with bad grammar. I see now. Thanks again.

Clayton     June 28
Rich Bob Lincoln





"At this point it's almost a foregone conclusion that the former Super Bowl starter's career NFL career is over."





"What is unusual though is the passive aggressive campaign that the league, the media, have fans have waged against him in order to dance around the blatant fact that he's being run out of the league for his social activism."





"Tebow was certainly a cultural lightning rod to some, but worse from the perspective of a team he had a legion of obsessed fans and an entire major television network dedicated to trolling them with hyperbolic claims about his talent and constant demands to play him."

Tim     June 28
Drew is it true you are playing in the Senior golf championship at Caves Valley in July? My dad is marshaling and he wanted to know if you know what time you're playing. Good luck!

Lincoln     June 28
Rich, Bob:



There's nothing at all wrong with Brien's article today.



As is typically the case when I see critiques of him, they're off base and over the top.



He's clearly disliked by the masses here for reasons I'm not aware of, but today's article in particular is not worthy of this much complaining.

Bob     June 28
Glad @Rich said it first. I'd like to know what I'm missing with Brien's writing. I read it and it looks fine to me.

Rich     June 28
I will probably regret this but I consider my fairly well schooled and I don't see much of anything wrong with what Brien wrote today. Not trying to pick a fight here but if you're going to come to the site and critique is writing and blame him for being a poor writer you should at least point out the mistakes so we all know you're actually not full of hot air. I've read through it three times now and I don't see what's wrong with it. My 2 cents.

mike from catonsville     June 28
I forgot to mention, about 90% of the parents on "Friday Night Tykes".



Total worthless discussion but still think it's fun to point out knucklehead sports parents.

RJ     June 28
About 3 months ago the owner of DMD said that he was very in tune and was "caring" about the quality on his site. Obviously he was blowing smoke as many many errors still get through. Brien is an embarrassment when it comes to quality, please proof read his content. It is really difficult to get through and deserves the critiques it gets. People who point out the errors should be lauded not banned and censored. Threads will surely disappear today.

CJ     June 28
@Ghost

Right on. I have come to the conclusion that at this point anyone who mentions wrestling, follows it in any manner and is over the age of 16 has latent feelings for men in tights or is a intellectual moron. It shouldn't be something that grown men are into. That whole thing is odd. Fake, homo-erotic and insipid. All things that serious men should avoid. It is not sports. Eric the Midget loved wrestling and he had a IQ of 90.



As some have said there isn't much insight any longer, just spitballing. And Brien's columns are actually getting worse. That dude can't write, makes tons of errors and defends the indefensible. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. And we have yet to have proof that he ever had a byline on his claimed resume.



Who has the best record in the AL East the past 10 games? The Baltimore Orioles(tied). Another good week and do we see the new spit ball come out. "They just might be in this". They are contenders right now. Because their record says so. All of the teams have holes. The O's need their "have done it" guys get into form. We may be seeing signs.

HERMAN     June 28
We've entered that horrible time frame of sports hell where pro football is still in what feels like the distant future, and the distractions of the NBA and NHL championships are all done. All that's left is baseball and with the local team tanking that's nothing but frustration. All that's left is the British Open to distract from the humidity. These are the toughest days to have to crank out a daily column. They need to borrow from Bill Simmons, mix a little pop culture and daily life into the mix, human interest stuff. Keeps things fresh when the sports world runs dry. These are the dog days. Has training camp opened yet.........?

ghost of pgav/monk/ETC     June 28
Did we morph to the dark days already cause of the O’s slump? First the silly “winner contest” and now we get consecutive days of “Serena vs men”, “Kaeperdick” and now a non-story about this Ball guy (which BTW, how is he an “NBA problem”, and why would anyone “root against the Lakers” because his kid happens to play for them??).

Why not a little more on the O’s little streak other than “looks like TOR mailing it in”? They were declared dead long ago and now are just 2 games behind the O’s. Oh yea, O’s aren’t trying either. What happened to “sports insight and opinion”? Guess we’re focusing on opinion now, which would be fine if the topics were actually interesting. I for one would prefer to hear Drew’s take on things that matter, which I generally enjoy reading (esp the golf stuff). Oh well, SOD have at it


Cash Is King     June 28
90% of NBA players wish they had a dad who cared as much as Lonzo's dad. I agree, he is over the top and a blatant self promoter...but at least he was still raising his kids.

mike from catonsville     June 28
DMD needs to set up a contest for the worst parent(s) of all time.

Todd Marinovich

The Williams sisters

Earl Woods

The idiot Ball

Michelle Wie's dad





Looking for help from the DMD- certain there's plenty more these were just top of mind.

unitastoberry     June 28
Vince McMahon is a genious. Well minus his ill fated attempt to play pro football in yet another winter/ spring league with everyone thinking basketball,hockey,baseball etc. Maybe one day a billionaire will start a pro football league in the FALL on SUNDAYS. It worked for the AFL.

Tom J     June 28
Could not agree more about this A$$ Clown Ball. I have never wanted to see someone crash and burn more than him and his kids. It's one thing to be the crazy parent as the kid is the star, it's another when you want to be a bigger star than the kid.

Clayton     June 28
Ray ray: +1 . Probably the worst article ever to appear in print.

Ray ray     June 28
Does NO ONE proofread these articles? Brien Jackson's article is or should be embarrassing to the DMD.

George     June 27
Directors of companies have, by law, the responsibility to stockholders to make business decisions based on the bottom line. Failure to do so [by, e.g., making a decision that is moral but costs the corporation money] opens them to personal liability for breach of fiduciary duty.

Colin Kaepernick started 11 games for the 49ers in 2016. They lost 10 of them.

Forty-niners owner Jed York voiced support for what he mistakenly called Kaepernick’s constitutional right to kneel during the National Anthem, and donated large sums of money to organizations supporting the quarterback’s protests of the unwarranted shooting of civilians by police officers.

Kaepernick demanded a salary of $10 million, far more than other free-agent backup quarterbacks who did sign with teams this year.

The NFL, like the PGA Tour, has subtly incorporated the flag, the military, and the police into its branding, and attempts to portray itself as a “patriotic” entity. Owners and directors need not talk with one another (that is, conspire) to realize that Kaepernick’s presence degrades this brand.

It’s nice to see an athlete join the likes of Jabbar, Jim Brown, and Ali and to forego the billions of Woods and Jordan. But I don’t want Kaepernick as my team’s backup quarterback even for only seven or eight million dollars, and would not presume to suggest to owners of other teams that they SHOULD want him.

Jason M     June 27
Strong words from Brien J. and I think he's obviously right, NFL: teams don't want the circus coming to town and hijacking their camp or their season. As soon as a team brings in Kap for trainign camp, every single TV camera in the lower 48 will be camping out and requesting credentials. The 24/7 networks will bloviate and the old footage of him kneeling will play over and over with an American flag in the background. Kap has been black balled like Ray Rice, and the NFL has sent a message to all the younger Ray Rice's and Colin Kapernik's out there. While what they did was vastly different, but the net effect was that they brought negative attention to their team and league, and they have the same scarlet letter on them now. Now, me personally, I like to think there are second acts in American lives and someone like Ray Rice could be deserving of another chance, but apparently my thinking runs counter to the prevailing wisdom of the league.

Veritas     June 27
PICTURES. They are the reason that guys get blackballed. WE can't know for sure but maybe guys who have been convicted/charged with abuse hurt their victims more than Ray Rice, but there were no PICTURES of it. And Kaepernick(I think it was the equipment managers around the league who colluded to get him out of the league because his name is hard to spell) was shown on TV with pictures of his stance. If he had just been vocal about it, he may have been Okay. The NFL is in sales, and Kap's "look" was anti sales. Guys like Brien who believe in Russian collusion(how that story is whip snapping back at the accusers is astonishing) believe that evil white man are colluding against Kaepernick. They just don't want the headache about answering questions about him. Kind of like a husband who comes home 40 minutes late and has to answer question after question about where he's been. Franchises just don't want to hear it. Avoiding a confrontation and Kap is not a unreal talent. Dave Kingman hit 35 homeruns in his last year in the cavernous Oakland stadium(half the games), but he was a pain in the butt. Now that was collusion.



We can never know how well any female athlete in a power sport would do against men, but as was pointed out yesterday there is evidence. Just because Serena is a powerful women(against women) she has almost no power in terms of mens tennis. Two things are against her. One, the top 1000 men are faster than her and can get to more balls than her and two the spin that men put on the ball is more intense than any woman. Drew says that one offs could happen. That is nonsensical. Could a 11 year old baseball player ever get a hit off a AAA pitcher? It is just a difference in power. And though Serena is powerful, she is no where near as powerful as any man who plays tennis at the pro level. Not even close. Riggs is inconsequential. He was never a power player, was 55, drunk, bloated and was in bad shape. He destroyed the No. 1 female player in the world (Court) who was a POWER player.



It is all not provable, but basic science and logic tells us that she would not EVER beat a male pro tennis player EVER.

mike from catonsville     June 27
IMO Women can be competitive with men at "non" physical sports such as , bowling, curling, archery and some physical sports as car racing, jockey. Head to head physical sports not so much. The best UCONN women's teams would get blown out by bad D-3 mens teams.

It's an interesting discussion but doesn't mean anything. Enjoy the women athletes for their ability. The women have made such great strides and their sports can be just a riveting as the men. I actually like watching them , especially the golf, because not playing at a reasonably high level, you can identify with the yardage and the clubs they hit, unlike the mens game.



As for Serena how she's ever been able to pass the "juice" test is beyond me. She is unlike about 99% of women athletes. Look at her sister and pics when she was younger. I believe medical science has played a role. I haven't seen many female athletes as jacked as she is.

Davey     June 27
Let's not forget that Bobby Riggs was 55 years old when he played Bille Jean King. And that earlier that year, he had beaten Margaret Court (then the No. 1 woman tennis player) handily. I remember Chris Evert once saying in an interview that her brother, who never rose above being a good college player, could easily beat her even in her prime. It's just a different game that men are playing because of their physical attributes.

Steve from Vero Beach     June 27
@ Herman, Totally Agree with your assessment of Kaepernicks situation, you make your own bed that you sleep in, deal with it !!!

unitastoberry     June 27
Back in the late 1960s early 1970s you would see the occasional fan at Memorial Stadium not stand for the anthem I suppose to protest the Vietnam war? They would be taunted and even spit on as the game would progress and the odds were a fist fight would insue.

I have tons of problems with the US government. And yes they don't listen to us middle class pions and are robbing us blind etc etc. But you stand for the anthem because of the people who died and got dismembered that fought for you no matter how corrupt the government gets. You want change make speeches and write articles and get people to vote especially in local and state elections they are the most corrupt.

HERMAN     June 27
@BJ

Pro sports is first and foremost entertainment. It's best not to antagonize the customer base, go ask the "Dixie Chicks". Kaepernick's stance does not endear him to the paying public, in fact, it antagonizes them. It's all right to take a stand, as long as you are willing to pay the price for it. And now Kaepernick is paying that price. He has made himself toxic, there is no one to blame for his lack of pro football employment past his mirror.

Bill W.     June 27
It was a pleasure meeting you yesterday at Baltimore Country Club. I love your site.

New reader     June 27
This site should go national. The breadth of the articles is outstanding.

Ron Panell     June 26
Drew, nice meeting you today at the Blaise Cook tournament at BCC! Love your website. You have a new daily reader. And congrats again on your great play today!

HERMAN     June 26
@DF



I fully realize that today's players have a work out regimen that would put the 1960's tour pros to shame. And that even some of the smaller guys in stature are just "jacked". They get maximum rotation and turn, get everything out of club arc and club-head speed possible, and that bringing "athletes" into the game has just changed everything.

However, the equipment is also "jacked", particularly the ball. They have to do something to curb the hang time.

And while I am the absolute worst golfer alive who plays regularly, another thing that is bothersome is the club numbers. Pros are tweaking down the loft a few degrees so the 7 iron they are hitting from 200 is the same as a 5 iron from the 1960's. Every club is turned down. It's an ego thing, I used to play weekly with a guy who turned his clubs down a few degrees. He wanted to hit his 7 190.

Better athletes playing the game has helped the distance, but you can't argue the equipment today is just "juiced".

I just wish it would help me. I can't swing at all anymore, no tech change is going to help an awful swing and horrible ball striker.


Chris in Bel Air     June 26
Fact: The O's have now played 78 games and are 37-38.

Opinion: The O's will need to win at least 87 games to make a playoff appearance.

Fact: In order to win 87 games, the O's will need to finish 50-34.

Opinion: Given the way the starting pitching has performed so far, I don't see that happening.

Ghost of JROB     June 26
As a lover of MP, the idea of restoring the course sounds great. I have no idea of how much it would cost but I'm very sure it would require a private/public partnership of which the city of Baltimore is incapable. I also do not believe the community could support the upgraded/renovated facility. Courses are going out of business. Bulle Rock can't hack it. Clubs are struggling. Golf is shrinking. I support George's idea but also believe it would be a great boondoggle.

DF     June 26
Herman....I think I may devote a piece soon to golf equipment and how it has changed the game...but not nearly as much as something else that has made the professionals so much better. Equipment and the ball are second....

unitastoberry     June 26
Fact-Ravens only have one player in the player picked NFL top 100. Yanda

Opinion- The Ravens are not very good especially on offense. No stand out runnng back, no stand out center, no stand out right tackle, no stand out left guard, no stand out tight end, the defense which appears to be decent will be on the field all game. The best offensive weapon could still be the kicker. Please prove me wrong.

DR (the original)     June 26
@Brien this actually happened, in January 1998 at the Australian Open. His name is Karsten Braasch. A (former, now) German professional, once ranked as high as No. 38 in the world. He beat Serena (16 yrs old at the time) 6-1 and Venus (18, maybe?) 6-2. At the time he was ranked No. 203.

Just the Facts     June 26
Hey Brien

You might want to google Karsten Braasch vs the Williams sisters.

He beat them both handily and was drinking before and during the informal matches.

In 2013 Williams said she doubt that she would win a single point against Andy Murray if they played.



Just because people think that top flight women can compete against males doesn't make it so.

Of course Brien gets it wrong again.

Brien Jackson     June 26
"Serena Williams played the 200th ranked man in the late 1990's. After playing a round of golf and smoking cigs and drinking beers during change overs, the man beat her 6-1. It wasn't close and the man was half hearted. If she played someone in the top 100 she might not win a game and would be hard pressed to win points of any kind. Most men in the top 1000 would smoke her and a high probability that the only ones who would lose would be due to nerves. "



LOL. Well done, this is the best parody I've read in weeks!

Monday
June 27
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Issue 27
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orioles eliminated rays this weekend


OK, it's now a four-team race in the American League East.

Not that Tampa Bay was ever seriously going to mount a charge to squeeze in among the division leaders, but this weekend's four-game sweep by the Orioles and their current 12-game losing streak has put the Rays 13.5 games behind the Birds.

Their season is over.

Sure, they'll keep playing the games -- because they have to -- but the Rays won't be making any kind of charge in the A.L. East in 2016.

The Orioles are on top by four games now, as everyone else in the division lost on Sunday.

Next on the hit list? The Yankees. They're 7.5 games back and looking like an average team at best, what with their aging, tired roster and 37-37 record.

X
He often says he doesn't look at the standings, but you can bet O's skipper Buck Showalter knows EXACTLY where his team stands in the A.L. East on a daily basis.

I mentioned in Sunday's #DMD that it might be too early to scoreboard-watch, but I'm doing it anyway.

Baseball's a weird sport in that the 162-game schedule tends to diminish the importance of today's game because, well, there's another one tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that, too.

But at the seven or eight game mark of the NFL season, every Ravens fans is looking to see what the Bengals, Steelers and Browns do. Well, OK, maybe not the Browns, we know they're losing.

But you get my point. You're always scoreboard-watching to some degree in the NFL because it's a 16-games schedule, and certainly by week eight, you're paying particular attention to what your division foes are doing.

We're nearly at the halfway point of the Orioles 2016 campaign and the Birds are rolling now, with the second most wins (45) in the American League and an offense that figures to only get hotter as the temperatures increase in July and August in these parts.

Yes, starting pitching is still an issue, but let's be honest: The team's starting pitching hasn't been all that great since the season started in April and they're 45-30 and in first place on June 27.

And, interestingly, the other two teams most likely to put up a fight in the A.L. East are nearly identical to the O's in that they each have legitimately powerful offensive units and only so-so starting pitching.

Boston and the Orioles are eerily similar in that the Red Sox can hit the cover off the ball on any given night but don't have the quality starting pitching -- other than David Price -- to overwhelm an opponent during a three or four game series.

Toronto's offense is probably on par with Baltimore's and their starting pitching is comparable, too, but it's a 7-inning game most nights for the Orioles and a 27-out, 9-inning nailbiter for the Blue Jays and their questionable bullpen.

It might very well come down to what each of those three do at the trade deadline, which is where the Blue Jays won the division last summer when they added David Price and Troy Tulowitzki en-route to winning their first division crown in two decades.

What do the O's have to give up late next month and who, exactly, will be available that might make a difference?

And you know Boston and Toronto are asking themselves the same questions in preparation for trade-deadline activity.

But for now, the Birds have made the A.L. East a 4-team race and the Yankees are a road trip losing skid from being next on the list to get their 2016 walking papers.

It's OK to scoreboard watch if you want.

I've been doing it since early June.

All of these games count.

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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.


time to get rid of the drafts


The NBA draft was last week, and things basically broke down as expected.

The 76'ers were rewarded for another season of doing their level best to be awful by acquiring the rights to Ben Simmons, the rest of the picks were made in succession, and the services of another crop of rookies were doled out on a whim and everyone got perfect value for their need thanks to the perfected means of allocating first year players.

Or not.

By now, of course, everyone loves drafts. We pretend we know way more than we do about a bunch of college players and play parlor games with mock drafts, then tell ourselves than by handing out the order in inverse relation to wins in the previous season we're insuring that the neediest teams are getting the best players and, as a result, "competitive balance" is being served.

But in reality nothing of the sort is happening, and if the goal is efficiently allocating available talent, a draft is a really terrible way of achieving it.

It would help if the bad teams got all the good players

The biggest problem for teams in a draft is that, well, you can only take one player when your selection comes up, and thus the number of players available to you is pretty limited.

If you're a dismal team who could use a lot of roster upgrades you're only getting a half dozen or so top three rounders (in the NFL) at most, and at the other end of the spectrum you have decent to good teams who stockpile picks and take more players than they'll even be able to fit on their rosters.

In actuality, poor teams with more cap space than most, like the Jaguars or the Browns, would be heavily advantaged by being able to deploy that cap space on signing a bumper crop of upper round talents at once, giving the least talented rosters (on balance) a chance to re-tool much faster than the draft mechanism.

And then there's the biggest problem with a draft: Your chance to get substantially better is entirely dependent on the class of players available in any given year. Having the first pick in a year when Cam Newton or Andrew Luck is available is drastically more valuable than doing so in a year where David Carr is the class' best quarterback, or there simply isn't a lot of high end prospects available (a problem that I'd say is especially acute in the NBA).

If the idea of allocating rookie players are to make the worst teams better, than tying their fortunes to market supply in any one given year clearly doesn't work that well and, again, they'd be much better off being able to choose how to allocate their available resources on a year to year basis, with a better chance of adding talent in "bull markets."

But let's put the pretense aside: first year player drafts aren't about the best way to allocate rookie players coming into the league, they're about controlling salaries. By granting teams exclusive rights to incoming players, the rules drastically limit the leverage of rookies in salary negotiations, even more so when you add slotting on top of this.

No one has made this clearer than MLB, whose most recent rule changes might as well have done away with any feigned concern for competitive balance or the fate of small market franchises and just thrown dollar signs around the draft's official logo. Under the old system, in which teams were free to spend what they wanted on draft pick signing bonuses, the most talent needy teams came to realize that the draft was a cost-friendly way to add valuable assets to their organization.

What they would do is draft a high-upside high school player in the secondary rounds, and then offer up a first or second round grade signing bonus to pry him away from college ball and get him into their system. The entire cost of a draft class like this would equal out to the cost of 2 or 3 veteran role players on the major league free agent market, and teams could amass a deep farm system that could funnel talent to the big league club or be used in trades.

A series of solid drafts can set up a team for a nice run

Furthermore, because of the relatively small amounts of money this actually added up to, it wasn't really worth it on a dollar-for-dollar basis for the big market clubs to try to outspend everyone on amateur players and, as a result, "small" teams like Tampa Bay or Kansas City with strong scouting and developmental departments got a leg up on the market in this system.

It's certainly not an accident that it was during this period that Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay went from also-rans to legitimate contenders (the Orioles did too, obviously, though they were benefitted less by the draft than by a string of really good trades).

But from MLB's standpoint, the problem was that team's were giving draftees too much money, ignoring the "recommended" slot values altogether and driving up everyone else's compensation as a result. And, from the players' standpoint, that teams were offsetting the cost of these bonuses by giving high picks a Major League contract (which allowed them to prorate bonus payments while minor league deals required paying in one lump sum), came to be seen as the new picks taking roster spots, and money, that otherwise would go to existing union members (this is garbage thinking, but that's another topic for another day).

As a result they instituted penalties for exceeding the slot value of picks (and actually structured the rules such that the players can't even demand the actual full slot value), and the final conclusion is far less talent coming into the professional ranks every year, let alone disproportionately going to the teams most actively trying to rebuild. And compounding the problem is that teams nevertheless figured out that acquiring prospects and draft picks is a much faster, more efficient way to rebuild than continuing to try to acquire veterans to round out a bad roster, and so the actions of teams like the Astros and Braves in the current environment have caused people to start raising talk of "tanking" in baseball where it never existed before.

Under previous models, a few extra spots in the crapshoot of the MLB draft wasn't worth that much, but now it's the difference in millions of dollars of money which you're allowed to use to sign propsects in the draft and internationally. It's terrible for the game, bad for teams trying to rebuild, but good for the pockets of owners.

All of which makes it a smashing success in terms of the mechanism of a draft, that the NFL and NBA are already seeking to top.

Because the real purpose of a draft is to keep as much money as possible with the owners, and that's really all that matters to the league(s). And while reading your 638th mock draft of the February might be fun in its own right, ultimately it's a dynamic that's bad for franchises on the field and, by extension, bad for fans, too.

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navy grad hurley gets first pga tour win


Billy Hurley III parlayed 18 holes of great golf into a career-changing afternoon on Sunday at Congressional CC in Bethesda.

His final round scored of 69 kept him in the lead throughout the day and when the dust settled on a hot afternoon in suburban D.C., Hurley's 17-under par score was good enough for his first PGA Tour victory.

Lots of other goodies come along with the trophy and the $1.2 million winner's check.

Hurley now gets to play in the British Open in three weeks at Royal Troon.

He gets to make that drive down Magnolia Lane and play the Masters next April.

And his TOUR card, never before a sure thing, is now secured through 2017 and 2018.

Pretty impressive stuff for a guy who missed keeping his card last Fall by $394.

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A 2-year exemption on TOUR and trips to the British Open and Masters are now on Billy Hurley's schedule after Sunday's win at Congressional CC.

With no formal status on the PGA Tour in 2016, Hurley had to cobble together a mixed schedule of Web.Com events and select PGA Tour events where he could get in if the fields weren't filled.

It's hard enough to win on TOUR when you have full-time status. But when you don't know from month to month when and where you're playing, that kind of stress can easily eat away at a player's game.

That Hurley was able to win on Sunday was just as unlikely, perhaps, as it was impressive. He had been "there" before, at the same tournament and venue, ironically, but was never able to string together four high-quality rounds and get into the winner's circle.

Lots of guys can produce 54 or even 63 solid holes of golf over four days time, but there's a long, long list of players in pursuit of their first-ever win who cracked under the pressure coming down the stretch. Golf is hard like that.

But the former Naval Academy graduate didn't crack on Sunday, making just two bogies to go with four birdies while holding off a couple of ageless champions in Ernie Els and Vijay Singh. Singh, 53, earned himself a trip to the British Open as well with his runner-up spot in yesterday's finale.

The last time a U.S. military veteran won on the PGA Tour? 1995, when Ed Dougherty -- who was drafted and served in Vietnam -- won the Deposit Guaranty Classic.

And, in case you're wondering about the British Open and the PGA Championship, which will come three weeks apart in July due to the Rio Olympics, the only three military vets to win a major title are Larry Nelson, Lee Trevino and Orville Moody.

Now that, as you can see, is a very prestigious group.

Hurley will be at Troon next month, but it looks like Quicken Loans National tournament host Tiger Woods will not be there. While he hasn't officially withdrawn yet, Woods said during an on-set interview with Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo on Sunday that it's possible he won't play at all in 2016.

"I don't know. I want to play," Woods said when asked directly when he might tee it up for the first time this season. "Put it this way: I want to play, I don't know if I will. But I want to, and I'm trying. Each and every day I'm doing my workouts, sometimes two or three times a day. I'm working my tail off."

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only ten seats left on our springsteen bus, sept. 1 at nats park


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.

We have lower level and upper level seats left for the show.

Package prices for the two seating levels are:

$200 for upper 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.

If you're interested in purchasing one or more spots on our "Bruce Bus", just visit the top of the page here at #DMD and click on the "Bruce" tab. Payment information is there for you.

Any other questions about the trip/concert? You can reach me at: drew@drewsmorningdish.com



Sunday
June 26
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIII
Issue 26
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like ants marching, we poured in to see the dave matthews band


I'm afraid I won't be of much use to you here today.

Such is the life of a website owner who goes to a concert in New Jersey and gets home at 1:15 am, then gets up again five hours later to offer something productive.

It's like trying to pitch on three days rest.

You'd like to be effective, but that's easier said than done.

Here's what I do know:

The Orioles, as expected, swept both games from a reeling Tampa Bay team on Saturday.

The U.S. men's soccer team, as anticipated, fell to Colombia in the bronze medal game of Copa America, 1-0.

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Another night, another sell-out crowd in Camden, New Jersey to see the great Dave Matthews Band.

And the Dave Matthews Band, as is always the case, put on an all-world show last night in Camden, New Jersey at the waterfront pavilion.

I can't tell you much about the Orioles or the men's national team from Saturday, but I'll try to do it anyway.

I can, though, tell you plenty about the Dave Matthews Band concert.

I was like a 21 year old again, in the pit, up close, singing and jammin' with the boys from Charlottesville, Virginia.

Too bad Laremy Tunsil wasn't there last night. He wouldn't have even needed his gas mask.

I don't know how many live shows I've seen in my life and how many different artists I've seen, either. Someday, when I'm completely bored to tears and a large snowstorm has me hunkered down for a few days, I might try and make the list just to know the details.

But, without counting or even trying to come up with the answer, I can say for certain I've seen well over 100 live shows in my life from at least 25 different musicians, bands, etc.

The Dave Matthews Band is as good live as anyone I've ever seen.

Ever.

They were so spot-on-freakin'-good last night it was scary. Even with Matthews battling a cold and drinking some sort of concoction out of huge metal jug of sorts, they ripped through 2 hours and 40 minutes of music and mixed mostly legendary DMB tunes with a few new ones -- all to the delight of a packed house in Camden.

Why did I go to Camden, New Jersey you ask?

Because the only other local option on this tour was the place down in Bristow, Virginia. It's changed names a few times, but one thing remains the same: You have to leave right now to get to a show that starts two days later.

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It helps when you have Carter Beauford, one of the best drummers in the world, among your band members.

Getting in and out of that place in Virginia is complete mayhem. It ruins the night, in my opinion, no matter how good the show was or might be.

So, off my wife and I went to Camden, New Jersey.

Granted, it was a Saturday evening, so traffic was light, but here are the travel details. It took us two hours on the way up, and about fifteen minutes less on the way home.

If you haven't been to Camden, you're not missing much. It's a combination of Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Glen Burnie and Highlandtown all rolled into one, with all due respect to those four places.

And while you might not want to be traipsing around there at night by yourself anytime soon, the activity level connected to the concert keeps everything safe.

Parking? Plenty of it. $30 a car, and you can eat, drink and be merry to your heart's delight in the parking lots.

Every lot is within a five minute walk of the pavilion itself.

It was almost too good to be true.

And then the show started with a rousing rendition of "One Sweet World" and we were off and running.

Since everyone has their own favorites, I won't bore you with set list details, other than to say I didn't get to hear my favorite DMB song, "Grey Street", but I was treated to a couple of semi-obscure favorites of mine, "Why I Am" and "You Might Die Trying". They played "Grey Street" the night before at the same venue, so I knew there was a pretty good chance I wouldn't get to hear it last night.

They closed with a 3-song encore that included "Halloween" much to the crowd's delight.

It was one helluva night, even for an old guy like me.

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birds open up 3-game lead in a.l. east with doubleheader sweep of tampa bay


I know, I know. It's way too early in the season to start scoreboard watching.

We haven't even reached the halfway mark yet.

But I'm doing it anyway.

The Birds picked up 1.5 games on Boston on Saturday, winning twice themselves and watching Boston get thumped in Texas on Saturday night, 10-3. The A.L. East standings now show the Orioles with a 3-game lead on the Sox and a 4-game advantage over Toronto.

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Adam Jones stole the show -- and the game, perhaps -- in Game 2 of last night's doubleheader sweep of Tampa Bay.

There's a lot of baseball left, yes that's true, but I'll continue to reiterate what I said way back in March: The Orioles are winning the division.

History says teams with gobs of offense and marginal starting pitching don't go far in the post-season. But plenty of offensively-charged teams have been good enough in the regular season to at least become a playoff team. That's your 2016 Orioles, friends.

One of the reasons high-powered offensive teams with ho-hum pitching are good enough for six months is because 75% of the teams they face in the regular season aren't any good.

Once October rolls around, the competition gets tougher and tighter and pitching wins out in the end.

For now, though, let's enjoy this while we can.

The O's experienced some inevitable market correction on Saturday in Baltimore, as Kevin Gausman was the stud and Chris Tillman was the dud, with the Birds winning 5-0 in the doubleheader opener and 8-6 in the nightcap.

Gausman was superb in the 5-0 win, scattering 4 hits in 7.2 innings of work and striking out seven along the way. He picked up his first win in the process, while his counterpart from Tampa Bay, Matt Andriese (6-1) suffered his first loss of the season.

The former #1 pick for the O's needed AND deserved that win on Saturday afternoon. June hadn't been too kind to him and the club had developed a nasty habit of going cold at the plate anytime Gausman took the hill.

They gave him a 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning on Saturday and the rest was easy-peasy, as the Rays lost their 9th straight game overall.

The nightcap got off to a bad start for Chris Tillman, who was due to have an "off" start after a couple of outings where he labored with his pitch count but came out on the winning end when the dust settled.

He wasn't as fortunate on Saturday night.

Tillman allowed six earned runs and twelve baserunners in 5.0 innings of work, as the Rays jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings of offense. It would have been 6-0 or 7-0 if not for a whopper-of-a-catch from Adam Jones with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the 3rd.

The Jones catch was a game saver AND a game changer for the Orioles.

Matt Wieters hit a pair of home runs while Jones and Chris Davis also provided round-trippers, and the Birds wound up on the good side of an 8-6 decision that extended Tampa Bay's losing streak to ten straight games.

Not that they were ever a threat to win the A.L. East anyway, but you can scratch the Rays from playing anything but spoiler down the stretch. It's now a 4-team race in the A.L. East.

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u.s. fails to score in copa america finale vs. colombia


Let the record reflect the U.S. men's soccer team went 3-3 in the 2016 edition of Copa America.

Some are going to say that's a sign of progress for coach Jurgen Klinsmann and his roster of 22 players.

But I won't be one of the folks saying that.

And while I still don't think the immediate answer is to dismiss Klinsmann, I'll continue to contend that the American men's soccer team isn't getting much better, if at all, these days.

I didn't see Saturday's game on TV and haven't watched the replay I taped, yet, but I will. From the accounts I've read thus far, it appears Saturday's 1-0 loss to Colombia in the 3rd place game for Copa America was a familiar U.S. loss.

We didn't create enough good scoring chances and those that we did generate didn't produce any goals.

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Veteran Clint Dempsey led the American team in scoring during Copa America, a fitting swan song perhaps to his outstanding international career with the U.S. men's soccer team.

Since we're on the subject of the Dave Matthews Band today, we might even say it's a "typical situation".

The U.S. doesn't have enough talent on the offensive side of the ball to compete with the likes or Argentina, Colombia, etc. when it comes to international games like the ones we just saw.

We can hold our own and even outplay middle-of-the-road foes like Paraguay, Costa Rica and Ecuador, even.

But those countries are battling for soccer respect just like us. They're trying awfully hard to be good, but the effort isn't meshing with the results.

When we tee it up against the big boys, we get outscored 7-0 in three games.

That's right, it was Colombia 2-0 and 1-0 and Argentina 4-0 in our three outings against those two in Copa America.

You can't win if you can't score.

And the U.S. soccer team, forever now, has been weak when it comes to putting the ball in the net.

Individual commentary about Saturday's game aside -- since I haven't yet seen it -- the American team has one basic need: better players.

It's that simple, really. Whether they have them on their current roster is a question that will be answered momentarily. Youngsters Yedlin, Zardes, Nagbe and Pusilic appear to have the makings of becoming decent international players, with Yedlin in particular getting stronger with each game.

But I haven't seen anything, yet, from the other three that tells me they're going to be "program improvers" the way guys like Donovan, Dempsey and Bradley were when they got their chance(s) a decade ago and made something out of it.

Donovan is no longer in the team at all and Dempsey and Bradley are both hanging on because there just aren't others behind them who are better right now.

When you can't replace Michael Bradley, that's a telling statement right there.

September is coming soon, and that's when the U.S. really needs to come through. They're still in danger of not advancing past the first stage of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying and will need point-producing performances at home vs. Trinidad and away at St. Vincent's in order to move into the final round of qualifying in 2017.

Easier said than done, particularly with this group of underachievers on offense.

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only ten seats left on our springsteen bus, sept. 1 at nats park


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.

We have lower level and upper level seats left for the show.

Package prices for the two seating levels are:

$200 for upper 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.

If you're interested in purchasing one or more spots on our "Bruce Bus", just visit the top of the page here at #DMD and click on the "Bruce" tab. Payment information is there for you.

Any other questions about the trip/concert? You can reach me at: drew@drewsmorningdish.com



Saturday
June 25
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIII
Issue 25
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


where's the excitement for ravens pre-season?


Is it me or is the community in general not overly excited about Ravens pre-season training camp these days?

It could be that I'm more removed from the day-to-day sports scene than I was, say, five years ago when I was doing a daily radio show in town.

That could definitely be why I'm not feeling it.

Or it could be something else.

A couple of fellow club members at Eagle's Nest discussed this over a cocktail earlier this week and with training camp about a month away, it got me to thinking.

In the past, the start of Ravens training camp in these parts was met with loyal enthusiasm. Rabid, almost. But it doesn't feel that way anymore.

Training camp was special when it was in Westminster

There's no doubt the club's departure from the open-to-the-public practices at McDaniel College has shifted the level of interest.

Sure, the team still holds a lottery among its season ticket holders and upwards of 300 people per-day get to take in training camp at the club's facility in Owings Mills, but that's not the same thing as having it at McDaniel, where anyone is free to attend, whenever they like.

They also hold several "open practices" at M&T Bank Stadium and Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis as a way of allowing anyone and everyone to watch practice the same way you would have at McDaniel years ago.

It's not the same in those two venues, though. There's something about the small college setting that makes it much more appealing to fans in attendance.

You can disagree with the team's decision to do that all you like, but the truth of the matter is it's the most practical thing to do, particularly when you have a state-of-the-art facility like the Ravens own and there's no beneficial reason to pack everything up and move 25 miles down the road for six weeks of practice.

The only benefit the Ravens don't have in Owings Mills that they had in Westminster? The practices aren't open to the public at 1 Winning Drive. But that's it.

There's no argument at all about the quality of training camp being better in Westminster than it is at Owings Mills. None.

But is that really why the passion for Ravens training camp seems tepid these days?

That's the reason?

I don't think so.

The football season is now 12 months long

The NFL has done a wonderful job of making themselves a "year-around-product". 20 years ago, there was a defined "off-season" in football. May, June and July were off months, literally, with little to no news coming out of the league and teams and players taking a well deserved vacation before ramping it up in August with training camp and pre-season football.

Then, right around 2000 or so, the league started becoming more "full time", if you will.

Part of that was caused by the players themselves, who couldn't stay out of trouble if they were left on their own for two or three months. The teams, now making much larger investments in players, wanted to have a little more control over them.

So, goofy things like "passing camp" and "rookie camp" and "mandatory mini camp" were invented as ways of keeping players closer to home during the off-season. Teams instituted weight training sessions and coaches stayed in town year around to work out with those who were interested.

These camps and practices and OTA's led to increased media coverage, naturally. With that year-around news cycle now in place, fans get their fill of team information on a daily basis almost.

By the time August rolls around and training camp begins, you've been inundated with Ravens information in May, June and July. If you go to the team's website every day or follow the club's Twitter account, there's more there than you can consume in a day.

In the past, you were craving to see the players, learn more about them, and check out the team's progress in training camp.

That appetite doesn't exist anymore. You're fed stories, tweets, columns, and videos every day, 12 months straight.

Baseball still matters in August these days

The Orioles have also played a role in this apparent drop off in interest for Ravens training camp.

A decade ago, wallowing in last place and routinely out of the A.L. East pennant race by July 4th, Baltimore sports fans could ONLY look forward to NFL football as a means for having a winner in town.

The Orioles went from 1998 to 2011 without sniffing the playoffs. They were a laughingstock. An afterthought, frankly.

By August 1st every summer, folks in town were so hungry for competitive sports that Ravens training camp was far more appealing and interesting than regular season baseball games being played at Camden Yards.

For sure, in 2008, for example, if the Orioles played a home game on a Tuesday night against the Tigers and the Ravens hosted an open training camp session at their stadium across the street, more people would have gone to the football practice.

It's not that way anymore.

The Orioles are experiencing the inevitable market-correction that comes with stinking it up for a decade or more (see: Kansas City Royals, 2014-2015) and the balance of power in town has shifted somewhat over the last four years.

The Ravens are still Baltimore's favorite son, but it's not as overwhelming as it was in 2006.

But, the Orioles becoming relevant again has definitely impacted Charm City's thirst for training camp and pre-season football.

Oh, and by the way, I could be wrong on all of this.

Maybe the community is still prepared to go ga-ga over Ravens training camp next month when it kicks off.

It could be me. And my perception could be wrong.

But I don't think I'm off base on this one.

It just doesn't feel the same.

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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.


birds rebound from early 3-0 hole, win 6-3


Another night, another shaky start for an Orioles pitcher.

Only this time, Yovanni Gallardo settled in nicely after a not-so-good first inning and kept it together long enough for the O's to finally get to Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore, as the Birds bounced back from an early 3-0 deficit to win, 6-3, in front of an announced sellout crowd at Camden Yards on Friday night.

Gallardo, in his second start since coming off the disabled list, lasted only 5.1 innings, throwing 96 pitches and allowing nine total base runners.

He wasn't Jake Arrieta or Chris Sale by any means, but he was better than Ubaldo Jimenez, that's for sure.

Down 3-0 after one, the Birds didn't get a hit off of Moore until the bottom of the 5th inning when Chris Davis doubled and J.J. Hardy singled him in to make it 3-1.

The next inning proved to be the game-breaker for the Birds.

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Chris Davis plated three runs with a 6th inning single on Friday night as the Birds improved to 42-30 with a 6-3 win over Tampa Bay.

A one-out home run from Adam Jones made it 3-2, then singles from Jonathan Schoop and Manny Machado got the crowd enthused for a Mark Trumbo plate appearance.

Trumbo and Moore went at it for the better part of five minutes before the O's designated hitter finally drew a walk to load the bases.

Chris Davis then singled to right center, scoring Schoop and Machado, and Trumbo was able to scamper home on a throwing error by the Tampa Bay second baseman. That made it 5-3, and the Rays were done for the night.

Manny Machado hit his 18th home run of the season in the 8th inning to celebrate his return to the lineup after serving a 4-game suspension.

Ashur Tolliver picked up his first major league win in relief of Gallardo. Brach (8th) and Britton (9th) secured the victory with one inning of work each.

The Rays have now dropped eight straight games and are just about out of the A.L. East race at this point.

The O's, meanwhile, stayed 1.5 games up on Boston, who staged a miracle 9th inning rally in Texas on Friday, scoring four times in their final at bat to win, 8-7.

The two teams will play a day-night doubleheader today in Baltimore.

Matt Andriese starts for Tampa Bay in the opener (1:05) and Jake Odorizzi goes in the nightcap (7:05 pm).

Kevin Gausman goes in the first game for the Birds, with Chris Tillman taking the hill in the evening contest.

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one week left to submit your application for #dmd's 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!

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only ten seats left on our springsteen bus, sept. 1 at nats park


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.

We have lower level and upper level seats left for the show.

Package prices for the two seating levels are:

$200 for upper 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.

If you're interested in purchasing one or more spots on our "Bruce Bus", just visit the top of the page here at #DMD and click on the "Bruce" tab. Payment information is there for you.

Any other questions about the trip/concert? You can reach me at: drew@drewsmorningdish.com



Friday
June 24
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIII
Issue 24
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suspension over, machado needs to clean up his act


Two things are for certain with regard to Manny Machado’s now-completed four-game suspension for his part in the brawl with Yordano Ventura on June 6th.

First, it wasn’t his fault.

Second, he could have avoided the fight, but not chose not to.

That’s only part of Machado’s 2016 story, but it’s a central theme to what most ardent Orioles followers have picked up on this season.

Machado is doing things during the game that give off an air of “choice” and, in most cases, they aren’t good ones.

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This was the scene that prompted then-Oakland A's player Derek Norris to call Manny Machado "a disgrace to the game of baseball".

”Manny being Manny” is now, in some ways, not such a great thing after all.

In case you haven’t noticed – and Orioles broadcaster Jim Palmer certainly HAS picked up on it – Machado’s behavior this season has been less than desirable, although it most certainly hasn’t detracted from any of his own personal statistics.

That’s a statement worth reiterating here, for the record. Machado is having a whale of a season thus far. If the entire baseball world would stop foaming at the mouth over how great David Ortiz has been, they might see that Manny’s 2016 campaign is MVP worthy.

But this isn’t about Machado ON the field.

It’s about what he’s becoming.

Maybe every 23 year old who blossoms into a Hall of Fame caliber player in just a year or two stops running out ground balls.

Perhaps all young superstars go through a period of time when they don’t hustle right out of the plate, watching a potential home run sail into the night, only to see that it stayed in play and an easy double instead turned into a long single.

There’s definitely a chance that anyone as good as Machado feels a certain privilege associatd with putting himself above the team, as Manny did earlier this month when he decided to duke it out with Ventura on the pitcher’s mound.

Palmer, who typically only rails on an Oriole when it’s “the final straw”, has lashed out at Machado on several occasions this month. On nearly every occasion, it’s been about that word – hustle – and how Machado seems to be taking everything just a tad too lightly.

In a radio interview earlier this week, Palmer spoke at length about his observations of Manny and took a Hall of Fame dig at the Baltimore third baseman when he said, “If Manny asked me what I thought, which he won’t, because he knows it all...”

Quite the dig from Palmer there, but he’s a guy who has seen every single player that’s come through that Orioles locker room in the last 20 years and he knows a thing or two about being a bonafide superstar in a league full of egos and wildly misplaced perceptions.

If you’ve watched the Orioles this season for any length of time, and you can take off your orange-colored-glasses for a minute, you’ll admit you’ve seen some things from Machado that Brooks Robinson wouldn’t have ever done.

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Then there's this Manny, making plays at third base that no one else in the game could pull off.

Like it or not, and yes, 45 years separates their respective careers, everything Machado does in this town will ALWAYS be compared to Brooks. That’s just the way it’s going to be, friends.

Brooks never jaked it running out a ground ball.

Number five might have made a base-running blunder or two each season, but not one in every series like it seems Machado does these days.

And Robinson’s temper never got the best of him to the point where he was a target of opposing teams who knew they could get him on edge with an inside pitch in the bottom of the first inning.

I get it. Times have changed, the game is different and people aren’t cut from the same cloth. No one’s asking Machado to be Brooks’ identical twin. But we also don’t want him to become Nick Swisher, either.

There’s no telling what kind of real relationship Buck Showalter has with Machado -- or any of the other 24 players on the O’s roster. He and Machado might talk weekly about Manny’s new laissez-faire attitude or Showalter might be scared to death to approach his young superstar. I have no way of knowing the answer to that one.

But you can bet one thing for certain: Showalter watches Machado lollygag it down the line on a grounder to shortstop and it drives him nuts.

He sits in the dugout in Fenway with steam coming out of his ears after seeing Machado hit a ball into the famed “Bermuda Triangle” in center/right field, only to wind up with a double because he didn’t care enough to get to third.

What kind of relationship does Adam Jones have with Machado? The one that gives the veteran O’s centerfielder free reign to call out the third baseman when necessary? Or, like Palmer, has Jones thrown up his hands at this point and said, “Why bother?”

Perhaps Manny is simply too young to be the consumate superstar. That’s a fair argument, I suppose. He can’t know everything at age 23 that he’s going to know at age 33, after all.

But the more we watch him play these days, the more it looks like Machado has developed this attitude on his own.

In other words, Manny knows some of the things he does aren’t exactly copacetic, but he figures his numbers and value to the team far outweigh the occasional lack of hustle and his penchant for bush league base running mistakes.

If the Orioles are going to have to pony up upwards of $350 million to keep him in a few years, they'll need a player that's "all in" in every aspect of the game in exchange for that kind of money.

These days, Manny is definitely "all in" -- but only on himself.

And it's obvious.

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memo to commissioners: please stay away from the draft


I know this is has been a decades-long ritual, but it's time to bring it to a halt.

Will someone please show the video tape to the likes of Roger Goodell, Adam Silver and Gary Bettman and let them see how buffoon'ish they look on draft day. Please?

Silver, the NBA Commissioner, followed in Roger's footsteps last night by welcoming all 30 first round picks to the NBA.

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on draft night.

It takes on this weird, creepy, look, sort of like Uncle Wally welcoming home his 19-year old niece from college with an extra-long hug and a whisper in her ear during the family picnic.

Goodell, of course, has mastered the smile-hug-whisper thing every spring during the NFL draft. He comes across like those players who walk across the stage after hearing their name called actually like him. They don't, of course, and once they're fined for wearing their socks too high or hitting a player after the whistle, they really won't care for him.

I've often wondered what it is about their respective gigs that makes these grown men want to be out there on draft night as the central figure of the show?

Goodell makes $44 million a year. Everywhere he goes, people know who he is and what he does for a living. He's one of the most recognizable faces in all of sports today.

So, why stand out there on draft night and hug every guy who gets picked in the first round?

Silver did it last night during the NBA Draft. Why?

If the answer is, "To make the player feel welcomed to the league", I can assure you none of those players give a hoot who greets them on the stage during their two minutes of stardom after being selected. All they want is the signing bonus check and a box full of new team gear and they're good to go.

Wouldn't it make more sense for the owner of the team to be out there on the stage? Or the general manager? Or the coach, even?

If the whole idea is to actually "welcome" them to the league, why not have a representative of their new team do the honors?

Or are the egos of these commissioners so gigantic that they simply must be out there on draft night, front and center?

It's a small thing, I know, but it looks so much like Uncle Wally at the family picnic...

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if you missed chris cornell last night


As often happens in the summer, the days tend to run together and something comes up on the schedule that you wind up missing out on simply because you didn't make plans in time.

That happened to me last night.

About a month ago, I saw somewhere that former Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell was going to play the Hippodrome on June 23.

I made a mental note of it, promised myself I'd follow up shortly, and then forgot all about it.

Until about 7:30 pm last night, that is, when I saw a friend's Facebook post that he was in his seats and ready to see Cornell.

No, I didn't hustle down to the Hippodrome and get in just in time to see the show. Instead, I cranked up a bunch of YouTube videos on my laptop and watched some of his best solo performances. It wasn't as good as being there, in person, but it was a great reminder of Cornell's talents.

Here's what I think is his best solo effort. It's the Soundgarden song, "Black Hole Sun":


#DMDTV

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one week left to submit your application for #dmd's 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!



Thursday
June 23
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIII
Issue 23
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


it's either a fact or an opinion


FACT: Jake Arrieta fell to 11-2 last night as the Cardinals beat the Cubs, 7-2. His ERA is still superb (1.74), but he has now walked 35 guys in 15 starts this season. Contrast? Clayton Kershaw has only walked 7 batters in 15 starts in 2016. Arrieta has walked more guys in June (10) than Kershaw has all season.

OPINION: I'll just keep saying this for the next 12 years and eventually it will be true. Assuming he stays healthy and pitches into his late 30's, Kershaw will go down as the best pitcher of the modern era.

FACT: Tiger Woods won more major titles in one season (3) than any current active PGA Tour member has won in his career with the exception of Mickelson (5), McIlroy (4), Els (4) and Harrington (3).

OPINION: McIlroy is the only current player capable of threatening double digit career major wins. He could get to eight, perhaps ten, even, but he won't threaten Tiger's mark of 14.

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The Dodgers left-hander has made 15 starts this season. He's walked a total of 7 batters to date. Oh, and he's struck out 141 hitters this season so far.

FACT: Ryan Flaherty is now hitting .233 on the season, which is three points higher than Chris Davis (.230) and one point lower than Pedro Alvarez (.234).

OPINION: Flaherty has developed into a decent utility player for the Orioles. In fact, he fits the description perfectly. "Not good enough to play every day, but useful enough to stick in there twice a week and not have him wreck your team."

FACT: Derrick Rose was traded from the Bulls to the Knicks yesterday.

OPINION: I don't follow the NBA enough to have a fully educated opinion on what Rose's departure means for both teams, but if it's the Knicks doing the deal, my guess is it's going to turn out to be a bad move for them. They've sort of become the Cleveland Browns now. Anything they try backfires on them.

FACT: Skip Bayless has left ESPN.

OPINION: ESPN is going to have to work awfully hard to find someone as polarizing and magnetic as Bayless was during his time there. It was all a "show", obviously, and he pulled it off to perfection. His show with Stephen A. Smith didn't have much to do with "quality" sports programming. They just wanted you to watch, that's all.

FACT: The Cubs just got swept in a 3-game home series by the Cardinals and they still lead the N.L. Central by 9.5 games.

OPINION: By no means is it a foregone conclusion that the Cubs are going to the World Series this year, despite their torrid start (47-23) through 70 games. The Nationals, Mets or Giants could all get hot in September and represent the National League in October.

FACT: The PGA Tour returns to the D.C. area for this week's Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club.

OPINION: Kyle Reifers picks up his first win on TOUR on Sunday, outlasting Roberto Castro, Harold Varner III and Charles Howell.

FACT: Steph Curry hit a stunning 44% of his three point attempts in the 2016 regular season.

OPINION: Curry didn't shoot the ball very well in the NBA Finals against Cleveland. Everyone said he was throwing up "bad shots". How about this? Cleveland defended the snot out of him for all seven games. Give them some credit...they deserve it.

FACT: We're about a month away from the start of Ravens training camp.

OPINION: The improvement of the Orioles over the last five years has diminished the enthusiasm for Ravens training camp. It used to be that the baseball season around here was over by July 1st and we were just itching for the start of football season. Now, we're still interested in baseball in August, so we're not as consumed with the Ravens as we were in the past.

FACT: The Texas Rangers have the fewest losses (26) in the American League and lead the A.L. West by 10 games right now.

OPINION: If they add a decent starting arm at the deadline, the Rangers could be a really tough out in the post-season.

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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.


The Drive.

The Shot.

The Fumble.

Phrases indelibly imprinted in the very identity of Cleveland sports fans and, frankly, the entire city itself. Simple phrases that stand as short encapsulations of an identity of failure and heartbreak. And now you can add another to the list.

The Block.

Only this one doesn't stand for failure or loss, but for an improbable, long sought championship, and impossible feats of athleticism.

Let's not mince words: LeBron James' block of a "gimme" layup by Andre Igudola in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter of Game 7 is the most impressive display of athleticism I've ever seen on a basketball court, and probably the greatest defensive play ever.

If you think that's hyperbolic, then go watch it again and try to put into words how, exactly, LeBron managed to pull that play off. It defies description, let alone explanation, and does in fact provide us with Lebron's "signature play."

Every iconic player has a "signature moment"

And it's fitting that this is the play that we'll all almost certainly think of when we think of LeBron 20-30 years down the road.

The great paradox that makes up the heart of LeBron's "legacy" is that he's not a great jump shooter. That's important because this is what we tend to associate with all-time great players. Michael Jordan has an innumerable list of highlights, but we remember him most for his fadeaways, the flying hail mary over Craig Ehlo, and the easy shake-and-bake jumper over Byron Russell.

James has had to endure a ridiculous debate over whether or not he is and was a better player than Kobe Bryant for the simple reason that Kobe was a better shooter and pure scorer. That's simply what we expect the best basketballs guards/small forwards to be these days.

But that's not LeBron, and that's ok. Lebron isn't a great pure shooter, and he often drives with the intent to pass, rather than impose his will at the bucket, but the guy is, in so many other ways, the best basketball player ever.

Jordan may have been the better natural scorer, but LeBron is a better athlete, rebounder, and defender than Jordan ever was, and can matchup with literally any other player on the court in a way no one else in NBA history has been able to.

And that's why that singular play in Game 7 is such a fitting exclamation point to LeBron's career. It's such an unbelievable display of raw athleticism, timing, and basketball skill that no one else, ever, could have made it. Michael Jordan doesn't make that play. Shaq or Tim Duncan don't make that play. Kobe definitely doesn't make that play.

In the same way we spent the season marveling at the way only Steph Curry could make 40 foot jumpers seem borderline routine, we struggle to adequately conceive of the way LeBron is able to not only make this play, but make it seem imminently possible ex ante. Because for as impossible a feat as the block was, when I saw LeBron trailing the play in real time I actually partly expected him to block the shot.

I've seen this play before, after all. Only not from that distance, and that angle, and with such a small margin for error. And that, I think, sums up LeBron's greatness: He not only does the seemingly impossible on the basketball court, he does it so frequently that you come to expect, to some slight degree, that he's going to continue doing what ought to be impossible for any human being on a basketball court.

James picked the team, then won with it

And amidst the commentary over the implications of these Finals, LeBron's greatness is what is, and has been, continually overlooked. When people debate whether the 73 win Warriors "choked" (more on this later), they're ignoring that James is the best basketball player in the world today. They're ignoring that, unlike last year, he got to play these Finals with the team he wanted. It was LeBron, after all, who forced the trade for Kevin Love and demanded the Cavs do what it took to keep Tristan Thompson.

There are arguments to be made that these weren't the best moves, but they worked, and Cleveland romped through the Eastern Conference and to a championship with even Love playing a very important role. Everything about the NBA still runs through LeBron, even as the mileage on his legs (13 seasons now, with seven total Finals appearances and six in a row, plus stints with USA Basketball in the offseason) requires that he can't go 100% in every single regular season appearance if he wants to be at full capacity when the playoffs come around. That gives ammunition to LeBron haters and/or people who want to declare that Curry or Kevin Durant or whomever have surpassed him as a basketball talent, but at the end of the day, the NBA still revolves around James, who can dominate a game at both ends of the floor in ways no one else has ever been able to.

Steph Curry was the league's first unanimous MVP and deservedly so. But, and with all due respect to Michael Jordan, LeBron James is simply the best basketball player I've ever seen, and with one impossible display of the power of ability and willpower, he forced us all to remember that the NBA is still all about him, the same way it was all about Jordan 20 years ago.

And all the winningnest team in league history could do was hope a miracle shot could overcome the sheer force of will of the league's very best player.

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u.s. senior open: two shots too many


One of the treats of turning 50 (insert joke here) is that competitive amateur golfers can compete in both the "regular" division and also the "senior" division. There's even a nice little perk when you turn 55, as there's another level of amateur golf for 55 and older players that those between 50 and 54 can't compete in.

For the fourth time yesterday, I attempted to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open, which this year is being played at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio later this summer.

Each of my three previous attempts featured progress but no berth to the tournament. In 2013, I got off to a bad start at Musket Ridge and shot five over on the front nine, then made a couple of birdies coming in to finish at +4 for the day, but two-under was the qualifying score. I wasn't really all that close.

The next year at Back Creek GC in Middletown, Delaware, I was steady through nine holes, stumbled a bit on holes 11 through 14, and wound up missing it by five shots. Getting closer, I thought...

Last year at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, I was at even par through 9 holes and tied for the lead, but made double bogey at #10 and #12 and wasn't able to turn it around in time to make a run at one of the two qualifying spots they were offering down there. But I took solace in the fact that with nine holes left, I was on the cusp of qualifying.

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Located in Malven, PA, Applebrook Golf Club was founded in 2001.

Yesterday, I ventured to the Philadelphia section to play a magnificent golf course, Applebrook. There were 106 players for 3 qualifying spots and 2 alternate spots. The alternate spot in the Senior Open is valuable for two reasons; there are simply more players with injuries and ailments in the 50 and over crowd, so you never know who is doing to come up lame, and when, plus not every exempt player winds up taking his spot in the field, so their positions are then given to those on the alternate list.

My first really smart move of the day was hiring an Applebrook caddie. "Dan" is actually in the waning stages of his 5-year caddie career there. On August 15, he heads to Fort Lauderdale with some buddies to dive into the world of commercial real estate. Too bad -- he's an outstanding caddie, as I found out yesterday.

I made the turn at 1-under par, making four birdies on the back nine (I started on hole #10). The Golf Association of Philadelphia does an outstanding job of organizing amateur golf events. I go up there whenever my schedule allows for USGA qualifying events. One of the many things they do well is keep the players informed of what the qualifying number might very well be. I couldn't help but sneak a peek at the leaderboard as I walked from the 18th green to the 1st tee. I was in second place.

The incoming nine wasn't as kind to me, unfortunately.

I missed a five-foot par putt at #2 that put me back at even par.

On the next hole, I had a five-foot downhill birdie putt that Dan and I looked at for about a minute (or, roughly two minutes less than Jordan Spieth would have looked at it) and I hit it perfectly, but it caught the right edge of the hole and tumbled down about six feet past. I was able to make the next one for par, thankfully.

The next two holes kept me out of the U.S. Senior Open again.

I hit a 7-iron into the middle of the green at #4, leaving myself with about 35 feet to the hole. "Exactly where we wanted that ball," Dan said as we walked up to the green. The GAP official afterwards said the greens were running at "12" on the stimpmeter yesterday. Why my uphill putt on #4 was slower than the rest of the ones I hit I'll never know, but it came up about eight feet short. And I missed it.

I was now +1 with five holes to play.

I took another peek at the leaderboard. There was a 3-under, a 2-under and a couple of people at 1-over. I was now there with them at +1.

On the par-3 5th hole, I hit a nice five iron that was headed for the middle of the green. But it came up a yard short of clearing the front bunker and plugged in the uphill part of the sand trap.

"Let's make a bogey here and move on," Dan said.

"I hope I can make a bogey," was my reply.

I couldn't.

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The 121 yard 11th hole at Applebrook. "Way more 4's made here than 3's on Saturday and Sunday mornings, that's for sure." Dan -- Applebrook caddie.

I was able to get the ball out of the buried lie and onto the fringe of the green, but I still had 45 feet to negotiate for my par attempt. I hit a good putt, but it was mostly downhill from where I was and I couldn't get it close. My 12-footer for bogey just missed, and now I was +3.

The winds were howling in the afternoon and I knew the greens were only going to get faster as they went on.

"I just need to make a couple of birdies coming in," I told Dan. "I think 72 is going to play off, at worst."

It turns out I was right. On both accounts.

I needed two birdies in the final four holes. And 72 did, in fact, play off.

But I couldn't do it.

I had birdie putts at 6, 8 and 9, but none of them fell. The last two were particularly agonizing.

At the par-5 8th, I hit my best drive of the day on the 578 yard hole and left myself with 267 to the flag. My 3-wood came up just short and I chipped it to 10 feet below the hole. My birdie putt missed on the right side by an inch, maybe less.

I had 18 feet for birdie at #9, but that, too, narrowly missed going in.

I couldn't miss a putt on the front nine and couldn't make one on the back nine. I shot 74.

In the end, the two short ones I missed from five feet at #2 and #3 cost me a chance to play in the U.S. Senior Open.

That's the difference between playing in the tournament and sitting at home watching on TV.

Afterwards, former PGA Tour and Champions Tour player Lonnie Nielsen, who qualified with a score 70, said he thought 73 or 74 would get in when he started his round at 12:15 pm.

I sure wish he would have been right.

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deposits now being taken for our trip to notre dame on september 24


If you go, you can draw a line through that item on your bucket list on September 24, 2016, when #DMD heads to South Bend to see Notre Dame take on Duke.

#DMD's first-ever trip to Notre Dame is brought to you by our friends at Kelly Payroll.

X
Never been to the mecca of college football? Join #DMD for a trip to Notre Dame on September 24 as the Fighting Irish battle Duke.

We'll leave on the first flight Saturday morning, arriving in South Bend about 10:00 am. We'll take part in the pre-game revelry, enjoy some ice-cold refreshments and tailgate food, then head to the stadium for the 3:30 pm kick-off.

After the game, the group can remain in South Bend for a few hours to enjoy the post-game festivities before we head to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

Our return flight on Sunday morning will arrive in Baltimore in plenty of time for you to watch the Ravens play at Jacksonville at 1:00 pm.

Just click here and you'll be taken to the information and reservations page. Deposits are accepted now with full payment due in mid-August.

Please note: We're taking only 24 people on this trip. Sixteen of those spots are now reserved. Only eight remain.


Wednesday
June 22
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIII
Issue 22
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


so...now who is golf's "best player without a major"?


OK, we can scratch Dustin Johnson's name off the list of "best player to have never won a major title".

We knew it would happen someday. And it finally did on Sunday when he triumphed at Oakmont Country Club.

Who wears the label now? If you go back over the last 30 years, a large number of extraordinarily talented players were known as "the best player to have never won a major"...only to go on and finally capture one.

Tom Kite had a handful of near misses, including the 1986 Masters and 1989 U.S. Open, before finally coming through at Pebble Beach in 1992 and winning the U.S. Open.

Corey Pavin was chomping at the major bit for a few years before he finally claimed his one and only major title at Shinnecock in the 1995 U.S. Open.

Davis Love III was next to own the "best player" label before he won the 1997 PGA Championship at Winged Foot.

In 1998, Mark O'Meara shed the label with a win at the Masters, then followed it up with a win at the British Open three months later.

There was also Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk in the 2000's, as each of those guys needed -- and got -- a major championship to cement their spot among golf's elite.

So, who is it now, in 2016?

With Dustin Johnson finally winning, there are only a handful of American players that are truly capable of being elite enough to fit the moniker of "best player to have never won a major".

There are, though, a bunch of international players who can also be considered for the unofficial title.

Here are the top ten, as they stand today.

10. Luke Donald: The world's former #1 player is no longer a week-to-week threat to win like he once was, but golf's a funny game and don't be surprised if Donald finds a course that suits him -- like Merion, perhaps -- and can win a major title at some point. Best chance for a major: British Open / Chances he'll win one someday: 10%

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The best putters usually find a way to win a major or two in their career, so expect Brandt Snedeker to win his share.

9. Brandt Snedeker: Anyone that putts as well as he does is bound to put it all together for four days and earn a major title. Doesn't have the length off the tee to compete at the U.S. Open or PGA, so look for him to someday get his at Augusta or the British Open. Best chance for a major: The Masters / Chances he'll win one someday: 15%

8. Branden Grace: The South African has been in the hunt in each of the last two U.S. Opens. If he can compete there, he should be able to do it anywhere. With South Africans having such a strong track record at Augusta, don't be surprised if his comes there. Best chance for a major: The Masters / Chances he'll win one someday: 15%

7. Lee Westwood: Don't let his age (43) fool you. Westwood is still very much capable of winning a major title, and can realistically compete in all four of them, even though his unreliable putter can also hold him back at all four. His outstanding history on the European Tour lends itself to a win on the other side of the pond at some point. Best chance for a major: British Open / Chances he'll win one someday: 25%

6. Hideki Matsuyama: History is the only thing holding him back. No Japanese player has ever won a major title on the PGA Tour. Hits his driver and irons as well as anyone in the game, but his short game remains suspect, particularly in the heat of a major championship. Still, with his talent, he should win one someday. Best chance for a major: PGA Championship / Chances he'll win one someday: 30%

5. Rickie Fowler: Don't let his 2016 slump fool you -- Fowler is a threat to win a major based on his driver and iron play alone. Like most players, if just finds a week where his putter behaves, he's going to win a major title. Best chance for a major: British Open / Chances he'll win one: 30%

4. Matt Kuchar: No one this good for this long should be major-less, but Kuchar has been on TOUR for the better part of two decades now and not only does he not own one, he's only been in the hunt -- seriously -- a few times. He has the game, although his "closing skills" might be what winds up holding him back in the long run. Still, at some point, you have to figure the golf gods will give in to him like they did to Darren Clarke. Best chance for a major: PGA Championship / Chances he'll win one: 30%

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It's not a label he wants, but it comes with the territory when you're a world class player like Sergio Garcia and you still don't have a major title on your resume.

3. Marc Leishman: Coulda, shoulda, woulda won the British Open last year and has sniffed around at a few other majors without coming out on top. Does everything well...it's just a matter of it all coming together over four days, which it will, at some point. Best chance for a major: British Open / Chances he'll win one: 35%

2. Henrik Stenson: Just needs to get his head on straight and keep it that way for an entire season, which is easier said than done, apparently. Drives it like a rock star, hits his irons great, and can get red hot with the putter and make everything in sight. Just needs to get tougher mentally and he'll win one, maybe more like three or four. Best chance for a major: The Masters / Chances he'll win one: 35%

1. Sergio Garcia: It's such a shame they make people putt in golf. If they didn't, Garcia would have six majors by now. His putting was actually pretty decent at Oakmont this year, so perhaps this is the year he finally gets that major monkey off his back. One of the ten best drivers of the golf ball in the history of the game and a spot-on iron player. Short game is more than major worthy, but that flat stick always seems to hold him back. He is, right now, "the best player to have never won a major title". Best chance for a major: British Open / Chances he'll win one: 40%

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u.s. soccer: humbled in houston


It started ugly.

It stayed ugly.

It ended ugly.

Argentina scored in the game’s 4th minute on Tuesday night and went on to waltz through the U.S. men’s national soccer team, 4-0, in the Copa America semi-finals at NRG Stadium in Houston.

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The United States was no match for the best player in the world on Tuesday night, as Lionel Messi sliced and diced his way through the American defense in a 4-0 win for Argentina.

If it had been a boxing match, the ring doctor would have waved the white towel after the 4th round.

Maybe even the 3rd round.

The game was completely dominated by Argentina from the opening whistle until the expiration of the contest some 90 minutes later. The American side didn’t create their first legitimate scoring chance until the 76th minute when 17-year old Christian Pulisic muffed a chance from ten yards out.

By then, it was 3-0 for the Argentines, who spent most of the final thirty minutes of the game trying to nutmeg any player in white and pile on with another goal or three.

The first goal of the game was a sign of things to come for the U.S. team. Kyle Beckerman failed to pick up his man in the box, and when Lionel Messi’s deft chip-pass found the head of unmarked Lavezzi, goalkeeper Brad Guzan was flat-footed and off his line and the ball was easily nodded past him. 1-0 Argentina, four minutes in.

Messi himself got in the goal-scoring act later in the first half after Chris Wondolowski gave the ball away, then fouled Messi harshly some 28 yards away from the goal. The Argentine superstar pounded a left-footed shot into the upper right corner of the goal on the free kick to make it 2-0 and essentially end the game.

Argentina scored again early in the second half after John Brooks got caught ball watching in the penalty area.

The final goal of the game in the 84th minute was an embarrassment.

Michael Bradley sent a ball into the middle of the field that Steve Birnbaum decided to try and dummy to no one in particular. The only problem? There were three Argentina players in the vicinity and the ball eventually found the foot of Messi, who calmly slid a pass into the penalty area where it was collected by Higuain and deposited into the U.S. net for the game’s final tally.

It was a forgettable night for the U.S., who were clearly out of their element against the best team in the world.

Jurgen Klinsmann will get some grief for his defensive-minded starting lineup, but with three starters out and his top two hopefuls – Pulisic and Nagbe – both largely inexperienced for this type of contest, there wasn’t much more he could do.

Here are individual player grades for the U.S. team:

Brad Guzan (GK) , (5) – Woefully unprepared for the first goal of the game, but couldn’t really be faulted on any of the other three. Made a nice stop on Messi in the 80th minute.

Geoff Cameron (D), (5) – Nothing special, but has mastered the offsides trap as well as anyone on the American backline.

DeAndre Yedlin (D), (7) – Best player on the field for the U.S., using his speed in the back end to break up a handful of odd-man rushes and going forward with enthusiasm to set up a goal scoring chance or two.

John Brooks (D), (4) – Too much ball watching, too much standing around, not enough activity. Failed to close Messi on the game’s first goal, wasn’t paying attention on the tally that put the Argentine’s up 3-0.

Fabian Johnson (D), (6) – Didn’t do any harm, but wasn’t much of a factor, either. Still, when the ball was on his foot, he rarely gave it to the other team.

Kyle Beckerman (MF), (4) – Failed to mark his man in the 4th minute and conspired with Guzan to give-away an awful goal to get the game started. Just not good enough to compete at that level for 90 minutes.

Steve Birnbaum (MF), (4) – Subbed for Beckerman early in the second half and didn’t do much of anything until he misplayed a ball near the penalty area that Argentina pounced on for a 4-0 lead.

Michael Bradley, (MF), (4) – Nothing to show for his 90 minutes of work. Didn’t lose the ball as much as he had in past games, but that’s probably because the U.S. didn’t get it very often. Disappointing Copa America for him.

Graham Zusi, (MF), (5) – Held the ball well at times but his lack of speed makes him a non-factor when the ball is moving around like it did throughout the game on Tuesday night.

Gyasi Zardes, (MF), (6) – Had a decent run or two in the first half, but lost his enthusiasm in the second 45 minutes, as he tends to do. One of the few guys who looks to go forward at all times.

Clint Dempsey, (F), (4) – Should have paid for a ticket to the game. He would have had a better vantage point than the one he had for 90 minutes. Barely touched the ball and had ZERO impact on the game. None.

Chris Wondolowski, (F), (4) – Never got a chance to finish, which is his specialty, and was directly involved in the 2nd goal when he gave the ball away at midfield, then fouled Messi moments later to set up the free kick that the superstar buried in the net.

Christian Pulisic, (F), (5) – Subbed for Wondolowski at the half and looked overmatched from the start, but got better as the half went on and had a couple of nice ball possession moments. Has a long way to go before he can be considered as a starter, but his time will come.

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umbc names ryan moran head men's lacrosse coach


UMBC has announced the hiring of former Loyola University assistant coach Ryan Moran as the school's new head men's lacrosse coach, succeeding Don Zimmerman, who stepped down this past spring after 23 seasons at the school.

“Ryan Moran is more than ready to take Retriever men’s lacrosse to new heights and once again have our program a contender on the regional and national scene,” UMBC Athletic Director Tim Hall said. “He is intelligent, thoughtful, a fantastic recruiter, an extraordinary strategist and is completely committed to academic success and the welfare of his athletes. We are excited to welcome him to the UMBC family.”

The new Retriever mentor just completed his second season as assistant coach at Loyola of Maryland, where he helped guide the Greyhounds to the 2016 national semifinals. The Long Island, N.Y. native spent the previous six seasons on the staff at the University of Maryland. Moran joined the Maryland staff in September 2008 as an assistant coach, before being promoted to the position of associate head coach during his final two years in College Park.

His work with the Greyhounds’ offense in 2016 culminated with Loyola’s second trip to NCAA Championship Weekend in the last five seasons. Over the last 10 games of the year, a stretch in which Loyola went 9-1, Moran’s offensive unit averaged 12.2 goals per game.

He tutored Second Team All-American Pat Spencer to the finest offensive season in Loyola’s NCAA Division I history (since 1982). The freshman tied the overall program record for points (89) while coming up second in assists with 52 – both figures ranking second in the country.

At Maryland, Moran's offensive units averaged 10.92 goals per game over his six seasons while playing some of the toughest schedules in collegiate lacrosse. He also coached the Terrapins' faceoff unit that ranked in the nation's top seven for three of his years, including 2014 when Maryland won 64.6 percent of restarts, the third-best mark in Division I.

Prior to joining the coaching staff in College Park, Moran was an assistant coach at the U.S. Naval Academy for current U.S. Men's Lacrosse National Team Coach Richie Meade from 2006-2008. He helped the Midshipmen to three NCAA Tournament appearances and two Patriot League titles (2006 and 2007).

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deposits now being taken for our trip to notre dame on september 24


If you go, you can draw a line through that item on your bucket list on September 24, 2016, when #DMD heads to South Bend to see Notre Dame take on Duke.

#DMD's first-ever trip to Notre Dame is brought to you by our friends at Kelly Payroll.

X
Never been to the mecca of college football? Join #DMD for a trip to Notre Dame on September 24 as the Fighting Irish battle Duke.

We'll leave on the first flight Saturday morning, arriving in South Bend about 10:00 am. We'll take part in the pre-game revelry, enjoy some ice-cold refreshments and tailgate food, then head to the stadium for the 3:30 pm kick-off.

After the game, the group can remain in South Bend for a few hours to enjoy the post-game festivities before we head to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

Our return flight on Sunday morning will arrive in Baltimore in plenty of time for you to watch the Ravens play at Jacksonville at 1:00 pm.

Just click here and you'll be taken to the information and reservations page. Deposits are accepted now with full payment due in mid-August.

Please note: We're taking only 24 people on this trip. Sixteen of those spots are now reserved. Only eight remain.


Tuesday
June 21
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIII
Issue 21
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


usga shouldn't get a mulligan


As expected yesterday, the United States Golf Association saw the chaos they created with the final round rules fiasco involving Dustin Johnson and asked to be forgiven.

"We'd really like a mulligan because we clearly made a big bogey," USGA President Mike Davis said Monday on The Golf Channel.

Nope, Mike. No can do.

This is the one that's going to be the USGA's scarlet letter. You nearly cost a guy his first major championship and, in the process, made a mockery of the sport you're enlisted with managing.

Disturbing a player mid-round isn't acceptable

Oddly enough, with time now in the rear view mirror, it's more and more apparent that the USGA was likely correct in their assertion that Johnson was guilty of moving his ball on the 5th green during Sunday's final round and, therefore, subject to a one-shot penalty.

That, though, isn't the story.

There are two trains of thought with relation to the 7-hole gap it took for the USGA to come out and put Johnson on notice that the incident on the 5th green would be reviewed with him at the completion of his round.

First, perhaps the USGA was hoping Johnson himself would gather his thoughts and call the penalty on himself, although without the benefit of instant replay, there's likely no way he could have done that on the course, during the round. He immediately straightened up and said, "My ball moved, but I didn't cause it to move" when he saw his ball rotate backwards on the green, so his initial thought was most certainly that he was in the clear.

Given the opportunity to look at the video tape more closely, Johnson would have seen what we all saw. His two practice strokes and then the effort to put his putter behind the ball must have somehow caused his ball to oscillate and change positions on the green. If those actions didn't cause the ball to move, what did, then?

Second, the USGA assumed by informing Johnson of the potential penalty, it would create a fair playing field for not only himself, but the others coming in on the back nine who were in contention for the U.S. Open title.

That was silly. A player could be guilty of a penalty on every hole, every stroke, etc. There's no way to pre-monitor that and say, "OK, guys, just so you know, the leaderboard might say "x" but we want you to know that so-and-so is potentially going to be penalized for something on the 17th hole, so strategize accordingly."

The USGA should have known better than to interfere with someone's round of competitive golf.

It's a testament to Johnson's intestinal fortitude -- questioned routinely throughout his career -- that he was able to put that all aside and play well enough down the stretch to win.

And to think that the USGA nearly played a part in having him fail yet again on the back nine of a major championship.

Just wait until the end of the round to call the penalty

The cat was out of the bag as soon as USGA official Jeff Hall appeared on the FOX broadcast of the tournament when Johnson was on the 14th hole. All you had to do was listen to what he said and read between the lines a little to know a penalty on Johnson was forthcoming. They had already made their decision.

Had they looked at the video and confirmed amongst themselves that Johnson hadn't created an infraction, there wouldn't have been a need to carry it past that point. Johnson himself had already indicated to the rules official in his group that he was in the clear -- or so he thought -- so if the USGA agreed with that once they say the video, no further action would have been needed.

Instead, they thought the exact opposite. They looked at the tape, didn't like what they saw, and at that point thought there was enough evidence in place to penalize him. And that's when Hall made his way out to the 12th tee to deliver the news to Johnson that the incident on the 5th green was "under review".

So, given that, the solution the USGA should have come up with is simple. They should have waited until the conclusion of the round, brought Johnson in, showed him the tape, carefully explained the rule to him, and then made their decision at that point.

It would have saved them gobs of embarrassment on live television and social media and wouldn't have made a farce out of the whole process.

The rules of golf are, at times, crazy. On the 10th hole in Sunday's final round, Johnson drove his ball so far left he was in the rough that runs alongside the 11th hole. A TV tower some 80 yards away could have potentially affected his play to the green, even though it was highly unlikely he could have forced the ball out of that tall grass and onto the green from that position anyway. He was then given a free drop, was able to drop his ball in the fairway on the 11th hole, and promptly lofted an easy shot over the TV tower and onto the 10th green.

Weird, right?

A guy's ball moves 1/4 of a inch on the green and that's somehow deemed "an advantage" but he's later allowed to take relief from a temporary immoveable obstruction and then play the next shot directly over that obstruction anyway?

In fairness, though, that's not a USGA "rule", that's a rule governed by the R&A in Scotland. The USGA just abides by it, that's all.

What happened on Sunday, though, was very much the USGA's fault.

Whether or not you agree that Johnson should have been penalized on the 5th green, I think we can all agree it was handled the wrong way.

Mike Davis and the USGA would like a mulligan.

But, he and the rest of the folks who govern golf in the U.S. should know by now -- mulligans aren't allowed in "real" golf.

This one is going to hurt the USGA for a long time.

And it should.

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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.


o's fail in the clutch, lose 4-3 at texas


The Orioles scattered baserunners all over the place on Monday night in Arlington, Texas. That was the good news.

The bad news -- not many of them crossed home plate.

The Birds went 3-for-11 at the plate with runners in scoring position and left 12 runners on base in total, falling 4-3 to the Rangers in a make-up game from an April 17 rain out date in Arlington.

Things looked promising for Kevin Gausman when the Birds handed him a 3-0 second inning lead, but he wasn't able to hold on to it, falling to 0-5 on the year.

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Now 0-5 on the year, Kevin Gausman couldn't make a 3-0 lead work in his favor last night against the Texas Rangers.

After Texas went ahead 4-3 in the 4th inning, the Orioles had a runner on base in each of the next five innings, but couldn't cash in.

Their best chance came in the top of the 9th when Chris Davis singled with one out and Mark Trumbo moved him to third with a single of his own. But, Matt Wieters struck out and Jonathan Schoop grounded into a fielder's choice to end the game and give the Rangers their 7th straight victory.

Gausman was again "just OK", going five innings and allowing ten total baserunners on nine hits and a walk. His four earned runs allowed bumped his ERA up to 4.37 on the year.

In fairness to Gausman, he's yet to have a game or two this season like the Birds gifted to Chris Tillman on Sunday in the 11-6 win over Toronto.

The Orioles cranked out 15 hits on Monday night, as every starter had at least one. But, once those three runs pushed across in the second inning, that was all the scoring the Birds would do.

Dylan Bundy pitched the final three innings on Monday night and produced a clean sheet, striking out three along the way.

The Orioles left four players back in Baltimore for the quick one-game trip to Texas, a simple sign from Buck Showalter that he wanted to win the game, but wasn't prepared to go to great lengths to do so. Among those who stayed home was Brad Brach, who had pitched in three of the team's previous four games.

The Birds host the San Diego Padres for two games, then have an off day on Thursday before welcoming the Tampa Bay Rays to town for a 4-game weekend series that starts Friday night.

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can the u.s. stop messi and argentina tonight?


There are some, prone to hype and hyperbole, who are calling tonight's Copa America semi-final between the U.S. and Argentina "the biggest game in American soccer history".

No, it isn't.

Fifty years from now, no one's going to remember that the Americans beat Argentina in the 2016 Copa America tournament.

Now, if this match were being played in June of 2018 and it was in the World Cup -- that would be a different story.

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U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann has some critical moves to make tonight as his team faces Argentina in the semi-finals of Copa America.

As it is, though, tonight's game (9:00 pm) in Houston is huge for a U.S. squad that is seeking to gain momentum for the final two games of first-stage World Cup qualifying in September. They need a solid performance against Argentina for a variety of reasons, notwithstanding the fact that a victory this evening pushes them into the Copa America finals.

Beating Argentina won't be easy. They have the best player in the world, Lionel Messi, on their team, and he's already rampaged his way to 4 goals and 2 assists in 164 minutes of action in the four games his team has played in the tournament thus far.

Not only is stopping Messi a tall order for the U.S., but they themselves have to figure out how to create chances and put a ball or two in the net. And they'll need to do that minus three erstwhile starters who won't be available due to one-game suspensions; Bobby Wood, Jermaine Jones and Alejandro Bedoya.

Gyasi Zardes will likely take Wood's spot up top. While he doesn't have the same touch and savvy around the goal that Wood possesses, Zardes has great speed and a menacing work rate when he's interested in getting involved. Chris Wondolowski is also a possibility to start in place of Wood, but it's likely he'll be saved for a 75th minute substitution if the U.S. needs an injection of offensive help in the game's final 15 minutes.

DeAndre Yedlin will return to the lineup after missing the Ecuador game, so Jurgen Klinsmann gets some fresh legs back in the lineup tonight against a potent Argentina side that is the current odds-on-favorite to win Copa America.

It sounds almost unsportsmanlike to say this, but the best game plan for the Americans might be to somehow get a first half penalty kick, convert on it, and then pack it in defensively for the entire second half and escape with a 1-0 win.

Argentina is prone to giving up goals in the normal run of play, though, so it's not out of the question that the U.S. side might be able to produce a tally or two this evening. Unfortunately, Argentina is capable of scoring six goals on any given night.

The game comes down to one simple question: "Can the U.S. keep Messi from having a field day?"

If the answer to that question is "yes", the Americans might be able to hold their own tonight in Houston.

If that answer becomes "no", the U.S. run in this edition of Copa America will come to an end.

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deposits now being taken for our trip to notre dame on september 24


If you go, you can draw a line through that item on your bucket list on September 24, 2016, when #DMD heads to South Bend to see Notre Dame take on Duke.

#DMD's first-ever trip to Notre Dame is brought to you by our friends at Kelly Payroll.

X
Never been to the mecca of college football? Join #DMD for a trip to Notre Dame on September 24 as the Fighting Irish battle Duke.

We'll leave on the first flight Saturday morning, arriving in South Bend about 10:00 am. We'll take part in the pre-game revelry, enjoy some ice-cold refreshments and tailgate food, then head to the stadium for the 3:30 pm kick-off.

After the game, the group can remain in South Bend for a few hours to enjoy the post-game festivities before we head to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

Our return flight on Sunday morning will arrive in Baltimore in plenty of time for you to watch the Ravens play at Jacksonville at 1:00 pm.

Just click here and you'll be taken to the information and reservations page. Deposits are accepted now with full payment due in mid-August.

Please note: We're taking only 24 people on this trip. Sixteen of those spots are now reserved. Only eight remain.


Sunday
June 19
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIII
Issue 19
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


johnson, james, finally deliver the goods


If you're a fan of hard work, rising to the occasion and exorcising a few demons, June 19, 2016 was a day you won't soon forget.

I know I sure won't.

A pair of extraordinary athletes finally came through and fulfilled their destiny, with Dustin Johnson winning the U.S. Open golf championship and LeBron James pulling off a miracle comeback against the Golden State Warriors with a virtuoso Game 7 performance in Cleveland's 93-89 win that gave the Cavaliers the NBA title.

Both men have won titles in their illustrious careers, yes. But they had never won those kind of titles until Sunday.

For Johnson, now a 10-time winner on the PGA Tour, Sunday's victory at Oakmont CC was his first-ever major championship. He came from four shots down to do it, overcame a bizarre mid-round rules controversy, and best of all, canned a handful of huge putts down the stretch to befriend the one club that had let him down so much in earlier failed conquests.

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The rest of his career starts now, as Dustin Johnson is finally a major champion in the world of professional golf.

James, now making a run at the "greatest of all time" label, had captured two NBA titles in Miami, but vowed to bring Cleveland a title when he returned to the Cavaliers two years ago, something the city hadn't seen in 52 years.

It seemed that Cleveland was destined to wait another year after LeBron and Company lost Game 4 at home and fell behind in the series, 3-1. But Golden State's Draymond Green changed the complexion of the series late in Game 4 with a silly foul on James that resulted in a one-game suspension for Green, and Cleveland cruised to wins in Game 5 and 6 to set up last night's winner-take-all Game 7.

Because every sport plays too many games, with too many teams, and too many players, most of the action we watch on a day-to-day basis is jammed with mediocrity and guys "just making a (nice) living." It's rare that you get two moments in one day that capture the essence of why those of us who love sports are so connected to it, but Sunday gave us that and more. We watched champions, forced to operate in the brightest spotlight their respective sports could offer, and both Johnson and James came through in a way like they never had before.

Both guys had their share of detractors.

Johnson is the PGA Tour player who looks more like a front-cover GQ model and operates with the same quiet confidence that a panther employs while staking out his next meal in the jungle.

Throughout his career, he's been known as the guy with the million-dollar-golf-swing and the ten-cent-head. There was a curious "hiatus" on the PGA Tour a few years back that was rumored to have been a suspension for a failed drug test, and Johnson coughed up no more than four previous major championships by falling apart at the seams somehow in the final hour on Sunday.

He was everyone's pick, just about every week, but the near misses and close calls far outweighed the post-round trophy presentations. He was snakebit, but more of his own doing than anything else.

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Not only did LeBron James finally deliver Cleveland a title, he beat Steph Curry on his home court in Game 7 to do it.

James has been the league's most polarizing figure since joining the NBA right out of high school in 2003.

Despite the winning, despite the MVP awards and despite taking Cleveland from a moribund franchise to a league title contender right away, James had people railing against his lack of intenstinal fortitude. In 2010, he left the Cavaliers and "took his (my) talents to South Beach", where he combined with a couple of other high-profile stars to win two NBA titles with the Heat. But, still, he was largely disrespected by those who follow the game closely.

But not anymore.

LeBron James beat Golden State, in their building, in Game 7, and it was his performance that closed the coffin on Steph Curry's dream season.

Had James scored a mere 11 points in last night's win, people would have been able to say, "Yeah, but where was LeBron in that 7th game? Nowhere to be found..."

They can't say that today. LeBron had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists and became just the third player in league history to record a triple-double in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. He will carry that with him forever.

When there's a winner, there's a loser, and in the case of Sunday's two titles, a pair of high-profile performers came up on the short end and will have to face the music now.

Reigning U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth entered Sunday's final round at Oakmont CC at +4, needing a sizzling final round and a dozen other players to come back to him if had any hope of repeating as the titleist.

Instead of bolting through the pack and making a Sunday charge, Spieth went the other way, brooding and sulking his way to a dismal finish that included a 4-putt on the front nine and a quiet exit afterwards.

Spieth is slowly morphing from a player everyone loves to love to one that everyone might want to see get his comeuppance. When things are going well, he's smiling and saying all the right things. When things aren't swinging in his favor, he's petulant and off-putting. It's not a good look for the kid that many feel could be "the next face of American golf" now that Tiger Woods appears to be close to calling it quits.

Steph Curry, the 2-time NBA MVP, wasn't able to get the job done in any of the final three games against LeBron and Company. Whatever it was -- nerves, bad technique or "market correction" -- Curry couldn't hit a key shot when it mattered most on Sunday night, hoisting up a sad airball from 28-feet with three minutes left in the game that epitomized Golden State's fall from grace over the final three games of the series.

When called upon to lift HIS team the way James did with the Cavaliers, Curry came up empty.

In his defense, though, Curry handled the Game 7 loss and his own sub-par performance with grace and integrity on Sunday evening. He faced the media afterwards, answered every question as honestly as he could, and didn't leave until every reporter's notebook was filled.

Sunday, though, was about winning.

Dustin Johnson finally did it.

And, so, too, did LeBron James.

It all starts over for them today, though, as new goals and new conquests have to be strategized, as neither man will want Sunday's achievement to be their crowning moment.

My guess? They'll both be there again.

But we'll all remember the first one for both of them, more than any other, I bet.

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rules snafu was proof that johnson can handle the heat


In a completely odd way, the mid-round rules snafu involving Dustin Johnson on Sunday in the home strech of the U.S. Open might have been the biggest slice of evidence that showed us, once and for all, that DJ has what it takes to win.

Johnson learned with six holes left that the United States Golf Association (USGA) was going to "take a look" at an incident on the 5th green involving Johnson and a possible rules infraction. If penalized, he would be docked one stroke at the end of the round.

What then transpired was one of the most bizarre scenes IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS.

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Not even a mid-round rules farce could get in the way of Dustin Johnson finally winning his first major.

Players all over the world, some of who played and missed the cut and some who had played in the event hours earlier, took to social media and slammed the USGA for nearly two full hours while Johnson and the rest of the field played the back nine.

The folks at FOX Sports had no choice but to turn the whole thing into a news story of sorts, interviewing USGA officials "live" during the broadcast of the tournament and displaying those angry social media outbursts from professional golfers, some of whom (Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy) have USGA trophies on their shelves back home.

When you read between the lines at what USGA official Jeff Hall was saying during that in-round interview, it was apparent that Johnson was, in fact, going to be penalized one stroke at the end of the round. Hall didn't exactly come out and say it, but you could tell it was coming.

For the record, here, I'll say this about the penalty-question itself. I can see where the USGA would look at the video tape and connect Johnson's pre-shot routine with the fact that his ball moved. If you read the rule carefully, there's enough evidence in place there to say that the two practice strokes DJ took coupled with the attempt to rest his putter behind the ball somehow engaged the ball to roll backwards a tick.

I'm not saying I like the rule, endorse the rule or approve of it. Not in the least. What I am saying, though, is I can see where the video tape would give the USGA reason to penalize him.

I wouldn't have penalized him...but there's evidence in place to at least consider it, that much I'll admit.

But -- there's no way they should have brought the whole thing to his attention AGAIN on the 12th tee. It was handled in the moment, on the 5th green, and Johnson proceeded the way he should have at that point, calling over a rules official, explaining what he THOUGHT happened, and then playing out the hole the way the rules allow for it to be played.

Going out there on the 12th tee and causing a stir like that was completely inappropriate.

Once Johnson won the tournament by (then) four shots, it became easy for the USGA to "preserve the integrity of the game" and dock him a shot, but all hell would have broken loose if Johnson would have finished one shot ahead of the field and would have been penalized afterwards.

I'm not sure they would have done it, honestly.

The golf, though, overshadowed the rules fiasco.

Like he did a year ago at Chambers Bay, Johnson put on a driving display for the ages over four days at Oakmont Country Club. He routinely blasted drives of 330 yards and split the fairway time and time again, reducing the storied layout to a pitch-and-putt affair.

If his wedge game had been on point in Sunday's final round, he might have won by six shots instead of three. Golf hasn't had many great drivers of the golf ball in its history. Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman are the two that come to mind first, but Johnson makes those two look like amateur night with his prodigious length and ability to find the fairway time and time again.

He could win every time he tees it up. He's that freakin' good.

The final hour on Sunday was sports theater at its best.

Johnson was anything but steady after the 12th hole rules update, producing several loose swings that forced him into "grind mode" as Shane Lowry and Scott Piercy hovered with him at the top of the leaderboard.

Then, maybe for the first time in his career, his putter came to life under the gun -- when he needed it most. Johnson made a mess of the easy par-4 14th and made bogey there to slip back to 4-under par and a tie for the lead. That was the last time he would miss a putt that mattered in the 2016 U.S. Open.

After hitting a remarkable shot at the 239-yard par-3 16th hole, DJ ran his chip ten feet past the hole. Over the years, this was the putt he would miss. And the unraveling would begin.

Not this time.

Johnson rolled it in to make par and was now in the lead after Lowry also stumbled and bumbled his way to bogies at both 14 and 15.

At the 17th hole, he eschewed his own pre-tournament obligation to NOT hitting driver on the 300-yar par-4 hole and went with the big stick, putting it in the front right bunker.

All he needed at that point? Two pars. But par at the 17th didn't come easy, as Johnson's 18-footer for birdie slid four feet past the hole. Again, in previous U.S. Open flare-ups, he would have missed that short one coming back, like he did last year on the final hole at Chambers Bay that gift-wrapped the trophy to Jordan Spieth.

Not this time.

With par at 17, Johnson simply needed to play the 18th hole smart -- and not do anything historically stupid, and he'd finally have that first major title.

He piped a 309 yard drive on the uphill finishing hole, then ripped a 6-iron to five feet that never left the flag.

Even that wasn't routine, though. Just as Johnson was taking the club back in the middle of the 18th fairway, a low battery alarm sounded on the TV camera stationed twenty yards behind him. He was able to stop, reset, and then hit the shot of his life. But -- had that alarm sounded a split second later, there's no telling what affect it might have had on Johnson's shot into the final green.

The 18th hole birdie was icing on the cake, a fitting way for Dustin Johnson to finally capture that elusive first major title.

So many other chances, so many other close calls, so many other missed putts.

Not this time.

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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.


birds rebound from friday shellacking to win two of three from toronto


It didn't start off well, but the three-game weekend series with the Toronto Blue Jays finished on a high note, as the O's pounded Toronto pitching for 19 hits on Sunday afternoon in an 11-6 win that kept the Orioles one game in front of Boston in the American League East.

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Headed to the All-Star Game, Chris Tillmam is now 10-1 on the year after beating the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon in Baltimore.

Chris Tillman labored through five innings of work to get the win, throwing 99 pitches and allowing four earned runs -- all in the second inning -- to improve to 10-1 on the year.

Every Orioles starter except J.J. Hardy had a hit on Sunday. Matt Wieters had four, in fact, while Hyun Soo Kim, Chris Davis and Jonathan Schoop each collected three hits on the day.

Schoop, who hit a ball completely out of Fenway Park last Tuesday night, clobbered a 458-foot home run on Sunday, his 12th of the season. Wieters also hit a round tripper, his 7th of the year, in a 3-run first inning for the Orioles.

Maybe Friday night's 13-3 pounding served as a mini-wake-up-call for the Birds.

Maybe Toronto was destined to cool off a bit after a mid-week sweep in Philadelphia and that Friday night thrashing at Camden Yards.

Maybe the loss of Jose Bautista (disabled list) hurt the Blue Jays more than they first realized.

Whatever it was, the O's got the better end of it by winning the series, a particularly important accomplishment given that the Blue Jays beat the Birds three out of four in Toronto last weekend.

The O's head to Texas today for a make-up game from an April rain out, then return home to face San Diego (Tues-Wed) and Tampa Bay (four games, Fri-Sun) before heading out west next week.

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deposits now being taken for our trip to notre dame on september 24


If you go, you can draw a line through that item on your bucket list on September 24, 2016, when #DMD heads to South Bend to see Notre Dame take on Duke.

#DMD's first-ever trip to Notre Dame is brought to you by our friends at Kelly Payroll.

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Never been to the mecca of college football? Join #DMD for a trip to Notre Dame on September 24 as the Fighting Irish battle Duke.

We'll leave on the first flight Saturday morning, arriving in South Bend about 10:00 am. We'll take part in the pre-game revelry, enjoy some ice-cold refreshments and tailgate food, then head to the stadium for the 3:30 pm kick-off.

After the game, the group can remain in South Bend for a few hours to enjoy the post-game festivities before we head to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

Our return flight on Sunday morning will arrive in Baltimore in plenty of time for you to watch the Ravens play at Jacksonville at 1:00 pm.

Just click here and you'll be taken to the information and reservations page. Deposits are accepted now with full payment due in mid-August.

Please note: We're taking only 24 people on this trip. Sixteen of those spots are now reserved. Only eight remain.


Sunday
June 19
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIII
Issue 19
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sunday tough takes

Thank goodness Jordan Spieth isn't in contention at the U.S. Open in today's final round...they might have to build lights on the 16th, 17th and 18th holes.

The guy has become almost annoyingly slow. Helluva player, nice young man, but just turtle-like on the golf course. Everything is a conversation with his caddie: "Where's the wind?", "How far behind the hole do we have?", "What did I hit here yesterday?", "I feel like it's more uphill than we're giving it credit for, don't you?", "How far right do I need to start this?".

He and his two playing partners were on the clock during yesterday's third round because of Spieth's slow play. They warned him twice at Augusta back in April. This isn't new, either. He was like this a year ago. It's aggravating to watch, let alone have to play with him.


Speaking of annoying, and this one's gonna hurt, but if Manny Machado played for another team in the American League, he'd be #1 on our arch-enemy list.

He's developing into a whiner of sorts and a guy that I'm afraid is going to be pretty easy to dislike if you're in any city in America except Baltimore. Like Spieth, he's a helluva player, one of the best in baseball, actually, but the bat flips, the lack of hustle on the basebaths, the blabbering about getting hit by a pitch...it's all starting to get a little boorish.

Trust me, when he plays for the Yankees in 2019, it will take us about 11 minutes to dislike him.


This is a significant season for John Harbaugh as the Ravens look to get back in the playoffs after missing the post-season in 2015.

2016 is Harbaugh's 9th year with the club. No matter how good you are, that's a long time coaching ANY team in ANY sport. Sure, Bill Belichick has been in New England forever, but he's been gifted one of the softest divisions in sports over the last two decades and he accidentally discovered perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time when his regular signal caller got hurt.

If the Ravens don't make the playoffs this year, there's no telling what reaction Steve Bisciotti might have. I'm a Harbaugh fan through and through, but this is a critical season for him.


I think what Jake Arrieta has done in Chicago is amazing. It's one of the best stories in any sport, anywhere, and he deserves a lot of credit for his perseverance.

But it's time for the reigning Cy Young winner in the National League to end his constant sniping at the Orioles for what happened here in Baltimore.

Sure, the local media here is partly to blame; they keep asking him questions and he keeps answering them.

But it's becoming a bad look for Arrieta, who has now apparently taken on the role of mentor, advisor and supporter of ex-Oriole Brian Matusz, who signed with the Cubs this past week. Everyone knows the Orioles screwed with Arrieta's mechanics and pitching style. He's made it quite clear over the last couple of years that it was the club's fault, not his. Enough is enough now. The Baltimore chapter is closed -- or it should be, at least -- and his "career" will always be about what he does with the Cubs, not the short stint in Charm City where he underachieved.


If the Golden State Warriors don't win the NBA title tonight, it will certainly put an asterisk next to their record-setting 2015-2016 regular season.

Golden State, 73-9*

*Failed to win NBA title, losing as many playoff games (9) in eight weeks as they did in six months of the regular season.

No matter what LeBron and the Cavaliers do tonight, James has showcased himself once again as the NBA's best athlete. You can debate the whole "who's the best player in the league?" question all you want, but LBJ is the most athletic guy in the league, hands down.

Oh, and if the Cavaliers do win tonight, Draymond Green is the goat of the series for Golden State. His suspension from Game 5 opened the door for the Cavaliers to see light at the end of the tunnel if they could just take care of business at Oracle Arena that night, and that they did.


Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there on this special day!

Like all of you out there who are fathers, the only real gift we need today is the health of our family. If we have that, we don't need anything else.

But an Orioles win and an exciting finish to the U.S. Open would be nice "bonus prizes" if anyone out there can set that up for me!

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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.


wild britton rescued by game-ending double play in 4-2 o's win


There for a minute on Saturday afternoon, it looked like Zach Britton had rubbed up against Ubaldo Jimenez in the Orioles' bullpen.

He couldn't throw a strike.

Britton loaded the bases with one out in the 9th, protecting a 4-2 lead, but got Josh Donaldson to swing at a regrettable pitch that culminated in a Schoop-to-Hardy-to-Davis game-ending double play, as the Birds cooled off the red-hot Blue Jays to stay one-game up on Boston, who beat the Mariners, 6-2.

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It didn't look good for a few minutes on Saturday, but Zach Britton came out smelling like a rose after Josh Donaldson's game-ending double play gave the Birds a 4-2 win.

It was only Britton's third appearance in the last nine days. He pitched in Toronto a week ago Thursday and then worked in both the 8th and 9th innings on Tuesday night in Boston. Saturday, he looked rusty and out of sorts, assisted in the 9th by a questionable strike two call from home plate umpire Dan Iassogna during Kevin Pillar's outbat that eventually resulted in a strikeout.

After walking the next two batters, Britton got Donaldson to hit into the game-ending double play.

Yovani Gallardo made his first start since late April and was decent enough, which is code word for "better than Jimenez", going five innings and allowing nine total base runners on five hits and four walks.

Gallardo did strike out five, though, and his velocity hovered in the low 90's, which was better than anything we saw from him at the start of the season when he was barely able to hit 90 mph.

Jonathan Schoop hit his 11th home run of the season in the third inning and went 3-for-4 on the day batting in the second spot in the lineup.

Manny Machado had a three hit day himself in his final outing before he begins serving a 4-game suspension today (Sunday).

The Jays had outscored their opponents 44-10 during a recent 4-game winning streak that included a 13-3 pasting of the O's on Friday night at Camden Yards. They were going to cool off at some point, and Saturday turned out to be the day.

Marcus Stroman opposes Chris Tillman in today's series finale.

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just the way it should be; about ten guys could win the u.s. open today


Irishman Shane Lowry sits atop the leaderboard at Oakmont Country Club at 5-under par, but he's far from a lock to win the U.S. Open in suburban Pittsburgh.

In fact, they still haven't even finished the third round, with the final group of the day (D. Johnson, Landry and Piercy) still faced with playing the final five holes of round three early Sunday morning.

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Shane Lowry reacts after a birdie on the 12th hole in Saturday's 3rd round pushed him to 5-under par and on top of the leaderboard at the U.S. Open

Lowry himself still has to play holes 15-through-18 on Sunday, but he slept on the overnight lead Saturday evening after posting a three-under par score for his first 14 holes in round three.

Dustin Johnson made a nifty up-and-down from the right bunker at 13 as the horn blew to end play at 8:39 pm on Saturday to stay within three shots of Lowry. Johnson made a sloppy double bogey six at the third hole and then failed to convert some relatively short birdie chances at #8 and #12 to slip back to 2-under par.

Johnson is seeking his first major title after a number of close finishes and final round meltdowns. He's well in the mix in this one, too, but his putter will have to be much more cooperative on Sunday if he's going to overtake Lowry and hold off the others who are also in pursuit.

Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood are also chasing their respective first majors and each are also at 2-under par, with Westwood playing the steadiest of them all. Garcia continues to fight a balky putter -- as he's done for most of his career -- but all he needs is 18 holes of magic with it and he could wind up in the winner's circle.

There's also Andrew Landry, who is looking to join Francis Ouimet, Ben Curtis and Keegan Bradley as the fourth player in golf history to win a major title in his first-ever attempt.

Landry was routinely 30 yards behind Dustin Johnson on every tee-ball during round three, but managed to outplay DJ from that point, mixing solid iron play with reliable putting to stay very much in the hunt at 3-under par through 49 holes.

Others who are sniffing around will need a combination of something like a 66 on their card and 72 or more from the leaders and those in close pursuit. But don't count out the likes of Jason Day (+1), Zach Johnson (+1) and Bryson DeChambeau (+1).

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Is Sunday finally Sergio Garcia's time to capture that elusive first major title?

Branden Grace (-1) is back in the hunt again, trying to make up for last year's final hour blunder when he was tied for the lead with Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson before hitting his tee-shot out of bounds on the 16th hole in the final round.

An argument can be made that the guys currently sitting at 1 over or 2 over par, even, have a huge advantage heading into Sunday's final round. Having finished their 3rd round on Saturday, they can treat the final round as they typically would on any given Sunday, knowing they'll likely tee off somewhere in the 2pm range and not being forced to get up at 5 am on Sunday to come back out and finish their 3rd round play.

The likes of Lowry, Landy, Johnson, Garcia and Westwood will have to be at the course by 6 am, play from 7 am to 8:30, then wait around (assuming they're still near the top of the leaderboard) until 2:30 pm to start their final round.

The rain that pounded Oakmont on Thursday softened the course enough that USGA officials never got the desired "firm and fast" conditions they were hoping for when the players arrived on the scene for practice last Monday.

Unless something really crazy happens on Sunday, the winner of the tournament will be under par, something most experts felt was impossible earlier in the week. Once the rain came on Thursday, an over-par finishing score was rather unlikely.

But still, Oakmont CC has once again showcased itself as one of the toughest courses in America. The best players in the world will have gathered there this week and only a half dozen or so will threaten to shoot par or better for four days. That's a true testament to Oakmont's difficulty.

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deposits now being taken for our trip to notre dame on september 24


If you go, you can draw a line through that item on your bucket list on September 24, 2016, when #DMD heads to South Bend to see Notre Dame take on Duke.

#DMD's first-ever trip to Notre Dame is brought to you by our friends at Kelly Payroll.

X
Never been to the mecca of college football? Join #DMD for a trip to Notre Dame on September 24 as the Fighting Irish battle Duke.

We'll leave on the first flight Saturday morning, arriving in South Bend about 10:00 am. We'll take part in the pre-game revelry, enjoy some ice-cold refreshments and tailgate food, then head to the stadium for the 3:30 pm kick-off.

After the game, the group can remain in South Bend for a few hours to enjoy the post-game festivities before we head to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

Our return flight on Sunday morning will arrive in Baltimore in plenty of time for you to watch the Ravens play at Jacksonville at 1:00 pm.

Just click here and you'll be taken to the information and reservations page. Deposits are accepted now with full payment due in mid-August.

Please note: We're taking only 24 people on this trip. Sixteen of those spots are now reserved. Only eight remain.


Saturday
June 18
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIII
Issue 18
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o's have no one to blame but themselves for friday night rout


All the excitement from that series win in Boston -- gone.

Last night's 13-3 shellacking at the hands of the visiting Blue Jays was bad enough for the Orioles, who welcomed over 38,000 into Camden Yards on a beautiful early summer night for the start of a big mid-season series with the defending A.L. East champs.

But it came at the expense of the team's two most puzzling arms, Mike Wright and Ubaldo Jimenez, who combined to allow all 13 runs in the defeat.

As weird as this sounds, you almost would have rather seen Chris Tillman just have one of those bizarre nights where he had nothing in the tank and wound up getting shelled for nine runs in four innings of work or something completely out of the ordinary like that.

We would have been able to say afterwards, "Well, that won't happen again this season."

"They hit my good pitches AND my bad pitches"

Instead, it was Wright (again) and Jimenez (again), who was making his first appearance since being banished to the bullpen earlier this week by Buck Showalter.

What's the next step down from the bullpen? That's Jimenez's next move, apparently.

Wright looked shell-shocked in the post-game media session, providing little commentary on his second straight poor outing against Toronto.

"They're a really good team," he said afterwards to reporters standing in front of his locker who wanted to know happened.

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Banished to the bullpen after getting hammered by the Blue Jays last Sunday, Ubaldo Jimenez faced the same fate by the visitors from up north last night in Baltimore.

Well, yes, Mike, they are a really good team, but you're a professional now, kid. Your job is to stop them -- or at least somewhat limit them.

Neither Wright or Jimenez could stop Michael Saunders on Friday night. He hit three home runs for the Blue Jays and collected eight RBI on the night. He came to the plate with the bases loaded in the 8th inning looking to become just the 17th player in major league history to hit four homers in one game, but he grounded into a double play.

I wrote after Wright's "do over" start against the Royals nearly two weeks ago that it wasn't a big deal to mow down Kansas City that night. I could have held them to six hits in 4.2 innings. Shutting down Toronto? That would be worth getting excited about.

Instead, Wright got smacked around by the Blue Jays in both of his next two starts, including last night's doozy of a stinker at Camden Yards, where he gave up eight earned runs in 3.2 innings on the mound. He gave up three home runs in that span, striking out three and walking one.

Jimenez wasn't much better, but that's hardly surprising. This has been bubbling for two months now and the Orioles still haven't figured out what to do with him. Stashing him in the bullpen seems like their move of choice, but if you can't get big league hitters out as a starter or a reliever, what's the use in having you around?

It's mid-June, so their options are limited, but the Orioles desperately have to find another arm to replace Jimenez. Perhaps they're just waiting for Vance Worley to return from the disabled list in ten days. If so, that's fine. But if Jimenez is still on the club when Worley returns, that's a definite problem.

Duquetee and Buck have to figure something out...soon.

That Jimenez is still pitching and still getting blasted almost isn't his fault anymore. Showalter and Duquette have been watching him for the better part of three seasons now. He's had small slivers of excellence and a much, much larger sample size of getting lit up.

This year has been the worst, though, and the fact that Jimenez is still on the roster and still pitching for the big league club is almost worthy of asking the question: "Are you guys paying attention to what's going on?"

The Kevin Gausman start in Boston was an outlier, and, so too was the start by Tyler Wilson on Thursday night as well. Each of them will have their own inevitable market correction in their next respective outings, I assume.

But both of those guys are at least reasonably capable of producing an acceptable performance every time they take the mound.

That ship has sailed on Jimenez and it looks to be leaving the port on Wright, too.

Boston got clobbered at home on Friday night as well, so the O's are still in first place in the A.L. East. But the Blue Jays are charging hard, as we saw last night at Camden Yards.

The Baltimore bats, which weren't all that active in hitter-friendly-Fenway earlier in the week, were rather tepid on Friday evening also, with Machado, Kim and Flaherty accounting for six of team's eight hits between the three of them.

But it's hard to show much fight when you're losing 11-2 as you come to bat in the fourth inning.

Today's 4:05 pm game at Camden Yards showcases the return of Yovani Gallardo from the disabled list. To say the Orioles "desperately need him" is an understatement, but he wasn't exactly looking like Cy Young when he was placed on the DL back in early May. If they get the "good" Gallardo, that works. If they get the same one who got knocked around in the first month, that's not going to do the Birds much good.

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dustin johnson back on top at the u.s. open


One name on top of the U.S. Open leaderboard is familiar and the other one isn't.

My guess? By late Saturday afternoon, the one you don't know, Andrew Landry, will be long gone.

The one you are familiar with, Dustin Johnson, will still be there.

Now, granted, Johnson might not get to play all 18 holes on Saturday, as the folks up at Oakmont CC still have a large number of players who need to finish their second round play after Thursday's rain wiped out most of day one.

But you can expect DJ to be hanging around all weekend and it's unlikely that Landry can do the same for the remaining 54 holes.

Johnson played both his first and second rounds on Friday and superb, making just one bogey on the day and producing rounds of 67-69 to sit at 4-under par through 36 holes. Landry is at -4 as well, but has played just his first 18 holes of the tournament.

Lee Westwood is one shot back at three under par and, like Landry, hasn't yet played his second round.

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With just one bogey through 36 holes, Dustin Johnson looks intent on making up for last year's 72nd hole putting collapse at Chambers Bay that handed the U.S. Open title to Jordan Spieth.

Scott Piercy and Sergio Garcia have both completed 36 holes at 2-under par. Garcia might have saved his chances for winning on his final hole on Friday. His tee-shot on the par-4 ninth went into knee deep grass on the left side of the fairway. It was the kind of moment that could have led to two, three or four swipes at the ball without dislodging it from the grass far enough to make a reasonable attempt at hitting the green.

Instead, Garcia somehow gouged it out of the rough about 20 yards and then hit his third shot on the green, some 50 feet from the pin. The ensuing bogey five he was due to make would have felt like a birdie. But, because it's golf, and you never know what happens next, Garcia rolled in the putt for an almost embarrassing par -- or at least that's what the look on his face said -- and a position on the first page of the leaderboard at 2-under-par.

But the story on Friday was Dustin Johnson, who coulda, shoulda, woulda won four or five major championships by now but still doesn't have one in his career. Last year's epic 3-putt from twelve feet on the final hole of regulation at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay will probably be replayed about 75 times this weekend by the folks at FOX Sports. He's become "that guy" who can't win under the gun.

That might change this weekend, though, in suburban Pittsburgh.

Until the final putt is holed and he's holding the trophy, Dustin Johnson still has to prove himself. But there's nothing in golf that doesn't come easy to him, except perhaps for putting when it matters most, and that's mainly an issue of nerves, not technique.

He drives the ball as well or better than guys like Norman, Nicklaus and Faldo ever did, only his ball travels about 20% further, and his iron play is almost laughably sublime. On the 15th hole yesterday, he hit a 193-yard seven iron to about 15 feet right of the hole that was executed with the same ease and lack of tension that you and I would play a shot from 40 yards into a green.

If he drives it over the weekend like he did on Friday, he's bound to finally leap into the winner's circle.

Except for one thing: putting.

As the weekend wears on and the sun bakes out the greens more and more, Johnson's work with the flat stick will have to be reliable, something that hasn't always been the case with him on the weekend of major championships.

Only making one bogey in 36 holes of U.S. Open play -- and on the same day, too -- shows that he might have those putting issues under control, but there's a big difference between putting well on Friday and putting well on Sunday.

There's a lot of golf left to be played at Oakmont, but the guy lots of people thought might overwhelm the course is, in fact, overwhelming the course.

But the weekend will tell the final story for Dustin Johnson.

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there is golf — and there is tournament golf

In the Comments section lately, we note a healthy volume of chirping about golf skills and have seen a number of friendly challenges to money matches thrown down. As a public service, #DMD provides a list of upcoming qualifiers, tournaments, and championships so that readers can take advantage of opportunities to demonstrate their prowess in the public forum.

Please note: BMGC stands for the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation; MSGA for the Maryland State Golf Association; and USGA for the United States Golf Association. Where a committee is listed as the Authority for an Event, please DuckDuckGo the Event name for eligibility and entry requirements.


AUTHORITY EVENT DATE LOCATION
BMGC Baltimore Stableford July 16 Clifton Park
USGA U.S. Amateur Qualifier July18 Woodholme
MSGA Father-Son Championship July 21 Eagle's Nest
MSGA Pro-Am Championship July 25 Cattail Creek
MSGA Amateur Public Links July 28 Greystone
BMGC Forest Park Stroke Play July 30 Forest Park
committee Frederick City Senior Amateur July 30 Clustered Spires
MSGA Women's Mixed Two-Ball August 12 Prospect Bay
BMGC Baltimore Amateur August 13 & 14 Mt. Pleasant & Pine Ridge
MSGA Mid-Amateur Championship August 15 & 16 Woodmore
committee Western Maryland Amateur August 19 to 21 Golf Club at Oakland
committee Frederick City Amateur August 27 & 28 Clustered Spires
MSGA Senior Team Championship September 10, 11, 17, 18 & 24 Various Clubs
MSGA Senior Amateur Championship September 13 & 14 Hunt Valley
MSGA Baltimore-Washington Team September 17 Kenwood
committee Frederick City Two-Person September 24 Clustered Spires
BMGC Baltimore Fall Two-Man October 8 & 9 Mt. Pleasant & Pine Ridge
MSGA Senior Open Championship October 10 & 11 Hillendale
USGA Amateur Fourball Qualifier October 17 Norbeck
committee Baltimore City Amateur
(by invitation)
October 22 & 23 Woodholme
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deposits now being taken for our trip to notre dame on september 24


If you go, you can draw a line through that item on your bucket list on September 24, 2016, when #DMD heads to South Bend to see Notre Dame take on Duke.

#DMD's first-ever trip to Notre Dame is brought to you by our friends at Kelly Payroll.

X
Never been to the mecca of college football? Join #DMD for a trip to Notre Dame on September 24 as the Fighting Irish battle Duke.

We'll leave on the first flight Saturday morning, arriving in South Bend about 10:00 am. We'll take part in the pre-game revelry, enjoy some ice-cold refreshments and tailgate food, then head to the stadium for the 3:30 pm kick-off.

After the game, the group can remain in South Bend for a few hours to enjoy the post-game festivities before we head to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

Our return flight on Sunday morning will arrive in Baltimore in plenty of time for you to watch the Ravens play at Jacksonville at 1:00 pm.

Just click here and you'll be taken to the information and reservations page. Deposits are accepted now with full payment due in mid-August.

Please note: We're taking only 24 people on this trip. Sixteen of those spots are now reserved. Only eight remain.


Friday
June 17
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIII
Issue 17
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


the silence at fenway was deafening

Boy, things sure got quiet at Fenway “Pahhhkk” last night.

That is, except for the couple of thousand Orioles fans who were in the stadium and reveled in the O’s 5-1 thrashing of Big Papi and the Sox.

Heck, we were so sure of a Birds win by the 7th inning a group of us ducked out early and scampered back to the Buckminster to watch the U.S. vs. Ecuador Copa America battle.

As it turned out, we got back to the hotel faster than it took David Ortiz to lumber around the bases after his meaningless 9th-inning homer off Brad Brach.

After getting blasted three out of four in Toronto, the 2-1 series win in Boston was just what the Birds needed. And now, the Blue Jays come to Baltimore for a weekend of fun, which will likely include some flared tempers, brush back pitches and heated competition.

Adam Jones
Adam Jones homered for the second straight night at Fenway Park, only this time his blast was part of a victory, as the Birds knocked off Boston, 5-1, on Thursday evening.

The Orioles still have starting-pitching issues outside of Chris Tillman, but last night’s performance from Tyler Wilson was both much needed and pleasantly surprising. As my pal Dean Johnson from Primary Residential Mortgage said in the hotel afterwards – “No one saw that performance coming tonight.”

Wilson and Mike Wright have both been dinged regularly this season, but for one night, at least, Wilson looked like a legitimate #4 or #5 starter in the big leagues. Let’s see what he does over his next couple of starts, but Thursday’s effort at Fenway Park was promising.

On a personal note, our group of 20 #DMD baseball enthusiasts had a blast together in Boston. Despite their outrageously obnoxious football fans, the Beantown baseball supporters we encountered this week were generally well behaved and pleasant to us. The ballpark is simply tremendous and the area in the general vicinity is worth the price of your game ticket on its own.

If the schedule makers put the Birds in Boston again next June or July, #DMD will be there for sure. If you’ve never been, it’s a “must-do” trip on your bucket list.

There’s a lot to do in Boston, far more than we could have crammed into our 3-day trip. A few of us took the train to Cambridge on Thursday and had lunch in Harvard Square. It was quite a sight to be on the Harvard campus and walk through the main courtyard area in between the various buildings. We also managed to squeeze in a quick trip down to Copley Square to take in the area where the Boston bombings occurred a few years back. It’s a surreal feeling to be right there where it all happened. God Bless Boston and their people for handling that devastating event so well.

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u.s. beats ecuador, advances to copa america semi's


It wasn't pretty, but American soccer isn't yet at the point where cosmetics matter all that much.

Dempsey
Clint Dempsey is clearly the MVP of the U.S. side in Copa America thus far, with 3 goals and 3 assists in four games, including the game-winning set-up in Thursday's 2-1 win over Ecuador.

Clint Dempsey scored a first half goal and assisted on another in the second half as the United States defeated Ecuador, 2-1, on Thursday night in Seattle. The win pushes the American side to the Copa America semi-finals in Houston next Tuesday against either Argentina or Venezuela.

What they lacked in beauty the U.S. more than made up for in grit last night, as they won nearly every loose ball in the opening 45 minutes and went toe-to-toe with an Ecuador side that lost their cool on more than one occasion in the second half.

Dempsey continued his improbable run in this Copa America competition, heading in a pass from Jermaine Jones in the 22nd minute to give him 3 goals and in the four games the U.S. has played thus far.

He added his third assist of the tournament in the second half, fending off a defender and sliding a shot/pass past the Ecuador goalkeeper and Gyasi Zardes was there on the far post to nudge it in for a 2-0 U.S. lead.

Ecuador would score in the 74th minute to make it 2-1 and that's the way it ended.

It wasn't all good news for the U.S. though. They lost three players for next Tuesday's semi-final contest in Seattle; Jermaine Jones received a red card, while Bobby Wood and Alejandro Bedoya both received yellow cards, their second of the tournament. All of which mandates a one-game suspension for each of those three players.



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.

Earlier this week, Miami’s Ichiro Suzuki set the all-time baseball hits record when he recorded hit #4,257 in his illustrious Hall of Fame career.

Of course, this is an unofficial record, because getting to this number requires us to combine Ichiro's career Major League hits with his career totals from his days in Japan.

He won't be the official MLB all-time hits leader. In fact, he won't even be a member of the 3,000 hits club (yet), but the all-time hits record will draw the attention and admiration of plenty of people. And it should; there's a strong tendency to heavily discount the Japanese leagues among American fans, which is unfortunate.

Nippon Pro (the highest league in Japan) certainly isn't quite up to par with MLB, but it's definitely better than the level of play at Triple-A, and surpasses the quality of players we usually regard as being "4-A" players in America as well.

Ichiro is, fittingly, quite a bit of proof of the caliber of player you can find at the upper levels of competition in Nippon Pro. Far from having any kind of steep learning curve when coming to America, he made his debut at 27 years old in 2001, and promptly led the league in hits with 242, batting average (.350), stole 56 bases (again leading the league) and, oh yeah, won the American League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards (Jason Giambi should have won the latter but…details).

In each of his first ten seasons, Ichiro topped 200 hits, led the league in seven of those seasons, won another batting crown by hitting .372 in 2004, and in that same season he set the MLB single season hit record with 262.

That’s a decade long run of hitting excellence. In short, the guy has been a tremendous player, and he deserves the recognition for a unique career achievement, even if no one actually considers him the all-time hit leader and he certainly won't be officially regarded as such.

Sadly, and predictably, the informal nature of the "record" hasn't kept some haters from coming out in full force.

The mere acknowledgment that Ichiro's combined hit mark has surpassed Rose's has provoked a sneeringly dismissive response in some quarters. In this day and age of media, where any #hottake is guaranteed to be readily available, that's hardly surprising, but one thing that does stand out is the fact that Rose himself has hopped on board.

Ichiro
The new all-time hits leader in baseball, Ichiro Suzuki, has a much better personal track record than Pete Rose, the guy he overtook earlier this week.

I say it's surprising because the usual script is for athletes who are set to have one of their records broken are generally expected to be magnanimous to the pursuer chasing their mark.

Roger Maris' family was famously there to hug Mark McGwire when he tied the then single season home run mark (a sharp contrast to the way Babe Ruth's family treated Maris) and, more recently, I remember Eric Dickerson doing an ESPN appearance as Adrian Peterson was close to breaking his single season rushing yardage record, basically cheering AP on to the mark and expressing an immense (and seemingly genuine) amount of happiness for his quasi-peer at the accomplishment.

But I shouldn't be surprised, because that's not the kind of person Pete Rose is. He's a sad, bitter, dare I say pathetic figure who's living with the repercussions of his infamous acts and still casting about trying to blame everyone, anyone, but himself for his status as a baseball pariah.

He can't bring himself to be honest or contrite about what he did, or admit any fault at all, really.

Sometimes it seems that his hit record might be the only thing he has to live for. So it's no surprise that Rose can't even fake a minimally congratulatory statement about Ichiro's accomplishment (or, ya know, just keep his mouth shut) and instead equated hits in the Nippon Pro league with "high school" hits.

Stay classy, Pete.

What makes this incredibly sad is that you can almost always nitpick these career marks if you really want to, which is probably part of the reason most people are gracious about the whole thing.

For example, Rose may want to denigrate the quality of competition in Japan and I, for example, might note that Rose probably couldn't have even won a spot on a NPB roster at the end of his big league career. I could, if I wanted, point out that Rose didn't break a .300 batting average in any of his final five seasons, was a god awful fielder, and collected just 52 hits and hit .219/.316/.270 in his final season, when he was hanging on as a special attraction on a bad Reds team that turned things around (and won the World Series in 1990) basically as soon as they dumped Rose.

Or, maybe most unfairly, I could just point out how sad his routine of setting up shop outside of the Hall of Fame ceremonies to sign whatever gaudy gear someone puts in front of him has become. Rose, it seems, has a real problem with sharing the stage with other great players that is far from new.

But that would be silly, because it would demand an arbitrary standard that takes away from the genuinely fantastic career Rose had, just as being overly literal about the official nature, or lack thereof, of Ichiro's mark takes too much away from Ichiro and what he's accomplished in his professional career, both in Japan and MLB.

At the moment he's a .314 career hitter, 11 points better than Rose. He'll soon pass the 3,000 hits mark despite not starting his American career until age 27 (Manny Machado turns 24 on July 6th and already had 588 hits entering play this past Tuesday night).

Suzuki holds the single season hits record, owns an MVP trophy, and topped the .350 mark in batting average four times in total. No, his hits from Japan don't count for anything, but it's still a pretty cool factoid, and really just serves as further confirmation that Ichiro is one of the very best pure hitters any of us have ever seen. There's no reason to let literalness overshadow that or rain on the parade and celebration of a remarkable baseball career.

And there's certainly no reason to give any more credence to Rose's pitiful "look at me routine," least of all if it's going to devolve to tearing down anyone who has the nerve to outshine the disgraced Hit King, even for a moment.

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where are baltimore's 18 toughest golf holes?


We started this feature on Sunday, June 12, as both an ode to local golf and a ramp-up to this week's U.S. Open at Oakmont CC in Pittsburgh.

Today, we finish it up with holes 16, 17 and 18, several of which are my favorite holes in the area.

The concept was simple: Go through a list of 20 different courses in the general Baltimore area and come up with the toughest 18 holes as they're played in their respective orders at the courses. In other words, we're trying to identify the toughest 1st hole, toughest 2nd hole, etc.

For starters, here are the courses we're using: Eagle's Nest, Baltimore Country Club (East and West), Country Club of Maryland, Hillendale, Suburban, Caves Valley, Green Spring, Elkridge, Hayfields, Hunt Valley, Woodholme, Sparrows Point, Rolling Road, Maryland Golf and Country Club, Winter's Run, Mountain Branch, Bulle Rock, Mount Pleasant and Pine Ridge.

Thus far, our winners are: Hole #1 - BCC East, Hole #2 - Maryland Golf and CC, Hole #3 - Woodholme CC, Hole #4 - Woodholme CC, Hole #5 - Bulle Rock, Hole #6 - Rolling Road, Hole #7 - CC of Maryland, Hole #8 – Green Spring Valley, Hole #9 -- Caves Valley, Hole #10 – BCC East, Hole #11 – Caves Valley (now a par 5 rather than a par 4), Hole #12 – BCC West, Hole #13 – Bulle Rock, Hole #14 – Country Club of MD, Hole #15 – Suburban

And now, here are our final three holes.

The toughest 16th hole in Baltimore

There are a bunch of “really good” 16th holes in the area, including Caves Valley (par 4), Hayfields (par 5) and Country Club of Maryland (par 4). But I don’t consider any of them “tough”.

#16 at Hillendale is a hard golf hole. It calls for a left-to-right tee ball and all the trouble with the first shot is on the right side of the hole. The further left you are off the tee, the more the hole stretches out. From the back tee, it’s now a 450 yard hole. Anything not in the fairway off the tee is trouble and the green isn’t a walk in the park once you reach the putting surface.

The winner here is so much harder than every hole I’ve listed above that it’s almost not fair. #16 at Rolling Road is a wildly difficult test, measuring 440 from the back tees (and the middle tees, since they’re right next to each other). The hole sweeps downhill to the left at about the 175 yard mark. Trees line the entire left side and collect any ball hit even marginally off line. The further right you go, the less chance you have of catching the hill and getting the ball to release down the fairway.

Nearly every time you play this hole you’re playing the 2nd shot about a foot below you in your stance. Oh, and the hole goes straight uphill for the final 140 yards. Wait, there’s more. The green is crazy. It’s VERY easy to putt the ball off the green if the flag is up front.

Not only is this the hardest 16th hole in Baltimore, it’s one of the 18 hardest holes anywhere in the area, period.

The toughest 17th hole in Baltimore

The 210 yard par-3 17th hole at Mount Pleasant has long been a round-wrecker, particularly when the rough on the immediate left side of the green grows up along the hillside. If you hit it in there, you’re likely re-teeing and making triple bogey. Don’t worry, though, you won’t be the last to do that. If you miss the green right, in what we used to affectionately call “amateur alley”, the up-and-down is no piece of cake because your lie in the rough over there could be miserable. Make a three on this hole and you’re happy.

#17 at Suburban isn’t necessarily a “great” hole, but it’s really hard. There’s out of bounds left and the teeing area to the 12th hole lurks on the right, with trees and a fence and other stuff hanging around to get in the way if you bail to the right off the tee. The second shot is completely blind unless you somehow hit one about 300 yards (uphill) off the tee. Oh, and the green is almost out in the street, bordered by a fence and water behind the green. This is a tough par-4.

The toughest 17th hole is at Caves Valley, which measures 465 yards from the back tees. The last 180 yards goes uphill to a wildly difficult putting surface. Any ball hit short of the hole can’t reach the green and comes back down the hill. There’s nothing about this hole that’s easy. The tee shot has to be hit on the button to leave yourself with 180 yards in (which plays more like 200-205) and your second shot has to be even more precise. Make four here and you can fist pump.

The toughest 18th hole in Baltimore

It’s almost unfair to pick a winner here, because there are three incredibly difficult finishing holes in the area that could easily claim the prize.

#18 at Caves Valley is a great finishing hole, measuring 450 yards from the back tees, with bunkers all down the right side for those of you trying to get extra distance with a draw tee-shot. You’re usually looking at something like 180-200 yards to the hole for your second, with a huge front bunker splitting and guarding the green. Once on the green, you have the typical putting surface at Caves which can be perplexing no matter where you are. There have been a lot of three putts on that green to decide matches, that’s for sure.

#18 at Maryland Golf is a monster, too. It’s 460 yards from the back and 420 from the standard tees. The hole goes straight downhill off the tee, but there are trees to the right and a hazard to the left for anyone who can’t put it in play off the tee. The last 160 yards of the hole go straight back up the hill, which makes it a completely blind shot to one of the most difficult greens you’ll find in the state. The putting surface there slopes from back to front, so don’t EVER be above the hole here in a match that matters. If so, prayer might work.

There’s no tougher finishing hole anywhere in the Mid-Alantic than #18 at Bulle Rock. It offers a variety of tee distances, but the back tee plays 495 yards and the standard men’s tee is 440 yards. Water runs down the entire left side to penalize anyone who can’t drive it straight here. And even when you do manage to hit the fairway, you’re hitting a long iron or hybrid into a narrow green that borders the water on the left side of the hole. You could play this hole from the back tee ten times and not make a par. It’s that hard.

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deposits now being taken for our trip to notre dame on september 24


If you go, you can draw a line through that item on your bucket list on September 24, 2016, when #DMD heads to South Bend to see Notre Dame take on Duke.

#DMD's first-ever trip to Notre Dame is brought to you by our friends at Kelly Payroll.

X
Never been to the mecca of college football? Join #DMD for a trip to Notre Dame on September 24 as the Fighting Irish battle Duke.

We'll leave on the first flight Saturday morning, arriving in South Bend about 10:00 am. We'll take part in the pre-game revelry, enjoy some ice-cold refreshments and tailgate food, then head to the stadium for the 3:30 pm kick-off.

After the game, the group can remain in South Bend for a few hours to enjoy the post-game festivities before we head to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

Our return flight on Sunday morning will arrive in Baltimore in plenty of time for you to watch the Ravens play at Jacksonville at 1:00 pm.

Just click here and you'll be taken to the information and reservations page. Deposits are accepted now with full payment due in mid-August.

Please note: We're taking only 24 people on this trip. Sixteen of those spots are now reserved. Only eight remain.


Thursday
June 16
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIII
Issue 16
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


a huge day of sports awaits us on thursday


This is like Christmas in June!

There are four things going on today and tonight that make this one of those days where you feel a little scratch in your throat and tell the boss, “I think I’m coming down with something…”

For the 20 of us in Boston, we have another night of baseball at Fenway Park, where the Orioles spotted the Red Sox six runs on Wednesday night and got beat, 6-4.

Despite a sprinkling of heckling during the 3rd inning on Wednesday, the reception has been pretty decent from the hometown faithful so far this week. I think they respect this Orioles team, and deep down, Red Sox fans know this is a toss-up as to which city has the better baseball team.

An extensive review of Wednesday night’s debacle isn’t really necessary. Kevin Gausman wasn’t very good on the mound and the Orioles were by and large baffled once again by knuckleballer Steven Wright.

By the time the Birds nicked him for a couple of runs in the 8th inning, the damage had been done.

Craig Kimbrel came in to close things out in the top of the 9th and was his usual sensational self, getting Rickard, Jones and Kim in order to seal the Boston win.

Today kicks off with the first round of the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh. The local product, Denny McCarthy of Argyle CC in Silver Spring, will hit the first shot of the tournament at 6:45 am.

Oakmont appears ready to tear the best golfers in the world a new one, as all we’ve heard throughout the practice rounds is how difficult the course is playing and how “no one is going to break par over four days.”

That might be true, but someone—or more than one, likely—will break par in today’s first round. Look for 66 to be leading after one round, just because some guy you weren’t expecting holes out a shot from 135 yards out and then makes an improbable birdie somewhere else en route to a 4-under first round.

While the Masters is my favorite major tournament, I’ve always thought the U.S. Open is the “hardest” one of the four majors, by far. Sure, the USGA gets the course all juiced up every year and makes it 3-4 shots harder than it reasonably should be, but everyone’s playing the same course. Someone will wind up winning on Sunday.

I’m still sticking with Louis Oosthuizen as my champion.

We’ll be hustling back over to The Buckminster Hotel after the Red Sox-Orioles game to catch the U.S. vs. Ecuador Copa America quarterfinal.

Given my druthers, I’d like tonight’s baseball game to be a blowout by the 7th inning so we can get over to the hotel bar and get a good seat for the soccer game.

X
An improbable loss by Colombia to Costa Rica helped the USA win their group in the round-robin stage of Copa America, sending Jurgen Klinsmann's team to Seattle for tonight's quarterfinal match-up with Ecuador.

This is a huge game for Jurgen Klinsmann’s team. If the U.S. played Brazil or some other power in this event—Mexico, let’s say—no one would be singing the blues if the Americans came up on the wrong end of things. We’d simply say, “We lost to Brazil,” and that would be it.

But a question mark would follow if the U.S. loses to Ecuador tonight.

”We lost to Ecuador?”

Ecuador, by the way, probably feels the same way about the United States. They look at us as a game they should win.

The key for the Americans tonight is to figure out a way to get something productive out of Michael Bradley and not rely—again—on veteran Clint Dempsey to pull another rabbit out of his hat.

I like our chances tonight. This is just the kind of game the United States wins quite often. Let’s call it a 2-0 win for the good guys and we’ll see you in the semi-finals.

X
Steph Curry and the Warriors look to rebound from a 30-point home loss on Monday night and capture their second straight NBA crown this evening in Cleveland.

At basically the same time, the Cleveland Cavaliers host Game 6 of the NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors holding a 3-2 series edge.

Cleveland comes in as the hotter team, having squashed Golden State’s title party on Monday night with a 120-90 throttling of the Warriors, who played that game without suspended forward Draymond Green.

Golden State looked surprisingly out of sync on Monday night, but don’t expect the same sort of performance from them tonight. If there’s any kind of market correction due—and there is, I’m figuring—expect the Warriors to return to form and make this anyone’s game in the 4th quarter.

This is going to be one great sports day!!!

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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.

To the shock of no one, the Ravens and offensive tackle Eugene Monroe parted ways on Wednesday. The team terminated his contract after trade talks with the Giants fell through.

The move frees up $6 million in cap space this year, but the team will carry a $4.4 million "dead money" hit for Monroe next season.

With Monroe's $6.5 million cap number, frequent injuries over the past two seasons after signing a big free-agent deal after 2013, and the fact that the team drafted Ronnie Stanley with the sixth overall pick, anyone paying even a small bit of attention could tell you that Monroe was not going to be a Raven in 2016.

This turn of events makes it incredibly odd that Monroe has become a lightning rod with some segments of the fan base. In a way, everyone who gets a big contract and subsequently disappoints becomes unpopular, but much of the hard feeling towards Monroe seems personal, in ways that go beyond just not living up to a contract.

The ostensible cause for Monroe being branded a "controversial" figure is his staunch advocacy of medical marijuana as an alternative pain medication to the rampant opioid use by NFL players.

I have a really hard time believing that position is controversial. Whether you agree with Monroe on the merits or not, legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes is not a radical notion anymore—in fact, 50% of the country routinely tell public-opinion pollsters that they support it.

Furthermore, while opioid painkillers are legal with prescriptions, the massive danger of addiction and abuse, as well as the unpleasant side effects that come with routine use, have been getting quite a bit of media attention of late.

A recent U.S. Senate hearing specifically explored the benefits of marijuana as an opioid alternative. Monroe is out in front in advocating this in the context of the NFL, but it's definitely an opinion comfortably situated in the mainstream, and quite a few of his critics actually profess some level of agreement with him.

Here's what I think people's problems with Monroe boil down to: He's the kind of player who rejects all of the BS in professional sports in ways that threaten how we interact with sports fandom.

This stuff is the foundation of, well, everything, about how we see sports.

Players aren't supposed to see themselves as workers or contractors, but as "part of something bigger." They're supposed to "sacrifice for the team," often at substantial risk to their physical well being. Nevermind that fans will complain that "we pay your salary," or, "if you don't like the way things are you can always quit," or that that team can fire them more or less whenever it feels like it.

Monroe is not interested in any of that. He didn't want to play while injured, and balked at a restructuring of his contract that would have required his taking a pay cut. He's out there for the money, and he's also keeping a keen eye on protecting his long-term health as best he can while playing football.

All this is within his rights as both a player and a person, we must acknowledge, just as it's within the Ravens' rights to cut him.

That's how the business works, no matter how much we try to ignore that concept. Ultimately, the problem we have with Monroe is that he makes it impossible to keep him in the neat little compartment we demand athletes stay in.

As fans, we have a really hard time viewing athletes as living and breathing human beings. We don't want them to be that. We need them to be a collection of body parts wearing a particular uniform, and when they speak, we need to hear them prattling on with the same cliches about how much the team and the fans and the city mean to them.

Anything that adds a third dimension to their personalities or humanity is a threat to what it means to be a sports fanatic.

This problem is becoming increasingly pronounced in football the more we learn about how much damage playing the game does to the people on the field.

For most of us, no matter how much we like the game, there's at least some level of discomfort watching the skull rattling hits, knowing what CTE has done to men like Junior Seau and Mike Webster and Jovan Belcher.

But we do our best to ignore it.

We never stop to wonder how much of a role brain damage plays in, say, one of Ray Lewis' repetitive, oftentimes incomprehensible rants. We rebrand the incoherence as theatrics and charisma and laugh along when Joe Flacco jokes about the elephant in the room that, most of the time, Ray is just spinning gibberish very demonstratively.

Most of all, we comfort ourselves with the idea that the players believe in this system, and they're okay trading their health and autonomy for the promise of potential glory and being called a "good character" guy by the press.

So when someone like Monroe comes along, who doesn't buy in to the foundation of BS the whole edifice is built on, he must be crushed. Which is a shame, because I think a league full of Monroes would be drastically better than one full of guys looking to "sacrifice" for a bunch of people who couldn't give two craps about them.

It would certainly be good for the players, who ultimately can't win for doing the right things.

Look at Monroe, facing vicious criticism for not showing up to "mandatory" OTAs. Anyone could see that under no circumstances was Monroe going to be on the Ravens with that cap number this year, so what rational person would show up and risk injury?

Moving away from Monroe, out in San Diego Joey Bosa is getting roasted for "holding out" of mandatory workouts, even though he's not under contract yet. This is lunacy, but it speaks to the fundamental truth that teams, fans, and the media all treat players as cogs, there to be used and replaced for the greater good of football.

This isn't sustainable. Sooner or later (probably sooner), another NFL legend is going to commit suicide at a young age, or a player is going to murder his family in a manic rage, and we're all going to know he had CTE days or weeks before the doctors announce it.

Or some enterprising federal prosecutor will dig around and go after the NFL for what has to be its flagrantly illegal activities regarding the distribution of controlled narcotic painkillers.

If there were more players like Monroe who stood up for themselves, their interests, and their health, not only would it be good for them but it would also be good for the long-term viability of the sport, and by extension, good for the fans who will continue to enjoy it.

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where are baltimore's 18 toughest golf holes?


We started this feature on Sunday, June 12, as both an ode to local golf and a ramp-up to this week's U.S. Open at Oakmont CC in Pittsburgh.

The concept was simple: Go through a list of 20 different courses in the general Baltimore area and come up with the toughest 18 holes as they're played in their respective orders at the courses. In other words, we're trying to identify the toughest 1st hole, toughest 2nd hole, etc.

For starters, here are the courses we're using: Eagle's Nest, Baltimore Country Club (East and West), Country Club of Maryland, Hillendale, Suburban, Caves Valley, Green Spring, Elkridge, Hayfields, Hunt Valley, Woodholme, Sparrows Point, Rolling Road, Maryland Golf and Country Club, Winter's Run, Mountain Branch, Bulle Rock, Mount Pleasant and Pine Ridge.

Today, we're at holes 13, 14 and 15. We'll add three holes per-day until Friday, June 17, when we'll have all 18 holes completed.

Thus far, our winners are: Hole #1 - BCC East, Hole #2 - Maryland Golf and CC, Hole #3 - Woodholme CC, Hole #4 - Woodholme CC, Hole #5 - Bulle Rock, Hole #6 - Rolling Road, Hole #7 - CC of Maryland, Hole #8 – Green Spring Valley, Hole #9 -- Caves Valley, Hole #10 – BCC East, Hole #11 – Caves Valley (now a par 5 rather than a par 4), Hole #12 – BCC West

The toughest 13th hole in Baltimore

There weren’t many difficult 13th holes to choose from in this category. #13 at Hillendale is a nice golf hole, but it’s certainly not “tough”. #13 at Woodholme is a well thought-out hole, too, but it’s not difficult to make a four there.

The winner here is simple: The 13th at Bulle Rock is one tough hole. It moves to the right off the tee, but if you hit it right and don’t catch it perfectly, you’re in the hazard that borders the right side of the fairway. You know, that hazard you can’t really see from the tee box. If you go left, which most players try to do, you lengthen the hole and wind up in the heavy stuff on the left side by the cart path. Oh, and the green is hard to hit from no matter where you are on the hole. Make four here and you’re the low guy in your foursome for that hole.

The toughest 14th hole in Baltimore

Now, it gets fun. There are a handful of really tough 14th holes around, for some reason.

In the “old days”, circa 1994 or so, #14 at Mount Pleasant was a tough son-of-a-gun from the back tees. Equipment and the golf ball have made the hole dramatically easier now, but it’s still worth mentioning as a tough par-4. You have trees to contend with to the right off the tee and a hazard down the left side. And you’re hitting to somewhat of a blind green with bunkers on both sides of the putting surface.

#14 at Hayfields is a tough par-3 if you’re playing across the environmental area from the traditional teeing area. It’s a 200 yard shot to a green you can’t really see all that well and anything not hit on the button risks catching the overhanging trees on the right or landing shot and leaving you with a 10-15 yard pitch-and-putt attempt for par.

But the winner here is easy: #14 at Country Club of Maryland is an outstanding hole and a difficult one, too. You see a pair of landing areas – one on “this side” of the stream that cuts through the middle of the hole, and one on the “other side”, which could leave you anywhere from 165-185 yards to the hole. Anything not hit perfectly off the tee winds up wet and you’re probably making double-bogey six. Hit it right and you’re in trouble, hit it left and you’re not much better. Oh, and you’re playing to an uphill putting surface that is 60 feet long by 25 feet wide. This is, I think, one of the best holes in the state.

The toughest 15th hole in Baltimore

Once again here, we have a clear cut winner, but a few honorable mentions are worth noting.

#15 at Woodholme has damaged a lot of good rounds over the years. It’s a par-4 measuring 420 yards, but the second shot is what makes this one so difficult. You almost have to play it to understand it, but you’re playing your approach into a green that runs hot from from front to back, so anything hit in the middle of the green tends to run all the way through. Anything short leaves you with a 10-15 yard pitch shot for your third. Tough to make par there.

#15 at BCC East is a doozy, too. It’s 440 yards from the back and 420 from the standard tees. Anything left shortens the hole, but you’re in the rought, and that’s no bargain. Anything to the right off the tee lengthens the hole and the second shot. And then, you have the green. Before the re-design two years ago, this green was brutal. Now, it’s just ultra-hard. If you’re above the hole, say a prayer and hit the ball half the speed you’re thinking about hitting it.

The 15th hole at Suburban is your winner. It “only” measures 420 yards, but you’re hitting a blind tee shot to a somewhat uphill landing area. If you hit it far enough to carry the hill, you might “only” be left with 160-170 yards in. If you don’t catch it perfectly off the tee, you might have 185 yards in. The fun is just starting, though. There’s a stream in front of the green that catches any approach shot that comes up short. And the green is about as small as that quilt on your living room couch. It’s one heckuva golf hole.

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deposits now being taken for our trip to notre dame on september 24


If you go, you can draw a line through that item on your bucket list on September 24, 2016, when #DMD heads to South Bend to see Notre Dame take on Duke.

#DMD's first-ever trip to Notre Dame is brought to you by our friends at Kelly Payroll.

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Never been to the mecca of college football? Join #DMD for a trip to Notre Dame on September 24 as the Fighting Irish battle Duke.

We'll leave on the first flight Saturday morning, arriving in South Bend about 10:00 am. We'll take part in the pre-game revelry, enjoy some ice-cold refreshments and tailgate food, then head to the stadium for the 3:30 pm kick-off.

After the game, the group can remain in South Bend for a few hours to enjoy the post-game festivities before we head to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

Our return flight on Sunday morning will arrive in Baltimore in plenty of time for you to watch the Ravens play at Jacksonville at 1:00 pm.

Just click here and you'll be taken to the information and reservations page. Deposits are accepted now with full payment due in mid-August.

Please note: We're taking only 24 people on this trip. Sixteen of those spots are now reserved. Only eight remain.


there is golf — and there is tournament golf

In the Comments section lately, we note a healthy volume of chirping about golf skills and have seen a number of friendly challenges to money matches thrown down. As a public service, #DMD provides a list of upcoming qualifiers, tournaments, and championships so that readers can take advantage of opportunities to demonstrate their prowess in the public forum.

Please note: BMGC stands for the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation; MSGA for the Maryland State Golf Association; and USGA for the United States Golf Association. Where a committee is listed as the Authority for an Event, please DuckDuckGo the Event name for eligibility and entry requirements.


AUTHORITY EVENT DATE LOCATION
BMGC Baltimore Stableford July 16 Clifton Park
USGA U.S. Amateur Qualifier July18 Woodholme
MSGA Father-Son Championship July 21 Eagle's Nest
MSGA Pro-Am Championship July 25 Cattail Creek
MSGA Amateur Public Links July 28 Greystone
BMGC Forest Park Stroke Play July 30 Forest Park
committee Frederick City Senior Amateur July 30 Clustered Spires
MSGA Women's Mixed Two-Ball August 12 Prospect Bay
BMGC Baltimore Amateur August 13 & 14 Mt. Pleasant & Pine Ridge
MSGA Mid-Amateur Championship August 15 & 16 Woodmore
committee Western Maryland Amateur August 19 to 21 Golf Club at Oakland
committee Frederick City Amateur August 27 & 28 Clustered Spires
MSGA Senior Team Championship September 10, 11, 17, 18 & 24 Various Clubs
MSGA Senior Amateur Championship September 13 & 14 Hunt Valley
MSGA Baltimore-Washington Team September 17 Kenwood
committee Frederick City Two-Person September 24 Clustered Spires
BMGC Baltimore Fall Two-Man October 8 & 9 Mt. Pleasant & Pine Ridge
MSGA Senior Open Championship October 10 & 11 Hillendale
USGA Amateur Fourball Qualifier October 17 Norbeck
committee Baltimore City Amateur
(by invitation)
October 22 & 23 Woodholme

please click here to see previous issues of #dmd.

O's SCOREBOARD
Tuesday, June 27th
Orioles
3

Blue Jays
1
WP: K. Gausman (4-7)
LP: J. Biagini (2-7)

HR: Tulowitzki (4)

RECORD/PLACE: 38-38, fourth

breakfast bytes

A.L. East: Yankees give up two runs in bottom of the 9th, lose to White Sox, 4-3.

Red Sox move into first place with 9-2 win over Minnesota; Rays win 4-2 at Pittsburgh.

NBA: Phil Jackson/Knicks to part ways today.

Nationals steal team-record 7 bases off of Arrieta/Montero as Cubs lose in D.C., 6-1.