Sunday
July 31
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIV
Issue 31
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as other teams improve, birds continue their deadline search


A 9-1 thrashing at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon probably didn't change things much for Dan Duquette and the Orioles, but the play of Buck Showalter's team since the All-Star break should be bothersome enough for everyone involved.

The O's need help.

They don't need a lot of help, mind you. They're 58-45 for a reason. But with tomorrow's trade deadline fast approaching, the Birds -- like a lot of teams in contention -- are trying to add a piece or two for the stretch run.

Let's cast aside one issue quickly about today's game vs. Toronto: It is NOT a must-win game, despite that very theme being shouted from the rooftops on social media late Saturday afternoon after the O's lost for the second straight time to the Blue Jays.

Sure, with Toronto now a half-game ahead in the East, it would be nice to win today and reclaim first place, but it's most certainly not "must win" by any means.

It's the end of July, people. There are more than 50 games left on the schedule.

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Reds outfielder Jay Bruce is still one of the quality players available at the trade deadline, but do the O's have enough in their farm system to make the deal a reality?

While teams around baseball have added what they hope are key pieces, the Birds haven't done anything. Part of that is Dan Duquette's nature, part of it relates back to the fact that Baltimore's meager offerings from a near-empty minor league shelf just aren't attractive enough to land a high quality veteran at this part.

Duquette, like it or not, is a guy always looking for a deal. He's the odd Uncle of yours who goes into the supermarket, sees an item he wants, and asks the store manager when it's next going to be on sale.

"But Uncle Wally, just buy it now for $9.99 and we can enjoy it today," you say.

"No," Uncle Wally replies. "The manager says it will go on sale in a couple of weeks for $7.99. I'll come back then and get it."

That's Duquette's style, too.

Then again, Duquette apparently did strike a deal -- or was on the verge of doing so -- last week for Melvin Upton Jr. and was all set to pull the trigger on it until Peter Angelos got involved and nixed it over money issues.

But it's clearly been Duquette's history to string things along. The club waited until spring training had already started to ink both Yovani Gallardo and Pedro Alvarez last spring, and even then, they farted around with Gallardo and reworked his deal after an agreement in principle had already been reached.

While the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Nationals, Indians and Marlins all got involved in deals last week or over this weekend, the O's continued to plod along without doing much of anything -- except losing, that is.

Their post-All-Star-Game work has been less than impressive. Three straight losses to the Yankees, followed by a series saving pitching performance from Chris Tillman, three wins over Cleveland, then two consecutive home defeats to the Rockies followed by a loss in Minnesota and two more losses in Toronto.

That's 5-8 since returning from the All-Star break, for those of you who either went to Old Mill High School or are Flyers fans.

And that's not good.

Granted, the O's needs aren't necessarily easy to find. They'd like another reliable, capable starting pitcher -- they only have one at this point, in all honesty -- and a left-handed bullpen arm of good quality would help, too.

They could also use another productive bat, too...a left-handed swinger if they're being picky.

It would also help if Chris Davis got another hit before Labor Day.

And they'd win a game or two more per-week if Adam Jones would deliver in the clutch when called upon.

Matt Wieters not throwing the ball away would be good as well.

Oh, and since we're asking for things, let's see if Gausman and Gallardo can stop walking guys long enough to produce a few quality starts in a row.

But adding someone via trade is the most reasonable way to go about getting better for the final two months of the season and the reality is this: The Orioles just don't have that much to give up in order to get a quality player in return.

The two major league pieces most teams have called them about -- Jonathan Schoop and Kevin Gausman -- are untouchable at this point, and rightfully so.

The Padres were obviously drunk and inquired about Ubaldo Jimenez, but no team in their right mind is putting any value on Jimenez unless they just like losing for the sake of losing.

There were some whispers late last week that the O's would potentially be interested in a deal involving Darren O'Day now that Brad Brach has emerged as a bonafide bullpen arm, but O'Day's recent injury issues might have kept teams from seriously looking into him.

Mychal Givens could also potentially fetch something, but he'd have to be one of three or four players going somewhere via trade.

And who's left to get at this point, anyway?

Left-handed starting pitcher Rich Hill appears available, but the A's have long been known as savvy deadline-dealers and there's no way they're giving Hill away just to be nice and say they were active at the end of July.

Andrew Miller of the Yankees apparently can also be had -- and there's no doubt he'd be a big help in our bullpen -- but the Orioles were afraid to take on Melvin Upton Jr.'s contract for next season ($16 million) so they're certainly not adding Miller and the $18 million he's owed over the next two seasons.

And how anxious would the Yankees be to help the Orioles, anyway?

Jay Bruce's name continues to surface and he, too, would be a nice fit in Baltimore, but the Reds are looking for a king's ransom for Bruce and the Orioles most likely don't have the goods to make that kind of deal happen.

So, Duquette waits it out -- as he prefers to do -- and starts burning up the phone lines again today, with the clock ticking and teams itching to make deals.

There is, of course, also the possibility of adding a player or two in August once some veterans clear waivers, but the real treats and treasures are found now, not on August 20th.

The good news for Orioles fans? Duquette isn't going to panic and give away the farm -- or what we have of it -- for one player that might (see Andrew Miller, 2014) or might not (see Gerardo Parra, 2015) help the club over the last two months.

The bad news for those same fans? The team needs help at this point. And might not be able to find any.

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baltimore radio loses another quality talk-show host


The rumored shake-up at 105.7 finally happened on Friday, as morning co-host Steve Davis was let go and a former co-worker of mine, Rob Long, was moved from the popular mid-day show (with Vinny Cerrato) to the morning slot with former Baltimore Police Commissioner, Ed Norris.

Throughout their run together, Davis and Norris had the city's most popular show during that time slot (5:30 am - 10:00 am) -- although there were "books" where they were #2 or #3. For a good number of those years, I wasn't able to listen to their show because I was doing one of my own during that same period every morning, but over the last couple of years I've listened quite frequently and found their work to be excellent.

Davis was apparently relieved of his duties for the same general reason I was let go from my former station in August of 2014 -- he was making too much money.

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Steve Davis was part of the highly-rated "Norris and Davis" Show on 105.7 before his sudden ouster this past Friday.

I always find it odd that station management asks -- and really, almost demands -- that show hosts boost ratings, make themselves attractive to clients, embed themselves in their community of advertisers, and then when they do just that, and maximize their salary potential at the same time, they're suddenly "too expensive".

I don't know that to be precisely true in Davis' case, but he has said publicly in recent days that he was told the move was a "cost cutting" one and it's no secret that CBS Radio is going through a nation-wide financial review of key on-air staffers and administrators.

Long's move from mid-days to mornings isn't a surprise when you consider that Long is very talented, for starters, and he maintains an evening obligation on MASN during baseball season, but his show with Cerrato was as strong, numbers-wise, as any show IN THE COUNTRY for that time slot.

He'll be replaced in that time frame by Bob Haynie, but working in lock-step with Cerrato isn't an easy thing to do and it might take Haynie a bit of time to figure it out. Still, if anyone can move in there seamlessly and lead the show for four hours, it's Haynie, who remains one of the best hosts in town.

I feel bad for Davis, though.

Getting booted for financial reasons is about the worst thing in the world.

Not that he would have taken a $20,000 paycut or anything like that, but would it have ever dawned on the New York suits at CBS Radio to suggest that, first, and see if Davis would have been amenable to a reduction in pay?

Just up and firing him doesn't make much sense, unless there were other internal issues and struggles going on that were masked over with the "financial reasons" excuse.

On-air gigs usually come to an end because of ratings. That certainly wasn't the problem with Davis and Norris, that much we know.

Radio, as I found out, is a weird, wacky business.

Davis, though, will also discover the same things I did in August of 2014 when I was summarily dismissed. It's a treat to not wake up every morning at 4:30 am. It's fun to see your kids getting ready for school and taking them there, too, if that situation presents itself in your household. And it's a blessing to not have to wake up today and wonder if this is the morning they'll tell you your services are no longer needed -- even though no signs pointed to that before you were handed your walking papers.

Steve Davis will resurface somewhere, if he wants, because he's a quality sportscaster.

And those shuffled around at 105.7 will continue doing their excellent work because they, too, are talented individuals.

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rain wrecks third round of pga at baltusrol


Get ready for Monday golf.

Heck, who knows, you might even be seeing the conclusion of this year's PGA Championship on Tuesday if things don't get better, weather-wise, in New Jersey.

A bunch of players finished their 3rd round on Saturday morning at Baltusrol, but none of the contenders even reached the fourth hole and the final ten players on the PGA Championship leaderboard didn't even get to tee off because of afternoon thunderstorms.

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In search of his 2nd straight PGA Championship, Jason Day is going to have to battle the guys ahead of him on the leaderboard -- and mother nature -- over the next couple of days.

It's going to be a mess, now, both on the course and in the structuring of the final 36 holes.

Some players are coming back this morning and starting their FINAL round at 8:30 am, which is about the time the leaders -- Jimmy Walker and Robert Streb -- will be strolling down the second fairway of their THIRD round.

Kevin Kisner and Padraig Harrington both completed their third round on Saturday and sit at 5-under par now. They're due to go out later this morning and finish today, hopefully. It stands to reason that one of them could finish at 10 or 11 under with a solid fourth round and then have to wait at least 24 hours to see if they are the winner, loser or, perhaps, in a playoff.

This is what happens when Mother Nature gets involved.

The good news for guys like Walker, Streb and others in close contention like Jason Day and Emiliano Grillo is this: Not starting their 3rd round at all on Saturday was likely a blessing, not a curse.

It's awfully hard to start a round of golf, play 3-4 holes, stop, start again, etc.

Think of a baseball pitcher who starts a game, pitches three innings, then sits through a 55-minute rain delay. It's likely he won't be coming back out for the 4th inning when play resumes.

Now, unlike guys like Kisner and Harrington, who might not have to play a mixed-bag schedule over the next two days, it's apparent that the leaders are going to have a different routine than they're used to having as PGA officials try and complete the tournament by Monday.

This issue also reared its head in 2005 -- the last time the PGA was played at Baltusrol -- and Phil Mickelson had to come back on Monday and play the final hole, make birdie, and win the golf tournament in a very non-traditional way.

With Ryder Cup and FedEx Cup points at stake, not to mention the legacy of winning a major championship and the money that goes with it, the heat is on the PGA of America to get this one right over the next two -- or maybe even, three -- days.

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Saturday
July 30
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIV
Issue 30
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round one goes to blue jays, 6-5


While not a series that's going to outright decide the American League East or anything like that, this weekend's 3-game set in Toronto is important when you stop and consider that head-to-head play between the Orioles and Blue Jays might very well be one of the deciding factors come October.

Toronto drew first blood on Friday night with a 6-5 win that included a 3-home run first inning and another 3-run inning later on that included a rare mistake by catcher Matt Wieters.

The loss cut the O's lead in the A.L. East to just a half-game over Toronto. Boston also won on Friday night in Los Angeles, so they're just 1.5 games back now.

Friday's loss north of the border included several key elements, none of which worked in Baltimore's favor.

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O's righthander Kevin Gausman has now gone 23 straight road starts without posting a victory after losing Friday's game in Toronto, 6-5.

Kevin Gausman was staked to a 2-0 first inning lead after a Mark Trumbo double in the opening frame scored a pair of runners, but Gausman had both command and execution issues all night long and was mostly ineffective in falling to 2-8 on the year.

The Orioles might have a decision to make with Gausman. More on that in a minute.

In the bottom of the first, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Troy Tulowitzki all connected on solo home runs off of the O's righthander, as the early 2-0 lead quickly vanished.

After the Orioles tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the 3rd, the Blue Jays came right back and scored three more times in their half of the inning to go up 6-3. Gausman didn't help his cause there, either, but it was a Matt Wieters throwing error on an excuse-me-swinging-bunt that opened the floodgates.

Gausman has been in the major leagues for four seasons now and nearly every O's scout and/or club official contends he has "the best stuff" on the staff. But he doesn't have an out-pitch that he can throw with confidence and regularity to right handed hitters. And that factor alone keeps him from being anything but a back-of-the-rotation guy at this point.

Proof of that missing pitch element was on full display in the bottom of the third inning last night.

After the O's tied the game at 3-3 in the 3rd, Gausman needed to step on the gas and shut down Toronto in their half of the inning just to get the Birds back on regular breathing again.

He started the inning by going 0-2 on Edwin Encarnacion. Four pitches later, Encarnacion stood at first base. The Wieters throwing error occurred moments later, and the floodgates opened for a 3-run Toronto uprising that essentially was the difference in the game.

And the whole inning was set-up by Gausman's inability to punch-out Encarnacion after getting ahead of him 0-2. No out-pitch to speak of -- articularly against a legitimately dangerous lineup like Toronto owns -- is not a good thing for anyone, but it's become a major sore spot for Gausman, who has now failed to win in 23 consecutive road starts, the 3rd longest streak in Major League history.

Vance Worley came in and gave the Birds four outstanding innings of relief work, holding Toronto to just one hit in innings four through seven. Coming off of a superb start last Sunday against Cleveland when he outdueled reigning Cy Young winner Corey Kluber at Camden Yards, Worley was again masterful on Friday evening, changing speeds and using pinpoint location to keep Toronto off guard over his four innings of work.

Would it be out of the question for Buck Showalter to consider using Worley as a starter next week against Texas and maybe skipping Gausman's expected start just to shake things up a bit?

Or is Gausman's position in the rotation that secure that he can continue to struggle -- particularly on the road -- without facing any consequences?

Speaking of consequences, there should be some way to modestly punish both Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones for their 9th inning at-bats on Friday night in Toronto.

Trailing 6-5 heading to the top of the 9th, Schoop promptly swung at the first pitch he saw from Jays' closer Roberto Osuna and popped out to first base.

After a Pedro Alvarez strikeout, J.J. Hardy narrowly missed tying the game, bouncing a ball off the left field wall and lumbering into second base with a huge double that brought Adam Jones to the plate.

And -- you know where this is going -- Jones also lashed at the first pitch he saw and bounced out to third base to end the game.

C'mon guys. As the acerbic teacher said to Emilio Estevez during The Breakfast Club, "I expected more from a varsity letterman".

I realize Schoop and Jones are both pleasantly termed "free swingers", but going up there and hacking at the first pitch in a one-run game is bush league stuff. Maybe Showalter doesn't even think about saying something to them as they wander around the dugout getting ready for their at-bat(s), but he should, especially with those two.

"Hey...let's think about taking a couple of pitches on this guy and see if we can't work him up a bit and maybe get a good one over the plate to swing at some point in the at-bat."

Too much to ask from a big league manager these days?

Or would it simply be ignored by players who routinely make five, ten and sometimes twenty times more money than "their boss"?

Whatever the case, the O's inability to plate the tying run in the 9th sent them to their fourth straight loss. It doesn't get any easier this afternoon as Yovani Gallardo goes up against Toronto's 13-game winner, J.A. Happ.

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walker, streb share pga lead at 9-under


Robert Streb became the latest member of the "63 Club" on the PGA Tour, as he tied the record for the lowest 18-hole score in a major championship by making birdie at his last hole to shoot a 7-under par round of 63 on Friday to vault into a tie with co-leader Jimmy Walker at the PGA Championship at Baltusrol GC in New Jersey.

Walker, who shot 65 on Thursday to own a one-shot lead, followed that up with a tidy four-under 66 on Friday.

Diminutive Argentinian Emiliano Grillo was in a third place tie with Jason Day at 7-under, followed by Henrik Stenson (-6) and Patrick Reed, Martin Kaymer and Brooks Koepka at 5-under par.

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Robert Streb posted a record-tying 63 on Friday in the second round of the PGA Championship to share the 36-hole lead with Jimmy Walker.

Phil Mickelson overcame a distastrous triple bogey at the first hole and scratched his way back to 1-over par through 36 holes, making the cut by a shot and surviving to play the weekend.

A bunch of big names won't be hanging around Springfield, New Jersey over the next two days, though.

Rory McIlroy needed a par at 18 to make the cut, but he made bogey. Putting was again a problem for the 4-time major champion, as he missed three putts within six feet, calling it "a pathetic display on the greens" in his post-round remarks to the media.

Sergio Garcia will go yet another year without winning a major title after failing to make the cut at the PGA. Garcia seemed awkwardly OK with it all afterwards, saying, "Look, I want to win one of these things, but if I don't, it won't be the end of the world."

Dustin Johnson, who opened with a horrendous 77, followed with a 72 on Friday and missed the halfway cut for the first time in a major this year. It also broke his consecutive-cuts made streak at 25, which was the longest active streak on the TOUR. For those keeping track at home, Tiger Woods once made 142 consecutive cuts. So, there's that...

American hopefuls J.B. Holmes, Gary Woodland and Matt Kuchar also missed the cut on Friday.

It's set up to be a great weekend of golf at Baltusrol, as a handful of players without a major (Walker, Streb, Grillo, Reed) will likely battle a bunch of guys who do own one or more already, including Day, Stenson, Jordan Spieth (-3), Zach Johnson (-3) and Adam Scott (-3).

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now just four seats remain on our
springsteen bus
september 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.

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 D.C. and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor-coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole way down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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

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 to D.C., beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack on 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," please go here. Reservation information is there for you.

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

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Friday
July 29
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIV
Issue 29
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rory needs putting help, so here i am


Rory McIlroy shot 74 on Thursday at Baltusrol in the first round of the PGA Championship.

That puts him nine shots behind the leader, Jimmy Walker, and barring some sort of miracle over the next three days, extends his major-less streak to two full years.

McIlroy’s struggles at the PGA Championship can be traced to the same issue that has plagued him for all of the 2016 season; putting.

Have no fear Rory, I’m here to help.

My guess is one of these four tips can help McIlroy, who hits the golf ball well enough to win just about any week, but putts horribly enough – by PGA Tour standards – to take himself out of the tournament with one bad day on the greens.

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Another bad day on the greens left Rory McIlroy with a 4-over par opening round in the PGA Championship, nine shots behind leader Jimmy Walker.

I could submit the putting statistics on McIlroy in 2016, but all that would be doing at this point is wasting time. He misses short ones, fails to capitalize on opportunities within 20 feet (where the TOUR guys make their meal money) and doesn’t convert on enough par-save opportunities.

The PGA Tour uses a lot of fancy stats these days to gauge a player’s putting prowess and some of that information is useful, but, as I know all too well, your ball either goes in the hole on putts that you EXPECT to make, or it doesn’t.

You don’t need to understand how to calculate “strokes gained; putting” to know that a 5-foot putt has to go in every time. At least that’s what the professionals think.

So, Rory, if you somehow get your hands on this little prized piece of putting advice I’m giving you, please don’t take it personally.

I’ve been there, done that, and I have the tee-shirt.

#1 – Try looking at the hole when you putt -- Don’t laugh, bro. This freakin’ works! I was watching the post-round coverage on The Golf Channel and heard you claim you’re not feeling “free” when you putt. This will fix that issue, Rory, believe me. Remember, Jordan Spieth did this last year – albeit only on the short putts – when he won at Augusta. There’s something about looking at the hole that takes the “hit” out of your stroke and just allows you to see the target, which is your ultimate goal, and roll the ball in its direction.

Dart throwers look at the board. Pool players look at the pocket. Basketball players look at the hoop when attempting a foul shot.

I had a lot of success using this method about ten years ago. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed, just try it.

#2 – Understand and use this brilliant piece of thinking: You Can’t Miss ‘Em All -- Sometimes the best thing you can do is reduce the whole thing to the simplest of terms. You simply can’t miss every putt. At some point, by accident, you’re bound to make a couple. And once you make a putt or two, you’ll get a little more confident.

Admittedly, this one only works if you really have a solid sense of self-deprecating humor, but sometimes laughing at your inadequacies chases those fears away. It’s also probably easier if you’re getting $25 million a year from Nike.

The next time you have a five footer for par at Baltusrol, go through your routine, commit to the putt, and remind yourself as you get ready to make your stroke, “You can’t miss ‘em all”. You won’t, either. No one ever has.

#3 – Try talking while you’re putting -- A lot of guys on TOUR use a metronome to get a “beat” that works well for their putting stroke. Unfortunately, you can’t use that while you’re playing. But what you CAN do, well within the rules, is talk while you’re putting.

Why talk? It gets you away from thinking about making the putt you’re about to hit. Any distraction helps you get away from thinking about the “result” before you’ve actually made the stroke. Talking to yourself is certainly going to look weird to Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, but this isn’t the CYO – you’re trying to beat their brains in week in and week out.

Lee Trevino used to chatter while he was making a full swing, let alone trying to roll in a 15-footer. It would drive Nicklaus and other players crazy because most professional golfers would prefer to operate in total silence. Not Trevino – he would talk to the other players, caddies and himself right there in the middle of his golf swing. And then fire a 170-yard six-iron to eight feet.

The next time you have a 15-footer, go through your routine, get set, and then start a conversation with your playing partner. “So, Phil, you think the Orioles are going to hold in the A.L. East?” (**plop** -- that’s the sound of the ball going in …)

#4 -- Putt with your sand wedge -- OK, this one is a tad “out there”, admittedly, but I’ve done it. And, no, I wasn’t forced to do it because I broke my putter in anger or anything like that. In fact, the last time I did it, during the Eagle’s Nest stroke play championship, I actually put my putter in the bag room after the 9th hole, just so I wouldn’t go back to it during the back nine.

I had 21 putts on the front nine with my completely uncooperative “regular” putter and 13 putts on the back nine using my sand wedge.

I birdied #12 from ten feet, #17 from six feet, and made a nice, right to left curler from about 8 feet on #18 to save par.

With my sand wedge.

True story, Rory.

I liked putting with it so much that I actually started the second round -- the very next morning -- putting with my sand wedge. And kept it in there the whole day.

I know, I know, I'm nuts, right? Yeah, well, that's what they said about Thomas Edison, too.

Remember Robert Streb last year at The Greenbriar? He damaged his putter on the back nine while in contention, and putted with his sand wedge on the back nine, rolling in three birdies to work his way into a playoff. Guess what? He put a new putter in the bag for the playoff and promptly made double bogey.

There’s something about putting with your sand wedge that works. I’m not sure if it’s because you have to be precise with the way you strike the ball, or because you’re nuts and you’ve reached the bottom of the barrel, but the ball definitely rolls MUCH better when you blade it with the flange of your sand wedge instead of using your putter.

Sure, Brandle Chamblee and Frank Nobilo will torch you on the post-round show, but you’re trying to make putts, not make them happy.

Listen to me – it’s not about “how”, it’s about “how many”. Don’t laugh at the sand wedge thing, Rors. It works.

OK, there is a #5, too. I forgot about it earlier, but it just dawned on me as I writing this.

#5 -- When you miss a bunch of putts, check your bank account -- OK, this one DOESN’T work for me, but it sure will work for you.

The next time you have a bad day on the greens and shoot 74 or something hideous like that, go to your phone, click on your banking app, and press the “Check Account Balance” tab.

It should look something like this: $43,352,201.35

If points one through five don't make your feel better, try putting left-handed. I can teach you that one, too.

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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 fall to last place twins, 6-2


This time, it wasn't even Ubaldo Jimenez's fault.

He did his part, mostly.

In a make-up game from an early-season rain out in Minnesota, the Birds bullpen coughed up four runs in the 7th inning as the Twins won, 6-2, to hand Buck Showalter's team their third straight loss.

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Even a decent start from Ubaldo Jimenez on Thursday night wasn't enough to earn a win in Minnesota, as the Birds fell 6-2 to the Twins.

After Jimenez staked the O's to a 2-1 lead, allowing eight baserunners in five innings of work, the duo of Odrisamer Despaigne and Chaz Roe played giveaway in the 6th and 7th to turn a one-run game into a four-run coaster.

It didn't have to be that way.

The O's squandered a golden opportunity to break open the game in the 4th when they had two runners thrown out at the plate before J.J. Hardy singled in the go-ahead run to make it 2-1.

The Birds had runners at 1st and 2nd with two outs in the 7th -- with the game tied at 2-2 -- but Manny Machado struck out swinging to end the inning.

Machado went 0-for-4 on Thursday night and whiffed twice, while Pedro Alvarez collected three hits on the evening and Jones, Davis and Hardy had two each.

The loss cost the Birds a half-game with the Blue Jays, who were off and awaiting Baltimore's arrival for an important three-game weekend series in Toronto. In Los Angeles last night, the Angels nipped the Red Sox, 2-1.

The weekend series in Canada features three excellent pitching match-ups.

Friday: Kevin Gausman (2-7) vs. Marco Estrada (5-4)

Saturday: Yovani Gallardo (3-2) vs. J.A. Happ (13-3)

Sunday: Chris Tillman (14-3) vs. Aaron Sanchez (11-1)

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now just four seats remain on our
springsteen bus
september 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.

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 D.C. and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor-coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole way down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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

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 to D.C., beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack on 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," please go here. Reservation information is there for you.

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

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Thursday
July 28
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIV
Issue 28
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


it's officially baseball AND football season


They'll be playing football out in Owings Mills today, as training camp kicks off for the Ravens and the dreadful 2015 campaign officially becomes a thing of the past.

How much improvement will we see from John Harbaugh's team in 2016?

A lot, hopefully.

While a 9-7 record sometimes qualifies a team for post-season play, it's the 10-6 mark that most teams aspire to reach in order to be playing extra football in January.

11-5 would almost guarantee the Ravens the AFC North crown.

How do they reach those lofty win totals?

They need these three things to work in their favor in 2016:

X
Nothing in the NFL is as important as the health of your starting quarterback. The Ravens get their #1 guy back this year and if Flacco is sound and 100% healthy, that bodes very well for John Harbaugh's team.

Joe Flacco returns and is 100% healthy: Nothing is more important to the Ravens than this, right here. Flacco's return from an ACL injury appears to be on track or even slightly ahead of schedule, but there's a big difference between running around on the field in June throwing to a guy in shorts and a tee shirt and doing it in September with Rex Ryan's defense breathing down your neck.

Still, all signs point to Flacco recovering nicely from the knee injury he suffered last November.

If he's in good shape, the Ravens have a puncher's chance to win any/every game. If something happens and Flacco's return to the field is delayed, the Ravens could be in trouble.

Wide receivers need to step up: Much like we say about the Orioles starting pitching ("Somehow, they just need to be better"), the Ravens wide receiving corps simply has to be more productive than they've been in recent years. Who steps up? Well, former Steeler Mike Wallace would be a good place to start. The Ravens brought him in for his deep threat speed, but it remains to be seen if he can still turn on the jets AND catch the football.

Kamar Aiken had a breakout year in 2015, but some of that was due to the mere fact he was the only receiver on the team to stay healthy. Still, the confidence he gained in 2015 should help a lot in 2016 and Aiken will be counted on heavily in this year's offense.

Steve Smith Sr. returns to the team after suffering an achilles injury last season. Can he recover and be a formidable pass catching threat at age 37? Important question and important answer.

The tight ends matter, too, of course, as do the draft picks, but those three guys above -- Wallace, Aiken and Smith -- are ultra-critical for the Ravens in 2016.

Stopping the pass: The Ravens simply must get better at stopping the pass when they're on defense. Whether that's through an improved pass rush or better secondary play (really, it's usually a combination of both), the Baltimore defense has to develop an identity that somehow negates how much other offenses are willing to throw on them.

A healthy Terrell Suggs and rejuvenated Elvis Dumervil would help the pass rush for sure, but it's the secondary play of Webb, Jimmy Smith and newcomer Eric Weddle that will likely be the "make or break" factor for John Harbaugh's team.

X
Can Terrell Suggs recover from his achilles injury and return to the form that made him one of the league's most feared quarterback chasers?

It's a passing league, still. You have to be able to throw it, and stop the throw. The Ravens play a schedule this year that includes a handful of teams who love to throw the ball and have high-level receivers on their roster, including Cincinnati (twice), Pittsburgh (twice), the Giants, Dallas, Oakland and New England. How Baltimore fares against those quarterbacks and offenses will go a long way in determining if the Ravens are good enough for post-season play.

Lots of things have to work favorably for the Ravens in 2016, just like any other season, but most of the team's success is tied into "throwing the ball", whether that's related to the health of Flacco, Baltimore's receiving corps, or stopping the other team's quarterback and pass catchers.

If Flacco returns without a hitch and is his normal, functioning, high-level self (I didn't say "elite"), that's a huge step for the Ravens.

They then just need some complimentary support from the receivers and a halfway decent running game to keep everyone else honest when lining up against the Baltimore offense.

Let's hope Wallace fits in well and that Aiken and Smith can be productive together, again. Flacco can't throw it to himself, after all.

And if Suggs is really as motivated as he sounds and says he is, perhaps they can get him to bring down the quarterback twelve times in 2016. If Suggs is back, really back, that would be a huge occasion for the Ravens defense.

Oddly (or maybe not so oddly), the three key players who were injured in 2015 are on the list of important items for 2016. Flacco, Smith and Suggs...if those three are healthy and rolling, the Ravens will be just fine.

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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.


A pair of moves that impacted the Baltimore sports scene are worth looking at, as each of the local teams was in the news this week.

The first, of course, was the Ravens' acquisition of former number one overall pick (from the same draft in which the Ravens selected Joe Flacco) and four time Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Long. The move has prompted a lot of speculation, mostly over the status of Ronnie Stanley, this year's sixth overall pick and presumed favorite to be the Ravens' starting left tackle, but I mostly think it's a lot of fuss and spilled ink over nothing.

At his peak, Long is certainly a very impressive talent. To this day, he's one of the absolute best tackles I've ever seen at the collegiate level, and the multiple Pro Bowl appearances attest to the fact that he translated that to the pros as well.

Long knows the game, but can he stay healthy?

Injuries, however, are the defining characteristic of his career now. If you hadn't heard yet, Long has had two surgeries on his right ACL and hasn't played a single down since October of 2014. The Ravens are likely getting Long on not just a minimum salary deal, but one that protects their exposure in the event of another injury.

In particular, Long's injury history makes attempts to connect his signing with the status of their recent first round pick really silly.

And boy, were the takes hot around town on Wednesday.

I saw commentator after commentator swearing this meant the Ravens didn't like something about Stanley, and were clearly planning on starting him at guard instead of left tackle.

That's a lot of evaluating that was (apparently) done before training camp has even started! In reality, Long's health situation is such that you really can't be assuming any returns from him, let alone presuming that he'll be your starting left tackle on opening week.

I mean, maybe he will be. He says he feels as healthy as he ever has (although you just need to Google "best shape of his life" to figure out what that's worth) and his pedigree and track record are impressive. But even if Long is durable, he's nearly a decade into his career and has now had two major knee surgeries, which will almost certainly affect his physical capabilities.

If I had to put a bet on it, I'd guess that it's much more likely that Long, if healthy, will compete for the starting LG position while Stanley will win the tackle job on that side rather easily. Either way, it's a strong move and, given the likely financials, the kind of opportunity you can't pass up if you're a team that counts on getting big returns from veteran free agent signings like the Ravens.

Across the parking lot, the Orioles missed out on another player the rumor mill had been linking them to, as San Diego walked away from trade talks with the Birds and sent Melvin Upton Jr. to the division rival Blue Jays instead.

This isn't really a huge deal on its face: Upton is a nice player, but that's all he is. What's more, with Hyun Soo Kim on his way back from injury, the Orioles certainly don't need Upton at all.

Offensively he's only a minor upgrade over Pedro Alvarez while carrying a $17 million salary commitment next year, and so he'd just create a roster logjam around the corner outfield and DH spots unless the O's were able to work out another trade sending, say, Alvarez somewhere else. And I doubt that would have happened.

Getting Upton might have caused more problems, actually

What had Orioles fans so excited about Upton were reports that the O's were going to include Ubaldo Jimenez in the deal, sending the headache inducing pitcher out of town entirely while bringing in a marginally useful player in the process. It's the kind of thing every awful fantasy trade proposal is made of this time of year...and that's why it never made any sense.

Well okay, that's going a little too far. When speculation was that the Orioles would give away one of their better prospects to both get Upton and get San Diego to take Ubaldo off of their hands, it made some amount of sense.

It might not have been a good move depending on your opinion of Upton (I wouldn't have made such a deal, for what it's worth), but at least the basic parameters and what each side is getting in value is clear. Neither the deal the two teams were actually talking about, nor the deal San Diego ultimately made with Toronto, look anything like this.

From Toronto, the Padres got pitching prospect Hansel Rodriguez, a low level youngster with a live arm, and about $5 million in salary relief next season.

That $5 million, incidentally, is more or less exactly what they would have gotten from a straight Ubaldo-for-Upton deal, which would seem to lend credence to the idea that such a swap would have made sense. Except the Padres wanted a low level prospect from the Orioles as well and, in addition, also wanted the O's to absorb money in the trade.

This is, to put it mildly, complete craziness, that makes no sense from the O's perspective, given the limited utility Upton brings to the current roster.

Much has been made in the past 36 hours or so that Peter Angelos himself reportedly squashed the deal, overruling the baseball people for "financial" reasons, and while I understand why that possibility worries and upsets people, this is a really good example of why you sometimes need an owner or business side executive to overrule the baseball people when they get a bit myopic.

And as far as I can tell, that's basically all this is about. If Dan Duquette and/or Buck Showalter want to be rid of Ubaldo that bad, they can release him at any point. That, of course, doesn't happen that often in baseball for a number of reasons, but the idea that you'd give away an asset or two AND take on a not insignificant amount of additional payroll just to avoid releasing a guy is complete insanity, and good on Angelos for having the willingness to point out as much.

KELLY banner ad

now just four seats remain on our
springsteen bus
september 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.

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 D.C. and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor-coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole way down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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

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 to D.C., beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack on 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," please go here. Reservation information is there for you.

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

Orlando Products banner ad

Wednesday
July 27
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIV
Issue 27
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


someone get chris davis a shot of jobu's rum and a new bat (one that works)


Not everyone can make $161 million and still roll along like there's nothing to it.

"Pimpin' ain't easy", as the saying goes.

Whether it's the pressure of fulfilling his new $161 million deal or simple market correction, something is going haywire with Chris Davis.

Or, maybe it's just the slump-of-all-slumps and he's due to break out of it any day now.

Here are a few numbers on Davis that are so inept, Ryan Flaherty giggled a little bit when he read over them in last night's pre-game meeting.

X
Another 0-for-3 night from Chris Davis on Tuesday lowered his batting average to .224 on the season.

Prior to Tuesday's 6-3 loss to the Rockies, Davis was hitting .074 (2-for-27) when he fell behind in the count 0-2.

With runners in scoring position and two outs, the big man was 4-for-35 (.114).

Both of those numbers took a hit last night, as Davis went 0-for-3 and struck out in a key situation in the bottom of the 8th inning. He now has whiffed 135 times in 346 at-bats this season.

His work with the glove at first base has been unfazed by the large contract he signed in the off-season, but can we say the same about his bat?

So, we know going in that Davis is going to strikeout a lot. That's a given. We take those strikeouts and balance them out with the home runs, the doubles and the RBI.

Except this year, Davis is unbalanced.

He's hitting a paltry .224, with 22 HR and 59 RBI. His on-base percentage is .337.

If Davis didn't walk a lot, he'd really be in a world of trouble.

And yes, I realize stat nerds are going to point to a power hitter's batting average (when it's low, that is) and say, "His average doesn't really matter..."

Except it does. You go up to the plate, almost exclusively, to try and get a base hit of some sort. There are times when a base hit isn't needed an a meaningful out is useful to the team, but let's call it like it is since we're mostly grown ups here: A .224 batting average stinks.

Davis' home run total might well be in the mid to upper 30's by season's end and the RBI count should be near 100. Those numbers are fine. But it's everything else about him at the plate that looks like the O's are getting ripped off after forking over all that money last January.

It's not always fair to compare player-to-player, but that's what folks do in sports. Edwin Encarnacion in Toronto has more of everything than Davis, except strikeouts, that is.

Encarncion has a higher batting average (.262), more doubles (22), more home runs (27), more RBI (87) and a higher OBP (.354).

Which guy signed the $161 million deal in the off-season, again?

Davis' 8th inning at bat last night was a complete exercise in futility. He's swinging at more and more "bad pitches" this season and when runners are in scoring position, he, like most of his teammates, can't seem to get the job done.

And yet, the team is in first place still.

But can they stay there for the next two months if Davis continues to hit like an overpaid version of Steve Pearce?

More importantly, what's going on with Davis this season that has led to this woeful decline at the plate?

Is it the $161 million contract?

Some guys can handle playing under that sort of pressure and some can't. All joking aside, the expectations change dramatically when you go from making $6.5 million a year to $17.5 million a year.

Whatever's bothering Davis, the O's need to see this thing through and get him back on track.

It's not pretty.

And, at least right now, these days, it's getting worse, not better.

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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.


and your pga champion is...


When you look at recent golf history (say, from 1980 until now), almost every player who was supposed to win a major championship went on to win at least one.

Some might have won just that one, but they did win one.

Corey Pavin. Fred Couples. Davis Love III. Paul Azinger. Tom Lehman. Those are names from the past who a major.

More recently, guys like Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson fulfilled their destiny and won a major title.

The most notable non-winner of the last thirty years was Scotland's Colin Montgomerie, who had a handful of legitimate flirting sessions with major titles and, yet, never managed to win one.

X
After several close calls in his career, is this week finally going to see Sergio Garcia capture that elusive first major title?

Make no mistake about it, though, the great players, the really great ones, all figure out a way to win a major at some point before their career ends.

I think the time has come for Sergio Garcia to finally capture his first major title this week at Baltusrol.

Yes, I know, that's a very dangerous pick. Garcia, like Montgomerie, has had ample opportunity over the years to win his first and he hasn't been able to do it.

But if you look at history, and look at the PGA Championship, there might not be a more appropriate event for Garcia to win out of the four majors.

History says the great players all figure out a way to win one.

And the PGA Championship is a place where guys like Kaymer, Azinger and Love III all earned their major.

Garcia's numbers this year support the thought that this could be his week. He's played very well in the majors, with two top 5's in the U.S. Open and British Open, and also has a win (Byron Nelson) and and a 2nd place finish (Honda) in 2016.

His driver and iron play is as solid and reliable as anyone in the game of golf. Ball striking and getting that little white thing on the green in regulation has never been Garcia's problem.

It's the putter that has kept him out of the winner's circle more than anything else.

But he's putting better over the last couple of years, as evidenced by his play at Oakmont and Troon this season. He CAN putt well enough to win this week at Baltusrol.

I'm hoping he does. Garcia deserves to win a major.

For those of you in the fantasy golf world, you can fit my "team of five" from this week's #DMD into your lineup and add Justin Rose and still have $1,000 left over!

Personally, my "A" team for this week's fantasy play is Sergio Garcia, Bill Haas, Lee Westwood, Jason Dufner, J.B. Holmes and Rose.

KELLY banner ad

only six seats left on our
springsteen bus
september 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.

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 D.C. and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor-coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole way down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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

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 to D.C., beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack on 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," please go here. Reservation information is there for you.

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

ROUSE banner

Tuesday
July 26
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIV
Issue 26
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


memo to baltimore: we have a good baseball team in town, you should go out and see them play


OK, enough is enough.

Where the heck is everyone?

There were 11 games in Major League stadiums on Monday night and guess who had the lowest attendance anywhere?

Yep, the Orioles did.

Heck, we even lost to the Miami Marlins in Monday's attendance battle. They drew 19,465 on Monday evening in South Florida. The Birds only brought 19,361 through the turnstiles to see the 3-2 win over Colorado.

Having the Marlins outdraw you is like losing to Charlie Brown in a kicking contest.

X
Why are there 16,000 seats empty every game at OPACY this season?

There are 30 teams in the Majors, 15 per-league. The Orioles rank 20th in overall attendance and 10th in the American League.

And this, in case you haven't been around, for a team that has gone to the playoffs in two of the last four seasons and is an almost sure-fire bet to go again this year.

The team used to routinely draw family and friends to games circa 2008, but those teams were bottom feeders from just about day one of the season.

This team -- and a handful before it -- is really good, as evidenced by their 58-40 record and 2.5 game lead in the A.L. East.

So, why is the team's attendance down this season?

The Birds averaged 29,374 per-game in 2015. With last night's crowd of 19,361, the O's are now averaging 27,111 through 51 home games in 2016.

This past weekend, the O's failed to sell out even one of the three games against the Indians, each of which featured a jazzy promotional give-away item and brought one of the A.L.'s best teams to town.

And the weekend series with Cleveland was the team's first home game since the All-Star break.

You figured people would want to come out to the ballpark. No crowds of 40,000 for a Friday, Saturday or Sunday home game, including a lackluster showing of 32,000 for Saturday night's game.

I don't get it.

I guess someone's going to mention how hot it's been in Baltimore the last few days and suggest that's why the numbers are down.

Maybe the heat was a factor this weekend, but 39,000 didn't mind the heat on Friday. It's the extra 5,000 that did, perhaps?

I just don't understand.

The O's are 20th in Major League attendance. Ready for the list of teams who are averaging more fans per-home-game? It's not pretty.

Somehow, more people in Pittsburgh are going to baseball games at a better rate than here in Baltimore. Yep, we're trailing the freakin' Pirates in the attendance chase.

Colorado, Houston, Kansas City -- all ahead of us, and comfortably so, too, I might add.

To me, here are the worst two: Milwaukee (29,447) and San Diego (28,891) are both averaging more fans per-home-game than our Orioles.

When Milwaukee and San Diego are enjoying better seasons at the gate than your team, you better take notice.

So, what the heck's going on?

I could offer suggestions or possible causes, but none of them, I believe, are impactful enough to warrant an attendance decline.

After all, the daggone team is in FIRST PLACE.

Even if you object to ticket prices, you still go to the games. Right?

Sure, they raised them this year, but did you really think they were going to give O'Day, Wieters and Davis all that money and then pay for it themselves?

Come on, son, you're smarter than that.

Every spring when the team starts out sluggishly at the gate, the routine response to attendance concerns is always "school". As in, "as soon as school lets out, the crowds will pick up, don't you worry." That might be true.

Well, school's out. It has been for the better part of two months, now. The attendance is still not-up-to-snuff.

Is it marketing? Are the Orioles not doing enough of it?

I don't think that's it. I mean, perhaps their advertising and marketing efforts aren't as widespread as they were a decade ago when they didn't have MASN to help get the town juiced up about the team, but I don't think advertising is the team's problem in 2016.

I'm not sure what it is, but something's up.

Where is everyone?

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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.


your pga championship preview is here


Yes, it's PGA Championship week.

Yes, that's early.

Because of the Rio Olympics, the PGA Tour moved the PGA Championship to this week on the schedule, so the season's final major takes place at Baltusrol in New Jersey, where the likes of Lee Janzen (U.S. Open) and Phil Mickelson (PGA) have won major titles in the last two decades.

The PGA is the strangest of all the majors, for sure.

It moves from venue to venue each year, so no one has a true "home course" advantage at the PGA. But there are still a handful of ways to handicap the event and some tried-and-true measures about major championship golf still apply.

I'll hand out my eventual winner on Wednesday here at #DMD, but on Monday I gave out two players to watch (Westwood and Haas) and today I'll give you two more.

Length matters at Baltusrol. Hitting the ball on the green will matter, too. And putting, while critical, likely won't be as important as the first two factors I listed.

X
J.B Holmes has finished in the Top 5 in two majors so far this season. Is he finally ready to win one?

That makes this week's PGA Championship a great fit for J.B. Holmes, who already has two Top 5 finishes in majors this year and would be one of those guys -- like Keegan Bradley or Jason Dufner -- who rises up kind of out of nowhere and wins his first major at the PGA.

His stats all fit Baltusrol like a glove. Holmes drives the ball well, as his 7th place ranking in strokes gained off the tee shows, and he's 5th in the birdies or better category.

And it just might be his time.

All he needs, like anyone else who competes near the top of the leaderboard, is a cooperative putter, which he had at Augusta in April (T-4) and at Royal Troon two weeks ago (solo 3rd).

Watch out for J.B. Holmes this week.

X
Can Jason Dufner putt well enough to win a second major title and second PGA Championship this week at Baltusrol?

Speaking of Jason Dufner, I have a feeling he's going to show well this week.

With Dufner, you never know. But his recent form has been good and his numbers are fit well with Baltusrol, too.

He has three top-5 finishes in the PGA, including a victory at Oak Hill in Rochester in 2013, so there's something about the tournament he likes.

The more he plays, the more suited he becomes for major championship golf. He hits it straight, his iron game is excellent, and his "keep your head down and play" attitude serves him well under the gun at majors.

His putting, though, can be marginal at best, which is probably why he hasn't won a half dozen more times on TOUR.

But on any given week...

Let's bank on Dufner following through and continuing his strong 2016 season with a solid performance at Baltusrol.

KELLY banner ad

only six seats left on our
springsteen bus
september 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.

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 D.C. and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor-coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole way down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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

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 to D.C., beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack on 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," please go here. Reservation information is there for you.

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

Glory Days banner ad

Monday
July 25
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIV
Issue 25
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


what to do with chris sale?


When I see a situation unfold like the one on Saturday night in Chicago when Chris Sale lost his mind for a half-hour and cut up the White Sox uniforms, I often ask myself, “What would I want the Orioles to do if that happened to be one of OUR guys?”

We’ll get to that answer in a little while.

For starters, let's all recognize that Chris Sale is a little bit goofy.

That doesn't exonerate him in any way from the fiasco he created on Saturday night, but it does set the lighting and the mood a little bit for doing a deep-dive into what on earth he was thinking about before the game with the Tigers.

Baseball players, as I found them a decade ago when I would hang out at the stadium as an accredited media member, are mostly edgy, abrasive guys who work a terribly arduous schedule and don’t suffer fools very well.

So, the fact that Sale looks a tad bit out-of-whack shouldn’t be a surprise. Nearly every one of his teammates is probably off kilter a smidgen, too.

Sale, without question, was in the wrong on Saturday night when he cut up the White Sox throwback jerseys because he didn’t (doesn’t) like pitching in them.

It doesn’t matter if he told the White Sox previously that he doesn’t like the throwbacks. It doesn’t matter that the White Sox acquiesced on previous occasions, either.

Sale should have faced the music on Saturday night

On Saturday night when they played host to the Tigers, Chris Sale was supposed to start, but the club sent him home after Sale cut up the team jerseys during batting practice.

Shame on Sale.

And shame on the White Sox, too.

One of Sale’s chief complaints with regard to the throwbacks is that he feels the club values “PR and making money over winning games”.

Hmmm, that might very well be true.

Which, perhaps, is why the White Sox are again no threat to win the A.L. Central or grab one of the two available wild card spots.

But Sale should stop for a minute and remember that he’s getting a salary of $9 million from the White Sox for working 34 days in the 2016 season.

The White Sox are spending $110 million on player payroll this season. Where does Sale think that money comes from, after all?

We all know where the money comes from – the fans, the sponsors, the TV advertisers and those who view the games on television.

Oh, and it also comes from people who buy White Sox merchandise, including the various jersey styles the team sells throughout the season.

There’s no way to know how much the White Sox make off their apparel and souvenirs, but every little bit helps, even after they’ve given the league its cut of the total sales haul.

It turns out the White Sox were actually trying to help Chris Sale and the rest of his teammates on Saturday night. The more throwbacks they sell, the more money the club has in its coffers.

And, no, before you say, “Maybe the White Sox should explain all of that to the players”, let’s nip that in the bud right away. The White Sox do NOT have to explain to the players HOW they get paid. They merely have to pay them.

Now, that said, it would be nice if baseball players were smart enough to understand the dynamics of player payroll, taxes, benefits and so on. By and large, it’s not even that they aren’t smart enough, it’s simply that they don’t really care to learn the inner-workings of the sport.

Baseball players just want their however-many-millions per-year for playing the games.

How it get to them…they couldn’t care less.

Do the White Sox really want to win, though?

Now, in Sale’s defense, it’s very likely that the White Sox DO care more about making money than winning games.

Our own Orioles were afflicted with that disease for a decade or so, first chasing around DC baseball fans in the late 90’s, then being forced to shun them in 2005 when the Expos moved into “the District” and suddenly the Orioles realized they’d better start embracing BALTIMORE again.

The Yankees and/or Red Sox were annual playoff contenders from 2000 through 2010, and the O’s knew they had no shot at all of overtaking either one of them, particularly since those teams employed and signed really good players and the Orioles, essentially, didn’t.

I bring up "those days" in Baltimore as a stark reminder that we all know -- sort of -- how Chris Sale might be feeling these days. It's frustrating as all get out, I'm sure.

There have been plenty of other teams, too, who have put making money ahead of winning games. When you have a player payroll of $100 million, you have to bust your hump to raise that kind of money.

Where the White Sox screwed up on Saturday night was by letting Sale off the hook with regard to his scheduled start against Detroit.

He should have been in the lineup, as planned, facing the Tigers.

Sending him home was lame. It made Sale the story and glorified his deeds to the extent that it embarrassed the ballclub more than anything else.

I don’t disagree with suspending him for five games, by the way.

It probably should have been ten games, truth be told.

If that were Chris Tillman or Manny Machado who did that, would we be OK with it in Baltimore or would we want some sort of punishment handed down?

We tend to break out the brass knuckles when we see some other guy do something dumb -- "kick him out of the league!" we scream -- but when it's our guy doing dumb stuff, we're usually a little more even-keeled about it.

Here's the other thing: The White Sox should have made Sale pitch on Saturday night, then announced at some point late in the game that he was suspended for the shirt-cutting routine, and Sale would have then been forced to face the media – or not – after the contest concluded.

Letting their pitcher run and hide after the incident was silly.

If he cut up the jerseys, he should own that little stunt.

No sense in running from it. Own it.

Instead, the White Sox let Sale scoot out of the stadium unnoticed and it wasn’t until later that night that the you-know-what hit the fan. And by then, Sale was long gone and his phone was on silent.

I’m not close enough to the White Sox organization to know how badly they REALLY want to win this year.

It used to be easy to see through what our Orioles were doing year after year, not putting a high quality team on the field and letting the Red Sox and Yankees beat our brains in 18 times every spring and summer.

Is it time to put Sale up for sale?

I don’t know what’s happening in Chicago.

But at this point, I don’t see how they keep Sale around.

You’re really going to bring back the guy who cut up 25 team jerseys, all because he didn’t like the way they felt on HIM?

Well, then, OK, if that’s what you think is right.

In my world, I’d send him off to the highest bidder, and by that, I’m talking one of those ULTRA-FLEECE jobs where the White Sox get the better end of the deal in the long run – by far – in exchange for gleefully giving away one of the American League’s best pitchers.

The White Sox were potentially going to move Sale at the deadline anyway. The jersey fiasco doesn’t change that, I suppose.

But it should light a fire under the Chicago front office to get that guy out as soon as they can.

And, speaking of worrying about “making money” and “not winning games”, that’s precisely what Sale looked like he was trying to do on Saturday night. He wanted the jersey to be perfect for HIM, because, you see, he’s the starting pitcher and he thinks the game revolves around him.

Every quality start for Sale at this point in his career just tacks more money onto that contract he’s probably going to get from someone at the end of the 2019 campaign.

But doing stupid stuff and getting suspended is a pretty good indicator that Sale isn’t all that worried about the White Sox winning games.

He can’t have it both ways.

If he wants the White Sox to worry more about winning games, maybe Sale should do that as well.

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birds sweep indians behind -- ready for this? -- nolan reimold


It's truly bizarre how often that "extra out" comes back to haunt you in major league baseball.

Drop a sure-fire out on a foul pop, and somehow, the guy that hit that ball is going to get on base later on in the at bat and score a run.

Botch an easy ground ball for what would have been the 3rd out and the next guy is parking a ball eight rows deep in the left field stands.

X
Not only did the Indians cough up Sunday's game with a rookie-league mistake in the 9th inning, they let a guy who had been on the bench the whole game beat them.

Strike a guy out...but fail to hold on to the ball...let him get down to first base...and that's coming back to haunt you, too.

And that's what happened to the Cleveland Indians on Sunday at Camden Yards, as they allowed Pedro Alvarez to reach first base after a 9th inning strike out and a few batters later, Nolan Reimold hit a 2-run run homer to give the O's a 5-3 win and a 3-game weekend sweep.

Ryan Flaherty's sacrifice bunt (is it me or are the Orioles bunting more this season? It's probably just me...) moved Alvarez to second. Caleb Joseph struck out, naturally, setting the stage for pinch-hitter Nolan Reimold.

Because baseball is weird in that it punishes teams who can't get the fundamentals down, Reimold smashed a 2-0 pitch into the seats to give the O's the win.

It happens like that every time.

Give a major league team an extra out, and they'll capitalize on it.

It's the first thing of real significance Reimold has done this season, but if the Birds wind up winning the A.L. East by one game, you might want to remember July 24, 2016.

The game featured a terrific start from Vance Worley, who allowed just eight baserunners and two earned runs in seven innings of work.

It also included a rare 9th inning appearance from Darren O'Day, who returned to the club from the disabled list and chopped down the Indians with three strikeouts on 14 pitches.

The Orioles now take on the Colorado Rockies in interleague play for the next three nights in Baltimore.

That should be three more wins in the books.

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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.


your pga championship preview is here


Yes, it's PGA Championship week.

Yes, that's early.

Because of the Rio Olympics, the PGA Tour moved the PGA Championship to this week on the schedule, so the season's final major takes place at Baltusrol in New Jersey, where the likes of Lee Janzen (U.S. Open) and Phil Mickelson (PGA) have won major titles in the last two decades.

The PGA is the strangest of all the majors, for sure.

It moves from venue to venue each year, so no one has a true "home course" advantage at the PGA. But there are still a handful of ways to handicap the event and some tried-and-true measures about major championship golf still apply.

I'll hand out my eventual winner on Wednesday here at #DMD, but today and tomorrow I'll give you four other players to watch.

Let's start off with a hunch and hope it works. I don't think Baltusrol is going to get torn up this week. While the scores at the last two PGA's have been low, 20-under at Whistling Straits and 16-under at Valhalla -- I see Baltusol holding up much better than that.

It won't be the 4-under par score that Phil Mickelson posted at Baltusrol in 2005 when he won his only PGA title to date, but it will be something closer to 10 or 12 under that wins this week, I believe.

That means it doesn't become a birdie fest.

X
Could this finally be the week Lee Westwood captures that elusive first major title?

And that means Lee Westwood has a chance, again, to win his first major title.

Yes, I'm going back to the Westwood well one more time.

I'm going back because a player with that sort of supreme talent will win a major at some point. I know, I know, Colin Montgomerie didn't win one, but Westwood's game, overall, is much sharper than was Montgomerie's.

And even though Westwood's short game has always been somewhat suspect, it was finely tuned at Augusta this past spring when he nearly won there.

It was good enough to be in contention last month at the U.S. Open heading into Sunday.

The PGA is precisely the major Westwood wins. It's not the win you figured he'd win, but it's the one that might suit him the best, actually.

Lots of what I call "fringe" guys have won the PGA Championship, going all the way back to 1988 when Jeff Sluman won at Oak Tree. Others like Mark Brooks, David Toms, Rich Beem, Shaun Micheel and Y.E. Yang have followed suit. Sometimes, it's a guy like Keegan Bradley, who comes out of nowhere, plays great for four days, and almost wins by accident, not realizing the PGA really IS a major championship.

X
A couple of weeks after playing very well at the British Open, Bill Haas gets another crack at his first major title this week at Baltusrol in New Jersey.

I have to sprinkle in at least one of "those type" of players, so let's think about a veteran who has been around, won a regular TOUR event or two, but just hasn't been able to find the magic at a major championship yet.

In this case, Bill Haas fits that mold.

Haas has enjoyed a terrific career, has made gobs and gobs of money, and is one of those guys that's right on the edge of greatness. His game is solid, he hits his irons as good as anyone, and he just needs a hot putter for a few rounds to get himself into position to win.

He sniffed around at the British Open two weeks ago, which is to say he battled several other guys for 3rd place before finishing T9 after a final round 75 on Sunday.

At this week's PGA, Haas actually fits either type of profile the course produces. If it runs firm and fast and birdies are available on every other hole, Haas can play that game.

If the course plays more difficult and three or four under every day is a great score, Haas can plod along and make that happen, too.

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only eight seats left on our
springsteen bus
september 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.

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 D.C. and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor-coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole way down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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

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 to D.C., beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack on 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," please go here. Reservation information is there for you.

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

Chase Fitzgerald banner ad

Sunday
July 24
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIV
Issue 24
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


i needed help from the o's last night and couldn't get it


Let me say right from the start this was my fault, entirely.

But the Orioles didn't help a distressed customer last night.

And that's their fault.

I had plans to head down to Camden Yards last night to see the O's whip up on the Indians.

As I've mentioned here on numerous occasions, I'm a 13-game plan member and last night's game against Cleveland was on my plan.

So, I checked in with a friend of mine and asked if he wanted to take in the ballgame. My family made a one-day trip to Ocean City on Saturday, so this was a perfect opportunity to hang out with a buddy, catch the game, and enjoy the night.

X
OK, so it wasn't THIS bad on Saturday night, but there were enough empty seats in the stadium for the O's to help a distressed season ticket plan member. And they didn't...

A couple of weeks ago, I thumbed through my season plan and looked at the upcoming games I was ticketed to attend. I often miss games in the summer because of vacations, golf tournaments, etc., and the O's have a flexible exchange policy for games that you can't attend.

I remember distinctly seeing the Indians game in the tickets, along with upcoming games against Texas, Boston and Toronto.

"Wow, a couple of Saturday nights in a row there," I said to myself as I saw the tickets for Cleveland and Texas.

At 5:50 pm last night, just a few minutes before Alex as stopping by to pick me up, I went to my season-plan book to tear out the two tickets and, much to my shock, the tickets for the Cleveland game were actually NOT for Saturday, July 23, but rather for Friday, July 22.

I don't know how it happened, but I somehow thought the seats were for Saturday.

I confessed about the slip-up right away when Alex pulled up and said, "They'll let me exchange these for seats to tonight's game when we get down there, don't worry. We might not be able to sit in the exact same seats, but we can just flip these for seats to tonight's game."

Yeah, not so much.

After parking in E.B.F. Eygpt, we made the 15-minute hike to the ballpark. I knew the game would be crowded because it as a Saturday night, for starters, and the team was giving away a hat, as well. I was hoping the 100 degree temperatures would keep some people away so that we could get decent seats.

I mosied up to the season ticket plan window at the stadium and fell on the sword.

"I somehow got mixed up and thought these tickets were for tonight's game, but they were for last night's game," I said to the woman behind the glass, wearing her Orioles gear and a "How Can I Help You?" button.

Telling her the truth, I figured, might get things started off on the right track. No sense in trying to create some other crazy story. I screwed up, and needed her help.

"So, do you want tickets for tonight's game?" she asked.

At that moment, I felt like saying, "No, I want tickets for a game in September -- what kind of question is that? Of course I want tickets for tonight's game", but instead, I politely said, "Yes, for tonight's game please. I'm sorry, I thought those two seats were for tonight's game and when I tore them out at home before coming down here, I realized they were for last night."

"OK, we can exchange these two," she replied. "Ahhhh, the sweet sounds of cooperation", I thought to myself.

"But we can't exchange them for tonight's game because it's a Premium game...we can exchange these for one of our Classic games later on in the season," she continued.

"Or you can buy two tickets to tonight's game. The lowest price seat I have is $27.00 in the right field bleachers."

"Wait...you can't just give me two tickets anywhere in the stadium for tonight's game in exchange for those?," I asked.

"No sir, we can't do that...you see, this is a Premium game, and..." at that point, I tuned out. I turned to Alex and asked how badly he wanted to see the Orioles play the Indians on a 100-degree night in July when we were going to be forced to pay at least $27.00 to see the game since the tickets I had already purchased for the season weren't of any use to us.

I scooped up the tickets and we headed back to the car.

Just for kicks, and because you occasionally find someone with more common sense than the others -- who understands customer service -- I stopped at another season plan window on the other side of the stadium as we were leaving.

I went through the same story and asked if the tickets could be exchanged.

"So, do you want tickets for tonight's game?" she asked right away. I couldn't believe it. I thought it was dumb the first time I heard it, but here, the second person I told my story to came up with the very same question as her first response to my plight.

"Yes, just two for tonight in exchange for these two that are PART OF MY SEASON TICKET PLAN," I said. I figured throwing in those words -- SEASON TICKET PLAN -- might help, even though the tickets were obviously part of a ticket plan by their style and such.

"Well, we can't exchange them for tonight's game," she started. By the time she got into the whole "premium game, classic game, etc." I was motioning to her to send the tickets back through the window to me.

I tried one final time: "Is the game sold out? You don't have two tickets to just give me -- anywhere in the stadium -- for those two from last night?"

"No, sir, we can't do that," but I can see what's available for you to buy if you'd like," she replied.

Thirty minutes later, we were sitting in some pretty cool little wine bar over in Canton, Chesapeake something-or-other, enjoying a glass of sauvignon blanc and eating a thin-crust cheese pizza while the O's were pasting the Indians.

X
On the field on Saturday night, Kevin Gausman was outstanding, leading the O's to a 5-2 win over Cleveland, scattering four hits over seven innings.

Around 8:15 or so, it started to rain.

"Well, that's a win for us," I said to Alex. "At least we're not sitting out in the rain."

But I wouldn't have minded sitting outside last night, despite the heat, and taking in a baseball game. That's why I went down to the stadium in the first place.

I understand you have to have ticket policies. I ran a professional soccer team back in another lifetime and I realize you have certain ticketing standards and rules that need to be followed.

Last night, though, was an error in judgment by the Orioles.

It was about 6:55 pm when we approached the ticket window with our issue. Much to my shock, there was NO ONE in line waiting to buy tickets when we got there.

The announced attendance was just a tick under 32,000.

There were roughly 11,000 empty seats last night and the Orioles couldn't give me two of them -- even in the upper deck, perhaps -- because I brought the wrong tickets to the game.

Not that we would have spent a gazillion dollars on beer, hot dogs and such, but we would have at least contibuted $30-$40 a piece if not more, and I probably would have bought my two kids something from the apparel store, too.

Instead, we gave the wine bar people our fifty bucks.

I understand the basic premise that if all 32,000 somehow had a ticketing issue on the same night that the club couldn't just put those distressed customers in new seats because, at some point, there wouldn't be enough seats for everyone.

In this case, common sense should have prevailed.

"Hmmm, OK, first pitch is in about ten minutes or less...I can look at the system here and see that we have gobs of available tickets left and I know we're not going to sell all 11,000 of them in the next ten minutes, since no one is currently in line to buy ONE of them, let alone ELEVEN THOUSAND of them...so, I'll just give this season ticket customer two tickets."

That would have been the easy thing to do.

And the smart thing, too.

Thankfully, the Orioles team ON the field performed at a much higher level than did the Orioles team OFF the field on Saturday night.

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if the sale story is accurate, he's finished in chicago


I'll have more on this tomorrow here at #DMD -- as I'm sure we're going to hear lots more about it today -- but if last night's story out of Chicago is true and pitcher Chris Sale did indeed cut up the team's throwback uniforms in protest of having to wear them on Saturday night, he's done as a member of the White Sox.

If you didn't hear what happened, it basically went like this: Sale has a long-running issue with being forced to wear any uniform except the team's current, "regular" jersey on nights (days) that he pitches. He has, in the past, complained about having to wear throwback jerseys or other shirts that aren't to his liking.

X
Chris Sale of the White Sox was reportedly sent home prior to Saturday night's game with Detroit because he cut up the team's throwback uniforms in protest of having to wear them during his scheduled start against the Tigers.

Look, he's a pitcher, they're all kind of nutty...

Anyway, he evidently got to the stadium at 3:00 pm on Saturday and saw that the club was wearing a throwback jersey on Saturday night when he was scheduled to start against the Tigers.

Already the subject of trade rumors, Sale didn't feel all that good about wearing the jersey after he tried it on.

He complained to a White Sox staffer, who ventured off to get a high-ranking official to come down to the locker room to discuss the issue with Sale.

After a heated discussion in which the starting pitcher barked about "PR and marketing being more important than winning" (more on that topic tomorrow here at #DMD), the situation remained unchanged and Sale was told he and the rest of the players were wearing the throwbacks.

During batting practice, Sale reportedly cut up the 25 jerseys hanging in the locker room so they couldn't be worn on Saturday night.

Mission accomplished, as the shirts were now rendered unwearable for Sale's start.

Except the team found out what happened and sent their star left-hander home, giving the start instead to former Oriole Matt Albers.

I'm sure that made gamblers who placed early afternoon bets on the game real happy when they realized the White Sox weren't starting Sale, but instead were starting some guy named Matt Albers.

Anyway...

The story blew up because everyone initially thought Sale had been traded when the White Sox announced 45 minutes before the game that Sale had been scratched from his scheduled start.

Instead, Sale had been kicked out of the clubhouse and sent home for the night as a result of the jersey incident.

The White Sox were incredibly tight-lipped after the game.

Not one player made a public comment about what happened, manager Robin Ventura said "it's a private matter", and there wasn't much you could get out of anyone in the Chicago locker room.

Must have been a wild scene.

I'm sure the Rangers and Red Sox -- both of whom appear to be seriously interested in acquiring Sale -- were taking notice.

And taking stock of their "throwback jersey nights", too.

KELLY banner ad

only eight seats left on our
springsteen bus
september 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.

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 D.C. and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor-coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole way down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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

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 to D.C., beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack on 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," please go here. Reservation information is there for you.

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

Chase Fitzgerald banner ad

Saturday
July 23
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIV
Issue 23
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jeter’s website is sports gold


Here’s fair warning: If you’re not open minded enough to accept something Derek Jeter does as “remarkably outstanding” – and if you’re not open minded enough to read up on athletes you are probably predisposed to not liking – as in David Ortiz, for one – then you probably won’t like what you’re about to read.

But if you can open your mind a bit...

Just months after his retirement in 2014, Jeter launched a website called The Players’ Tribune, which basically amounted to an open forum for athletes from all walks of life to tell their story, any story, the way they wanted it presented on their behalf.

You’re a sports fan, obviously, or you wouldn’t be here today, reading this little website in Baltimore.

So, you should also be checking out Jeter’s website with great regularity. If you don’t, you’re missing out on some of the best sports-driven content you’ll find anywhere.

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Athletes like David Ortiz are significant contributors to Derek Jeter's website, The Players' Tribune, and give you a perspective directly from the athlete that you won't find in any other media forum.

Why is it so good?

Because every story in the Tribune comes directly from the athlete.

It’s their story, in their words, painted the way they want it.

Sure, they have some editorial assistance and there’s someone there transcribing their words, but when you read, for example, David Ortiz’s most recent piece in which he harkens back to his early days in the Minnesota Twins organization, you know it’s coming from Ortiz himself.

Ortiz, in particular, is a riveting story teller, and one quick rummage through the “search” function at The Players’ Tribune will bring a dozen or more outstanding stories authored by the retiring Red Sox superstar.

Former Raven Eugene Monroe used the Tribune earlier this week to announce his retirement from the NFL.

Monroe, like him or not, gave a heartfelt account of his reasons for calling it quits at age 29. His story became a tad bit easier to understand and accept when you read everything in his words.

Professional athletes are generally too big for their own britches. I think most everyone agrees with that statement.

But they didn’t start out that way.

When they were young and just breaking in, they loved getting interviewed, embraced having the microphone stuck in their face and, in general, appreciated the fact that someone, anyone, wanted to hear what they had to say about the game, the big play or the final score.

As an athlete gets older, they get more jaded. They lose trust in the media. Cameras are everywhere, microphones are in places where they probably shouldn’t be, and media access is provided to people who, frankly, might not be capable of handling it the right way.

Veteran athletes tend to say less as their career lengthens. And, even when they do speak, it’s hard to extract anything really good out of them.

That’s why The Players’ Tribune is an outstanding vehicle for athletes to showcase their experiences.

The players tell their story and the website publishes it.

No fancy headlines that generate clicks but don’t offer any substance thereafter.

No one gets misquoted in The Players’ Tribune, unless they forget to read the final draft that gets e-mailed to them 24 hours before it gets published, a Tribune policy that perhaps all major newspapers and websites should adopt in the future.

The writer isn’t putting his or her spin on the piece. They’re writing, essentially, what the athlete tells them to write.

For some folks, they see the name Derek Jeter attached to anything and immediately pull back and say, “Nope, not interested.

People see “written by David Ortiz” or “written by Kevin Durant” and say, “Don’t like that guy…not about to waste ten minutes reading something he wrote.”

That’s a shame.

Those guys and virtually everyone else who contributes to the Tribune provide outstanding commentary that any sports fan should want to soak up.

If nothing else, you’re getting the story straight from the horse’s mouth, which in our day and age, is a rarity indeed.

You can visit The Players’ Tribune’ at www.theplayerstribune.com.

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padres, o's talking melvin upton jr. trade


If you read the headline above and thought to yourself, "who the heck is Melvin Upton Jr.?", it's OK.

Melvin Upton Jr. is actually B.J. Upton -- except now he goes by Melvin instead of B.J.

Either way, Melvin or B.J., the Birds would be picking up a decent player if the rumored trade with the San Diego Padres goes down.

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The Birds and Padres are in talks that would send outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. to Baltimore in exchange for Ubaldo Jimenez and a high-level minor league prospect.

Stories circulated late Friday night that the O's and Padres are involved in discussions that would send -- you're not going to believe this, so sit down right now -- Ubaldo Jimenez and a "high-level prospect" to San Diego in exchange for Upton, who is a free agent at the end of the 2017 season.

It's been reported that left-handed pitcher Tanner Scott is the prospect San Diego has asked for, but nothing at this point indicates the Orioles would be willing to part company with him.

Upton Jr. plays left field for the Padres, which is likely where he'd see time in Baltimore upon his arrival now that Joey Rickard is out for 4-6 weeks with a thumb injury.

He's having a down season in San Diego in 2016, hitting just .260 with a .309 on-base-percentage. Pretty good work for $16 million, right?

Upton does have some power, though, with 16 home runs and an outside chance of breaking his personal single-season best of 28 homers in 2012 with Tampa Bay.

Who knows why on earth the Padres would want Jimenez...but if the Orioles can unload him, they should do it.

San Diego is likely more interested in the prospect, naturally. Perhaps Jimenez is the "throw-in" piece and Tanner Scott is really the gem San Diego covets.

While it's obvious the Birds still need starting pitching help, the loss of Rickard coupled with the inevitable lack of production from Nolan Reimold has forced the Birds to look at also adding a quality bat at the deadline.

In this case, the O's would be getting rid of a bothersome contract in Jimenez, adding some payroll with Upton, and losing out on what some folks in the organization believe will be a quality major leaguer someday in Tanner Scott.

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Mark Trumbo's first home run since the All-Star break was all the O's needed in Friday night's 5-1 win before 39,000-plus at Camden Yards.

On the field last night, the O's kicked off a homestand with an easy, comfortable 5-1 win over Cleveland.

Mark Trumbo's 29th home run of the year in the first inning was the big blow, giving Dylan Bundy a 3-0 lead, which he easily protected before turning things over to Odrismar Despaigne in the 6th.

Despaigne was superb, handling things expertly until he walked a batter with two outs in the top of the 9th and Buck Showalter summoned Zach Britton for a one-out save.

It was Bundy's first career major league win as a starter and showed why the club was smart to insert him into the rotation in lieu of Jimenez. Bundy threw 87 pitches (55 for strikes), struck out five, walked none, and didn't allow a single earned run in his five innings of work.

You'd never get that kind of start out of Jimenez, that's for sure.

Manny Machado hit his 20th home run of the season as well.

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only eight seats left on our
springsteen bus
september 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.

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 D.C. and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor-coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole way down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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

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 to D.C., beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack on 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," please go here. Reservation information is there for you.

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

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Friday
July 22
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIV
Issue 22
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nba's decision to move out of north carolina accomplishes what, exactly?


The NBA has struggled for a long time to make its mid-season All-Star Game relevant.

Like most sports -- except baseball, which almost resembles a complete, real game -- the basketball league's All-Star Game is more a carnvial than it is a showcase of talent and legitimate effort to play the sport at its highest level.

Yesterday, though, the NBA might have finally figured out a way to make the All-Star Game a national news story.

But they had to pull out of Charlotte to do it.

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced on Thursday the league will not play next season's All-Star Game in Charlotte due to HB2.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced on Thursday that the league is moving next season's All-Star Game from Charlotte to a yet-to-be-determined site in response to House Bill 2 (HB2), a law that was passed in North Carolina earlier this year that mandates people will use public bathrooms of their birthright gender.

The NBA's statement on Thursday said this: "Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community -- current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans. While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2."

So, the league is OUT of Charlotte and trying to find a place to play next February's All-Star Game.

All of this accomplishes what, Mr. Silver?

But what, exactly, has the NBA accomplished by pulling out of North Carolina?

Many people asked the same question of rock legend Bruce Springsteen back in April when he canceled a show in Greensboro in protest of the HB2 law passing in North Carolina.

What was accomplished there?

If the answer to the NBA's decision (and Springsteen's, too) is simply, "We're making a statement that we're not putting up with discrimination", that's certainly a noble thought.

But the NBA is still going to schedule games in Charlotte next season.

Right?

The Hornets aren't folding their franchise in the wake of HB2.

I get the difference between the NBA -- as an entity -- and the member teams in the league who make up their business model. But if the NBA is so appalled by the passing of HB2 in North Carolina that they're not playing ONE game there in February, why then would then allow ANY games to be played there during the season?

I must be missing something.

The league is also set to play pre-season games in China later this year, yet that country has a widely known issue with human trafficking and other forms of discrimination that the NBA either chooses to ignore or simply doesn't care that much about since they're not "close to home".

That might very well be an acceptable answer to many people if the NBA just said it like that: "Honestly, we're going over to China to broaden the appeal of our game and our league and make some money from our corporate sponsors; what goes on over there with regard to discrimination and other forms of improper treatment of Chinese citizens is of no concern to us."

Or, the NBA could say, "Discrimination anywhere, on any level, is wrong. So, we won't be going to China this Fall."

And therein lies the issue with any of these "statement decisions" the NBA, Springsteen, or anyone else makes in the wake of some kind of law, bill, or regulation that gets passed despite their disapproval.

You're now all in, on everything.

Or, at least, you probably should be all in on everything.

The NBA isn't going to play the All-Star Game in Charlotte because of the HB2 law.

What if the state of Texas passes that same law in 2017?

Are Dallas, San Antonio and Houston also out as potential All-Star Game hosts in the future?

Springsteen canceled a show in Greensboro. Will he sell his new album in stores in North Carolina when it comes out in September? After all, the state will be collecting -- and keeping -- sales tax from those album sales.

How valuable are wake up calls like this one?

I'm all for "making statements". Sometimes, you don't want to do it, but it's the only thing left to do in order for your message to be heard.

I did something yesterday here at #DMD that I can't stand doing -- I deleted several messages from our comments section because people continue to use the forum provided to them to fight with one another and take the course of discussion away from the content of the website and merely argue and nitpick with each other.

I've asked nicely for people around here to behave like grown-ups and a few of them can't.

So, I "made a statement", but only for a day, I'm guessing. They'll be back here today, arguing like 4th graders about something that has nothing at all to do with sports and the topics at hand here at #DMD.

The NBA made a statement yesterday that they weren't going to play their All-Star Game in Charlotte because of discrimiation.

Good move, I suppose, if you feel like HB2 is really worth getting worked up about.

But what about China? I mean, if the NBA is going to start "making a statement", shouldn't they be taking a long, hard look at what's happening in China, a place where not only are they going to be playing games, but a country that likely produces most of the apparel and souvenirs the NBA sells to their fans here in the United States.

And why is it just the All-Star Game in Charlotte that's affected?

It's OK for the NBA to have the Milwaukee Bucks play the Hornets in Charlotte, but not OK for the All-Star Game to be played in that city?

I don't get it.

You're either against HB2 and you'll go to any lengths to show your disapproval -- or you're not.

The University at Albany men's basketball team recently pulled out of a scheduled game at Duke in November because of their disapproval of HB2.

Fair enough.

But what if Albany wins the America East conference tournament next March and the committee places them in Greensboro for the first weekend of games?

Are they going to pull out of the NCAA tournament?

What was the ultimate goal of this move?

We haven't even discussed yet what ultimate result the NBA was hoping to get by moving the All-Star Game out of Charlotte.

Seriously -- what's the result the league was hoping to get?

Did they think the state of North Carolina was suddenly going to shake in its boots and say, "Oh, no, the NBA is moving its All-Star Game out of Charlotte unless we repeal this HB2 law and get this whole thing straightened out to THEIR liking"?

To me, all the NBA is doing is hurting the people in Charlotte -- the very ones they're fighting for, oddly -- and the Hornets franchise by pulling out of there.

Hotels suffer, cab drivers suffer, food servers suffer, and so on and so on. People associated with hospitality and service in and around the arena lose money because the NBA isn't bringing their marquee game to Charlotte next February as planned.

The same question could have been posed to Springsteen last April.

What did you ultimately think you were going to get by not doing your show there?

That question is NOT a criticism -- it's a question, plain and simple.

If the NBA is suddenly going to take a keener interest in all things discrimination, they either need to look at every single form of it or not. Unless they don't care about China.

And if they don't care about China and that country's treatment of its citizens, then there's really no reason to play a game or sew another Utah Jazz replica jersey over there.

Right?

The NBA, Springsteen and everyone else can fight these fights if they want, but the state of North Carolina has made its decision and I can't imagine a couple of events getting pulled out of the state are going to wake them up to change.

What the league and the rock star SHOULD do is use the forum they've generated to offer their own opinion on the HB2 law.

"We're playing here tonight not in support of HB2, but rather as a means of showcasing the fact that we believe it to be wrong and discriminatory. We urge you to carefully read the law, understand its restrictions and discriminatory practices, and contact your local political official to make him/her aware that you, as a citizen of the state, are not in favor of HB2."

That's what the NBA, Springsteen, and Albany could have done.

Instead, they made a decision that impacts people in a way that perhaps they, too, didn't deserve, just like those folks affected by the HB2 law in North Carolina.

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o's give tillman some runs, birds coast past yankees, 4-1


All the Orioles needed was a little Chris Tillman and their bats to come alive.

They got both on Thursday afternoon in New York, as Tillman improved to 14-2 and the Birds snapped a 4-game losing streak with a 4-1 win at Yankee Stadium.

Boston's win on Thursday night keeps the Orioles a half-game behind the Red Sox, but losing four straight to the Yankees would have been hard to swallow, even with the injuries and flu bug that left the team nowhere near 100% for the series in the Bronx.

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Handed two runs to work with in the very first inning, Chris Tillman made them stand up on Thursday in Baltimore's 4-1 win at Yankee Stadium.

J.J. Hardy -- the team's hottest hitter since the All-Star break (yep, read it again, I know it looks weird) -- produced a 2-run double in the first inning and the O's were never caught after that.

Jonathan Schoop's 2-run double in the 7th inning gave the Birds some breathing room at 4-1, and the duo of Brach (8th) and Britton (9th) put the game away in the last two innings.

Tillman was outstanding on Thursday, allowing just six baserunners in seven innings of work. He surrendered just four hits and walked two, while striking out seven and improving to 14-2 on the year.

Schoop, Hardy, Machado and -- you better sit down for this next one -- Caleb Joseph all had two hits on the afternoon for the O's, who head home to start a weekend series with the pitching-rich Cleveland Indians.

In his first game back after missing three games with a virus, Chris Davis went 0-for-3 and saw his average fall to .234.

Adam Jones missed Thursday's game with back spasms, but will likely be back in the lineup tonight against the Tribe.

Joey Rickard wasn't available on Thursday due to a sore thumb.

And the O's also announced yesterday that 2013 first round draft pick Hunter Harvey will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the next 14-18 months.

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only eight seats left on our
springsteen bus
september 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.

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 D.C. and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor-coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole way down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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

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 to D.C., beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack on 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," please go here. Reservation information is there for you.

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

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Thursday
July 21
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIV
Issue 21
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


eight years later...orioles, teixeira both wound up winning


Let's go with the bad news first.

Mark Teixeira hit a home run last night for the Yankees, as the Bronx Bombers put a 5-0 pasting on the Orioles for their third straight victory in the 4-game series.

Things aren't going so well for the O's right now, but that's all part of the up-and-down nature of a 162-game season.

It hasn't been going much better for Teixeira of late, either. Last night's home run was just his 8th of the season and it helped raise his average to a paltry .189 in 64 games.

There was a time that the Orioles coveted the former Mount Saint Joseph star, and even lightly pursued him in free agency, but way back in the winter of 2008, Teixeira signed on with the Yankees for eight years and that's where he's been ever since.

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He got $180 million and a championship ring from the Yankees and the O's eventually wound up with Chris Davis -- maybe everybody won?

He still gets booed at Camden Yards when he comes to town with the Yankees, but that remains to this day an almost bizarre overreaction to a decision that was akin to you deciding whether or not you'd say yes to Jessica Biel if she asked you back to her place for a glass of wine.

In 2008, the Orioles were perhaps the most moribund franchise in baseball, if not a contender for that honor in all of sports.

They were a laughingstock on the field and wildly out-of-sorts off the field. No one wanted to play for the team back then, or at least, no one who was any good wanted to play for the Birds circa 2008.

Teixeira was a free agent at that point, looking for that one Brinks-truck-deal that would serve as the foundation for his family's future.

He got it from the Yankees, who ponied up $180 million for eight years, as New York outbid the Angels and Nationals for his services. The Orioles couldn't even make a serious contract offer back then, even though they "leaked" the news that they were right there in the thick of it with Teixeira.

The Orioles had the same chance of landing "Tex" as you do getting that glass of wine with Biel.

No one wanted to be in Baltimore eight years ago

Other than spouting off "he's a local guy, he should have wanted to play here!", is there any good, logical, sane reason that Teixeira would have joined the Orioles in 2008? They were nowhere near the highest bidder, falling some $50 million shy of what the Yankees finally wound up giving him.

Sure, if the difference is $5 million, the fans have a right to whine. The Orioles offered $129 million (and that was the REAL offer, folks, not some other made-up number you might have heard along the way) and the Yankees offered $180 million.

Come on, you tell me what you would have done, and if you say, "I would have signed with the Orioles", we know not to trust you to make any sound decisions when our families are vacationing together next summer. 'Cuz you're nuts.

So, the Yankees got their guy, and won a World Series in 2009, which was also the same year C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett signed in New York as free agents.

And along the way, Teixeira had a handful of productive years, including that '09 campaign when he had a monster season and finished 2nd in A.L. MVP voting.

But he's been broken down for the better part of four seasons now, a shadow of the guy who was once a near-lock to hit 35 homers and drive in 100 or more runs.

He's always been outstanding with the glove and remains more than capable defensively, still. But make no mistake about it -- Teixeira is in the December of his career.

The Orioles, meanwhile, stunk like your Aunt Betty's feet for a few years after Teixeira shunned them.

Then again, anyone who was any good wouldn't sign with the Orioles back then.

But the Birds came out smelling OK, too, just like Teixeira did.

Davis in an Oriole because Teixeira wasn't

Here's the truth: It's unlikely that Teixeira would have helped turn the Orioles into a contender back in the 2009-2012 years. They didn't have any really good players to compliment him, for starters, and the Yankees and Red Sox (and Rays for a while there) were just too good to be overtaken.

That was, remember, part of Andy MacPhail's original master plan with the Orioles. He told Angelos early on in his tenure, "You're not going to beat the Yankees and Red Sox with this group of players you have and you're paying them $90 million. Strip this thing down, get the payroll under control, and start over again. Either way, you're finishing in last place. Why not finish in last and save $30 million?"

Turns out that wasn't such a bad idea after all.

The Orioles wouldn't have won with Teixeira, for starters, and it's also likely they wouldn't have landed Chris Davis in 2011 when he came to the Birds from the Texas Rangers as part of a deadline-deal involving Koji Uehara.

Why would the O's have taken Davis in 2011 if they had five more years of Mark Teixeira at $23 million per-year on their books?

So, not having Teixeira here was actually a catalyst for the Birds to take a gamble on Davis, who was hot-and-cold as a young player in the Rangers' organization.

We'd probably all agree no one thought Davis was capable of breaking out and becoming one of the game's top power hitters, but you just never know what these big, strong, young men are capable of these days...

One season they're bouncing around from AAA to the major leagues and a few years later they're hitting 53 home runs. Who woulda thunk it?

But luck works both ways.

Teixeira was awfully lucky the Yankees were in a money-burning era in 2009, when they were buying up anyone who was talented and trying desperately to win championships and keep the Red Sox from doing so at the same time.

The Orioles turned out to get lucky too, as they didn't get Teixeira, but did wind up with Davis, who at his zenith might be a tick below Teixeira's overall quality in his heyday, but not enough to argue about, I'd say.

The Severna Park native got a championship ring with the Yankees and made $180 million over the next eight seasons.

Things turned out just fine for him.

And the Orioles didn't have to pay him $180 million, plus they wound up with a quality player who could be part of a championship team or two here in Charm City.

Everyone wins.

Well, hopefully...

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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.


Fans who enjoy a good manager-umpire argument in their baseball games were dealt a major blow last week, when MLB chief of baseball operations Joe Torre, beset by a rash of managers being ejected for arguing balls and strikes, distributed a memo to the 30 franchises essentially telling managers to knock it off, and declaring their behavior "highly inappropriate" and "detrimental to the game."

It was a decidedly strong response from the league office, and aimed in exactly the wrong direction.

Managers and players arguing with umpires, especially about the strike zone, isn't new by any means. According to many reports, it's the improvement in technology of cameras driving the current "crisis."

With every stadium outfitted for Pitch F/X and those superimposed strikezone graphics we saw on TV, managers and players now have access to instantaneous information on calls umpires miss behind the plate, or directions in which their zones are shifted, and are apparently using that information to needle the guys in blue on the field in way the umpires seemingly can't abide. Thus we see an increase in players being ejected for seemingly innocuous conversations with home plate umpires, managers getting ejected from the dugout, etc.

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Major League Baseball has had enough with managers barking at umpires...so they sent a nasty memo around warning about increased fines and penalties.

It's worth stopping for a moment to point out that this largely represents a subtle, long term, and unilateral rule change on the part of umpires.

While it's often stated that "you can't argue balls and strikes," this simply isn't true in any kind of literal sense, and there is no actual rule providing for a blanket prohibition on this, or an automatic ejection for breaking it. The rule, narrowly, bans leaving the dugout to argue balls and strikes. It's mostly focused on avoiding grinding the game to a halt by subjecting literally every pitch to a potential on-field discussion.

So a manager who comes out to argue such a call obviously merits an auto-ejection, and a player who lingers to have an argument at home plate is certainly violating the intent of the rule as well. But a quick comment from a hitter or harping on the umpires from the dugout are not explicitly prohibited, or at least not subject to an automatic ejection, and the precedent that they are exists simply because umpires have developed a touchier trigger finger over the years and, through that progression, given us all the impression that no arguing of balls and strikes whatsoever is allowed.

In some sense this isn't a big deal; there's nothing to be gained from these arguments and no real need to have them become over the top productions that hold up the show.

But it does present some cause to worry about how the league, under the direction of Torre and Rob Manfred, will handle the umpires and their union and it is...not encouraging.

Because what we have here is a situation where umpires are a) objectively getting calls wrong and b) acting outside of the actual written rules in ways that enhance their own impact on the game, and the league's response is to use some of the strongest possible language to threaten managers who point it out.

This is entirely the wrong way to go about handling this when, in fact, it's the umpires who need to be taken down a notch. Conversely, actions like this are only goin got empower umpires to be even bigger blowhards who hinge outcomes on their own thin skin and self-importance, with the clear message that, where MLB is concerned, they'd rather just direct everyone else to assuage the officials' egos to avoid the appearance of any problem.

After a few years where it seemed that the awareness of "#umpshow" problems was increasing and the league was actually preparing to fight the umpires' union on this front, this reversal is incredibly disappointing.

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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 lose (again) to yankees, 5-0


Well, this could have gone better.

All the sudden, the Yankees look like the team in first place and the Orioles look frail, sickly and a team headed nowhere.

The Birds lost for the third straight night in New York on Wednesday, falling 5-0 and dropping into second place behind the Red Sox, who beat the Giants in Boston, 11-7.

It was another brutal night at the plate for the O's, who produced just five hits on the evening and have now scored a total of two runs in the 27 innings they've played in Boston this week.

Since returning from the All-Star break, the Birds are 2-4 and, worse, just 3-for-33 at the plate with runners in scoring position.

Wednesday night's loss could be excused somewhat based solely on the fact that Chris Davis, Manny Machado (both out with a virus) and Matt Wieters (sore foot) didn't play. Those three guys might have made a difference, obviously.

But it's also fair to say that even with them in there on Wednesday night, things might not have been much different. No one on the team is really hitting worth a hoot, which is really a shame when you take into account that the three starters at Yankee Stadium this week -- Gausman, Worley and Gallardo -- have all been decent enough to warrant a better result then they eventually earned.

Gallardo went seven innings last night, allowing five hits and four earned runs. Walks -- four of them -- really hurt him, but the Orioles not scoring even a single run for him probably hurt a lot worse.

J.J. Hardy was the only Oriole with two hits last night.

The series concludes with a 1:05 pm game this afternoon in New York.

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only eight seats left on our
springsteen bus
september 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.

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 D.C. and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor-coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole way down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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

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 to D.C., beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack on 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," please go here. Reservation information is there for you.

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

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Wednesday
July 20
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIV
Issue 20
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


it's not time to panic, repeat, it's not time to panic


If you're ever up for a two hour case-study in how the human brain works, try this simple exercise that I did last night.

Turn off the Orioles game on TV and simply follow the proceedings on Twitter.

It's a hilarious way to take yourself through a few innings, particularly if the game is in the balance like it was for most of last night's 7-1 loss at Yankee Stadium.

Yep, the O's lost again on Tuesday evening, to a Yankees team that is just now barely back above .500 again at 47-46.

Sidetracking myself for a second, I'm amazed that Joe Girardi's team is even that good. They only have three quality players in their lineup and, other than Tanaka, none of their starting pitchers are formidable in the least.

X
With no homers in five games after the Home Run Derby, some O's fans are starting to get cranky with Mark Trumbo.

Sure, all 25 guys in their dugout are "professionals", which means they're capable of doing something good on any given night, but the sum of their parts just isn't that impressive. They have an outstanding bullen, obviously, which is probably the difference between 47-46 and 37-56.

Back to our woes, now.

And last night's view of the game through my Twitter feed.

I was lightly tuned into the Republican National Convention, which is to say it was mainly white noise while I wrote the piece on Tiger Woods that you'll see below. If for no other reason than to see who would get up there and say something foolish, I kept the RNC "on" the TV and followed three or four innings of the O's game on Twitter.

It was hilarious.

Moments after Mark Trumbo popped out to first base with the bases loaded in the 6th inning, this gem came in from @W_R_R: "Garbage. Stay away from the Home Run Derby."

I joked on Twitter (you can follow me: @itsahooded4iron) that I finally saw someone bashing Trumbo for his participation in the Home Run Derby at 9:59 pm on 7/19/16.

There was a lot more Twitter-angst throughout the last few innings, as O's fans piled on Buck Showalter's team once New York extended their 3-1 lead to 5-1 and then 7-1.

Maybe it's because it's the Yankees, or perhaps it's because the bats have suddenly gone silent.

Or maybe I'm over-analyzing it.

I sense that people are panicking a bit.

It's two losses, folks.

Two losses in a 162-game season.

It's like getting worked up over the Ravens throwing for 12 yards in the first quarter of the home opener against the Bills on September 11.

"Well, we obviously aren't going to be able to throw the ball this season..."

I wrote here yesterday and it's worth mentioning again that the Birds are not a good matchup for the Yankees. Our strength -- typically -- is using all nine innings to nibble away at opposing pitching staffs. New York's strength is shutting you down if you're not ahead by the 7th inning.

As Jim Palmer noted last night after the broadcast, "Good pitching always beats good hitting. It's just the way it is."

The Orioles are in a dogfight, yes, but there's nothing about them that suggests these two losses to the Yankees are the start of a wild downward spiral that will have them 7.5 games back by August 15.

Back at the end of May, the Birds dropped the first two games of a 4-game home series to the Red Sox, then rebounded to win the next two. No harm, no foul.

If they win tonight and tomorrow vs. the Bronx Bombers, the same thing applies.

I'll admit, I didn't see New York winning two games in this series, but when you score two runs in two games, you're not beating most teams in the big leagues.

Tonight, especially if the O's are trailing in 5th or 6th innings, head to Twitter for thirty minutes and follow the game there.

You'll get a real slice of what life is like as an Orioles' fan.

It's fun, maddening and a little bit eye-opening, all at the same time.

It might even put your own "fandom" into proper perspective.

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woods withdraws from pga, won't hit a shot in '15-16 season


Tiger Woods made it official yesterday, although most of us who follow golf had assumed it was already a done-deal long before the e-mail from his agent went out to the national wire services around 11:00 am on Tuesday.

Woods has officially withdrawn from next week’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol and pulled the plug on his 2015-2016 campaign altogether, saying that he hopes to be able to play at some point during the ’16-17 campaign.

So, that’s it. Woods is done for this “season” and likely won’t be seen again until early in 2017.

X
Tiger Woods withdrew from next week's PGA Championship yesterday, meaning he'll go at least eight FULL years on the PGA Tour without winning a major title. Still stuck on 14...

And with that, the PGA Tour continues to wallow in a wave of listless, non-descript personalities, with no Tiger-emergence to save them for the better part of the next five months, at the very least.

If Woods would just come back, everything might be different.

We’d have someone to root for AND someone to root against, too.

While you’re cheering for Woods to hole a big putt at #17 to keep his two stroke lead intact, the guy at the very next table is screaming “Miss it!”.

No one is doing that unless Woods is playing.

I didn't find anyone openly rooting FOR or AGAINST Henrik Stenson last Sunday on the incoming nine holes at Troon. I think folks were mesmerized and appreciative of his great golf, yes, but was anyone going nuts down the stretch as Stenson made putt after putt after putt? Not at my club they weren't.

Without Woods in the lineup and teeing it up, which player on TOUR is everyone attached to as they watch golf on Saturday and Sunday?

Please don’t say Jordan Spieth.

Terrific player and all, but was anyone seen moping around late on Sunday afternoon when Spieth finished tied for 30th at the British Open?

Rooting for Spieth is the natural thing to do, but there's no real "heel" version of him to balance out the love with the hate.

Woods, unlike anyone else on TOUR, has both ends of the spectrum covered. Gobs of folks love him, gobs of folks despise him.

Dustin Johnson isn’t suddenly getting boys to put away their baseball gloves and pick up golf clubs.

Neither is the guy who just became the "Champion Golfer of the Year", Henrik Stenson.

Those guys -- Spieth, Johnson, Stenson -- are GREAT players, yes. Great, great players.

But you're not watching more golf and tuning in on Saturday or Sunday to see if Johnson can come back from two shots down to win in Hartford, Connecticut next month.

You see, without Woods playing golf and BEING golf in this country, there’s just no one else to move the needle.

And I’m not talking about YOUR needle, for Woods.

Sure, you might despise him, but there aren’t many people who dislike anything about Tiger’s actual golf game.

If in your heart of hearts you don’t like Woods, it’s because you don’t approve of the failings he created in his personal life or you don’t like black athletes.

By and large, no one dislikes him for his golf. And how could you? Not appreciating Woods for his golfing greatness would be like not appreciating Frank Sinatra for his singing.

You can’t actually be a competitive golfer on any level and have disdain for Woods as a golfer. As a guy? Sure, maybe you can say you don't like him in the wake of his personal situation. But not as a golfer.

So, in nearly every case, you’re either a Tiger fan or a Tiger hater.

Quick, find me a handful of Zach Johnson haters.

Or get me the contact info for the twenty grown men who think Rickie Fowler is the best thing that’s happened to golf in the last decade.

That’s four names…come on, try and find me sixteen more.

You can’t.

Woods, you see, moves the needle at both ends, which is why the TOUR so desperately needs him to return.

If Jordan Spieth withdraws from next week’s PGA Championship, you know matter how many people would be worked up about that? Maybe twelve. And eight of them work for Under Armour.

The golf between Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson was remarkable last Sunday at Royal Troon, but no one will be hustling to the TV set next Thursday during the first round of the PGA to watch Stenson again.

Without Woods, golf is just golf. Again.

With him, people are interested, and I mean, really interested in seeing him either succeed, greatly, or fail, greatly.

No one gives a hoot about William McGirt, Patrick Rodgers or Colt Knost.

But they care about Tiger, still, even though he hasn’t played in one event this year and likely won’t play at all in 2016.

Woods had to watch last week’s British Open and marvel at the performance of Phil Mickelson, noting Phil’s age – 46 – and thinking to himself, “If I can just get healthy, I can still win more major championships. I’m only 40.”

Just coming back and playing would create an immense amount of interest in Woods and his golf game.

And it would get people to pay attention again, no matter the event.

Tiger being Tiger is enough to drive interest through the roof; that is, if he plays again at all, which I still think is nothing more than a 50/50 proposition at best.

I’m hoping he plays again for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which is to simply inject some much needed fuel in the tank of the PGA Tour, which has little to offer – excitement wise – with Woods on the sidelines.

And, again, I’m not talking about week-to-week excitement where we sit around and get teary eyed when Billy Hurley III wins a golf tournament.

That was a great single-weekend story, for sure.

Quick, tell me who Hurley was paired with last weekend at the British Open.

Don’t know, do you?

You know why you don’t know? He didn’t play in the event.

Here's the thing: You knew Woods didn’t play in the British Open, but you had no idea if Hurley played or not.

When Tiger plays, everyone knows.

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only eight seats left on our
springsteen bus
september 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.

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 D.C. and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor-coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole way down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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

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 to D.C., beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack on 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," please go here. Reservation information is there for you.

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

SECU banner

Tuesday
July 19
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIV
Issue 19
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


while they're shopping, should orioles also look for another bat?


You can't be completely surprised by last night's turn of events in New York, where the Birds fell to the Yankees, 2-1.

Quick question -- if the Birds lost 2-1, who was the starting pitcher?

That's right, kids, it was Kevin Gausman. You're getting good at this game...

Gausman gave the Orioles yet another more-than-representative effort on Monday night, only to see the Baltimore bats silenced once again, which tends to be the norm when Gausman is on the mound.

So, as the trade deadline approaches and teams are looking to bolster their roster for the stretch run, should the Orioles also be looking for another bat in addition to at least one quality starter?

It's starting to look like the answer to that question is "yes".

X
In the wake of an off-year from several starters, including Adam Jones, should the Birds also be looking at adding one more quality bat at the trade deadline?

Now, let's get this out of the way: The Yankees aren't a great match-up for the Orioles, which might not bode well for the Birds since they face New York a whopping 13 times over their last 72 regular season games (including last night).

The O's are a team that wear you down as the game goes on. You might go through the lineup unscathed once or twice, but eventually, by inning six or so, the Birds' bats are going to nick you a few times.

The Yankees, though, are one of the few teams -- like the Orioles, actually -- who get better on the mound as the game goes on. If you don't get a lead on New York by the 7th, you're in trouble most nights, which is the same thing we can say about the O's bullpen, too.

New York isn't a threat to win the division or anything like that, but they could make things tough for the Birds, particularly, since our strength at the plate gets mitigated by their strength on the mound.

Which might be yet another reason why the Orioles need to look at adding a bat over the next two weeks.

And Buck Showalter might also want to consider juggling his lineup a bit, too.

Sticking with that point for a second, how much longer is Buck going to use Chris Davis as a his clean-up hitter?

Davis didn't play on Monday because of a virus, but he'll probably be back in there tonight for the second game of the series in the Bronx, and Showalter would do well to perhaps move Davis down to five or maybe even six in the lineup and see what that does for the $23 million man.

Sure, he's always capable of hitting the ball out of the park in the #4 slot, but he's far, far more apt to strike out there, too.

Who goes into the four spot? Trumbo, perhaps, although he can whiff with the best of them, too.

How about Jonathan Schoop in there for a trial period? He has power, he can drive the ball, and he has a decent eye, too.

Might be too much for Schoop to do at this point in his young career, but at least worth a shot, maybe?

Here's what I don't know: Who to bat clean-up.

Here's what I do know: It's not Davis.

Speaking of offense, will someone please, please, PLEASE tell Adam Jones to stop swinging at the first friggin' pitch.

He's become the exact opposite of what you typically want from your leadoff hitter. He's up there, swings at the first thing he sees, and that's that.

Now, back to the trade deadline talk.

The Orioles are obviously in the market for at least one decent starting pitcher. Right now, there are two guys -- out of five rotation spots -- that you can generally count on to give you a decent outing every night.

Chris Tillman is about a 90% percent guy, meaning you'll get what you need from him 9 out of 10 starts.

Kevin Gausman is a 70% guy. You'll get something decent from him in 7 out of 10 starts.

X
With no lefthanded starter in their rotation, Matt Moore would be a nice addition for the O's, but do they have enough to give up to get him from the Rays?

No one else comes close to 70%, although it's fair to note that Yovani Gallardo has been OK over the last month since returned from the disabled list.

Everyone in baseball is interested in Tampa Bay's Matt Moore, but the Rays are going to want a boatload for him. The Orioles don't have a "boatload", unless they're willing to throw in someone like Schoop, and that's probably not going to happen.

But with no left-handed starter in their rotation, the O's might have to bend a little to extract Moore from the Rays.

I'm not saying they should give up Schoop, but the O's will at least need to understand going in that they're not "fleecing" the Rays in a deal for Matt Moore.

Chris Archer could also be on his way out in Tampa Bay, but the same situation applies there. Someone will have to give up a lot to get him.

Would the O's be better served getting a bat instead?

The general premise of market-correction alone suggests Mark Trumbo won't duplicate his first half. Jones is having an off-year average and OBP wise. Davis is what he is, a low average power hitter whose numbers spike up because he has a few 3-week hot streaks every season. Wieters is decent at the plate, nothing more.

Night in and night out, you can count on Machado and Schoop, for sure, and that's really about it.

You can add Trumbo to that list, as he's been terrific thus far, but if he happens to slip in the second half, someone needs to pick up the slack for him and it just doesn't look like that guy is here, now, in Baltimore.

And would the O's be looking for more power, or someone to get on base with a higher degree of regularity than the likes of Jones, Hardy, Wieters, etc.? Heck, Ryan Flaherty's OBP this season is better than those three, albeit in fewer plate appearances.

That bat could be here already in the form of Pedro Alvarez, who hit two homers in the Tampa Bay series, but he posted another 0-for-4 night in New York last night and probably isn't the second half answer the Birds are seeking.

Another stable arm to help support Tillman and Gausman would be nice.

One more bat that can help create another run or so per-game would help, too.

No matter what direction they go, the Birds need a couple of impact additions over the next two weeks. If for no other reason, they know Boston and Toronto are going to be looking to do the same thing.

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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.


penn state should get the death penalty


Joe Paterno was an ugly, awful, evil human being. There's no way to sugarcoat that, and we really shouldn't be trying to find a way, either.

The details of the child-rape scandal involving longtime defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky that ultimately brought JoePa down are the kinds of things that shouldn't be able to find new ways to shock you even more.

I mean, how much more shocking can you really get than just the headline, ya know, and yet new wrinkles in the story keep coming out that prove even more unbelievable than the story already was in the first place.

The latest, and in some respects most important, revelation came last week with the leaking of testimony given as part of a 2014 lawsuit between Penn State and one of its insurers over responsibility for covering payments made to victims as part of the university's many, many settlements.

Specifically, one victim testified that he had directly told Paterno what Sandusky had done to him at a Penn State football camp. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that the victim claims to have told Paterno very directly that Sandusky had raped him in the shower, and that he had screamed loud enough that other camp participants had heard him.

The victim was 14 years old at the time.

And, oh yeah, the incident in question occurred in 1976.

Paterno knew about everything longer than we first thought

That's a crucial new fact that finally blows the lid open on just how far, and for how long, Paterno and other high ranking Penn State administrators went in covering up Sandusky's predatory behavior.

This certainly was easy enough to predict, based on what we already knew, and was essentially a necessary component of explaining why Paterno, along with University vice-president Gary Schultz and athletic director Timothy Curley, swept aside allegations from 2002 that assistant coach Mike McQueary had discovered Sandusky molesting a boy in the shower of the team's facility (you'll quickly notice a pattern here).

When the story broke, Paterno put on the face of a confused, feeble old man who couldn't figure out what all this talk of naughty parts was about but, to state it frankly, that was an outright, bold faced lie.

That's because we know Paterno was aware of at least one previous accusation of...Sandusky inappropriately touching a young boy in the shower of the team's facility, in 1998.

We know that Paterno knew about this because that boy's mother filed a complaint against Sandusky with local law enforcement, who fully investigated the allegations. The matter failed to proceed as the police reportedly didn't feel they could make a sufficiently strong case, but the next season Sandusky "retired" as the team's defensive coordinator.

He did maintain a substantial compensation agreement however, and negotiated several privileges he still enjoyed including...access to the team's facility. And showers.

So, if nothing else, that's the background through which Paterno should have viewed the accusation brought by McQueary less than 5 years later: A shockingly similar accusation to the one from 1998, which should have prompted strong suspicion about what Sandusky was up to and a prompt call to the authorities.

Paterno, of course, never did that.

His "defense" is that he told Schultz and Curley, his nominal superiors, but even if we take this at face value we still can only conclude that Paterno was so disinterested in the possible sexual abuse of children in his own building that he never took it upon himself to independently call law enforcement to confirm that the matter was being investigated.

But then, if you want to know just how little Paterno cared about the children Sandusky was victimizing, you can't find a much better summary than the response "John Doe 150" claims Paterno gave him when he told the coach that Sandusky had raped him at Paterno's own football camp.

Sandusky's behavior got in the way of winning games

"I don’t want to hear about any of that kind of stuff, I have a football season to worry about.”

That was Joe Paterno's response in 1976, and it's not isolated either.

Back in May, another victim claimed that Paterno had pressured him not to report Sandusky's molesting him in 1971.

There are many more such stories coming out, all of them probably not credible, but quite a few of them very much so and, crucially, they provide the missing explanation for the post-retirement coverup for Sandusky: Paterno and the university had to cover up Sandusky's crimes, because they were also covering up the fact that they'd known about them, and done their best to conceal them, for the better part of four decades.

There has been a tendency to place the blame for the coverup on "football mania," that is, people being willing to look the other way at lots of bad behavior, and sexual misconduct specifically, as long as it helps the football team.

I've not really bought into this, because Sandusky's actions weren't widely known and it appears that the decision to let him get away with his crimes was limited to Paterno and a few other high ranking administrators. But the same cannot be said of the response of the university and the broader university community to the publicizing of the story in 2011, and to these subsequent revelations about the complicty of Paterno and the school's leading adminstrators.

Rather, Penn State fans and loyalists have remained defiant, angry, and most of all zealously protective of Paterno's legacy and reputation.

This despite the fact that Penn State's punishment was almost comically light. They lost scholarships and postseason rights, and Paterno "forfeited" a number of wins which, ultimately, provoked such a massive backlash from fans that the NCAA has already caved in and reinstated its official recognition of those games.

Keep in mind that many, many, people expected Penn State to get the "death penalty," the complete suspension of the entire program, as a result of the transgression. Such a penalty has only been handed out once, to SMU in the 1980's for paying its players/recruits (specifically Eric Dickerson), and it proved so severe that the NCAA has refused to invoke the punishment ever since.

But then, if paying your star running back is bad, covering up for a serial child rapist is at least as bad as that, right, and should merit at least the same level of punishment?

I opposed that notion at the time, mostly because I didn't think it was fair that fans and current players should pay such a steep price for the actions and decisions of individuals who, by that point, had been terminated from any ongoing association with the school and, given their stature, had essentially been operating without real oversight at the time.

It's time for Penn State to pay the ultimate penalty

I've since come to change my mind, and now believe that it's not only proper, but imperative, that Penn State's football program be shut down altogether, and for a longer period of time than the one year SMU was subjected to as well. Because it just doesn't appear that anything short of that is going to send a strong enough message to the fans, and the school, that what happened there was wrong, and that the people and institutions have to accept responsibility for the unimaginable evil that took place there.

And right now that's just not happening. Just Monday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that 200 former football players have petitioned the university to re-erect the bronze statue of Paterno that was torn down after the revelations that he knew about Sandusky's actions in 2011.

Penn State fans can routinely be found harassing and abusing strangers on social media for the unforgivable sin of saying that raping kids, and covering up for child rapists, is a bad thing.

And the university's staffing process is apparently consciously designed as a statement on history repeating itself as farce. Their current President, Eric Barron, came to the job by way of Florida State...where his tenure included the university and Tallahassee police conspiring to cover up rape allegations against Jameis Winston.

Penn State's current head football coach, James Franklin, had a sexual assault controversy of his own at Vanderbilt, where four players were dismissed from the team for gang-raping a fellow student, and Franklin may or may not have actively tried to cover the incident up. He denies having seen a cell phone video of the attack and advising the player to delete it (though he previously claimed to have seen exactly this video), but he does admit to contacting the victim just after the attack, with his defense being that he was concerned about her because she was involved in the program...by being responsible for enticing potential recruits by "looking pretty."

This is, of course, a not very well veiled reference to the widespread (and illegal) practice of having female students provide sexual favors to recruits on campus visits.

Talk about a story you couldn't make up.

To put it succinctly, what happened at Penn State under Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky was a form of abject evil just about as pure a form as human beings are capable of concocting, but the university community simply refuses to accept and acknowledge that, which means nothing can be learned from it.

In essence, Penn State is defiantly saying that no one, other than Sandusky (and maybe the many victims they continue to accuse of lying to this day) did anything wrong.

They've explicitly declared that football, and Joe Paterno's memory, are simply more important than the safety and well being of children, or the atonement of people responsible for the sexual abuse thereof.

They have absolutely zero perspective when football is in the picture, and nothing that's been done to the school/program since 2011 has pushed them to reckon with the actual horror of the events, but rather has only further convinced them that they are the real victims.

Shutting down the football program altogether might not change that dynamic, but at least it will clear out the toxic swamp that provides the breeding ground for this virus. Much like an old, decrepit building that's become a danger to anyone and everyone around it, it's time to burn Penn State football to the ground for our own collective good.

KELLY banner ad

only eight seats left on our
springsteen bus
september 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.

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 D.C. and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor-coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole way down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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

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 to D.C., beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack on 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," please go here. Reservation information is there for you.

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

Primary Residential banner

Monday
July 18
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIV
Issue 18
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


just like stenson and mickelson, fact and opinion is a winner


FACT: Henrik Stenson became the first non-American to win at Royal Troon in the last seven British Open championships conducted there.

OPINION: From a pure golfing standpoint, what Stenson and Phil Mickelson produced on Sunday was as good as anything we've seen mano-a-mano since Woods and May at Valhalla in the 2000 PGA Championship. But this was better; 14 birdies, one eagle and two bogeys between them over 18 holes. If Mickelson's eagle putt at 16 would have slipped in instead of sliding by, who knows what Stenson does with his six footer for birdie? That was the big putt that Mickelson needed.

X
Jake Arrieta ranks 10th in the N.L. with a 2.68 ERA -- but that would put him first in the A.L.

FACT: The top 10 pitchers in the National League all have an ERA lower than the leading guy in the American League. That's right, Jake Arrieta (2.68) is ranked tenth in the N.L. and Danny Salazar (2.75) is ranked first in the A.L.

OPINION: Dumb statement of the day here, but the worst hitters in the N.L. really water down the offense over there. Yes, National League pitching might be a tick better -- quality wise -- than the A.L., but all you have to do is look at Johnny Cueto's return to the N.L. this season to see the difference between an offense with five good hitters (N.L.) vs. an offense with seven good hitters (A.L.).

FACT: If you're one of those folks who puts an emphasis on stats in baseball and you consider WAR (wins above replacement) identifies the most valuable player in the game, Josh Donaldson is that guy in the A.L. these days; his WAR is 5.7, Mike Trout's is 5.6.

OPINION: You'd have to work hard to convince me that Jose Altuve isn't the "most valuable player" in the American League. Without him, the Astros are a .400 team.

FACT: Stevie Wonder has 25 Grammy Awards in his career, more than U2 (22), Jay-Z (21) and Bruce Springsteen (20).

OPINION: Wonder's "Songs In the Key of Life" won a Grammy for Best Album of the Year and is the best work he ever did, but not nearly as good as Springsteen's "Born to Run".

FACT: ESPN.com just produced a lengthy series on baseball's "Best Ever" and they somehow ranked Sandy Koufax ahead of Randy Johnson, as they finished 1-2 in the "Best Lefthanded Pitcher" category.

OPINION: Sandy Koufax wasn't better than Clayton Kershaw, let alone Johnson. Koufax had five GREAT years, yes, and won three Cy Young awards in that span. Johnson won FIVE Cy Young awards and -- ready for this? -- captured four of them in a row from 1999-2002. Koufax was terrific, but ESPN.com threw a wild pitch on that one.

FACT: Major League Baseball's Joe Torre distributed a memo to all big league managers last Friday advising them to "tone down" their in-game arguing with umpires and admonished them for using video replay during the game to help establish their position that calls are being missed behind home plate.

OPINION: This strikes me as odd. Hockey allows fist fights between their players, right there in plain view of folks in attendance and those watching on TV. Baseball doesn't allow managers to yell at the umpire from the dugout, where no one can actually even see what's going on.

FACT: The Seattle Mariners are a .500 team, currently at 46-46. They are 23-22 at home and 23-24 on the road. About as distinctly .500 as a team can get, right? Well, they've scored 41 more runs than they've allowed this season. How weird is that? Same numbers of wins as losses, but they've scored 41 more runs than they've surrendered.

OPINION: I don't even know if I have an opinion on that, other than I can't get over how weird it seems. I guess they won a handful of 12-2 games along the way.

X
Was Tiger watching 46 year old Phil Mickelson nearly win the British Open and thinking to himself, "I still have lots of time..."?

FACT: Unless he surprisingly plays and wins the PGA Championship in two weeks at Baltusrol, Tiger Woods will go yet another year without winning a major title. He hasn't won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open, going all of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and, presumably, 2016 without adding to his total of 14 majors.

OPINION: Hard to believe Woods has gone eight full years without winning a major. If he would have won just once every OTHER year since 2008, he'd be tied with Nicklaus right now. That said, he had to be galvanized watching Mickelson light it up at Royal Troon at 46 years old. "If I can get healthy and stay healthy, I can still win out there," Tiger has been telling people at The Medalist in Jupiter, Florida the last couple of weeks.

FACT: The Orioles are now 53-37 after Sunday's loss to the Rays. If they go 40-32 from here on out, they'll finish at 93-69. That seems like a lock to me. At worst, that gets them a Wild Card berth, but I bet 93 wins is enough for the division title.

OPINION: The only thing that could derail the Birds at this point would be some sort of wildly-out-of-character losing skid where they drop 15 of 20 games. And I just can't see that happening with their offense humming along like it has been all season.

FACT: The Orioles are now wearing their "non-Baltimore" road uniforms on Friday and Saturday away games, going with the Friday black and Saturday orange shirts on the road; they say Orioles in the traditional script rather than "Baltimore" across the front.

OPINION: I don't get it. When you're away, why not just wear the away uniform? If you want to create a black one with "Baltimore" on the front or an orange one like that, too, go right ahead. But the road uniform should have "Baltimore" on it for all 81 away games.

FACT: I attended the 1991 British Open at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England. It was won by Ian Baker Finch. Another Australian finished second, two shots back. There's NO CHANCE you know who it was. Right?

OPINION: Second place in that British Open was claimed by a guy named Mike Harwood. The night before the final round, I saw him in a coffee shop in Southport with another Australian, Wayne Grady. I said, "Good luck tomorrow" and he replied by saying, "What does luck have to do with it?" I wasn't rooting for him the next day...

FACT: Speaking of Springsteen's album Born To Run, guest musicians on that 39 minutes of greatness included saxophonists Michael Brecker and David Sanborn.

OPINION: I'm a huge Springsteen fan and I've seen both Brecker and Sanborn a half dozen times or more and even I didn't know that tidbit about those two playing on BTR.

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stenson, mickelson shine, mcilroy doesn't


History will show that Phil Mickelson recorded four consecutive under-par rounds -- including a 63 and 65 -- in the 2016 British Open. And lost...

And that's because Henrik Stenson produced one of the most memorable final rounds in major championship history on Sunday at Royal Troon, making 10 birdies en-route to a final round 63 and a 20-under par total for four days that bested Mickelson by three shots.

Ten birdies. In eighteen holes.

Here's the thing: This wasn't the Travelers in Hartford or the Quicken Loans in Washington DC. Guys on TOUR go to those places and bring the course to its knees. This was the freakin' British Open, with rain, wind, knee deep grass and bunkers that could comfortably fit a family of six for an overnight camping stop.

X
40-year old Henrik Stenson finally joined the major winners club in pro golf with a sparkling 20-under par total at Royal Troon.

Stenson ate that place alive, as did Mickelson, who played a fine final round himself, although it's fair to note he was only two under par on the back nine on Sunday. Acceptable, sure, but not good enough to knock Stenson off his perch.

The big moment came at #16 when Mickelson -- trailing by two -- wallopped a 3-wood to within 20 feet of the hole for eagle, while Stenson was wide left on his second shot and pitched his third to about six feet above the hole.

Everyone who has paid attention to professional golf over the last decade just knew what was coming next. Mickelson makes, Stenson misses, and we're all even with two to play.

And once that happened, the follow-up was inevitable, too. Stenson makes a sloppy bogey at 17, Phil pars, and they go par-par at 18 to give Mickelson his 6th major title and deny Stenson his first major championship at the same time.

Except...

Mickelson's eagle putt somehow avoided the hole at the very last second, inching just left of the cup for a tap-in six-inch birdie.

And Stenson followed suit with his own birdie putt right in the middle of the hole to stay ahead by two shots.

So much for the Swede coming apart at the seams under the stress of a back nine dual with Mickelson.

It was a remarkable day of golf, and NBC did the whole thing justice by essentially focusing on the two guys at the top of the leaderboard from the moment they teed off.

There were mentions of Spieth, Garcia, McIlroy, Holmes, Johnston, etc., but we didn't see them play much golf, unless it was their final putt at 18 and a quick snapshot of their scorecard before scurrying back to cover Stenson and Mickelson.

And every time NBC showed those two, someone was making birdie.

Stenson even made one at the 18th hole to cap off his remarkable final round of 63, while all Mickelson could do was look at the scoreboard and see that he finished at 17-under par, beat the guy closest to him by ELEVEN shots -- and lost the tournament by three.

Oh, and neither one of them embarrassed themselves like Rory McIlroy did on Saturday when he threw his club after an errant shot and snapped the head from the shaft.

I watch high school golfers occasionally act inappropriately after they hit an offline shot or miss a short putt and I wonder, "Now where on earth did they pick up that kind of behavior?"

The video below shows you where they pick it up.


#DMD-HDTV


That last clip, with McIlroy in all black, was the scene he provided on Saturday at Troon. Afterwards, he even had the nerve to mention "the head of the club was loose earlier in the week" as if that might have contributed to the freakish nature of the clubhead snapping off as he fired the club into the ground.

McIlroy got in hot water earlier in the week when he said during a press conference that he didn't feel it was his job to "grow the game of golf".

After watching that embarrassing episode on Saturday, I'm kind of glad he doesn't want to grow the game, actually.

Who knows what kind of players he'd sprout if they followed his lead...

KELLY banner ad

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.


bundy, o's bats both not good enough in rare loss to tampa bay


Dylan Bundy made his long awaited first major league start on Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field, and while it wasn't an outright stinker or anything like that, it certainly wasn't anything to get overly excited about, as the Birds fell to Tampa Bay, 5-2.

Bundy threw 70 pitches in 3.1 innings of work, allowing three home runs and four earned runs overall.

X
Uh oh...Mark Trumbo doesn't have a home run since last Monday's Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game.

The Birds got a home run from Pedro Alvarez, but their offense produced just eight hits on the day as the Rays won for just the fourth time in their last 28 games.

Bundy's shaky start apparently didn't faze manager Buck Showalter, who said afterwards that the former #1 draft pick would remain in the team's starting rotation.

That means bye-bye to Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson, presumably. But it also means Ubaldo Jimenez will likely remain in the rotation and might even start on Tuesday night in New York when the Birds play the second game of a four-game series in the Bronx.

The O's could do to the Yankees what they essentially did to the Rays a couple of weeks ago in Baltimore -- end any hopes at all of making a second half run at the division title. If Baltimore can win 3 of 4 or sweep this upcoming series in NY, that would stick a knife in Joe Girardi's team for the 2016 campaign.

Oh, and since it's fun to bring this up right after the All-Star Game Home Run Derby, Mark Trumbo went 3-for-12 in that series with the Rays and didn't produce one home run.

If he somehow doesn't go deep in the four games at Yankee Stadium, the sports talk shows will fill up with "Trumbo ruined his swing in the Home Run Derby!".

Royal Farms banner ad

only eight seats left on our
springsteen bus
september 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.

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 D.C. and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor-coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole way down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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

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 to D.C., beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack on 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," please go here. Reservation information is there for you.

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

STECCO banner ad

Sunday
July 17
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIV
Issue 17
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


no matter who wins today at troon, it's going to be special


The golf experts monitoring the events at Royal Troon are calling today's final round a two-player race, and with good reason, I suppose.

It's Henrik Stenson at -12, Phil Mickelson at -11, and the rest of the golfing world at least five shots behind, including Bill Haas in third place at 6-under par.

But, because it's golf and the British Open and crazy things do happen -- just ask Jean Van de Velde back in 1999 -- I'll always add the caveat: "If the leaders both have a bad day and someone behind them gets hot with the putter, who knows..."

X
With top five finishes in three of golf's four majors, does Henrik Stenson finally break through and earn that elusive first major today?

Based on their play in the opening 54 holes, though, you wouldn't expect both Stenson and Mickelson to have a bad day in Sunday's final round.

Their respective golfing pedigrees are entirely different, yet they've been nothing if not remarkably consistent thus far among the sun, wind and rain at Royal Troon over the last three days.

Stenson is an interesting case study, in that lots of folks in the golf world thought he might be a guy capable of winning four or more majors when he started coming into his own a decade ago.

He doesn't have four, though. He actually doesn't even have one major, yet.

In fact, Stenson's lead heading into Sunday's final round is the first time in his career he's led a major championship after 54 holes.

Closing-the-deal has been Stenson's problem for a while now, although it's not like he's a complete scrub or anything like that.

He won the FedEx Cup in 2013 after a successful regular season -- capped off by a win at The Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Stenson also won the tour's unofficial fifth major -- The Players -- back in 2009, which was right about the time everyone started annointing him as a major-champion-to-be.

But that major championship has eluded him thus far. He does have top-five finishers in the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship, but no major wins on his resume.

And while it wouldn't be a stretch at all to see him come through with a sparkling final round and hoist the Claret Jug on Sunday evening, there are lots of demons for Stenson to battle along the way, in addition to lots of trouble on the links layout of Royal Troon.

One of those demons is the guy at 11-under par.

X
Is career major win #6 in the cards for Phil Mickelson today at Royal Troon?

Phil Mickelson is 46 years old and on the verge of a 6th major title if he can overtake Stenson and hold on to win his 2nd British Open title.

While it's fair to say his play has slowly dropped off from Thursday's opening-round 63, Mickelson is still hitting quality shots and knows better than anyone how to move his golf ball from point A to point B around the tricky layout at Troon.

It's the putter that will make him or break him in Sunday's final round, much like it has throughout most of his career.

And the other edge for Mickelson is his golf head, which tends to be a favorable element of his game, while still a work in progress for Stenson.

Mickelson might not win today because he misses a handful of close-range putts.

Stenson might not win today because he has a 3-shot lead standing on 11 tee and then makes triple bogey, followed by a bogey, par, bogey, par, birdie, bogey, bogey finish.

It's unlikely Mickelson will come unglued today.

It's probable that Stenson will.

But that's why they play these tournaments and it's why players want so badly to win one or more of them.

Anyone can win a golf tournament.

Four times a year, though, they call these things "majors" and only a certain pedigree of player can pull off a triumph in the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open or PGA Championship.

Sure, an upstart occasionally pops up like Rich Beem, Todd Hamilton, Mike Weir or Y.E. Yang and works his way into the winner's circle, but far more times than not, a major champion is someone you'd expect to win, not the other way around.

No matter what happens today -- assuming it's either Stenson or Mickelson -- the winner will be a household name.

It's either going to be 40-year old Henrik Stenson, who finally breaks through and gets his first one.

Or Phil Mickelson, who moves up the career-major-ladder to tie Nick Faldo and Lee Trevino, both of whom own six major titles.

Either way, the sport of golf wins again.

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drew's views on the
baltimore orioles

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


tillman, birds shut down hapless rays


Someone send the schedule-maker a basket of fruit, please.

Talk about getting just what you needed after the All-Star break...

X
Sure, it was "only" Tampa Bay, but Chris Tillman gave the Birds another solid performance on Saturday in their 2-1 win over the Rays.

The Orioles maintained their 2-game lead over Boston in the A.L. East with a 2-1 win over the host Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night at Tropicana Field, as J.J. Hardy's second inning two run homer was all the scoring the Birds would need to hold off their struggling divisional counterparts.

Tampa Bay has now lost 24 of their last 27 games, including eight in a row overall.

Chris Tillman became the A.L.'s second 13-game winner with a sparkling 7-inning effort, allowing four hits and walking three before yielding to Brad Brach and Zach Britton, who pitched perfectly in the 8th and 9th innings respectively.

The O's won't win many games when the top three guys in the lineup -- Jones, Schoop and Machado -- go 0-for-12 combined, but that's what happened on Saturday night.

Chris Davis was the only Oriole with two hits, but Hardy's homer, his 4th of the year, was all the O's needed.

The series concludes today with Dylan Bundy making his first major league start for the Orioles.

The Birds then head to New York for a 4-game series with the Yankees, who have lost the first two games of their weekend series in the Bronx with the Red Sox.

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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.


If all goes well in the end, some day we'll look back on July 17, 2016 as the day another page turned in Baltimore sports, and the Dylan Bundy era officially began.

It's certainly been a long, strange trip for Bundy.

The fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft, he immediately entered professional ball as the consensus top pitching prospect in all of baseball in 2012 and made it seem almost unfair that the Orioles decided to start him out in the Low-A South Atlantic League.

I was covering the Yankees at the time, and still doing everything I could to follow his appearances for the Delmarva Shorebirds -- that's how mind-bending he was to us prospect nerds.

But injuries derailed his planned ascension to winning a gazillion Cy Young Awards, and this year he found himself in the awkward position of being out of options (he signed a MLB deal when drafted) despite throwing only 167 minor league innings, with just 38.2 of those coming above the single-A level.

Still, Bundy settled into a position in the big league bullpen and has performed admirably this season, and after logging seven consecutive outs via strikeout (albeit loading the bases along the way) in the Orioles 14 inning win in Los Angeles ten days ago, there were plenty of calls, including from me, to give the former phenom a shot at the starting rotation.

Could the O's "deadline arm" be Bundy instead?

If nothing else he has to be a better option for a short outing than Ubaldo Jiminez or Tyler Wilson, right?

And that's the mindset fans need to use with the first few starts Bundy makes.

First of all, he's not going to go deep into games, if only because he's not stretched out for that sort of work load.

He's had a few 50+ pitch relief appearances now, but at least to begin with I wouldn't expect to see him go above 65-75 pitches no matter how well he's doing.

Secondly, though his stuff looks dominating at times, the results haven't been nearly that strong.

Yes, he can strike just about anyone out these days, but he can't necessarily do it effortlessly.

In fact, he's been far from unhittable, with a WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) of 1.526 and a H/9 of 10.9.

Even in that game against the Dodgers, he was only able to record seven outs in large part because he went deep into many counts, often getting to 3 balls before putting batters away.

And after giving up hits to the first two batters in the inning, he got out of a bases loaded jam. Efficiency is a serious concern, in others words, and it's a very real concern he's not even going to be able to clear four innings before reaching his allotted pitch count today, and may not last more than five in any start he makes this year (before he hits whatever innings limit the team decides to set for him).

But on the other hand....that stuff.

It's real, and it's spectacular.

Hitters are learning all about Bundy's wizardry

Bundy might not be embarrassing big leaguers like they're Low-A players, yet, but he's showing that his substance is very much legit, and there's still a ton of reasons to be excited about the future.

His ability to hit 96-98 MPH with his fastball consistently is what catches your eye, but it's the secondary offerings that really get the work done for him at this point.

That's especially true of his changeup, which is dominating big leaguers already. If there's any mark that symbolizes how "unhittable" a pitch is, it's probably the whiff rate (the rate at which batters swing and miss, obviously), and the numbers on Bundy's changeup this season are eye-popping.

Consider this: While that 96+ fastball is generating a whiff rate (the number of whiffs per pitch) of 10.1%, the changeup is being whiffed at a rate of 26.8%. To rephrase, batters are swinging and missing at the pitch more than one out of every four times Bundy throws it. If we adjust to the number of whiffs per time the batters swing at the chanegup, the rate goes up to 44.8%.

And he gets respectable numbers with his fastball and curveball too.

So there's reason to be hopeful, and there was really no way the Orioles couldn't move him into the rotation with the obvious need they have there, coupled with the kind of performances they're getting from Ubaldo/Wilson nearly every time out.

But don't expect Bundy to be a white knight, riding in to carry the Orioles to a division crown and World Series victory either.

He's not there yet as a big league pitcher, and he probably won't be that kind of dominant starter until at least 2018.

But he's pretty darn good when he has all three pitches working now, and for at least 5-8 starts he should be an improvement at one spot in the rotation, and that may ultimately be enough to prove the difference in whether or not this Orioles team makes the postseason.

And that's how you need to be thinking about roster moves at this point in the season: Do what you can to increase your chances by a game or two the rest of the way, and then hope you're the team who finds a hot streak when the calendar flips to October.

SAFFER banner

only ten seats left on our
springsteen bus
september 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.

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 D.C. and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor-coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole way down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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

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 to D.C., beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack on 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," please go here. Reservation information is there for you.

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

STECCO banner ad

Saturday
July 16
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Issue 16
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win for mickelson would cap remarkable career


There's been a lot of great golf played in Phil Mickelson's career, but this one, a win at Royal Troon in the British Open, would be a show-stopper for the 46-year old.

And he's in prime position to pull it off, with a one-shot lead at 10-under par through two rounds.

There's lots of golf left, of course, and a bunch of quality players are well within striking distance, but something about the British Open connects with Mickelson these days, as Father Time slowly but surely creates a chasm between Lefty's game and the power-ball style employed by McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and others.

This is still the tournament where style beats muscle, which is why Mickelson can do things like shoot 63, make a bunch of ten foot putts, and move his ball around the course based solely on the weather and ground conditions.

Over the last twenty years in golf, we all know who ran the show.

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A second British Open title would move Phil Mickelson to within one major of tying the great Arnold Palmer.

Tiger Woods finished (maybe) his career with 79 wins and 14 major championships.

Of active players on TOUR, who trails Woods in wins?

Yep, Mickelson does -- with 42 victories.

And with a win at Troon this weekend, Phil would have six major championships, which is two more than the only two active players to have four (McIlroy, Els).

Plus, he'd tie Nick Faldo, who won six majors, and Lee Trevino, too.

Mickelson's career is well established, and one more major championship isn't going to do much more for him, in the same way one more 200-hit season for Ichiro Suzuki wouldn't do much to reinforce his greatness. Just looking at the numbers tells us how great Mickelson has been.

But a win tomorrow would put Phil in a different light than Woods, who roared to 14 career majors by age 32 and then fizzled out from there, never again tasting victory in the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open or PGA.

Mickelson did it the opposite way. He didn't win his first major UNTIL age 33, capturing the 2004 Masters for his first-ever win. And he's won twice more at Augusta, once at the British and once at the PGA over the last 12 summers.

Oh, and he's been a U.S. Open runner-up six times.

There's a lot of shoulda, coulda, woulda in this statement, but Phil himself could be in the 10-12 major victories range with a putt falling in here or there.

And up until he won that first major title at age 33, Mickleson was known as a guy who ran it up the flagpole at majors, but never got the job done.

Now, he's 36 really good holes of golf away from owning six major titles and moving to within one major of tying the great Arnold Palmer at seven.

Phil's only career blemish? He played throughout the height of the "Tiger era", that's all.

Had Woods not been Woods and won at wildly rapid pace from 1996-2013, you know who would have been the game's dominant force? Phil Mickelson, that's who.

Mickelson won 42 times -- with five majors -- on the PGA Tour (thus far). With no Tiger? He might have won 52 tournaments and ten majors.

And he did it all while getting better in the later stages of his career, which is probably most impressive of all.

It wouldn't quite be Nicklaus-at-Augusta-in-86 if Mickelson pulls this off this weekend, but it would be a wonderful story in its own right.

And, unlike Woods, Phil would be burning out slowly, yet adding another quality win to his already distinguished career.

Here's hoping he pulls it off...

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looks like brady is finally giving in


It only took the better part of two years, but justice, apparently is going to finally be served in the Deflategate case.

Tom Brady announced via his Facebook page on Friday that he'll no longer proceed with the legal process and will serve the 4-game suspension handed down by Commissioner Roger Goodell in the wake of the 2015 controversy where the Patriots, and Brady, were found to have knowingly deflated footballs prior to the AFC title game against Indianapolis.

Over the last eighteen months, Brady and the NFL have battled in court, but this past week's ruling by the 2nd Court of Appeals in New York all but sealed Brady's legal fate.

The only potential remedy that remains would be a trip to the Supreme Court, and Brady's announcement on Friday apparently eliminates that option.

If you're a conspiracy theorist, the four games Brady will miss aren't exactly a murderer's row of high quality NFL teams: Arizona, Miami, Houston and Buffalo. He'd return in week 5 for a lay-up game against the Browns.

Who made the schedule for the Patriots in 2016, Robert Kraft himself?

There are two things about Deflategate that are unarguable.

Brady knew the Patriots employees were deflating the footballs to a weight of his preference. Whether he knew that weight was illegal or not, who knows? But there's no doubt Brady directed team staffers to take air out of the footballs to his liking.

The other unarguable point?

A four-game suspension for that is outrageously out-of-proportion when compared to suspensions for NFL players who hit the wives or girlfriends, get caught with narcotics, or run afoul of the law in some other manner.

But Goodell had to react with the hammer-hit-hard on Brady and New England because he's been such a great friend to team owner Robert Kraft over the years.

Had Goodell not sawed Brady off at the knees after Deflategate, Goodell's reputation and integrity would have been soiled -- more than it already has been, if that's possible.

Agree with the four games or not, though, there's little doubt that all of this gets rightfully pinned on Brady.

He knew the weight of the footballs was being toyed with because that's what he directed team employees to do.

Pretty simple stuff.

And really not that big of a deal, if you ask me.

But Goodell had to do something, and he did.

And finally, a full season after this all got started, Tom Brady will pay the price.

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only ten seats left on our
springsteen bus
september 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.

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 D.C. and back to Baltimore in a luxury motor-coach with Springsteen music blaring the whole way down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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

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 to D.C., beer, wine and soda, plus a "to go" sandwich/snack on 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," please go here. Reservation information is there for you.

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

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O's SCOREBOARD
Sunday, October 1st
Orioles
0

Rays
6
WP: B. Bell (5-7)

LP: K. Gausman (11-12)

HR: Casali (1)

RECORD/PLACE: 75-87, 5th place

breakfast bytes

NHL: Chiasson's two goals lead Caps to 5-3 win in Boston.

NBA: LeBron, Cavs win first showdown with Lakers and Ball, 121-112, as James records 59th career triple-double.

NFL: Broncos outlast Colts in Indy, 25-13, in Thursday Night snoozer.

MLB: Twins sign veteran closer Fernando Rodney to 1-year deal.