Thursday
December 15
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIX
Issue 15
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we're going to london
to watch the ravens!


This might be the only time I ever get the chance to see the Ravens play a football game in London. It might be your only chance, too.

So, let's go.

I've been to England a lot in my life, making several trips over there in the 1980's and 1990's when I was in the soccer business. Truth? It's a great place to visit. I'm not sure I'd want to live there, but it's a pretty cool place to set up camp for a little while.

We know the Ravens are playing the Jaguars next season at Wembley Stadium, either on September 24 or October 1. No matter which date the game falls on, #DMD is going as part of our "Bucket List" trip series, and you can go with us.

We've secured hotel rooms in London for either scenario, game-wise, and have airfare firmed up as well. We'll get game tickets, too, although the Ravens and Jaguars won't know about ticket allocation on their end until the game date is solidified. We'll get game tickets, though, that won't be a problem.

Our plan right now -- no matter which date the game falls on -- is to leave Baltimore on Tuesday night, arriving in London on Wednesday morning. That gives our group most of Wednesday and all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday to do whatever it is you want to do in London. The game, of course, is Sunday afternoon. We'll return to Baltimore on Monday.

The final price isn't finalized yet, but it will be somewhere in the $2,200 per-person range, give or take a hundred bucks either way. We'll firm all of that up once the game ticket pricing is announced.

That $2,200 includes everything; airfare, hotel (shared room), breakfast each morning, and your Ravens-Jaguars ticket at Wembley Stadium.

We are taking a contingent of #DMD corporate partners on the trip, so our "public availability" is somewhat reduced from other trips we organize. We will, however, gladly take anyone who wants to go as long as we have room to do so.

In fairness to all, we've started a list of those who might be interested in traveling with us to London. If you're one of those who is interested, simply send me an e-mail today and I'll get back to you with confirmation that you're on the list and we'll go through deposit details, etc. (my email: drew@drewsmorningdish.com).

Get your passport ready (or updated) and let's head across the pond for Ravens football!


drop off your winter apparel today
at jerry's toyota!

Our 2016 Winter Apparel Drive, presented by Jerry's Toyota, rolls on this afternoon with a drop-off event at Jerry's Toyota (8001 Belair Road) in Fullerton. We had a very successful opening night at Glory Days Grill this past Tuesday, collecting over 1,000 items to be donated to the men at Helping Up Mission on Tuesday, December 20.

Anyone dropping off ten or more items today gets two free Blast tickets to their January 14th home game vs. the Harrisburg Heat!

My old radio pal, Glenn Clark, will be in the house with me today to welcome all of you who stop by.

This is our 7th year putting this event together. What once started out as a on-air radio discussion (I suggested that Glenn drive a truck and that I sit in the back bed with clothes and throw them out to the homeless in Baltimore City -- Glenn said that day, "I think we can do it better than that.") has turned into a project that builds and builds each year. In 2015, we donated 4,400 pieces of winter apparel, thanks to you!

Remember, we'll take ANY kind of clothing. Men's, women's and children's apparel is accepted. Jackets, shirts, pants, hats, gloves, shoes. Anything you have -- gently worn, of course -- that we can distribute is plenty good enough for us.

Please come on out and see us today at Jerry's Toyota from 3 pm to 6 pm. If you can't make it there, we'll be at Chick fil-A Nottingham Square this coming Monday, December 19 from 5 pm to 8 pm for our final drop-off event.

Thanks to all of you who came out on Tuesday night to Glory Days and we'll see the rest of you today at Jerry's Toyota!

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let's see how well you know the nfl


This should be fun.

Let's see just how well you know the NFL this season.

And there's no using the internet for the answers! Check out the questions and answer them without Google or any other world-wide-web assistance.

You'll be on the self-scoring system, so I'll have to take your word for it when you provide your "total score" in the Comments section below.

Below you'll find seven questions.

You'll also see the answers further down the page.

Add up your total score and put it in the Comments section. Be honest. I mean it, put your "real" score in there. And let's see who wins.

Good luck!

1. Two divisions in the NFL feature all four teams with more points scored than allowed on the season. Which two divisions? (Scoring: 2 points if you get one right, 5 points if you get them both right).

2. Name the top three quarterbacks in passing yards as of December 15. (Scoring: 2 points per-right answer -- in their correct order -- or 10 points if you get all three right in their correct order).

3. Only one NFL team has eclipsed 400 points scored thus far in 13 games played. Which team is it? (Scoring: 2 points for the right answer).

4. Cleveland obviously doesn't have any road wins, but two other teams in the league are winless on the road so far as well. Who are they? (Scoring: 2 points for one right answer, 5 points if you get them both right.)

5. Only one team in the league hasn't lost a home game this season. Who is it? (Scoring: 2 points for the right answer).

6. Name the top two teams in the league in terms of yards penalized thus far in 2016. (Scoring: 2 points for one right answer, 5 points if you get them both right.)

7. Two teams in the NFL currently own 5-game winning streaks. Who are they? (Scoring: 2 points for the right answer, 5 points if you get them both right.)

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o's sign welington castillo;
wieters era closes


When Matt Wieters showed up at Camden Yards as a 23-year old rookie catcher in 2009, the moniker "Jesus in Cleats" was attached to him by the local faithful who saw the former #1 draft pick as the start of a turn-around from a decade of despair.

The Orioles did turn it all around, yes. But Wieters never quite fulfilled those lofty "Jesus" expectations.

After eight seasons in Baltimore, Matt Wieters was replaced yesterday when the Orioles signed free agent catcher Welington Castillo.

Yesterday, after eight seasons in Baltimore, the Orioles moved on and closed the door on the Matt Wieters era, signing veteran catcher Welington Castillo to a one-year deal with an option for 2018.

The Orioles will survive without Matt Wieters.

Castillo is a nice stop-gap while they figure out if Chance Sisco can cut it as a major leaguer. If he can, Castillo won't be around long in Charm City. If he can't, the O's have a year or so to figure out if Castillo is a semi long-term fix at the position.

But the Wieters era is over in Baltimore.

Castillo's offense is, mostly, an equal to Wieters', although it's fair to note Castillo hasn't really ever hit American League pitching for any length of time.

It's defensively that Baltimore hopes to gain an improvement with Castillo in the fold.

Other than his throwing arm, still among the best in baseball by anyone's standards, Wieters had struggled behind the plate over the last couple of years. More than one Orioles pitcher preferred having Caleb Joseph serve as the catcher when their spot in the rotation rolled around.

Wieters, reports say, had gotten lazy with his "framing" behind the plate and just wasn't as sharp in 2015 and 2016 as he was earlier in his career. That, the Tommy John injury, and a lack of offensive production made it easy for the Birds to say "no thanks" last month when Wieters became a free-agent for the first time.

Chance Sisco appears to be the Orioles catcher-of-the-future, but until that time, Castillo should serve as a dependable performer for Buck Showalter and Company.


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drew's holiday gift - song #7
on the "bruce cd"


We're roughly halfway through my holiday gift to you, a compilation of my personal favorites from Bruce Springsteen that will turn out to be a rock-n-roll album for the ages if you decide to burn it to CD when the whole project is completed and posted next week.

We're at song #7 now, and to me, it's one of Springsteen's most powerful song writing efforts ever, as Bruce tackled the morning of the 9-11 attacks in New York City with this amazing song about a firefighter stepping into the burning World Trade Center and ascending both the steps to the top of the building and the steps to heaven, not knowing his/her fate as they made the climb.

I'm posting the lyrics directly below the song. Please follow along as Springsteen sings about one of the most memorable and distressing days in the life of any American who was alive on September 11, 2001.

Anyone who thinks all Bruce ever wrote about was cars, girls, relationships, escape and "Born To Run" should see a different Springsteen when they absorb this amazing song.

The Rising, from the album by the same name, is one of his finest efforts.


Bruce Springsteen Holiday CD, Song #7


Can't see nothin' in front of me
Can't see nothin' coming up behind
I make my way through this darkness
I can't feel nothing but this chain that binds me
Lost track of how far I've gone
How far I've gone, how high I've climbed
On my back's a sixty pound stone
On my shoulder a half mile line

Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight

Left the house this morning
Bells ringing filled the air
Wearin' the cross of my calling
On wheels of fire I come rollin' down here

Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight

Spirits above and behind me
Faces gone, black eyes burnin' bright
May their precious blood forever bind me
Lord as I stand before your fiery light

I see you Mary in the garden
In the garden of a thousand sighs
There's holy pictures of our children
Dancin' in a sky filled with light
May I feel your arms around me
May I feel your blood mix with mine
A dream of life comes to me
Like a catfish dancin' on the end of the line

Sky of blackness and sorrow (a dream of life)
Sky of love, sky of tears (a dream of life)
Sky of glory and sadness (a dream of life)
Sky of mercy, sky of fear (a dream of life)
Sky of memory and shadow (a dream of life)
Your burnin' wind fills my arms tonight
Sky of longing and emptiness (a dream of life)
Sky of fullness, sky of blessed life (a dream of life)

Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight


NFL Trivia Answers


1. The AFC West and NFC East both feature four teams who have scored more points than they've allowed so far this season.

2. 1. Drew Brees, 2. Matt Ryan and 3. Kirk Cousins.

3. Atlanta Falcons -- with 428 points.

4. San Francisco (0-6) and Chicago (0-7) are both winless on the road so far.

5. Seattle is 6-0 at home so far.

6. Oakland and Baltimore are ranked 1st and 2nd respectively in yards penalized.

7. Detroit and Tampa Bay both currently own five-game winning streaks.



#dmd comments


DELRAY RICK     October 22
GEORGE---Its more like what are the odds "DRAMA QUEEN" can even make the first tee. Start reading the scores right.

George     October 22
Still waiting for an offer of odds against Tiger Woods winning the 2018 Masters. Don’t need anyone speculating whether I’m a fanboy or sycophant or other irrelevant drivel, nor a reminder that the cops took a mugshot of him like they do of every chump who gets locked up for drunk driving. I’m looking for a financial transaction on a sports proposition. If you think Tiger won’t win the Masters, and have the financial courage of your convictions, quote the odds you offer.

Steve in Hunt Valley     October 21
BJ, the passive-aggressive thing looks good and you play it off well but you never actually write a complimentary word about DMD or the stories. You'll write something vague and play it off a compliment when you're questioned on it but I read your comments and shake my head all the time. You obviously have a personal axe to grind with either Drew or the writers. It comes across loud and clear. But I'm sure Drew appreciates the fact that you visit.

H     October 21
After seeing who the Ravens have on IR and who is currently on the injured list, I am amazed that the Ravens are 3-3.

BJ     October 21
@TG Since you're not trying to pick a fight....I said "I consider #DMD a notch above the 4 letter network". I read #DMD most every day, never read any of the "content" on ESPN. Point being ESPN fawns all over this Ball guy (judging by the headlines I see), I come here to avoid that prattle. But it's ok, CJ/PGAV/MONK needs someone to take some of the heat of off him/them ;)

That Guy     October 21
@BJ, you'd have to point out the "compliment" in your OP. I don't see one. Not trying to pick a fight here with you but you do come across as a DMD hater.

BJ     October 21
@Aaron If you could read and comprehend, that was a compliment. If I was just a hater, I'd not be surprised to read about this Ball guy right?

SOD is tough, some of the same guys saying Pees should shut up and be able to handle criticism without lashing out, are the first to bash anyone who dare post even the mildest of "criticism" out here. Interesting

Aaron     October 21
Been coming here for a year now and still can't ever remember "BJ" writing one complimentary word about the site. Always have to wonder why he/she visits. Must be a plant from the old station, just piling on the hate.

BJ     October 21
No idea if the Lakers won or lost last night, but that seems like it'd be easy to look up?

As for being Ball'd out, whose fault is that? Certainly not the goofy Dad, he can't cover himself. Yup, it's those idiot media types flocking to sh*t like flies. Mentioning his name here is puzzling. Who in Baltimore cares about this clown show? Call me crazy, but I consider #DMD a notch above the four letter network and am disappointed this "story" is being covered at all. All things considered, I'd rather see more video of Tiger practicing in his backyard.

BTW, Holland is as bad , if not worse, than Miley. If CC were cheap, he might be decent space filler (pun intended), but I agree with @Brian M, they need to get younger, not older

unitastoberry     October 21
A one year rental on 37 years old CC is right up the Angelos style I would agree with that. But I think they need a miracle or a new owner to ever win the championship again.

DELRAY RICK     October 21
FAKE NEWS ON THIS SITE. Who ever wrote the LAKERS lost last is WROOONG! What a DUMMIE!

Brian M.     October 21
Drew,

Sorry but I do not want Sabathia here and not because he's a Yankee but in the December of his career and we need youth.

Dave W.     October 20
Not a Tiger fan but I agree with Al. Tiger's mug shot doesn't parallel with his attempted comeback IMHO.

Tom     October 20
@Al, You must be new in these parts. Herman has a very clear disdain for people like Tiger, if you know what I mean.

AL     October 20
I'm still not sure what Tiger's mug shot has to do with his golf game. I see people saying they don't like Tiger and that he's a bad guy but I don't know how that connects to his golf game.

DELRAY RICK     October 20
HERMAN----RIGHT ON BOUT PHONY "DRAMA QUEEN" every month he lets the die-hards know , "i am still around". He will embarrass himself just like the mug shot. He's been on drugs for years and the PGA is really on drug testing this year. Hope he gets caught AGAIN.

clayton     October 20
AL------ I think the term role model has been consigned to the dustbin of history as a quaint and outmoded concept. It has been replaced by “brand,” where the currency among athletes is the ability to get your fans to buy the crap that is identified with you. In case of an unfortunate arrest, there are plenty of spin doctors out there who, for a large fee, will tell the public what to think, and they are very good at what they do.

AL     October 20
What does Tiger's mug shot have to do with his golf game? Half the NFL has a mug shot. Doesn't seem to bother them.

HERMAN     October 20
I'm amazed how quickly the Tiger sycophants climb back onto the bandwagon. Look, he's changed his swing, it's easier on the body, he's coming back, he's coming back! He can play again, oh joy!

Did they forget that mug shot that fast?

Tiger manipulates his public better than anyone. The fanboys jump for joy, articles about how he might now be a contender next April amongst the azaleas, forget that only 10% of majors have been won by golfers past 40.

And apparently, forgetting that awful mug shot.

Steve from Pimlico     October 20
Don't say coaching doesn't matter .Look at the Rams with an offensive minded coach. Goff,called a bust last year,now looks like a rising young star .


Tom J     October 20
I finally figured it out.....after hearing the M and T commercial for the millionth time, The Ravens need to tell Joe that he's going shopping with his Ravens debit card at 1pm on Sundays as that generates way more excitement and passion from him than we ever see on the football field.....also, I'm glad I left my seat Sunday so I didn't have to see that pathetic defensive effort from Loudmouth Pees defense. He's clueless. Way to endear yourself to the fans even further coach. First, the players commenting about the fans, now the coaches.......clueless

Brien Jackson     October 19
The "opinionated players" story has been debunked over and over and was only ever a story that was pushed by Preston and Youness. And no one has ever claimed Ozzie doesn't retain control of roster moves. Ever.

the other that guy     October 19
@Kevin Yeah, cause nothing guarantees a good football team more than some "strongly opinionated players" lol.

And as for leadership "on and off the field", I read everywhere what a great "leader" Eric Weddle is, but he can;t tackle fer crap.

DR (the original)     October 19
Can't agree with everything you said there, Brien.

Todd Heap and Dennis Pitta were excellent players, in each case the security blankets for QBs who didn't have great WRs. Ed Dickson is still a starting player in the NFL. A little too early to totally diss Maxx Williams, no?

I'd argue that Anquan Boldin was a pretty good goal line target. Remember the AFC Championship Game? Yes, he came from somewhere else. Not disputing our poor WR draft choices.

Kevin     October 19
Brien-

The head coach has been largely to blame for the makeup of the roster, changing the attitude, style and leadership both on the field and off. The changes in the types of players in recent "Ozzie's" drafts notably changed with the appearance of the new coach as well. The Ravens have drafted non-strongly opinionated players and great special teamers who cannot reach the level of play that game changers can. Those game changers do not fit the mold of the Harbaugh era, except to win a Super Bowl.

HERMAN     October 19
I didn't know fruit could speak or vote.

MOE     October 19
@Jake Swallowed up?? How so?? The video is still there, as are Drew's insightful comments. Everyone can still go watch and hear for themselves (and enjoy), how does anything in the comments section distract from that, much less "swallow it up"?

I'm thinking people criticize Brien cause his writing is horrible and they wish we had more David and George, and less Brien and Todd. That and the fact Brien overwhelms the comments sections at times with his overzealous attempts to make sense out of his nonsense.

Brien Jackson     October 19
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Hyperbole+definition

Jake     October 19
It's a shame Drew's outstanding video analysis of Tiger gets swallowed up by all of the Brien bashing. I don't understand why people feel the need to constantly criticize him.

Curly     October 19
Just Another Guy Did you notice they were “different” articles, so he didn’t just read one article thirty-six times, or three articles twelve times each. Syllables, man. The more you can put in your sentences the more authoritative you sound.

just another guy     October 19
“I must have read 3 dozen different articles demanding a new offensive coordinator already this season.”



So what Brien is saying is, there were at least 36 “journalists” out there “demanding” Harbs dump Marty? Call me a skeptic, but I find it hard to believe 36 reporters would a) care enough about the situation to write an article and b) saying “The Ravens should hire a new OC right now” is NOT the same as “demanding”. Why would any reporter, even a local beat writer, “demand” anything?

Unless by “articles” Brien means, I don’t know, facebook posts? Tweets?

This encapsulates very nicely the style and quality we get from this guy. I try to read his stuff because, sometimes, if you read between the oh so many lines, he might make an interesting point, but it gets harder and harder to ignore stuff like the sentence above. Why not just say “some have said” and leave it at that??

And the point is not about grammar, it’s about not throwing crap out there that is clearly not true. Pretty ironic, cause that’s the same issue that guy Brien loves to hate has, and gets ripped for, by the likes of Brien and the other serial fabricator, the Little Fella (you know, the tweeter in chief). This is a common practice by people with zero credibility trying to pretend they have some (and interesting that Brien throws that same accusation at people who “watch film”, yet he does exact same thing).

And yes I know, the core audience does not care, I’ll get shouted down as a hater. After all, this is the blog equivalent of talk radio, why be so picky, right?


Fact Check     October 19
The "expert" is wrong again. He slams folks who say they watch the ALL 22, yet can't refute any of the observations directly.



But for all of the lousy writing and having "Fact Check" fact check his dubious credentials. I've found NO articles with is by-line on NPR, ESPN nor CBS sports, they only 2 things I've found is grass cutter and some writing on some 8th rate website.

Expert???? Micheal Clayton instead of Mark Clayton?? I guess he has urges for George Clooney.



Way out of his depth. Went to the LF school of "good" writing. Just shout a lot and call yourself an expert. Ozzie has 2 Super Bowl rings. If the "expert" would have been running the Ravens? Every single year they would win it all.


Tom J     October 19
Well, I can finally agree with Brien on one thing, Ozzie is a huge part of the Ravens problems. I've been saying this to people for years but no one ever wants to call him out because he seems to get a hall pass for the 96 draft. Yes, he has drafted some incredible players but when was the last great draft? They've had one Pro Bowler from the first 3 rounds since around 08. And to all of the Flacco supporters, read the article in The Sun where his pears voted him the third most overrated QB in the NFL. It's one thing when the "know nothing fans' say this but when you pears speak, that says volumes.

James - Dundalk     October 19
@ STEVE FROM PIMLICO, Remember Ramon Harewood the "O" line guy Ozzie picked at 194. Guess who was picked at 195. Antonio Brown

Bill     October 19
Thanks for the Tiger Woods swing insight Drew. Interesting to say the least. I can definitely see on the last video with the red shirt where, as you say, he's standing taller and not nearly as hunched over as in the 2011 video. I don't know much about the swing but I would assume the 2017 version is putting less stress on his back.

Mike from Reisterstown     October 18
@ ANDYMTH3 sounds like Bob From Parkville in reverse.

Brien Jackson     October 18
@Chris K



I'm 99% sure that Machado isn't even on the Yankees' radar. Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar excelled at Double-A this year and figure to move to 3b/2b. They might be in on Harper since Gardner's getting older (Clint Frazier is their CF'er of the future btw), but like Drew said it's pitching that they really need. In the rotation AND in the bullpen as well.

Tom     October 18
I can make this argument easy.



Popovich is definitely crazy. Ask anyone.



Trump is definitely crazy. Ask anyone.



I don't have a dog in either hunt and I can vouch for both statements. Both of them are nuts.

James     October 18
@Herman. Nicely played sir. Funny stuff.

That Guy     October 18
@Andysmyth3,



I'm not picking on you independently. I see this a lot on internet forums everywhere when someone takes exception with a writer, author, blogger, etc.



I find it funny in a weird way. I wonder if you even know you wrote it.



You wrote: "You somehow can say whatever you want because you are a nobody who nobody really cares what you think."



You're clearly pointing out that you believe the writer is a "nobody" and "nobody really cares what you think."



That's fair and it's your right to make that observation.



If you don't care what he thinks why did you take the time to even respond?



I see that sort of thing a lot and it makes me laugh.



BTW, Popovich is kind of crazy. I think you'd even admit that if you weren't so mad about Drew calling him crazy.

HERMAN     October 18
@Andymth3



Gregg Popovich got where he is due to his white privilege. Didn't you hear Obama? "you didn't build that"!

He should immediately resign his position as he is taking the job of a more well deserving minority who didn't get their job through white privilege. It is almost criminal that he is a white man lording over a black majority team in a black majority league. All due to white privilege.

I call on Gregg Popovich to immediately resign his position, give it to a more deserving minority being held down because Gregg holds the job that the minority deserves more, and further, to contribute the salary he didn't earn to BLM.

Championships? Popovich didn't earn those, it was on the backs of minorities. He should return all his hardware, and resign, allowing for a minority to move up, and apologize for all his white privilege.

interested thrid party     October 18
@Andymth3 Nice post. You must be new, the meat of this site is low brow humor and spitballing, how dare you pay attention to the written word! Be prepared for some lambasting from the SOD. But some of us appreciate well thought responses such as yours.

Andymth3     October 18
Gregg Popovich "crazy"? We all should be so crazy. This is a man that graduated from the Air Force Academy, served his country in the armed forces, in intelligence no less, has been one of the greatest basketball coaches in history winning 5 NBA championships, but he is crazy? Why? Because he had the temerity to call the president what he is, a "soulless coward"? Because he speaks forcefully and eloquently about race, and injustice, and inequity? You're right with your I only graduated from Glen Burnie High School schtick. You are way out of your league taking shots at him. I get it, he is a liberal and you are a conservative, you do not agree politically, but that does not make him crazy. I have read your obligatory free speech references, which I am not sure if you actually believe, but here is someone exercising his right to free speech, and he is doing it an a way that does not interfere with games, or national anthems, or your other precious forums, and yet he is crazy because he expressing his opinion. Is this what America has come to now? You somehow can say whatever you want because you are a nobody who nobody really cares what you think, but when an NBA coach actually says something that you do not agree with, how dare he? It is easy to be patriotic and American when everybody agrees with you, but heaven forbid they have a different point of view, them clearly they are crazy. I thought you were smarter and more broad minded than that. I guess I was wrong. I must be crazy.

DELRAY RICK     October 18
Just heard on the radio HILLARY IN LONDON says it is OK to knee for anthem. She will go opposite of TRUMP no matter what. THATS IT! You now can stand on your head if you want. What bunch of crap.

George     October 18
What odds am I offered against Tiger winning the Masters next year? I wish to put my money where my mouth is.

Brendan     October 18
One theory is that Anderson was not let go because of the other Atheltic Directors that have been fired related to the FBI investigation at other schools. Maryland is free and clear of that landmine, but had Anderson been let go at the same time as those others, accusations would be made. I think it is as simple as Loh does not like him and fundraising issues. But he is getting 6 months paid for the move to the Big Ten, which went well.

JohnInEssex     October 18
THANKS Drew for the write up on the MD AD situation. Good stuff!



Watched the Dodgers/Cubs last night - I laughed hysterically to myself as I watched the Cubs pitcher walk the Dodger pitcher on 4 straight balls with the bases loaded. The batter was doing the old fake a bunt and lean out over the plate thing that we all did in Little League, and it worked! During that at bat, the catcher talked to the pitcher twice and the pitching coach came out once. The color commentator (Ron Darling?) was spot on saying all this talking to the pitcher about pitching to the pitcher was just making matters worse for the Cubs pitcher. He also said there is a difference between pitching in the regular season compared to pitching in the playoffs. The sweet Cubbie fans rained down a thunderstorm of BOOS for their pitcher at the end of the inning.



Earlier in the game, the leadoff guy for the Dodgers (Taylor?) managed to get a triple on a ball hit down the third base line. Don't recall ever seeing that happen.

HERMAN     October 18
@robintowson makes a great point, Korea is golf crazy and starved for a sanctioned event. In addition to the purse I'd like to see the "guarantees" paid out to top players in appearance fees and other opportunities there where they can make a killing. Firms there would easily pay a top player a half million to play with the CEO and attend the big company dinner.

Leadership of the tour should be applauded for what they have done with the schedule. The various "runs" make total sense, opening in Hawaii, a run through California, off to Florida, and so on. This three week Asian run is genius.


Steve from Pimlico     October 18
If the Ravens had an Antonio Brown and a Leveon Bell,Joe would be more than adequate at QB.

Look what he did with Ray Rice and Anquan Bolding.

The modern game of football has passed Ozzie by ,sadly.Three of his beloved Alabama picks Cody ,Upshaw and now Williams have hardly been impactful players.

The QB positions new young stars all have mobility which forces defenses to account for their escapability.

James - Dundalk     October 18
@ Pratt. I always admired the knowledge of Phil Savage when he was director of college scouting. Since he left for the Cleveland GM years ago it IMO our college scouting has dropped off. I've stated before our Undrafted player seem to make more impact then the drafted ones.

Wednesday
December 14
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pollard’s chirping is nothing new, that was his specialty in purple


Right after Jimmy Smith got hurt in Monday night’s loss at New England, a former Raven picked that opportunity to toss a hand grenade in the direction of his former coach in Baltimore, John Harbaugh.

It came from Bernard Pollard, a member of the 2012 Super Bowl team, via Twitter, and once it made the rounds, Pollard, for 15 minutes or so, was minimally relevant within the world of the NFL.

@Crushboy 31 – I’m sorry but this team will never be the same. They broke up something special way too early. Now he’s got to COACH & that’s not possible.

Pollard didn’t single out Harbaugh in the tweet and we’re only assuming he was referring to his former coach when he wrote “now he’s got to COACH”.

But the shots were fired, loud and clear.

Pollard has a short memory. Or, perhaps, just a memory of convenience.

Either way, the low blow fired in Harbaugh’s direction was similar to the head hunting tactics Pollard used during his brief tenure in Baltimore. Uncalled for. Unnecessary. Unprofessional.

For starters, the dumb statement of the night was in his opening attempt at torching the coach: “I’m sorry but this team will never be the same.”

That’s correct, but that’s certainly not John Harbaugh’s fault.

Four years after the Ravens parted company with him, Bernard Pollard is still delivering dirty hits, only this time, via Twitter during Monday night's Ravens loss at New England.

Ray Lewis and Matt Birk retired after the Baltimore Super Bowl win in the 2012 campaign.

Ed Reed wanted a new payday, didn’t get one in Baltimore, and jetted off to Houston for a brief stay with the Texans before they parted ways before the season ended.

Ray Rice is long gone, for reasons we all know about.

Anquan Boldin refused Ozzie Newsome’s offer of a pay reduction and was shipped off to San Francisco.

Pernell McPhee, Dannell Ellerbe, Kelechi Osemele…all three were part of the Super Bowl team and eventually scarfed up free agent money and moved on to greener (or not so) pastures.

So, yes, the team “will never be the same” as the one that won the Super Bowl.

But that’s not John Harbaugh’s doing.

Pollard’s next line dovetails conveniently with the opening sentence: “They broke up something special way too early.”

Not really, Bernard. Older players called it a career, a few others were moved on for various reasons, and a number of the younger players hung around for a couple of more seasons before opting for a new team on their accord.

Oh, and there’s this thing in the NFL called a salary cap. You can't just keep the same team from year-to-year in the league anymore. It just doesn’t work that way.

Pollard, remember, was a hard-hitting safety who was a penalty flag waiting to be dropped during his time with the Ravens.

Did he bring a certain physicality to the team that seemed to not only resonate with his teammates, but get opposing players to keep their head on a swivel? You bet. Pollard was nothing if not unafraid to deliver a crushing blow to the other team’s running back or wide receiver.

But with that intensity came the other end of the spectrum, namely, never knowing when Pollard’s next tackle or late hit was going to cost the Ravens fifteen yards, a first down, and a shift in the game’s momentum.

Outsiders will crow something about “Harbaugh not liking Pollard”, which is why he was jettisoned after the Super Bowl victory.

Harbaugh didn’t like Pollard’s play being too unpredictable, for starters, and felt like the late hits, crushing tackles and dangerous play was borderline intentional in nature.

Remember the Vontaze Burfict hit on Antonio Brown in last January’s playoff game between the Bengals and Steelers?

That was Pollard circa 2012.

Harbaugh didn’t feel like the aggravavation was outweighing the production anymore – and guess what? He was right.

Pollard, you might know, played for four different teams in his career. This is probably where I should mention he was in the league for a total of nine seasons.

Four teams in nine years.

2006-2008 in Kansas City.

2009-2010 in Houston.

2011-2012 in Baltimore.

2013-2014 in Tennessee.

I guess all four of those coaches got it wrong with Pollard, huh?

And just so we all know it wasn’t just pro coaches who didn’t understand how to get the best out of Pollard, here’s the skinny from his three year run at Purdue:

Pollard's final year with the Boilermakers was marred by altercations with coaches, the height of which occurred in the beginning of the season when he asked head coach Joe Tiller to "Give me my papers", indicating the preference to transfer. Tiller did not grant the transfer request, but the incident proved a precursor to a tumultuous final year.

Somehow, though, it’s all John Harbaugh’s fault.

Harbaugh, any smart person knows, is only interested in one thing when it comes to player procurement and roster fulfillment.

He wants the best 53 players he can accumulate, obviously.

Why?

He wants to win. Period.

If Ozzie and Harbaugh thought Pollard could have helped the Ravens win again in 2013, Pollard would have been in Baltimore.

That’s a fact.

This isn't the CYO -- it's the NFL. They're paid to win, not get everyone in the game by the third quarter.

Newsome and Harbaugh aren't infallible, that's for sure. While both have been very successful in Baltimore, their every move is reviewed and critiqued and not all of them have worked out, including the Devin Hester signing, as we now know.

But for Pollard to suggest that Harbaugh can't coach is silly, and reeks of the same kind of personal agenda that I'm fairly certain the player publicized when he got canned in K.C., Houston and Nashville.

Jeff Fisher? He might fall in that "can't coach" category, he hasn't won anything since Bush was President. Marvin Lewis? He could fit, too. He hasn't won since...well...he's never won, come to think of it.

All Harbaugh has done since he showed up in 2008 is win, notwithstanding last year's disastrous, injury-riddled campaign.

You can't coach forever, and Harbaugh's days in Charm City will end at some point, but no matter when that day comes, he's far, far, far more of a winner than Bernard Pollard.

End of story.

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our holiday winter apparel drive is off to a great start!


We asked and you delivered.

Our 7th annual Winter Apparel Drive, presented by Jerry's Toyota, got off to a rousing start last night at Glory Days Grill in Towson with the first of our three public drop-off events providing us with 31 bags of coats, shirts, jackets, shoes, gloves and socks.

We're already over 1,000 items for the men at Helping Up Mission! As my radio pal Glenn Clark said last night, "We might want to invest in a warehouse next year to store all of these goodies!"

Those Blast soccer tickets were a big hit, too, as #DMD readers piled in to drop off their winter apparel items and pick up two free Blast tickets for their January 14th home game in exchanging for donating ten or more pieces of apparel.

Many thanks to our friends at Glory Days Grill for hosting us!

And thanks to #DMD corporate partners Bill Bolander (Jerry's Toyota), Matt Crow (Harpoon) and Jay Pivec (The Cause Network) for their donations!

Speaking of Jerry's Toyota on Belair Road in Fullerton, we'll be there this Thursday, December 15 from 3 pm to 6 pm for round number two of our drop-off schedule. Come on out with your winter apparel for men, women or children, say "hi", and get yourself two Blast tickets for helping us make the holiday season a little more special for the men at Helping Up Mission.

Next Monday, December 19, we'll wrap it up at Chick fil-A Nottingham Square with our friend, local musician Zack Merrick of the band All Time Low, who will be on hand from 5 pm to 8 pm to help collect apparel and meet and greet anyone who comes out to see us.

On Tuesday, December 20, we'll be dropping off the items at Helping Up Mission.

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nfl's best six and worst six


Our Tuesday feature got shifted to Wednesday this week due to the Ravens game on Monday night, but we're here, ready to showcase the NFL's six worst teams and six best teams as the regular season winds down.


The Worst Six

27. NEW YORK JETS (4-9) -- Every time I see them play, I can't believe they beat the Ravens. But they did. Somehow, they went on the road last week and beat San Francisco, too. Well, that's not hard, as we all know the 49'ers stink.

28. CHICAGO BEARS (3-10) -- Chicago might be the one team in this grouping that is actually fairly competitive week in and week out. They led in Detroit with six minutes left in the game before the Lions put them away with a late touchdown. They're bad, but they're not awful like the Jaguars, 49'ers and Browns.

29. LOS ANGELES RAMS (4-9) -- They're moving up (or is down?) in the rankings just based on the fact that they were thrashed at home by the Falcons, 42-14. Losing to Atlanta? No great shame in that. Being behind 42-0 at home? GREAT shame in that. They quit on Jeff Fisher, plain and simple.

30. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-11) -- At this point, it's not a given that Jacksonville is any better than San Francisco or Cleveland. They've completely thrown in the towel down there, and I'd assume Blake Bortles is calling the moving companies in preparation for that mid-January phone call that his services will no longer be needed as the QB in Jacksonville.

31. SAN FRANCISCO 49'ERS (1-12) -- I still say it would be fun to have a "best of three" with the Browns, just to see what would happen. The 49'ers definitely might be worse than the Browns. They lost at home to the freakin' Jets, who trailed in that game 14-0 at one point. Chip Kelly remains on the hot seat in San Francisco.

32. CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-13) -- Three games remaining on the road to 0-16. The Browns are at Buffalo this Sunday, home against the Chargers on Christmas Eve, and at Pittsburgh on January 1st. All three look like a loss, although I still contend it would be very "Chargers-like" for San Diego to go to Cleveland on a cold, blustery Sunday afternoon and lay an egg.


The Best Six

6. NEW YORK GIANTS (9-4) -- It wasn't the most convincing of wins, but Sunday night's victory over Dallas was a big one for the Giants, who now look like a pretty decent bet to snag one of the two NFC wild card spots. And if they have to go back to Dallas in January, that wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to them, right?

With three straight wins and a crucial road victory at Buffalo, Roethlisberger and the Steelers are primed for their Christmas night showdown with the Ravens at Heinz Field.

5. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-5) -- Pittsburgh gets the nod here over the Giants simply because they beat New York two weeks ago. And, with Pittsburgh, you never know how long they'll stay in the Top Six. They could easily go to Cincinnati this Sunday and lay an egg. But that was a VERY impressive performance on the road last Sunday at Buffalo. Granted, it was the Bills, but winning on the road like that late in the season was good stuff.

4. OAKLAND RAIDERS (10-3) -- Surprisingly out-classed by the Chiefs last Thursday night, but Oakland still poses a serious post-season threat to any team they meet based on their quarterback and two quality wide receivers. I've said all season that I don't think Oakland's defense is good enough for a deep playoff run, but I wouldn't to see them come buzzing into Baltimore in early January as a wild card team, that's for sure.

3. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (10-3) -- They are 20-3 in their last 23 regular season games dating back to last season. Oh, and in that 23-game span, they have a league-best point differential of plus-197. They're for real, folks. It might not look all that good, but the Chiefs are going to be a tough out in the post-season.

2. DALLAS COWBOYS (11-2) -- OK, so the Giants apparently have their number. No one else in the league does. This Sunday will be a significant test for the Cowboys, as they host the red-hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5). Typically, a visit by the Bucs wouldn't scare anyone, but they're somewhat dangerous now and Dallas needs a nice bounce-back win to right the ship.

1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (11-2) -- I don't know how the Patriots keep doing it, with no receivers and a bunch of guys on the injury list. Oh, wait, I know how they do it. They have the best quarterback in the world, that's how.

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drew's holiday gift - song #6 on the "bruce cd"


There are songs written by Bruce Springsteen that are so vivid, poignant and memorable that you can't help but close your eyes and actually "see" Bruce portraying himself in the lyrics.

Song #6 on my Holiday Bruce CD is one of those songs.

If you're a Springsteen junkie, you've heard it. If you're just a "middle of the road" Bruce fan, perhaps you haven't.

Go ahead and press "play" below and give it a listen.


Bruce Springsteen Holiday CD, Song #6


The "Tunnel of Love" album featured a half dozen of Bruce's best song writing efforts, ever. The album was largely written about his first marriage and eventual divorce, and it's telling that he rarely plays any songs from the album in concert these days.

It's as if he's put that part of his life so far behind him that he'd rather not talk about it anymore. Perhaps he even feels guilty taking himself down memory lane with his current (and longtime) wife Patty Scialfa in the band and on stage with him.

Whatever the reason, Bruce avoids "Tunnel of Love" songs, mostly, although he'll occasionally add "Brilliant Disguise" to a set list here and there.

The best song on that album is "Walk Like A Man".

Springsteen's relationship with his father wasn't great. He speaks often about it, and talks about his formative years in New Jersey not including much connection with his dad.

In "Walk Like A Man", Bruce connects with that time in his life where he struggled to meet relationship satisfaction with his dad and his own marriage and adult life.

"I remember how rough your hand felt on mine, on my wedding day..."

Then Bruce delivers one of his greatest lyrics ever --

"All I can think of is being five years old and following behind you at the beach, tracing your footprints in the sand, trying to walk like a man..."

How many of us did that in our lives? Right. All of us, most likely.

"I remember ma dragging me and my sister up the street to the church, whenever she heard those weddin' bells...well, would they ever look so happy again, the handsome groom and his bride, as they step to that long black limousine, for their mystery ride."

"Walk Like A Man" is a 3 minute, 45 second snapshot of Springsteen's life. Taking the listener from his youth, to his own struggles with supervision and parenting, to his wedding day -- and his own triumphs and failures. It's one of his greatest song-writing efforts, ever, and that's saying a lot.


Tuesday
December 13
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIX
Issue 13
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not in new england's class, plain and simple


I should have saved this week's Cheap Shot From the Bleachers for this morning.

A proper grilling of the Ravens for last night's woeful performance in New England would have been more than appropriate.

Don't let the 30-23 final score fool you, sports fans. The Ravens got hammered on Monday night in Foxborough.

If not for two boneheaded special teams blunders by New England, the game would have been a blowout.

But, because they're nothing if not resilient -- and occasionally just downright lucky -- the Ravens hung around long enough to make a game of it, eventually closing the gap to 23-20 before Tom Brady shut the door on the comeback with a 79-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan mid-way through the fourth quarter.

What followed after that should have John Harbaugh questioning both Marty Mornhinweg and Joe Flacco, and what followed after that should have us questioning Harbaugh.

Let's start with the offensive coordinator and the quarterback.

The Ravens got the ball back with 6:15 to play, trailing 30-20.

This is the look of a coach who just watched his quarterback stroll around on the field with six minutes left in a game that his team was TRAILING in by ten points.

They ran a total of ten plays in the next 4:13, eventually settling on a Justin Tucker field goal with 2:02 remaining in the game to cut the deficit to 30-23.

Flacco and the offense basically ran two plays a minute, trailing 30-20, with six minutes remaining in the game.

That, football fans, is unacceptable.

This isn't a first-time-thing for Joe, either. "Urgency" and "Joe Flacco" are like "jumbo" and "shrimp", they don't often collide in the same sentence. Flacco walked to the line of scrimmage like it was the Ravens with the ten point lead. Time and time again.

Then, when Baltimore did cut the lead to 30-23, Harbaugh called for an onside kick with 2:02 left in the game.

Why do that?

The Ravens had two time-outs remaining, plus the two-minute warning would stop the clock after the kick-off.

Where would you rather give Tom Brady the ball? At midfield? Or his own 25 yard line?

You have three "stoppages" left in the game. Assuming New England doesn't get a first-down, they might have been punting from their own 15 yard line or so.

The Patriots wound up getting a first down -- two of them, actually -- to salt the game away, but their play calling at the Baltimore forty was far more ambitious than it would have been at their own 25-yard line.

I didn't get the onside kick there. I'm not a football coach, just a guy who watches it every Sunday, but I would have been kicking the ball deep at that point and hoping beyond hope that my bloodied defense could somehow make a stand for me.

And, to go back to the Flacco "urgency" point, Baltimore would have potentially had three minutes and some change remaining had they played with a little more pace on that drive that resulted in a Justin Tucker field goal to make it 30-23.

They could have kicked off to New England at that point and played for a defensive stop and presented Flacco and the offense with a last ditch chance to tie the game up.

Instead, they dilly-dallied around like it was an August scrimmage and cost themselves valuable time when every tick of the clock mattered.

The truth is, though, the Ravens had no business being in the game at the end anyway.

This was a 6-furlong horse (Baltimore) being asked to run in a race against a thoroughbred (Patriots) with a history of running a mile-and-a-quarter races.

That number one ranked Ravens defense? Torched. Run over. Picked apart by Brady, which, as we know, isn't something to be ashamed of -- he does that to most teams.

It didn't help that Jimmy Smith left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury, and it didn't help that Matt Elam eventually had to fill in due to a Jerraud Powers concussion. Elam, along with Shareece Wright and Eric Weddle, was victimized by Brady on the 79-yard touchdown strike to Chris Hogan right after the Ravens had cut the lead to 23-20.

But the Patriots had more than their fair share of impact injuries coming into the game, so there's no using injuries as an excuse for the Ravens.

Other notes of importance: Devin Hester is done. I'd consider it almost unethical at this point if Ozzie Newsome doesn't hand John Harbaugh a new football player tomorrow at practice and says to the coach: "Here's the guy who will return kicks for you for the rest of the season."

Hester's first-quarter decision to let a punt hit the turf wound up costing the Ravens two points when they were unable to get any penetration on their first running play from the half-yard line.

The ensuing safety wasn't the actual difference in the outcome, but it was a huge factor in the way the first half was played. The Ravens basically never recovered from that moment, falling behind 16-0 before Brady inexplicably threw an unnecessary ball into Eric Weddle's hands as New England was on the verge of a score to put them up 23-0 at the intermission.

Hester has been a liability since he showed up. Last night's blunder wasn't his first. But it should be his final one, for sure.

The play of Joe Flacco can't be dissected enough, particularly given the stakes at hand last night. I'm not expecting Flacco to out-play Tom Brady, but I am expecting Joe to manage the game better, use the clock wisely and, above all, show some grit and determination down the stretch when the Ravens need a score to keep the outcome in doubt.

Twitter erupted in laughter last night (at least from the Ravens side of social media) when Brady threw a fit early in the game after Julian Edelman stopped running on a throw into the end zone that the receiver might have been able to catch.

Me? I like seeing that in a player occasionally. I don't want to see him do it every time, of course. Players make mistakes, they're human beings. But seeing Brady erupt like that on the sideline tells me he "gets" the moment, knows this is a big game, and respects the Ravens enough to realize that any scoring opportunity gone by the wayside keeps Baltimore in the contest.

I wouldn't mind seeing Joe Flacco get pissed off when he hits Mike Wallace in the hands with a ball -- at the New England 38 yard line, down 23-3 -- and Wallace can't hold on to it.

It was so bad in the first half last night that Trent Dilfer -- a career journeyman who couldn't keep a job -- called Flacco out on ESPN, saying, "Joe Flacco, what are you doing, man? This defense the Patriots are showing you isn't rocket science. You gotta get with it, Joe."

Wow. Trent Dilfer putting Joe Flacco on blast. That would be like Ubaldo Jimenez criticizing Clayton Kershaw for serving up a meatball in the 12th inning of a playoff game.

The Ravens were out-quarterbacked, out-played, out-defended and out-coached on Monday night. As Charley Eckman used to say: "It's a very simple game."

In need of a victory to keep pace with Pittsburgh, the Ravens instead laid a collosal egg on Monday night, both in the result and their performance in front of a national TV audience.

I expected more out of them.

A lot more.

This, no matter what the final score says, was an ass kicking administered by New England.

And it now puts the Ravens in position to have to "win out" to finish 10-6 and win the AFC North.

The Steelers have the Bengals next up, in Cincinnati, not a walk-in-the-park by any means, but it's setting up for a Christmas night showdown in Pittsburgh for the Ravens, followed by their own trip to Cincinnati for the regular season finale.

Baltimore could still win the division at 9-7 as long as they beat the Steelers on Christmas night, but Pittsburgh would have to lose to either the Bengals or Browns in order for that to transpire.

I really thought going into the game last night that New England was ripe for the picking on Monday night.

Turns out one of the teams WAS ripe for the picking -- but it wasn't the Patriots.

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please come out and see us tonight at glory days!


Our annual Winter Apparel Drive, presented by Jerry's Toyota, kicks-off tonight from 5 pm to 8 pm at Glory Days Grill in Towson.

We'll have some appetizers for you to enjoy if you'll stop by, say "hi", and drop off some winter apparel for the men at Helping Up Mission.

My old radio buddy Glenn Clark will be there, too, signing autographs, posing for pictures and, if you have a baby, he'll give him/her a high-five.

We're involved in this Winter Apparel Drive for the seventh straight year, donating the clothes to the men who will be spending their holiday season at Helping Up Mission as they try to get their lives back in order.

For those of you needing a little extra incentive to dig through those closets and storage spaces for your no-longer-worn winter apparel, we have it for you!

I'm excited to announce that the Baltimore Blast is joining us this year and they'll provide two free tickets to their January 14th home game against Harrisburg to anyone who donates ten or more items to our apparel drive.

Thanks to our friends at the Blast for partnering with #DMD for our holiday winter apparel drive! Bring us ten items of winter clothing and you'll get two free Blast tickets for their January 14th home game.

What's an "article" of winter clothing, you ask? Easy: Anything that can be worn in the winter. Coats, jackets, pullovers, sweatshirts, winter hats, gloves, socks, boots, shoes.

And please know this is NOT just restricted to men's clothing, even though it's going to be donated to Helping Up Mission, which is an "all male" facility.

Many of the guys use the women's or children's clothing for holiday gifts to their loved ones. It's a very touching scene down there to see men so excited about finding something to give to a family member or friend when they otherwise wouldn't have been able to do so on their own.

Your participation is so appreciated by them! And we'll be video taping it all and presenting it here for you at #DMD so you can see first-hand what it's like on December 20 (donation day) at Helping Up Mission.

Please stop by tonight from 5 pm to 8 pm at Glory Days Grill in Towson. We need YOUR help!


drew's holiday gift - song #5 on the "bruce cd"


There are Springsteen songs with words and lyrics that have a deeper meaning than you might decipher upon hearing the tune for the first time.

And there are some that hit you right in the face and say, "Here I am!"

Song #5 on my holiday Bruce Springsteen is one of those songs that leaves little doubt about its meaning.

That's the paradox of Springsteen song writing that is wildly interesting to me.

We weren't sure exactly who Bruce was speaking about in "Darkness on The Edge of Town", but we know there was a woman out there he was trying to make sense of, one that had moved on to bigger and better things without Springsteen at her side.

In the song below, we know who Bruce is talking about: Anyone who has ever gambled at love and lost, which is probably just about every human being alive, at some point in their lives.



Bruce Springsteen Holiday CD, Song #5


The early 1990's weren't high points for Springsteen, in my opinion. He put out two albums in 1992 -- Human Touch and Lucky Town -- that just weren't all that good, in my opinion.

But there were some gems on those two efforts, and "Roll of the Dice" was most certainly one of them.

Well I've been a losin' gambler,

Just throwin' snake eyes,

Love ain't got me downhearted,

I know up around the corner lies, my fools paradise,

In just another roll of the dice.

When you hear Bruce sing that opening part of the song, you can hear it in his voice -- "I've been there, done that, got the tee-shirt" -- real world testimony about his young adult years in New Jersey where, as he once said long ago, "I tried to date every girl in town but their fathers objected most of the time."

Maybe I'm just a clown throwin' down,

Lookin' to come up busted,

I'm a thief in the house of love,

And I can't be trusted,

Well I'll be making my heist,

In just another roll of the dice,

Move on up, come on seven,

Roll me baby, in this fool's heaven.

"Roll of the Dice" is easily one of my top ten favorite Springsteen songs. I love the pace, the piano, and Bruce's voice was -- another opinion here -- at its peak performance from the late 1980's through the 1990's.

While the "Human Touch" album only featured a handful of memorable tunes, I thought Springsteen sounded great circa 1990.

Five songs into this holiday CD and we've moved along at rapid pace with the first two songs, slowed it down to a pounding punch for the third tune, then picked it up again for the next two entries on the CD. You won't get many Springsteen songs with the energy and movement from start to finish like "Roll of the Dice".

Oh, and in case you didn't know, the great Randy Jackson of American Idol played bass guitar on the song. A little-known trivia fact that could win you a free drink at your local watering hole sometime down the road.

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this weekend in
english soccer


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

There will be little rest for the weary as the festive period of the English Premier League officially gets into full swing when Matchday 16 of the English Premier League kicks off just over forty-eight hours after the conclusion of Matchday 15. If you are lucky enough to be in front of the television or on a bar stool somewhere you can watch every game live on the NBC family of networks, but if you are stuck at the office catch all of the action online at NBC Live Extra.

Tuesday, December 13 (all times eastern)

2:45p – Arsenal @ Everton – Goodison Park, NBC Sports Network

Ronald Koeman and Arsenal got off to a hot start in 2016-2017, but a recent losing skid has them in danger of falling into the bottom half of the EPL table.

After conceding from the penalty spot against the run of play, three unanswered goals moved Arsenal comfortably past Stoke City 3-1 last Saturday to make it ten wins from their last fourteen games as they kept the pressure on league leaders Chelsea, matching their London rivals stride for stride for a third consecutive week. They will kick off the mid-week action at Goodison Park against an Everton side whose downward spiral continued at the weekend, done in and jumped in the table by Watford with a brace from Stefano Okaka and a Sebastian Prodl header in between seeing the Hornets to a 3-2 win.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman had his side purring along nicely following their unbeaten start to the campaign however they have been dismal since, with only one win to show from their last ten games (L5 D4) and winless in their last five (L3 D2) as their freefall down the table looks to have begun ahead of the visit from an Arsenal side that have won their last three matches against the Toffees and have lost just once in their last eighteen league meetings (W11 D6), coming away empty handed from their last nine league visits to Goodison Park on only one occasion (W5 D3).

Wednesday, December 14 (all times eastern)

2:45pm – Chelsea @ Sunderland – Stadium of Light, NBC Live Extra

With Arsenal hot on their heels, Chelsea held serve and made it nine wins from nine as they earned a hard fought three points against a rising and in form West Bromwich Albion side when Diego Costa’s 76th minute strike sent the Blues and Costa back to the top of the league and chase for the golden boot respectively. They will travel to the Stadium of Light to face a Sunderland squad that are once again sitting at the bottom of the table after briefly climbing out for the first time just last week, losing for only the second time in their last five matches (W3) as they fell to relegation rivals Swansea City 3-0.

After going winless in their first ten games (L8 D2), Sunderland will look to right the ship against Chelsea where, somewhat surprisingly, after taking all three points only once across an eighteen-match span, which was bookended by losing streaks of eleven and six games, they have won three of the last six meetings across all competitions (D1 L2), including this fixture last season which at the time pulled the Black Cats out of the relegation zone on their way to narrowly avoiding the drop for the third a consecutive season, and are unbeaten in their last three at the Stadium of Light (W2 D1).

3:00 pm – Manchester United @ Crystal Palace – Selhurst Park, NBC Sports Network

Even though only December and not yet to the halfway point of the season, Manchester United kept any hopes of a top four finish alive by avoiding a potential nine-point gap by taking all three points for the first time in their last four matches (D3) and narrow the margin on Tottenham in a 1-0 over Spurs. They will make the always difficult trip to the imposing Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace, who likely saved manager Alan Pardew’s job by avoiding defeat and salvaging a point against the lowly Hull City, with Fraizer Campbell’s 89th minute header ensuring the Eagles did not leave empty handed.

It was only a week ago that a convincing three points against Southampton, which ended a six game losing run, almost assuredly saved Pardew’s job and the point against Hull, while not overly impressive, has certainly bought the former Eagle midfielder another week at the helm, though he will likely be given a pass ahead of the visit from United, with Palace managing only one win in their last nineteen encounters across all competitions (L14 D4) and winless in their previous fourteen Premier League meetings (L11 D3) all time, including the last eight times they have squared off at Selhurst Park (L5 D3).

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Monday
December 12
#DMD GAME DAY

Week 14

Volume XXIX
Issue 12
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

8:30 PM EST

Gillette Stadium
Foxborough, Massachusetts

Spread: Patrios (-7.0)


i'm not going to use the "g-word", but i have a good feeling


Go ahead and roll your eyes when you read the words below, but do so at the risk of being wrong tomorrow morning.

The Ravens are going to win tonight in New England.

Under normal circumstances, this game in Foxborough would go the way of the Patriots. But these aren't normal circumstances this evening and I don't think the Patriots can overcome the balance of power that has shifted in Baltimore's direction over the last couple of weeks.

I won't go as far as to "guarantee" tonight's victory for the Ravens (hence, no use of the "g-word"), but I've been pretty much spot-on over the last six weeks with regard to predicting the outcome of games involving John Harbaugh's team.

I had them losing to the Giants and they did.

Had them beating both the Steelers and Browns -- and they did.

Heck, I even picked the exact friggin' score of the loss at Dallas, calling it 27-17 in favor of the Cowboys.

Then, I had them beating the Bengals and trouncing the Dolphins, which, of course, happened last Sunday in Baltimore.

I've hit the last six Ravens games, prediction wise.

And I think they're winning tonight in New England.

Why?

"Hey, I know you. You're Tom Brady, the guy I beat all the time up here in New England."

Without Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola at his disposal, Tom Brady will find his resources limited tonight. He's great and all, but you need competent receivers to complete the "catch" part of "pitch and catch".

I don't think Tom Brady can beat the Ravens throwing to Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan all night.

And that New England pass rush -- what there is of it -- plays right into Joe Flacco's hands. As he showed last week against the Dolphins, when #5 has time to set up and throw, his quality of play increases dramatically.

New England can't get to the passer. That's going to hurt them tonight.

The Ravens wouldn't try any less tonight had Pittsburgh lost at Buffalo yesterday, but the Steelers win over the Bills makes this visit to New England a tad more of a "gotta have this one" for the Ravens than it might have been had Big Ben and Company not come through with a win yesterday.

I'm seeing this one much differently than I did, say, six weeks ago. The Ravens are much more healthy than they were the first week of November and the Patriots are far less healthy than they were back then.

Things have changed a lot in the last few weeks.

Brady's lack of receiving threats.

New England's inability to effectively pressure the quarterback.

And Pittsburgh's win over Buffalo yesterday.

Those three pieces put the Ravens in great position to win tonight in Foxborough.

I'm not guaranteeing it, but I'm telling you if we had the old Magic 8-Ball from the 1970's and we asked it, "Are the Ravens going to win tonight?", the answer would be: Very likely.

I'll take that answer.

And it leaves me a little wiggle room if Brady sells his soul to the devil (again) and somehow beats us with those half-a-scrub receivers he'll be throwing to all night.

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around the nfl in thirty seconds


STEELERS 27 - BILLS 20 -- Just way too much Le'Veon Bell for the Bills, as the Pittsburgh running back ran for 236 yards and the Buffalo defense looked like a high school team for most of the afternoon. $90 million for Tyrod Taylor? I hope the Bills kept the receipt. He stinks.

TITANS 13 - BRONCOS 10 -- Tennessee might not get there this year, but they're a team on the rise for sure. Denver, meanwhile, might be squandering a playoff spot with some dodgy late season play, and their schedule (home vs. New England and Oakland, away at Kansas City) isn't all that favorable down the stretch.

REDSKINS 27 - EAGLES 22 -- I still say if the Redskins can somehow squeeze in the playoffs, they might be a tough out in the post-season, especially if they have to travel to Atlanta, Tampa Bay or Detroit. Washington can run the ball and DeSean Jackson has suddenly come to life for Kirk Cousins and the Washington offense. Philly? Done.

DOLPHINS 26 - CARDINALS 23 -- They won the game yesterday, but lost the battle, as the Dolphins will have to finish the season with Matt Moore at quarterback after Ryan Tannehill suffered a season-ending knee injury. Their schedule isn't too difficult (at Jets, at Buffalo, home vs. New England) and there's a slight chance they can get to 10-6, but they're not winning anything without Tannehill.

PANTHERS 28 - CHARGERS 16 -- The only thing left for San Diego is to avoid losing to the Browns on Christmas Eve in Cleveland. Other than that, their season is done.

BENGALS 23 - BROWNS 10 -- Cleveland is now 0-13 and steam-rolling in the direction of 0-16, with only the Bills (away), Chargers (home) and Steelers (away) left on their schedule. You think it's hard to go 16-0? It's just as hard to go 0-16. The Browns are a special kind of terrible.

LIONS 20 - BEARS 17 -- Here's a shocker: The Lions trailed in the fourth quarter and still managed to win yesterday. That marks 8 of their 9 wins this season where they've accomplished that very feat. I'm still not sure Detroit's all that good. We might see come playoff time -- if they hold on and make it.

TEXANS 22 - COLTS 17 -- Just when you thought Indianapolis was coming on strong in the final month, they lose at home to Brock Osweiler and the Texans. Houston has now won nine straight games against AFC South opponents dating back to last season, which is why they're 7-6 and in the playoff hunt again.

VIKINGS 25 - JAGUARS 16 -- The Vikings (7-6) needed that one in a bad way and even though they weren't all that impressive, a win is a win, especially on the road. Minnesota's schedule isn't all that difficult now (home vs. Indy, at Green Bay, home vs. Chicago) so they could finish 10-6 and still win the NFC North if some other things fall in their favor.

JETS 23 - 49'ERS 17 OT -- You have to hand it to the 49'ers, they're working hard for that #1 pick in next year's draft. San Fran went up 14-0 and then immediately stopped playing, as the Jets stormed back to win in overtime. When you lose to the Jets in your own building you are super stinky. San Francisco is super stinky.

BUCCANEERS 16 - SAINTS 11 -- Tampa Bay is suddenly 8-5, in case you haven't been around for the last month or so. How? I'm not sure, especially since they're under .500 (3-4) at home. Their final three games won't be a cakewalk (at Dallas, at New Orleans, home vs. Carolina) and Atlanta beat them twice in the regular season, so they have to finish ahead of the Falcons to win the AFC South.

FALCONS 42 - RAMS 14 -- If that game doesn't seal Jeff Fisher's fate in Los Angeles, nothing will. It was 42-0 before the Falcons put in the JV and L.A. scored two late touchdowns. Atlanta is now 8-5 and their schedule is very light coming down the stretch (home vs. the 49'ers and Saints, away at New Orleans).

PACKERS 38 - SEAHAWKS 10 -- It might be too little, too late for the Packers, who are now 7-6 after a home thrashing of Seattle. The Seahawks, meanwhile, are the NFL's oddest "good" team. Lots of people think they're still the NFC's best team but I don't see it that way at all. If the Packers win out and somehow get in the playoffs, they might be the team Dallas doesn't want to face in January.

GIANTS 10 - COWBOYS 7 -- This one didn't live it up to its billing. Dallas now has two losses on the season...both have come at the hands of the Giants. New York stayed alive in the NFC East at 9-4 and their defense stood tall last night against "Zeke", Dez and Dak.


show me the money, week #14


Thanks a lot 49'ers.

Thanks a lot, you bums.

All I needed was those scrubs to hold on and beat the Jets by a field goal and I'd be 4-1 heading into tonight's Ravens/Patriots game.

When the 49'ers led 14-0, I started spending that money.

And -- the Jets came back to win in OT, 23-17, spoiling what was otherwise a successful Sunday for me, as I hit on the Bears, Redskins and Titans and lost on the Bills.

So, I'm now 39-44 on the year, with the Ravens game left on this week's schedule.

And I'm 6-8 in "Best Bet" games after that 49'ers debacle yesterday.

HOW DREW SEES TONIGHT'S RAVENS GAME: I've already spilled the beans above that I think the Ravens are winning tonight. It just sets up well for John Harbaugh's team, with Brady having limited weapons to use and New England's big defensive weakness (pass rush) falling perfectly into Joe Flacco's hands. If the Ravens can run the ball effectively enough that New England has to put an extra guy in the box, Flacco should be able to take full advantage of that scenario and throw three TD passes (Smith, Pitta, Perriman) in a 27-23 win at Foxborough. New England is a 7-point favorite. I'll take the Ravens and the points, obviously.

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CHEAP SHOTS
FROM THE BLEACHERS

In his radio days, Drew would offer a weekly cheap shot that was designed to be, well, a low blow to the intended target. Who gets the cheap shot today? You will find out below.

Most people would classify me as a "soccer guy".

I worked for 17 years in the indoor soccer business with the Blast and Spirit, and way, way back in 1982, I spent one season working for Team America of the old NASL in Washington D.C.

Now, admittedly, I no longer really follow soccer all that much, except for the World Cup every four years and any of the qualification games played by the United States National Team.

A few weeks ago during my every-Friday appearance on Glenn Clark Radio, Clark challenged me to name all of the teams in Major League Soccer and I couldn't do it. I came close, missing two or three, I think, but the point was, when asked to name every team in our professional outdoor league, I was unable to do so.

That's how much I follow professional outdoor soccer in the U.S. these days.

Only in American soccer could the title winning team not record a shot on goal in the championship game, still win, and then celebrate like this.

Saturday night was the championship game of Major League Soccer's 2016 season, pitting Seattle vs. Toronto in a one-game, "Super Bowl" type event played before a packed crowd in Toronto.

I stumbled upon the game by accident, channel surfing for the UMBC-Richmond men's basketball game and seeing the soccer final pop up along the way.

It was 0-0 in the 50th minute when I landed on the MLS final.

I decided to give it a shot, flipping back and forth occasionally to see UMBC lose in heartbreaking fashion to the Spiders, but mainly sticking with the soccer final for the duration of the contest.

At some point, maybe around the 75th minute or so, it dawned on me that I hadn't seen Seattle take a shot on goal.

"I'm not even sure they've had the ball in Toronto's penalty area," I said to no one in particular as I marveled at the fact that Seattle was awful offensively.

The horn sounded to end regulation play. It was still 0-0. Seattle, as it turned out, didn't register an official shot on goal throughout the 90 minutes.

Don't go anywhere, it gets worse.

In overtime, Toronto had a glorious chance to win, but that old U.S. National Team bum, Jozy Altidore, couldn't polish off a sitter for his side, and the game staggered along -- still scoreless.

This was, as I've mentioned, the championship game of Major League Soccer. Championship. Game.

And through ninety minutes of regulation, and another thirty minutes of overtime, no one scored a goal.

No goals.

Oh, and here's the real kicker, no pun intended. Seattle never once recorded a shot on goal.

The game eventually went to penalty kicks, which is just an awful way to decide a title. That would be like The Masters having a 3-hole playoff at the end of 72 holes and if no winner was decided after three holes, each player then has to make a 10-foot putt (a "putt-off") to stay alive.

Why can't the people at Major League Soccer simply say, "In the Championship game, the game will be decided by an actual goal of some kind. We don't care if you guys have to play 300 minutes, someone is going to score a freakin' goal to decide the title."

Why is that so hard to do?

Instead, after 120 minutes of scoreless soccer, they went to penalty kicks.

Seattle wound up winning the shootout portion, 5-4, to claim their first MLS title.

And the Sounders never once recorded a shot on goal en-route to that championship victory.

That, my friends, is professional soccer in America these days.

A 0-0 game in the Final is one thing. A 0-0 game where one of the teams doesn't record a shot on goal and still wins? That's a joke.

That would almost be like a team getting no-hit in the 7th game of the World Series and somehow scratching out the winning run on a walk, a stolen base and two sacrifice flies.

Seattle won the MLS title on Saturday night and not only didn't they score a "real" goal, they didn't have a shot on goal, either.

Soccer in America...

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drew's holiday gift - song #4 on the "bruce cd"


As I work towards the "meat" of my Bruce Springsteen "Holiday CD" for all of you, I'm trying to quickly establish the wide range of Bruce's song writing skills and yet still give consideration to the sound of his music, which is why "Night" was the lead-off tune and the tone-setter for the first 30 minutes of the album.

Rosalita followed at song #2 so you could get into toe tapping mode right away, and then "Darkness on the Edge of Town" showed off Bruce's ability to dig deep into his past and connect his own personal story with the music.

Song #4 is the first of the group that meets the demands of both music and song writing, in my opinion. It's the most memorable tune from an album -- Born in the U.S.A. -- that I never considered a favorite of mine, for reasons I never quite figured out. I didn't particularly care for the title track and the album's other two mega-hits (Glory Days and Dancing in the Dark) weren't favorites of mine in the least, although "Dancing" has grown on me a little bit over the last couple of years.

There are a handful of songs on "Born in the USA" that are wonderful in concert -- "No Surrender", "Working on the Highway" and "Darlington County" -- but there's only one song that stands out in both the recorded AND live version and it's Song #4 below.

Bruce Springsteen Holiday CD, Song #4


I think it's safe to say that every one of us has a "Bobby Jean" in our lives.

Springsteen supposedly wrote the song about boyhood friend Stevie Van Zandt, who left the E Street Band just prior to the release of "Born in the USA".

We've all had a friend that "went away", as Bruce says in the opening line of the song: "Well, I came by your house the other day, your mother said, you went away..."

Your friend might not have left abruptly. Perhaps he/she took another job somewhere, went off to college, or moved with their family at a young age. But we've all had that person who was "with us" and then, suddenly, "no longer there".

The last line of the song is particularly thoughtful: "And I'm just calling, one last time, not to change your mind, but just to say I miss you baby, good luck, goodbye, Bobby Jean."

The sax and piano compliment each other in this song better than anything Bruce ever did, in my opinion, and the song, while never a hit single or anything like that, is always a favorite in the encore session of a Springsteen concert.

That he almost never plays the song during the "regular" portion of the show tells me Bruce himself ranks Bobby Jean as one of his all-time favorites.

It's the perfect mix of music and lyrics for Bruce, and I knew when I started this "Holiday CD" that Bobby Jean would make the cut.

"Darkness on the Edge of Town" was about someone who left Bruce and he seemingly had some ill will about it all ("If she wants to see me, you can tell her I'm easily found").

Bobby Jean was about someone who left and Bruce sounds like he stands in admiration of their decision ("I wished I would have known, I wished I could have called you, just to say goodbye, Bobby Jean").


starting tomorrow night, we need your help please!


Our annual Winter Apparel Drive, presented by Jerry's Toyota, kicks off in earnest tomorrow night (Tues., Dec. 13) at Glory Days Grill in Towson and we need YOUR help!!

We'll even have some appetizers for you to enjoy if you'll stop out at Glory Days tomorrow from 5 pm to 8 pm and drop off some winter apparel for the men at Helping Up Mission.

For those of you needing a little extra incentive to dig through those closets and storage spaces for your no-longer-worn winter apparel, we have it for you!

And I'm excited to announce that the Baltimore Blast is joining us this year and they'll provide two free tickets to their January 14th home game against Harrisburg to anyone who donates ten or more items to our apparel drive.

Thanks to our friends at the Blast for partnering with #DMD for our holiday winter apparel drive! Bring us ten items of winter clothing and you'll get two free Blast tickets for their January 14th home game.

For those that might not know, my old radio pal Glenn Clark and I have been doing this for six years now, collecting winter apparel for men, women and children and donating it to the fine people at Helping Up Mission in downtown Baltimore.

This year, we have three public drop-off locations coming up in December, and we're thrilled to have the Blast joining us to help you "dig a little deeper" for that winter apparel.

What's an "article" of winter clothing, you ask? Easy: Anything that can be worn in the winter. Coats, jackets, pullovers, sweatshirts, winter hats, gloves, socks, boots, shoes.

And please know this is NOT just restricted to men's clothing, even though it's going to be donated to Helping Up Mission, which is an "all male" facility.

Many of the guys use the women's or children's clothing for holiday gifts to their loved ones. It's a very touching scene down there to see men so excited about finding something to give to a family member or friend when they otherwise wouldn't have been able to do so on their own.

Your participation is so appreciated by them! And we'll be video taping it all and presenting it here for you at #DMD so you can see first-hand what it's like on December 20 (donation day) at Helping Up Mission.

X
Our friends at Jerry's Toyota will once again serve as the title sponsor of our Winter Apparel Drive. Visit Jerry's Toyota at 8001 Belair Road from 3 pm to 6 pm on December 15 and donate ten items and receive two free Blast tickets!

Here are our three public drop-off dates where you can get the two free Blast tickets.

Tuesday, December 13, Glory Days Grill on East Joppa Road in Towson. 5 pm to 8 pm (free appetizers for those who come out that night!)

Thursday, December 15, Jerry's Toyota on Belair Road in Fullerton. 3 pm to 6 pm (free Royal Farms coffee for those who come out that night!)

Monday, December 19, Chick fil-A of Nottingham Square in White Marsh, 5 pm to 8 pm (a very special guest will join us that night...)

All we need now are your gently used pieces of winter clothing! Please take some time to go through your closets, dressers and storage spaces and give us what you no longer use. You will be making a big difference in someone's life this holiday season.

And...you'll be going to see the Baltimore Blast!!! Absolutely free!!!

Sunday
December 11
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIX
Issue 11
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o's off-season nothing to worry about (yet)


For all we know, the starting lineup for the Orioles on opening day 2017 might be very similar what we saw in the first game of the 2016 campaign.

It's December 11 and Matt Wieters still doesn't have a home.

Mark Trumbo doesn't have a team, either, and neither the Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs or Tigers -- the four teams that typically spend the most in the off-season -- seem all that interested in signing the free-agent slugger.

Those two might wind up back in Charm City, although it seems like the team has mentally prepared itself for Wieters' departure.

So, we're sitting here two months before pitchers and catchers report and there's no telling what the O's lineup might look like next April.

Trumbo might very well return to Baltimore if he can't land a big-ticket deal elsewhere.

And if that happens, the off-season wouldn't be a total waste.

If the Orioles can re-sign Michael Bourn and somehow keep Mark Trumbo in the fold, the team's defense would improve in 2017 and the Baltimore offense wouldn't look much different than it did in 2016.

Sure, there's still an issue looming in left-field, since Hyun Soo Kim can't start out there when the other team uses a left-handed pitcher. I guess that means we might see yet another season of Nolan Reimold (currently a free agent) roaming around in left when a southpaw opposes the Birds. That's a pretty stinky platoon-duo, admittedly, but Kim can hit .330 or better against right handed pitchers, at least.

The O's could try and re-sign Michael Bourn and graciously hand him the starting right field job. Joey Rickard will be hanging around in spring training, too, so it's not like Bourn won't at least get pressed down in Sarasota.

If Bourn comes back, or the Birds magically sign or acquire a real right fielder, Trumbo simply moves into the DH spot. Problem solved.

There are people in town who think the answer is to simply let Trumbo walk and give Trey Mancini a chance to play every day as the team's DH and occasional first baseman, but that's a step backwards -- maybe two -- from having Trumbo in the lineup 155 games per-season.

Mancini might be a competent major league hitter someday, but not in 2017.

And with Pedro Alvarez all but gone, Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette will need to add a quality left-handed bat, which is easier said than done. Trumbo's camp knows that, of course, which is why they turned down the Orioles first low-ball offer a month ago.

If the Orioles lose Trumbo and Alvarez, they essentially have no designated hitter OR right fielder for the 2017 campaign.

Oh, and no catcher, either, if Wieters doesn't return.

They've added a few small pieces via trades and the Rule 5 draft, but none of those guys are going to make an impact. The O's are, simply, in a holding pattern until they see what happens with Trumbo.

Starting pitching was an issue in 2016, but it wasn't like the Orioles were awful in that department. After all, they claimed one of the two A.L. wild card spots with that spotty starting rotation.

Three guys are rock-solid definites in 2016; Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. That's not Glavine-Smoltz-Maddux, obviously, but if those three have their chakras in line in 2017, the Birds will be tough to beat three nights every week, at least.

Yovani Gallardo is occasionally capable of being decent, as is Wade Miley, but the O's would do well to try and add one more quality starter between now and April. That, like adding a quality left-handed bat, is easier said than done.

The O's likely can't add any more quality without making a trade of some kind.

They could sign a free agent bat or two, but not much quality is still available in mid-December. Edwin Encarnacion is still a man without a team, as is former Toronto teammate Jose Bautista, but Encarnacion is a first baseman by trade, which would potentially shift Chris Davis to right field if the Birds could land the Blue Jays' slugger who eliminated them from the post-season last October.

At this point, it looks like the O's best option is to give in to Trumbo and bring him back. That's not to say he's the best fit for the team's needs, but at this point, there's not much else out there who would plug in the way Trumbo would.

Trumbo knows that, naturally. And so begins the game of hot stove chess.

Bautista could have been a decent stop-gap for a couple of years, but Duquette snuffed out those chances last week with his goofy comments about the O's not being interested in Bautista's services because "our fans don't like him".

For all we know, this could be part of the master plan. Perhaps the Birds are saving their money now, knowing that over the next two off-seasons they're going to have to pay the likes of Chris Tillman, Zach Britton, Adam Jones and Manny Machado.

They won't be able to keep all of those guys, of course, but no matter who stays in town, they'll be commanding big bucks to do so.

Perhaps the idea is simply to stand pat this winter, plug the openings with the likes of Mancini and Chance Sisco, and start preparing for the payouts of 2017 and 2018.

Those pending contracts are going to be quite expensive to say the least. Tillman will likely command and get something in the $15 million a year range, Britton just saw Aroldis Chapman get $15 million a year as well, and Jones, even at 33 years old, will still be a $15 million a year player at the very least when his deal expires following the 2018 campaign. That's a lot of $15 million dollar players, not to mention there's still Jonathan Schoop who will need to get paid "real money" in a couple of years.

And then, there's Manny Machado, who is likely going to be looking for something around $350-$400 million when his contract ends after the 2018 season.

Maybe the Orioles are going to go into "money saving mode" for the next two years in an effort to try and keep as many of those names above as they can.

So, while last week's winter meetings came and went and no real moves were made by Duquette and the Orioles, now is not the time to panic. They might very well have a plan, even a long-range concept that we know nothing about. And this time last year, remember, the O's didn't have Chris Davis, Pedro Alvarez or Yovani Gallardo on their roster.

Now -- if Trumbo and Wieters sign elsewhere, you can start to panic.

Other than that, sit back and relax. Opening day is still four months away. There's still lots of time to get better.

Or is there?

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show me the money, week #14


The heat is on, as the song goes. With only four weeks left in the regular season, I'm now 36-42, so I need a nice run over the last month to "make money" for the regular season.

I'm saving my Ravens pick for the Monday edition of #DMD, so you'll only see five selections below.

RECORD TO DATE: 36-42

GAMES INVOLVING THE RAVENS: 6-6

BEST BET OF THE WEEK: 6-7

On we go to my week #14 picks. How do I feel? Like a guy that's about to go 5-0, that's how I feel!

Actually, that's mostly bravado. There are a lot of HARD games to handicap today. I don't see many no-brainers.

STEELERS AT BILLS (+3) -- This is a huge game for both teams, but Buffalo stands to potentially be booted from the post-season with a loss this afternoon. A loss by the Bills would drop them to 6-7 and that, most likely, would finish them off, playoff wise. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, can "afford" to lose this one, but a victory would go a long way in helping them in potential tie-breaker scenarios with the Ravens should those two finish tied for the AFC North title. This one is tough to call, but I'm taking Buffalo and the three points at home, although I think Pittsburgh pulls out a late 17-15 win.

BEARS AT LIONS (-7) -- Normally I'd be a little shy about a 7-point spread in a division game, but the Lions are on quite a roll and the Bears aren't very good. This one looks like a Detroit romp, right? Right. Which is why I'm taking the Bears and those seven points, although I see Detroit winning the game, 23-17. I'm just going with the reverse-lock theory in this one because the Lions might be due for a letdown and Chicago, if nothing else, knows Detroit very well.

BRONCOS AT TITANS (-1.5) -- I'm going to buy stock in Marcus Mariota and the Titans today. I think Denver's good, but Tennessee still has a realistic chance of winning the AFC South. The Titans are only 3-3 at home, but this is the biggest game in Mariota's career and I say he's up for the task this afternoon. Give me the Titans minus 1.5 points as they beat Denver, 27-23.

REDSKINS AT EAGLES (+2.5) -- Things sure have changed since the Eagles were 3-0 and the darlings of the NFC back in September. Philly has gone the other way and the Redskins, despite last Sunday's loss in Arizona, are still very much alive in the NFC playoff picture. I like the 'Skins today, although I don't know that I like giving Philly 2.5 points at home. Fortunately, that half-point will work out in my favor as the Redskins win this one, 20-17.

JETS at 49'ERS (-2.5) -- The 49'ers are 1-11 and they're 2.5 point home favorites. That tells you what Vegas thinks of the Jets. I don't see how on earth the 49'ers lose this game today. I like it so much, I'm tabbing it my "Best Bet" as well. There's simply no way the Jets are winning. I'll take the 49'ers minus 2.5 points, as San Fran gets their second win of the season in a big way, 31-16 over the Jets.

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drew's holiday gift - song #3 on the "bruce cd"


Now it starts to get fun.

My holiday gift to you, a special compilation of Bruce Springsteen songs that span his career and give you an in-depth look at his music and life, is now at song #3 after the opening tunes of "Night" and "Rosalita" got the album off to a speedy, raucous start.

I chose the third song that you'll hear below for a number of reasons, but I mainly wanted to quickly show the difference between the way Springsteen wrote about his life in 1970 and the way he wrote about it in 1978.

Things sure did change from the time when Bruce was courting a girl and bragging to her father about "the big advance" the record company just gave him (Rosalita) and the pounding, methodical journey he takes you on in song #3.

#DMD Bruce Jukebox - Song #3



"Darkness on the Edge of Town" was, in my opinion, Bruce's "best" album. It might not have featured the best "music" (that was "Born To Run") or the best lyrics (that might have been "Wrecking Ball") or the best "sound" (The River gets that one), but "Darkness" was where it really all came together for Springsteen as a lyricist who could take his every day life and transform it into music.

It's where he wrote about growing up in New Jersey and the challenges he faced, met, won and lost.

The title song from that album tells a different story than Rosalita. Where Rosalita was about getting the girl, Darkness on the Edge of Town was about losing her. Oddly enough, Bruce didn't provide any names in this one, a distinct veering off the course for him, but important to remember nonetheless. Maybe there was more than one that got away. Maybe he doesn't want to glorify those who turned their back on him.

"Now I hear she's got a house up in Fairview, and a style she's trying to maintain."

"Well if she wants to see me, you can tell her that I'm easily found..."

Bruce delves into the middle-class ups and downs he and his family faced in New Jersey in the 1970's and does so in a way that makes you feel sorry for him until you realize he's probably strong enough to handle it.

"Some folks are born into a good life, other folks get it anyway, anyhow. I lost my money and I lost my wife, them things don't seem to matter much to me now."

Springsteen talks often about the dichotomy of the "good life" vs. the concept of "you get what you get", but he never really lets on which one he was better suited for. For all we know, he might feel like the lot he was handed was, in fact, "the good life".

In the song "Darkness on the Edge of Town", he lays out a pretty bleak picture of a guy who lost his girl, lost his way and doesn't seem to have much hope for redemption, yet he never comes right out and says it's something he didn't overcome in the end.

No matter how dark, there's always hope with Springsteen.

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please help us next tuedsay and thursday with your winter apparel donations!


For those of you needing a little extra incentive to dig through those closets and storage spaces for your no-longer-worn winter apparel, we have it for you!

I'm excited to announce that the Baltimore Blast is joining with us as a partner in the 2016 "Winter Apparel Drive, presented by Jerry's Toyota".

Thanks to our friends at the Blast for partnering with #DMD for our holiday winter apparel drive! Bring us ten items of winter clothing and you'll get two free Blast tickets for their January 14th home game.

For those that might not know, my old radio pal Glenn Clark and I have been doing this for six years now, collecting winter apparel for men, women and children and donating it to the fine people at Helping Up Mission in downtown Baltimore.

This year, we have three public drop-off locations coming up in December, and we're thrilled to have the Blast joining us to help you "dig a little deeper" for that winter apparel.

Anyone bringing us ten (10) articles of winter clothing gets two free tickets to the January 14 Blast home game when they host the Harrisburg Heat at the Royal Farms Arena.

What's an "article" of winter clothing, you ask? Easy: Anything that can be worn in the winter. Coats, jackets, pullovers, sweatshirts, winter hats, gloves, socks, boots, shoes.

And please know this is NOT just restricted to men's clothing, even though it's going to be donated to Helping Up Mission, which is an "all male" facility.

Many of the guys use the women's or children's clothing for holiday gifts to their loved ones. It's a very touching scene down there to see men so excited about finding something to give to a family member or friend when they otherwise wouldn't have been able to do so on their own.

Your participation is so appreciated by them! And we'll be video taping it all and presenting it here for you at #DMD so you can see first-hand what it's like on December 20 (donation day) at Helping Up Mission.

X
Our friends at Jerry's Toyota will once again serve as the title sponsor of our Winter Apparel Drive. Visit Jerry's Toyota at 8001 Belair Road from 3 pm to 6 pm on December 15 and donate ten items and receive two free Blast tickets!

Here are our three public drop-off dates where you can get the two free Blast tickets.

Tuesday, December 13, Glory Days Grill on East Joppa Road in Towson. 5 pm to 8 pm (free appetizers for those who come out that night!)

Thursday, December 15, Jerry's Toyota on Belair Road in Fullerton. 3 pm to 6 pm (free Royal Farms coffee for those who come out that night!)

Monday, December 19, Chick fil-A of Nottingham Square in White Marsh, 5 pm to 8 pm (a very special guest will join us that night...)

All we need now are your gently used pieces of winter clothing! Please take some time to go through your closets, dressers and storage spaces and give us what you no longer use. You will be making a big difference in someone's life this holiday season.

And...you'll be going to see the Baltimore Blast!!! Absolutely free!!!


Saturday
December 10
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIX
Issue 10
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


baltimore hosts the best sporting event in the country today


Our great city is bestowed with a privilege today that, frankly, it might not deserve.

At 3 pm at Ravens Stadium, the entire nation will get to see Baltimore host the Army/Navy football game.

I say this without hesitation: The Army/Navy game is the best sporting event I've ever attended. No doubt about it.

Yes, I know what you thinking. "Even better than the Masters, Drew?".

Yep, even better than the Masters.

The game has been sold out since tickets went on sale last spring. If you don't have seats, you can still go today if you want, but you'll have to buy a ticket off the street prior to game-time.

You'll find even the street-brokers are fair today.

If you don't have tickets and you decide to just watch it home, do yourself a favor -- if you've never been -- and pledge to yourself that you'll go next December when the series returns to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

There's something about seeing it in person, though, that changes your perspective and appreciation for the game and the tradition of the two service academies playing one another. If you consider yourself "old school", today's the football game for you.

The two teams line up and play football for sixty minutes.

There's no grandstanding. No taunting. No over-the-top celebrating of a first quarter tackle near midfield.

The field goal kickers will just trot back to the sidelines after their kick attempts. Apparently none of them major in dance or theater at Army or Navy.

This, today, is the way sports is intended to be played.

There's emotion, yes. Don't think for one minute you'll be bored watching those guys play. But the game and the competition is all put in its proper perspective given the unarguable fact that today's "battle" is nothing at all like that which they one day might face.

Here's what stands out to me every time I watch this game in person, and I've now been three times in my life, including last year in Philadelphia when thirty of us piled in the #DMD sports bus for the game in Philly: The young men you see on the field today -- and those in their dress uniforms in the stands who are there as a show of support -- are responsible, in part, for the safety of me, you, and our families, plus the rest of the nation, over an undetermined amount of time.

And guess what?

I'm good with that.

When I watch those kids play football today, and see the honor they give to the game and the competition, I feel better about the safety of our country. It's hard to explain unless you've seen it all in person yourself.

"If these are the folks responsible for keeping our country safe, we're in good hands..."

Name another sporting event you can attend where you leave the stadium with such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.

You can't.

We're very lucky in Baltimore today.

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the human mind at work



At 10:07 pm local time on November 28, 2016, LaMia Airlines Flight 2933 crashed 12 miles short of the runway at José María Córdova International Airport in Medellín, Columbia. On board were 77 souls, including nine crewmembers, the first string of the Brazilian soccer team Associação Chapecoense de Futbol and its coaches, and 21 journalists who covered the team. Seventy people died instantly on impact.

Chapecoense goalie Danilo survived the impact and lived long enough to call his wife, then died en route to a hospital. Backup goalkeeper Jakson Follman was one of six survivors. Injury to his left leg required its amputation. He and the five other survivors remain in critical condition.

The usual course in common-carrier crashes resulting in extensive loss of life is to wait for a comprehensive investigation to be completed before publishing accounts of the tragedy that assign blame. Under that proviso, this article may be deemed irresponsible. So be it. The actus rei [guilty acts] of this mass murder are so egregious that broad and wide public clamor must be raised in order that pressure be kept on authorities to institute policy and enforcement changes that will prevent its recurrence. Accuracy must yield to immediacy.

Chapecoense is [or was] a Brazilian Association Football club. The team was founded in 1973 with the goal of bringing high-level soccer to the town of Chapecò, a major town in the state of Santa Catarine, Brazil. The team worked its way up the Brazilian soccer ladder, and in 2014 entered Brazil's top division, Sèrie A. On November 28 the team chartered a flight to Medellìn where it was to compete in its biggest game ever, the first leg of the 2016 Copa Sudamericana final against Atlètico Nacional de Colombia.

An Avro RJ85 on approach

LaMia, short for Línea Aérea Mérida Internacional de Aviación, is [was – its fraudently obtained Air Operator's Certificate was revoked before the sun came up the day after the crash] run by several aviation cowboys and backed by shady financiers. [One of the owners of the airline was also the pilot-in-command of the aircraft that crashed. Another owner was a passenger on the flight. Neither survived.] The airline had tried to establish itself in Venezuela, but never could bribe the right politicians.

Eventually it moved its operation to Brazil. With a fleet of two leased Avro RJ85 aircraft (95-seat, four-turbofan jets made by British Aerospace Systems), it attempted to win state charter business by cozying up to Brazilian politicians and bureaucrats with campaign contributions and free rides on its flights. It appears that a sort of public-relations campaign was initiated featuring the Chapecoense soccer team – several videos popped up on YouTube the day of the flight showing team members parroting a scripted phrase stating that a Brazilian team should travel on a Brazilian airline.

Flight 2933's initial flight-plan was rejected by the local aviation authority. Here's why. The distance of the planned flight, from Viru Viru Airport in Santa Cruz, Brazil to Medellín, Colombia, was 1,605 nautical miles. The aircraft's range – with fuel tanks full and considering the weight of crew, passengers, and cargo – was 1,600 nautical miles. Thus, even if the flight had gone exactly according to plan, without delays or headwinds or other unforessen but possible delays, it could not have reached its destination.

When informed of the flight plan's rejection, the co-pilot told the authority that the captain would "surely" refuel at an airport along the route. When the co-pilot was told that the plan was still unacceptable, he informed the authority that the decision to proceed was the captain's decision, and that the flight would proceed as filed. Because of ground delays, Flight 2933 took off late, and by the time the flight would reach the airport where refueling was possible, it would be closed.

The aviation community has a saying: "There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots." Here a word about pilots and fuel. The International Civil Aviation Authority requires that all flights the world over have sufficient fuel on takeoff to fly to their destination and, if for some reason they cannot land at their destination, to continue to fly to an alternate airport, and, upon taxiing and tying down, to have 45 minutes of fuel remaining.

Pilots who aspire to grow old calculate the time it would take to fly from destination to alternate airport, add 45 minutes, and as that time approaches when they near their destination, begin to sweat. If they pass that time before landing at the destination, they sweat BBs. If they miss landing at the destination and proceed to the alternate, as the 45-minute mark approaches, they sweat bullets.

Captain Miguel Quiroga

The reason the pilot, Captain Miguel Quiroga [and possibly the co-pilot] went absolutely brain dead on this flight must necessarily be determined by circumstantial evidence. Quiroga, it was known, enjoyed the high life. He considered himself a modern celebrity because he had been able to snap a selfie with Lionel Messi and post it on his Facebook page. Survivors tell of a party that was planned to begin an hour after deplaning at Medellín. This might explain the captain's boldness, manifest in his desire to get to the destination quickly.

The flight proceeded unremarkably, and received permission to begin its approach to Medellín as it neared the airport. On the approach path, presumably with the Low-Fuel Indicator already beeping softly and flashing its red light [which, if working properly in an Avro RJ85, cannot be switched off], Air Traffic Control ordered Flight 2933 to break off its approach and enter a holding pattern because another aircraft had declared an emergency, thereby giving it landing priority. Quiroga, utterly irrationally, elected to follow this order instead of, as was his right, declaring his own emergency and putting himself also in a priority position.

Here, we guess at his thinking. When a pilot declares an emergency, a subsequent investigation of the reason he did so is required. On landing, investigating authorites would discover insufficient fuel onboard the aircraft. Thus Quiroga would have faced loss of his license and his airline a hefty fine, or, more likely in this world, the need to pay out bribes in order to avoid the sanctions.

After a precious 10 minutes in the holding pattern, Quiroga finally asked ATC for help. This writer is unsure of exactly what happens when the RJ85 runs out of fuel. It is unlikely that all four engines are running perfectly in one instant and spool down simultaneously in the next instant when fuel is exhausted. It's more likely they will quit in uneven succession, leading to commensurate and progressive losses in aircraft propulsion.

Quiroga reported some kind of electrical malfunction and requested assistance [he never did declare an emergency]. ATC responded, but received no answer. She then transmitted in the blind, granting Flight 2933 immediate clearance to land, and she ordered all aircraft on the airport grounds to clear the runways and hold in position. Then she initiated that haunting, soul-crushing, one-sided conversation:

"2933, Córdova Tower."

"LaMia 2933, Córdova Tower."

"LaMia 2933, Córdova Tower, come in."

"2933, Córdova . . . . . . ."


Chapecoence futbol team

Among LaMia's many violations, regulators found that the company had no plan for the aftermath of a crash. The airline had to borrow coffins for the victims. Avianca, the Colombian flag carrier, dispatched its crisis counseling team to assist the survivors and relatives of the victims. Five LaMia pilots, including the deceased Captain Quiroga, were found to have deserted the Bolivian Air Force without having completed their service obligations, and there were outstanding warrants for their arrest.

An owner of LaMia, arrested after the crash, showed official documents that showed he had resigned from his executive position at the company two days before the crash. Another LaMia investor, located in Spain, expressed sorrow over the tragedy, and explained that he had no day-to-day responsibility with the airline.

The Atlètico Nacional team, Chapecoense's scheduled opponent in the Copa Sudamericana final, petitioned the sport's governing body, the South American Football Confederation, to ask that the game be awarded to Chapecoense, and along with it, the championship and monetary award.

All teams in Chapecoense's league petitioned the body to ask that a reconstituted team be allowed to compete without the possibility of relegation to a lower league for three years. All petitions were granted.

This contribution was provided to #DMD by our friend, George McDowell.

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drew's holiday gift - song #2 on the "bruce cd"


I kicked off the Springsteen CD on Friday with the opening track, "Night", which I think gets the album off to an awesome, powerful start.

One of the issues of putting this mythical album together for all of you is trying to create an order to the songs that accomplishes a lot of different things. I'd like it to make some kind of sense to different forms of Springsteen fans. Those who are Bruce nuts like I am might get "something" out of the order that, perhaps, a newbie to "The Boss" wouldn't be able to understand.

I often imagine myself playing this CD that I'm making for someone who has never heard Springsteen's music before and trying to take them through the songs in a way that they can understand Bruce's career over the span of roughly 70 minutes of music.

That's part of the fun of this project. My hope is that many of you really WILL burn these songs and create this CD for yourself or a family member. I think it's going to encompass everything that's great about Springsteen and the E Street Band.

I decided on the song you'll hear below for a couple of reasons. (Go ahead...right now, press play and listen while you're reading. Please.)


#DMD Bruce Jukebox Song #2



After "Night" opened the CD, I didn't want the pace to drop off, which eliminated some great songs that you'll hear later on as part of the sixteen I selected for the album. I decided I wanted the second song to have the same kind of power as the opening tune.

I also thought it was important to showcase something Bruce did early in his career. Earlier than the Born To Run, album, even.

Why?

Well, in his early musical days, Bruce was much more of a storyteller. His songs featured "people" or characters. You could, in many cases, just change the names and take a trip down your OWN memory lane.

"Jack The Rabbit and Weak Knee'd Willie don't you know they're gonna be there..."

"Sloppy Sue and Big Balls Billy, they'll be coming up for air."

Those people came to life in Springsteen songs.

I thought it was important to remember that Springsteen's pre "Born To Run" music was well worth listening to, forty some years later, in fact. There's even an argument that some of his best arrangements in concert these days are songs from the 1970's like "New York City Seranade", "4th of July Asbury Park" and "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?".

"Rosalita" is one of those songs as well.

It has, like all of Bruce's music it seems, stood the test of time.

The lyrics are fun, the song is enjoyable, and if you follow along with the story, it winds up being a synposis of Bruce's own life and career, basically. How he knew back in 1973 that this is how it would all turn out is beyond me, but he did!

"Some day we'll look back at this and it will all seem funny," he sings.

It must be "funny" when Bruce thinks about his life, burdened with the struggles of 1960's and 1970's America, living in a New Jersey town that was left to crumble by the de-industrialization of our country, and having no real skill set -- by his own admission -- other than knowing how to play a guitar and write music.

From a few ratty bars in New Jersey beach towns to playing in front of 70,000 people at Giants Stadium.

$345 million later, it must REALLY seem funny to Bruce.

"Rosalita" is a song a lot of men in the country can easily identify with, particularly if they ever butted heads with the mother or father of a young lady they were courting.

It gets its charm from the fact that Bruce winds up winning in the end. "Well tell him this is his last chance, to get his daughter in a fine romance. Because the record company, Rosie, just gave me a big advance."

Every musician's dream is right there. A bunch of cash for playing music and a girl on his arm who thinks he's the cat's meow.

A newcomer will hear "Rosalita" and have a much better idea of what Springsteen's music is all about. Characters, challenges, winners, losers and surving.

Springsteen junkies will hear it and nod approvingly at its inclusion on this "album". It's seven minutes of "reality TV" long before such a concept existed, proving, to both the beginning Bruce fan and the ardent lover of his music, that the kid from Freehold, New Jersey was always way ahead of his time.

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please help us next tuedsay and thursday with your winter apparel donations!


For those of you needing a little extra incentive to dig through those closets and storage spaces for your no-longer-worn winter apparel, we have it for you!

I'm excited to announce that the Baltimore Blast is joining with us as a partner in the 2016 "Winter Apparel Drive, presented by Jerry's Toyota".

Thanks to our friends at the Blast for partnering with #DMD for our holiday winter apparel drive! Bring us ten items of winter clothing and you'll get two free Blast tickets for their January 14th home game.

For those that might not know, my old radio pal Glenn Clark and I have been doing this for six years now, collecting winter apparel for men, women and children and donating it to the fine people at Helping Up Mission in downtown Baltimore.

This year, we have three public drop-off locations coming up in December, and we're thrilled to have the Blast joining us to help you "dig a little deeper" for that winter apparel.

Anyone bringing us ten (10) articles of winter clothing gets two free tickets to the January 14 Blast home game when they host the Harrisburg Heat at the Royal Farms Arena.

What's an "article" of winter clothing, you ask? Easy: Anything that can be worn in the winter. Coats, jackets, pullovers, sweatshirts, winter hats, gloves, socks, boots, shoes.

And please know this is NOT just restricted to men's clothing, even though it's going to be donated to Helping Up Mission, which is an "all male" facility.

Many of the guys use the women's or children's clothing for holiday gifts to their loved ones. It's a very touching scene down there to see men so excited about finding something to give to a family member or friend when they otherwise wouldn't have been able to do so on their own.

Your participation is so appreciated by them! And we'll be video taping it all and presenting it here for you at #DMD so you can see first-hand what it's like on December 20 (donation day) at Helping Up Mission.

X
Our friends at Jerry's Toyota will once again serve as the title sponsor of our Winter Apparel Drive. Visit Jerry's Toyota at 8001 Belair Road from 3 pm to 6 pm on December 15 and donate ten items and receive two free Blast tickets!

Here are our three public drop-off dates where you can get the two free Blast tickets.

Tuesday, December 13, Glory Days Grill on East Joppa Road in Towson. 5 pm to 8 pm (free appetizers for those who come out that night!)

Thursday, December 15, Jerry's Toyota on Belair Road in Fullerton. 3 pm to 6 pm (free Royal Farms coffee for those who come out that night!)

Monday, December 19, Chick fil-A of Nottingham Square in White Marsh, 5 pm to 8 pm (a very special guest will join us that night...)

All we need now are your gently used pieces of winter clothing! Please take some time to go through your closets, dressers and storage spaces and give us what you no longer use. You will be making a big difference in someone's life this holiday season.

And...you'll be going to see the Baltimore Blast!!! Absolutely free!!!


Friday
December 9
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIX
Issue 9
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


the gift of giving starts today here at #dmd


With Christmas right around the corner, I'm constantly thinking about what to get my wife and two children. Since my wife occasionally reads #DMD, I won't be dropping any hints about my shopping list for her, here, but my two children aren't quite internet savvy yet, so I think I can discuss my holiday plans for them without worrying about spilling the beans on my gift-giving ideas.

I think I found the perfect gift for my 9-year old son.

Maybe this story today will help you come up with something for one of your children, your significant other or a friend or family member on your shopping list.

I'll admit the gift I'm going to show you is also a tad-bit for me, too. But that's OK. I think my son, Ethan, will enjoy it all the more knowing he can play it with his father.

Without question, my favorite "game" growing up was table hockey.

I'd say from the time I was ten years old until my late teens or thereabouts, I went through three or four of the games. They weren't quite as well-manufactured back then as they are today and once one of the rods stopped spinning or a spring broke, the affected player was all but useless for the remainder of the game's existence.

These days, the product is much more sturdy, well-built and can withstand the punishment of game-after-game-after-game.

Some games stand the test of time. Forty some years after I first got this game, I'm giving it to MY son this Christmas.

A few weeks back when I started thinking about what to get Ethan, I thought back to what I liked as a kid and table-hockey was the thing I kept going back to, time after time.

So, I bought it for him.

Well, ummmm, I bought it for us, I guess. But part of the joy of having a game like table hockey is having someone to compete with and against, so we already have a brewing rivalry in the Forrester household.

I also was able to purchase four extra teams with the set, to go with Toronto and Detroit, which come with the game when you purchase it. I was able to get the Capitals, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and Buffalo Sabres.

I'm a uniform nerd, as most of you know, and I've always liked the "kits" worn by the Blues, Kings and Sabres, so I added them to the Capitals.

When I was growing up in Glen Burnie, we had no fewer than six kids in my neighborhood who would gather in my house on Biddle Road and play table hockey.

We had standings, kept stats on who scored, organized one-day tournaments and the like.

Here's how goofy we were about making our table hockey experience be as realistic as possible. My parents bought a small used organ at a yard sale and plopped it down in the living room and my friends and I took turns trying to mimic the in-arena organ music while the table hockey games were played.

I'm super excited to introduce Ethan to the world of table hockey. I think he's going to love it.

I know his father will.

And, who knows? Maybe this would be a great gift idea in YOUR family, too. Warning: It can get VERY competitive!

Speaking of gift giving, I need YOUR help over the next couple of weeks to make the holiday season special for the men at Helping Up Mission.

If you have any gently used winter clothing that you or other family members no longer wear, we could sure use them!

I'm talking about jackets, shirts, hats, shoes, gloves, socks -- literally, anything you can wear in the winter, we'll take. And it doesn't have to be just for men, either. We'll take clothing for women and children, too.

Our first drop off location and event is next Tuesday, December 13 from 5 pm to 8 pm at Glory Days Grill in Towson. Bring us ten items and we'll give you two free Baltimore Blast tickets for their January 14 home game against Harrisburg! We'll then be at Jerry's Toyota on Belair Road in Fullerton on Thursday, December 15 from 3 pm to 6 pm to collect clothing. Please try and stop out to see us at one of those locations.

On Monday, December 19, we'll be at Chick fil-A in Nottingham Square (White Marsh, Campbell Blvd) from 5 pm to 8 pm and along with us will be a very special guest that we won't announce until we get much closer to the date. Trust me, if you have a teenager in the house, you'll want to be there at Chick fil-A with us on Monday, December 19.

And lately I've been thinking -- what can I get everyone who reads #DMD? What can I possibly do for you this holiday season?

Well, there's too many of you to shop for individually...and I'm not wealthy enough to buy all of you something (or I would). But I want to give you something this holiday season.

Again, like I did with my table hockey idea, I went back to "what does Drew like?" and tried to figure out a way to connect that with something you might like.

There are probably rules and laws against me actually creating a CD for all of you -- or I would just do that -- but there's no law against me telling you what the CD I'd like to give you would consist of, right?

There's no law against YOU making the CD for yourself, is there?

I did some quick research -- I think we're "legal" with this one.

So, I'm excited to "produce" something for all of you for the holiday season that I think/hope you will enjoy.

I do this a lot when I'm driving and listening to the Springsteen channel on satellite radio -- I think to myself, "If Bruce gave me the freedom to create his "Best Of" CD and told me I couldn't put 'Born To Run' on it, what other songs would I include on the record?"

I then go through the process of trying to compile the ultimate Springsteen CD, one that would encapsulate his music, his song writing, his career and his impact on our lives.

In this case, I'm going to take sixteen days to develop the ultimate Bruce Springsteen CD for you. If, at the end, you want to head over to iTunes and put the CD together yourself, you can certainly do that. You may already own a bunch of the songs anyway if you're a Bruce fan.

When the sixteen songs you'll read about (and hear) over the next two weeks are in the catalog and you've burned them to a CD, you'll have a whopper of a holiday gift, trust me!

To me, the first song and last song of any album are really critical. I know musicians and producers feel the same way. You have to get people hooked on the record right from the start, which means that first song has to strong.

I put a lot of thought into what the opener would be on "Drew's Bruce CD". I wanted it to have some pace to it, so that eliminated some of Bruce's great work like "Independence Day", "Backstreets" and "Trapped".

One of the things I considered was "What if the person unwrapping the CD hadn't ever heard a Springsteen song before? How do I get them hooked right from the first song?"

And, I wanted the first song to work whether the music was being listened to at 7 am while you're getting in your car for work or 7 pm when you're heading home after a long day at the office.

I also felt strongly that the first song should probably come from Bruce's most memorable contribution in his catalog, which would have been the "Born To Run" album.

So, I went with the song that you can hear below.

#DMD Bruce Jukebox



"Night" is, I think, the perfect way to kick-off my holiday gift to you.

"You get up every morning at the sound of the bell. You get to work late and the boss man's giving you hell..."

It's actually somewhat of a love-song attempt from Bruce, who takes you through a typical day in his life back in the 1970's -- getting up for work, grinding away for "the boss man", cruising the streets at night, looking for a female companion with whom to share it all.

I also picked this song because it features some terrific sax work from Clarence Clemons, and I felt like the first song on the record should include Bruce at his finest, and Bruce wouldn't have been Bruce without Clarence wailing away on the saxaphone.

I love the pace of "Night". It gets the record going with a lot of energy and would get your blood going a little in the morning if you played it while you were in the shower or in your car on the way to the office. It's one of Springsteen's shortest songs (3:01), but its position as the first song on my "Bruce CD" is both intentional and perfectly placed.

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by unanimous choice, it's tom brady


Earlier this week, we posted a #DMD Reader's Poll here that asked this question: "Who is the best quarterback in the NFL over the last 30 years?"

The candidates were Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, John Elway and Joe Montana.

I wrote a piece here at #DMD on Tuesday touting Brady as the best of them all (above), and asked you to cast YOUR vote on the subject.

A lot of you did.

The winner?

Tom Brady.

Brady received a whopping 61% of the votes.

Peyton Manning was next with 19% of the votes. Joe Montana collected 18%. And Brett Favre recorded 2%.

No one voted for poor old John Elway.

Maybe he shouldn't have left Baltimore in a huff...

So, like me, most of you agree that Tom Brady is the best quarterback of the last 30 years. I'd like to see him NOT be at his best this coming Monday night in Foxborough, though.

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this weekend in
english soccer


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

After conceding for only the second time in their last eight league matches, Chelsea roared back with three second half goals to push the league leaders past Manchester City and open a little breathing room at the top of the table as we head into Matchday 15 of the English Premier League and the start of the busy Christmas period.

With the league set to embark on a grueling stretch that includes six matches over the next twenty-nine days, will the Blues be able to increase their lead at the top or will the rest of the pack be able to narrow the gap? Tune in to find out with all of the action throughout the month of December available live across the NBC family of networks or online at NBC Live Extra.

Saturday, December 10 (all times eastern)

12:30pm – Manchester City @ Leicester City – King Power Stadium, NBC

The setback for Manchester City was their first in six games (W3 D3) and, on top of falling four points behind Chelsea, the red cards for Sergio Aguero and Fernandino following an injury time dust up added to their misery, with the pair set to miss the next four and three games respectively through suspension beginning with their trip on Saturday to the King Power Stadium and the increasingly desperate Leicester City. The defending champions remained only two points outside of the relegation zone following their 2-1 loss to the red hot Sunderland who have now won three of their last four games.

While their Champions League form has been near perfect, Leicester City are now winless in their last five league games (D2) and have won just one of their last nine (D3 L5), however the little form they have displayed in the Premier League to date has been at the friendly confines of the King Power Stadium, where they have lost just once in five matches this season (W3 D1). Something will have to give as Manchester City are unbeaten in their last seven trips to the East Midlands and have lost only once across all competitions in their last ten overall meetings with the Foxes (W5 D4).

Sunday, December 11 (all times eastern)

9:15am – Tottenham @ Manchester United – Old Trafford, NBC Sports Network

Red hot Tottenham visits Old Trafford this Sunday for a showdown with Jose Mourinho and Manchester United. United has played to a draw in four its last five games overall.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has called his side the unluckiest in the league but they once again have only themselves to blame, after failing to kill off Everton to eventually share the points for a third consecutive game and the fourth time in their last five matches (W1) after Leighton Baines leveled from the penalty spot in the 89th minute to draw 1-1 with the hosts. They will welcome Tottenham to Old Trafford on Sunday after Spurs bounced back from their first loss of the season the week before against Chelsea to easily cruise past Swansea City and American Bob Bradley 5-0.

The performance solidified Spurs hold on fifth place in the table, where they are now back within striking distance of the top four just three points behind Manchester City and Liverpool while six points clear of sixth pace United, who will like their chances of trimming that gap having enjoyed a run of absolute dominance over Tottenham since the turn of the millennial, losing only three times in their last thirty league meetings, which included a run of twenty-six games across all competitions without defeat (W21 D5), and taking all three points in eleven of their last fifteen meetings at Old Trafford (D2 L2).

11:30am – West Ham United @ Liverpool – Anfield, NBC Sports Network

West Ham United has been a mainstay in our weekly previews over the last several weeks as they have attempted to navigate a brutal four game stretch against the top sides in the league, which has included trips to Tottenham and Manchester United followed by a visit from Arsenal and, after being dismantled 5-1 by the Gunners which leaves the Hammers only a point above the drop zone, will come to an end when they visit Anfield and Liverpool, who twice were unable to hold a two goal advantage in a seven goal thriller and 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth, to conclude the weekend action.

Liverpool looked well on their way to passing their first test without influential midfielder Phillipe Coutinho in the starting eleven until the Bournemouth barrage sent them to their first defeat in their last sixteen matches across all competitions (W12 D3). They will look for a quick turn around against West Ham, who have won three of the last four league meetings with Reds (L1) but prior to that had lost sixteen of their previous twenty-two meetings (D4 L2) and all three points in thirteen of their last eighteen encounters at the legendary footballing grounds that is Anfield (D5).

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Thursday
December 8
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIX
Issue 8
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memo to dan duquette: the fans dislike losing, not jose bautista


It was such a dumb comment that I had to spend several minutes going to a number of reputable websites to check, double check and triple check what Dan Duquette said about the possibility of the Orioles signing Jose Bautista.

Yep, it all checked out.

On Tuesday night at the MLB winter meetings down in suburban Washington D.C., Duquette told the media the Orioles won’t pursue Bautista because “our fans don’t like him.”

OK, we still have 23 days left in the year, so someone might say something more dumb than that, but if not, Duquette’s comments about Bautista currently rank as the dumbest thing anyone has said in the world of sports in 2016.

I still can’t get over it.

I’m not advocating that the Orioles sign Bautista, by the way. They could do worse, for sure. But they could also do better, which is what I’d like to see them do.

This is not about me campaigning for the team to sign Jose Bautista. Not in the least.

He might be on the short list to have Christmas dinner at your house, but if Jose Bautista can help the Orioles win, who cares about his past transgressions against the Birds?

What I am campaigning for is the team's general manager to be smarter.

Not signing a player – any player – because of what the fans think about him is laughably dumb.

Here’s what else the fans of Baltimore baseball don’t like: Not making the World Series since 1983.

That, to me at least, is far more important than the team signing Jose Bautista.

If the Ravens had to bring Hines Ward out of retirement in order to make the playoffs and advance to this year’s Super Bowl, would you sign off on that? Yeah, me too.

Way back in the 1980's, the player Baltimore indoor soccer fans despised the most was a cocky, arrogant goal-scorer from Cleveland named Keith Furphy. When he became a free agent prior to the 1986 season, Kenny Cooper signed him. The first time he scored two goals in a game for the Blast, he was loved in Baltimore.

If the Orioles signed Jose Bautista and he hit two home runs on opening day next April, he wouldn't be buying any drinks that night over in Canton or Fells Point. Guess who would cover the tab for him? Right...the fans.

Is Duquette really that much of a neanderthal that he thinks people would stop going to the games or watching on TV if the Orioles signed Bautista? Really, Dan?

Maybe Duquette doesn’t want Bautista because he’d rather not shell out big bucks for a declining 36-year old player. That would be a very fair reason to not pursue him.

That's probably what I would say when his agent called me. "Look, Jose has been a very good player over the last six or so years but we're trying to get a little bit younger, honestly, and it's probably just not in the cards for us right now to bring him in given his age and numbers over the last couple of seasons."

Easy peasy. And the truth.

But if Duquette is afraid to sign Bautista because Adam Jones might be butt-hurt, or Darren O’Day objects, I’d tell those two guys "We’re in the business of winning baseball games, not having sleep-overs with our best buddies."

Heck, I’d sign David Ortiz tomorrow if he came out of retirement and wanted to play again.

Perhaps Duquette felt like pushing off the no-Bautista-decision on the fans just to save himself the duty of explaining why the O’s wouldn’t replace Mark Trumbo with Bautista.

I’m not sure what benefit he gets out of telling the media the Orioles won’t sign Bautista because the fans don’t like him.

This isn’t the CYO, where you’re worried about feelings and playing time and making everyone feel warm and fuzzy.

The Orioles are in the business of winning baseball games.

As someone who has owned a season ticket mini-plan for the last several years, I’m actually offended by Duquette’s statement.

What if I want Bautista? What if my other buddies in Section 12 want him as well? Don’t we have a say?

”We’re not signing Bautista because our fans don’t like him.”

Really? Which fans? How many? Do you mean the 25,000 per-game who walk in the stadium or the extended O’s family who watch the games on TV?

And the main reason the fans don't like Bautista is he has a penchant for being productive against the Orioles. When's the last time you went to the ballpark and booed Brett Gardner of the Yankees or Jason Kipnis of the Indians? Bautista is a lightning-rod, yes, but at times he's a very successful lightning-rod.

Here's what the fans really don't like: They don’t like the Orioles losing to the Yankees, Royals and Blue Jays in three of the last five years come playoff time – that’s what they REALLY don’t like, Dan.

I don’t care who the Orioles sign as long as he makes the team better. I don’t care what he costs, don’t care what religion he is and most certainly don’t give a damn whether or not “the fans” don’t like the guy.

If Duquette really thinks that way, he’s a loser.

The fans should be consulted on matters such as new esclators in the stadium, better ballpark food choices, and anything else that makes their trip to the games at OPACY more enjoyable. And, yes, the Orioles have an obligation to the fans to sign or acquire as many really good baseball players as they can.

The fans, of course, by attending the games or handing over $5.00 a month to MASN via their cable TV bill, are paying the freight for the players anyway.

But the fans, with all due respect (and I'm one of them), are not baseball executives, nor managers, and while the team needs their money to survive, the fans are not in any way responsible for who comes to the team and plays baseball in Baltimore.

The fans and their “opinion” on a free agent? Not something that should be considered by the owner, general manager or manager. Ever.

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the joy of youth


St. John's College

St. John’s College (established in 1696) is the third-oldest institution of higher learning in the U. S., after Harvard (est. 1636) and William and Mary (est. 1693). Its campus is located in Annapolis, on the south bank of College Creek and across King George Street from the United States Naval Academy campus.

St. John’s was known for its strong lacrosse teams, and was a powerhouse in the 1920s and early 1930s. It won the national championship on several occasions. Under close light, that isn’t really much of an accomplishment since lacrosse was played in those days only by a few Maryland schools and some teams in the Ivy League.

United States Naval Academy

In 1937 St. John’s, having lost its accreditation and under severe financial strain because of the Great Depression, began a radical experiment in higher education, junking its old curriculum and instituting the Great Books Program. The new curriculum did away with departments and electives and majors, and required all students to read the 120 so-called Great Books of the Western World over four years. Tests and exams were eliminated in favor of requiring students to judge their own intellectual progress. Fraternities were disbanded. Intercollegiate athletics were discontinued.

St. John’s alumni, particularly the jocks, screamed bloody murder at the cancellation of the lacrosse program. But adopting the Great Books program offered the only feasible way for the College to raise enough money to continue in operation, and so it became reality.

Now skip forward forty-six years.

In a dimly lit downtown Annapolis bar on a dingy Saturday evening sat a forlorn group of Naval Academy midshipmen. They were discussing all the sex they would have if only they weren’t under a midnight curfew. They talked about the variety of drugs they would ingest if only there was no testing. They talked of the rock-and-roll to which they would listen and dance if it wasn’t against regulations.

At the next table sat a group of St. John’s College students. Exhausted from the constant routine of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll on campus, they had retreated to this quiet bar to continue a discussion about Aristotle that had begun earlier that week in their classes.

The midshipmen, bored beyond their limits, decided that, for a little fun and recreation, they would beat up the Johnnies. Their first requirement was to manufacture a reason for a melee:

Midshipman #1 (to the table of Johnnies): “You guys sound like a bunch of nerds.”

Johnny #1: “Yeah, we’re the worst!”

Midshipman #2: “Hey, how come you guys don’t play sports? Are you afraid to face us on the field?”

Johnny #2: “The school doesn’t allow it. And even if it did, we probably wouldn’t be very competitive.”

Midshipman #3: “Don’t you guys have any self respect? Are you a bunch of sissies?”

Johnny #3: “Well, as Aristotle taught, one’s self respect can manifest in manifold ways.”

Midshipman #4: “No matter how you say it, you guys are still a bunch of chickens! You couldn’t beat us at anything.”

Johnny #4: “Not so fast there, John Paul Jones Juniors. We extend to you a challenge of the sport. Bring your ten mightiest and bravest warriors to our front campus next Saturday, say at high noon. We shall see if your deeds can match the words you so easily dispense.”

So the four midshipmen gathered six of their mates and arrived promptly at noon on the appointed day. They were led to the basement of a campus building, which basement had at one time served as a dungeon and during the Civil War as a chamber for those quarantined because of contagious disease. The space at this time served as a poker room.

The midshipmen were served champagne and strawberries, and more champagne. Then more strawberries, and even more champagne. After 90 minutes of talk of the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between mortal and non-mortal combat, the middies were led outside. Before them stood two pristine croquet fields, laid out over a freshly mown lawn.

“Gentlemen,” said a Johnnie, indicating a row of mallets, “choose your weapons.”

The Johnnies mashed the Midshipmen on that now famous day in 1983, winning all five matches handily. The Middies were a game bunch, and represented their institution proudly, but they were hopelessly outclassed. It wasn’t until somewhere in the middle of the second match that they fully grasped the rules of the sport. They did not comprehend even the basic strategy of the game until sometime during the last match. But they never quit. And all involved, the 20 players and the handful of spectators, had a fabulous time.

That night there were two dances on the St. John’s campus, a rock party in the boathouse and a waltz party in the Great Hall. Both the St. John’s and Naval Academy teams and their escorts drifted back and forth between the parties all night long. The Middies were informed that the St. John’s president had prevailed upon the Naval Academy commandant to lift their curfew for the evening.

The croquet match became an annual event. Each year teams vie for The Annapolis Cup. In the week prior to the match, each team plays a friendly against a team from an Annapolis old-folks home. The ceremony surrounding the matches is tongue in cheek. The Naval Academy team plays in elegant dress whites with straw-boater headgear. The Johnnies show up dressed as, variously, Vikings, security guards, Scotsmen, camouflaged soldiers, tuxedoed waiters, Where’s Waldos, Amish farmers, and mad scientists. Several plebes (first-year midshipmen) splendidly adorned in full-dress uniforms serve refreshments as needed to the players of both teams.

Beer and wine flow freely before, during, and after the matches, as does the now symbolic mix of strawberries and champagne. The St. John’s front lawn on Croquet Day looks more like a scene from The Great Gatsby than a 21st-century sporting event. Old-time swing music plays from speakers, and Middie supporters dance merrily with Johnny fans.

But when the matches begin, it is dead-serious business. The spectators are partisan, but unfailingly respectful of the feelings of the other side. On the field, players would not dream of throwing a mallet or hitting a ball in anger. Trash talk simply is never heard, even in jest.

St. John’s usually wins. They are on a two-year winning streak, recovering from an unprecedented Middie string of wins in 2013 and 2014. St. John’s leads the series, 27 to 7. The 35th playing for The Annapolis Cup will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. Come on down and dance a little bit. And have some strawberries and champagne!

I think, but am not certain, that the ban on participation in intercollegiate athletics has been officially relaxed at St. John’s. The St. John’s rowing team, or crew, or whatever it’s called, has been good over the years, and they have participated in regattas with other schools. And St. John’s participates when invited in the Croquet Collegiate National Championship (as does the Naval Academy), next year to be held at the Merion Cricket Club in Pennsylvania.

The joy of sports at St. John’s is in its intramural competitions. Enrollment at the Annapolis campus is limited to 400 students. Entering male freshman [I don’t know much about the women’s teams] are assigned to one of five teams based on the first letters of their last names. At the end of the year there is a draft, and teams pick in order until all rising sophomores have been chosen for teams they will play for until graduation. Participation is optional. Professors (called tutors) can also play for teams, as can employees of the college. The five teams play certain sports: flag football, softball, basketball, and soccer, although I hear they no longer play softball because of lack of interest.

The games are organized and refereed by the director of athletics and one or more of his student-assistants. I fondly remember a flag football game that was to be played for the championship one year. The readings for seminars for all years’ classes were difficult that week, and a lot of students chose to spend time grappling with the texts instead of playing. Our squad didn’t have enough players to field a team. So, with the other team’s permission, we “drafted” a janitor and an on-duty college security officer to play for us. I forget who won the game, and remember it only because it might have been the only time in history that a middle linebacker/wide receiver played while armed with a loaded Glock semi-automatic pistol.

The games were hard fought. In basketball, the rule was that each team must field two units, a B team to play the first and third quarters, and an A team to play the second and fourth. That way, everybody played. And the stars on the A team rooted on us scrubs on the B team as hard as we rooted for them.

There were no coaches for the teams – leadership fell to the older students and decisions were made on reasoned consensus rather than authority. True, one thing is certain – there were no pro scouts sitting in the stands watching the games [in part because there were no stands in which to sit]. But also true, there were no Jeff Walzs on the sidelines, either.

No one can suggest that a talented athlete not follow his or her dream to make it to the big-time. It’s just a crying shame that adults have made that road to the dream such an excruciating, grinding, joyless path. A childhood is a terrible thing to waste.

This is a contribution provided to #DMD by our friend, George McDowell.

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retrievers stay red hot with win at "the mount"


This is starting to set up as a special first season for new UMBC head basketball coach Ryan Odom.

His Retrievers got a career best 28 points from Joe Sherburne last night on 6-6 shooting from 3-point range in a 78-70 road win over Mount Saint Mary's.

The win moves UMBC to 7-1 on the year, their best start in program history. The victory also extends their winning streak to three games.

Mount St. Mary's fell to 1-9 with the defeat.

Trailing 29-28 at the intermission, the Retrievers used a big 11-0 run to open the second half, taking a lead they would not relinquish. During the run, Sherburne netted three of his six trifectas, which tied his career best. The sophomore set the mark at Duquesne just a week ago.

The Mountaineers tried to cut into the deficit, getting a three and a subsequent steal to cut the Retriever lead to ten. However UMBC would answer back with a pair of layups from Jairus Lyles and Will Darley to quell the run.

Lyles ended with 24 points, his third 20-point performance of the season. Darley had eight points on 3-6 shooting, going 2-2 from the charity stripe as well.

UMBC as a team shot 47.2% from the field, going 6-12 from three, all six hit by Sherburne. The Retrievers out-rebounded the Mount 38-33.

The Retrievers return to the court on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the University of Richmond (Atlantic 10) with a 7:30 p.m. tip.

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please help us next tuedsay and thursday with your winter apparel donations!


For those of you needing a little extra incentive to dig through those closets and storage spaces for your no-longer-worn winter apparel, we have it for you!

I'm excited to announce that the Baltimore Blast is joining with us as a partner in the 2016 "Winter Apparel Drive, presented by Jerry's Toyota".

Thanks to our friends at the Blast for partnering with #DMD for our holiday winter apparel drive! Bring us ten items of winter clothing and you'll get two free Blast tickets for their January 14th home game.

For those that might not know, my old radio pal Glenn Clark and I have been doing this for six years now, collecting winter apparel for men, women and children and donating it to the fine people at Helping Up Mission in downtown Baltimore.

This year, we have three public drop-off locations coming up in December, and we're thrilled to have the Blast joining us to help you "dig a little deeper" for that winter apparel.

Anyone bringing us ten (10) articles of winter clothing gets two free tickets to the January 14 Blast home game when they host the Harrisburg Heat at the Royal Farms Arena.

What's an "article" of winter clothing, you ask? Easy: Anything that can be worn in the winter. Coats, jackets, pullovers, sweatshirts, winter hats, gloves, socks, boots, shoes.

And please know this is NOT just restricted to men's clothing, even though it's going to be donated to Helping Up Mission, which is an "all male" facility.

Many of the guys use the women's or children's clothing for holiday gifts to their loved ones. It's a very touching scene down there to see men so excited about finding something to give to a family member or friend when they otherwise wouldn't have been able to do so on their own.

Your participation is so appreciated by them! And we'll be video taping it all and presenting it here for you at #DMD so you can see first-hand what it's like on December 20 (donation day) at Helping Up Mission.

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Our friends at Jerry's Toyota will once again serve as the title sponsor of our Winter Apparel Drive. Visit Jerry's Toyota at 8001 Belair Road from 3 pm to 6 pm on December 15 and donate ten items and receive two free Blast tickets!

Here are our three public drop-off dates where you can get the two free Blast tickets.

Tuesday, December 13, Glory Days Grill on East Joppa Road in Towson. 5 pm to 8 pm (free appetizers for those who come out that night!)

Thursday, December 15, Jerry's Toyota on Belair Road in Fullerton. 3 pm to 6 pm (free Royal Farms coffee for those who come out that night!)

Monday, December 19, Chick fil-A of Nottingham Square in White Marsh, 5 pm to 8 pm (a very special guest will join us that night...)

All we need now are your gently used pieces of winter clothing! Please take some time to go through your closets, dressers and storage spaces and give us what you no longer use. You will be making a big difference in someone's life this holiday season.

And...you'll be going to see the Baltimore Blast!!! Absolutely free!!!


Wednesday
December 7
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIX
Issue 7
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my take on the jeff walz rant: right message, wrong messenger


Jeff Walz's "everyone gets a trophy" rant after his Louisville women's basketball team lost to Maryland last Thursday night was one for the ages.

The central theme -- college kids just don't want to work hard anymore -- was pretty much spot-on, but the message would have been much easier to digest had it not been delivered by a college coach.

You see, "college" and the lure of not only a scholarship, but the preferential treatment that goes with it all, is what has made most of today's big time college athletes feel entitled in the first place.

It all starts way before they even get to college.

They're feeling entitled by about age 13 these days if their parents allow them to feel that way.

The hook has been and will continue to be the proverbial "free ride" that every kid and his parents are trying to score from the time their child becomes a teenager.

That's not a broad-brush statement. I'm smart enough to know not every parents of a 13-year old athlete allows him or her to feel "entitled". But it happens a lot more than it should, I think we'd all agree on that.

Louisville's Jeff Walz gave a spirited take on the entitled life of a college athlete last week, but could the schools themselves be the ones starting the whole cycle?

And the promise of a glorious, spotlight-bright four-year experience in college is what everyone is chasing.

I remember quite vividly a conversation I had with a friend of mine two years ago, when my son was seven years old.

"So, you need to get Ethan into a better soccer program," he said. "He needs to be playing travel soccer by the time he's 9 or 10, you know. That's the only way he'll get a look from high school coaches when he's 12 or 13."

"Ummmm, Ethan's in second grade," I replied. "I'm worried about third grade, not 9th grade," I replied.

"Yeah, but, he has to get into club soccer now to start the ball rolling for college," my buddy countered.

"I'm not actually sure Ethan likes soccer enough to even think about that," I countered. "I'm not going to force him to play soccer. If he likes it, great. If not, no big deal."

I remember thinking to myself later that day: "Someone started talking about college with me today and my son is in second grade. Holy cow..."

That's also how the whole college recruiting process begins. When a boy or girl turns 12 or 13 and they're "serious" about a sport, mom and dad start seeing that college scholarship in the offing and go to any lengths possible to try and get their child "the best" of everything.

Best team.

Best coach.

Best equipment.

Best personal instruction.

Best, best, best.

And so the "entitled" feeling begins for the young man or young woman. They're now living in sports privilege, being groomed by their parents to become a "special athlete" in just a few years time.

Imagine how you'd feel when, at age 30, a rival employer discreetly reaches out to you and pursues your services with promises of a $25,000 raise, a new company car, an upgraded 401K program and other perks and benefits your current company doesn't pride. You're an adult, capable of reasoning and deduction -- and imagine the cloud nine feeling you'd have if that scenario was presented to you.

Now, take a 15-year old kid who is being chased around by a college, or multiple colleges and imagine what he/she says to himself: "If these schools want me, I must be pretty daggone special."

They're not considering the four years of hard work, the lost summers, the lack of a social life, not being able to have a part-time job to supplement their meager lifestyle...they're just thinking that "Coach Smith wants me really bad".

And they like the attention and the feeling that comes with colleges pursuing them.

Something else is happening these days at the college level that's also increasing that entitlement aura with young athletes.

Colleges are now routinely offering 10th and 11th graders scholarships. And they're getting accepted, albeit "under the table" until the official signing period commences.

How on earth is a high school coach supposed to "coach" a sophomore who just told Syracuse -- for example -- that he's going there to play lacrosse in 2019?

When you say to him, "Run that play or else", he might easily reply, "You know what, I'm good. Just sit me on the bench if you're going to be that way with me. I'll leave you some tickets at the will call window when I'm playing for Syracuse in the national championship game in three years."

Jeff Walz was right.

College athletes have an enormous sense of entitlement.

Not all of them have that large-head-can't-fit-through-the-door syndrome, mind you. There are still a few good eggs left out there. But by and large, the college locker room is filled to the brim with kids who think they're owed something right from the get-go because, well, they were singled out at 13 years old and praised to the high heavens when, in fact, they weren't really capable of emotionally handling that sort of treatment.

And these days, those kids are being corrupted by a society who tells them "you're not getting a good enough deal in college", providing them with yet another reason to believe they're -- here's that word again -- "entitled" to more than they're already receiving.

This isn't really about "participation trophies", "youth coaches" or any of that other stuff. There are two types of youth athletes today. Kids, like my son, who enjoy sports, play sports and have not yet decided if they're really all that gung-ho about taking sports ultra-seriously. And, kids who get pushed and prodded into chasing their sports dream at an early age because their parents know if the stars line up right, they might get $120,000 worth of college tuition thrown their way.

In other words, you're either just playing, or you're a player.

I understood what Walz was trying to say last week. His message, essentially, centered on the work ethic of his girls. He made the simple deduction -- and perhaps rightfully so -- that his girls didn't want to put in the work required because they didn't see a reward in the end that was worthy of their increased effort.

They wanted the reward first -- or the promise of it -- and then, and only then, would they decide if the required effort was worth it all.

That sort of attitude certainly connects with today's "youth", and, in particular "millenials" who think something is owed to them for reasons no one has really yet figured out.

Here's a fact: College athletics would be MUCH better if athletic scholarships didn't exist. If you want to see exciting, "old school" college sports, go take in a DIII football, basketball or lacrosse game. You'll see "real sports" there. And not one of those kids got $33,000 worth of tuition money because they could throw a football or hit a baseball better than the other kids.

The easy fix for college sports? Give college athletes two options: You can take the scholarship and do it the "traditional" way, meaning you play sports and in return the school gives you a free education. Or -- the athlete can choose to pay for their own education, the way the rest of the great unwashed pays for their education. You'd then give them some sort of reasonable salary (depending on their year in school, 8K as a freshman, $12k as sophomore, etc.) for playing on the team, and they'd be getting a piece of the pie, so to speak.

There are holes in that theory, I'm sure, but the concept is fairly simple to understand. You pay your own way, put in the work, and get what you get out of it based on how well you do, either in the classroom or on the playing field.

And we're all smart enough to know that colleges would simply funnel donors in the direction of their preferred players anyway, upping their "school salary" from 16K as a junior to $44K once help came in from the local sugar daddy who sweetens the pot for the best players.

Once again, who is ultimately to blame? The colleges. The players participate in the sleaziness too, as do their parents. But if the colleges could control themselves, the kids wouldn't be so entitled in the first place.

One thing for certain: It's time to stop giving 12 year olds, 15 year olds and 19 year old athletes preferential treatment. They not only don't deserve it, they're not mature enough to figure out why it's being given to them and what they need to do on their end to "complete the partnership".

The colleges would probably be thrilled to do away with athletic scholarships. It's one less thing they'd have to worry about, compliance wise, and they could finally stop hearing these kids and their parents bellyaching about the imbalance of the school's revenue stream vs. what their son or daughter gets from the school. Oddly enough, it was those same parents who sold their kids' soul when he or she was 12 or 13 who now wants to complain about "the school making all that money" off of their athletic programs.

Easy solution: Everyone pays the freight and let the chips fall where they may. Or, here's a novel idea: Just go get a job out of high school if you're not the college type.

One of the things that has gradually happened over the years in this country is a sea-change in the way 20-year olds see "life". These days, they're upset that everything isn't on a silver platter for them when they're 21 years old.

News flash: It's not supposed to be easy. You're supposed to be learning how to deal with the world around you. It should be hard, in fact. There's nothing wrong with getting a little tougher, both mentally and spiritually.

"Discipline is not the enemy of enthusiasm".

Kids today think it's unfair that becoming an adult isn't a cakewalk. They've picked that up, in part, because things have come easy to them and they just assume it's always going to be that way.

Jeff Walz wasn't wrong about college athletes and their sense of entitlement. But he might have been the wrong messenger.

It's tough listening to a women's college basketball coach who makes $775,000 a year tell anyone about the dangers of "entitlement". With all due respect to women's college basketball and their limited revenue stream, paying the coach three quarters of a million dollars is laughably absurd.

Then again, it's all absurd.

Paying the football coach at (insert school here) $6 million is patently out-of-whack.

Having donors put up $100 million to make the stadium or arena better is about as ass-backwards as it gets, but it happens every year.

Chasing some kid when he or she is 15 years old and promising them a starting role at Alabama or Florida State or Clemson in three years is beyond silly.

Promising airline flights, hotel rooms and any other "chicken feed" perks that parents negotiate as part of the deal is also absurd.

And giving someone a free four-year education and then listening to him or her complain about how they're being mistreated is the worst of it all. It's a free country, son. If you don't like the way you're treated at Ohio State, go somewhere else.

There's always another school ready to cut a deal with you.

Maybe even Louisville's women's basketball team.


i don't do it much, but yesterday i did it


A personal note from Drew --

Something that only happens two or three times a year happened on Tuesday and it occurred on my watch.

I removed a series of comments at #DMD.

And, like I always do anytime I have to take those steps, I come here today with an explanation, since it's consistently been my policy to publish any and all comments from #DMD readers.

My explanation will be the same as it was back in March when I had to delete a handful of comments.

When the topic of the comments section isn't at all related to the content on the website, but rather they morph into the commenters picking fights with other commenters, they are of no value. Yes, that's me making that judgment, but someone has to do it, and since I get up at 5 am every day to publish the site, I guess I'm allowed to make that call.

I will stress, like I always do, that I value any and all contributors and commenters here. If anything is published at #DMD that you agree with and you'd like to comment, feel free. If anything is published at #DMD that you don't agree with and you'd like to comment, feel free.

If you have a specific gripe with me, either personally or professionally, just send me an e-mail (drew@drewsmorningdish.com) and have at it. I'll answer your e-mail, guaranteed.

Coming to #DMD to gripe, complain, bitch, moan, whine -- about other people who are commenting -- is certainly not doing me any good. It's not making the site any better. It's not impressing my corporate partners.

That's loosely the barometer I use anytime I face a question about whether or not something should go up on the site, be published, or left up for all to read: "Does this make the site better? And will it impress the corporate partners who market their products with #DMD and expect high quality content every day?" If the answer there is "no", the information is of no value to me or #DMD.

This much remains true at #DMD. You can always critique or criticize anyone's opinion that contributes daily content here. That is, after all, part of the "give and take" that goes with writing something that gets published in a public forum. Some people are going to like it, some people aren't going to like it, some will make rational, well-reasoned critiques and others will just come along to throw salt in your eyes while the refs back is turned, the way Mr. Fuji did back in the 1980's.

This is not about removing "controversial" comments or those that are negative.

This is about a dozen people sitting around going back and forth at one another yesterday and each one complaining about the other and greatly reducing the quality of the comments section and the website in general.

Someone mentioned yesterday it's "censorship" when I remove comments.

You can define it however you like. I've said from the start, back in 2014, that I'd have "comments" here as long as there wasn't any foul language and as long as the comments were about the topics of the site or any other sports question/topic that would be of interest to the general readership.

A bunch of keyboard warriors fighting amongst themselves about each other? That does nothing to improve the quality of the engagement here and is NOT what I pride myself in, for sure.

You can like that, respect that or not like that and not respect that. That, of course, is up to you.

I love when I read engagement from readers in the comments section about the content at #DMD, no matter if those words are positive in nature or critical of the writer or his/her opinion(s). That's why we're here, remember: Sports - Insight - Opinion. But those opinions need to be central to the content on the site.

If you can't come here and add a comment that is germane to the topic(s) at hand, please don't comment anymore. If your sole reason for commenting is to snipe at other people who are commenting, you're of no value to the site. I'm sorry to be that blunt, but that's the truth.

As for yesterday's mass-deletion of roughly a dozen comments, I didn't really sit down and read each one word-by-word to see who was taking who to task or what the finger-pointing was all about. I didn't go in, search for your e-mail address, and then contact you directly to chastise you. I just deleted anything and everything I saw that wasn't connected to the content of the site. A commenter bickering about another commenter? Delete.

Oh, and please note I didn't say you have to come here and make a "positive" comment every day. I don't care if you're positive or negative. I just care that you're contributing to the engagement of that day's topic and that your commentary is about content on THE SITE, not the other people commenting on the site.

And it's here where I will applaud the 90% of you -- maybe more like 95% -- who come here on a regular basis and add worthwhile commentary and opinions. This is a very small problem that seems to creep up about every six months or so. I have to come around, delete a few comments, face a couple of dopey "censorship" allegations, and clean up the mess a little bit. It's part of MY job and I do it with some hesitation because my core belief is that everyone is entitled to have their voice be heard (or seen).

But enough is enough. Yesterday was "enough".

I want you all to continue to visit the site, yes. And I want you to continue to comment on the topics of the day, without any regard for whether you're positive or negative. More than anything, I just want you to make #DMD better.

If you can't do that, we might have to put you on waivers.

Thanks to all of you who continue to visit Drew's Morning Dish. I appreciate all of you. A very small minority of our devoted readers just need a refresher course in what we're all about here.

DF

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from the desk of
brien jackson

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


to trumbo, or not to trumbo?


With the Winter Meetings in full swing, we're getting a better scope of the landscape of the MLB offseason thanks to frequent leaks of negotiating stances by teams and agents.

For the Orioles, that includes the first real bits of news on Mark Trumbo, as we've learned both that the Orioles have made the reigning home run king a four year contract offer...and that it apparently doesn't come very close to meeting the slugger's demands.

According to multiple reports, Trumbo is asking for somewhere in the neighborhood of $75-80 million and a full no trade clause. It's a reasonable starting point for someone coming off a season in which they hit 47 home runs, and also a mark the Orioles shouldn't get anywhere near agreeing to.

One really good season shouldn't be worth a 4-year no-trade free agent deal.

It's an odd thing to say about someone who just hit 47 home runs, but Trumbo simply isn't an elite caliber player, and isn't even really clearly in the top echelon of this year's available pick-ups.

He was basically cut by the Mariners last offseason, with the Orioles trading for him before he most certainly would have been non-tendered, and despite a promising start to his career in Anaheim he's generally been a pretty disappointing hitter.

His career slashline, even after last season, is just .253/.308/.473, and once you get past the home run spike, his numbers last year weren't that far off the pace at .256/.316/.533. In other words, if you wouldn't have given $15-20 million per season at this point last year, you're essentially staking the entire case for keeping him on the home run jump.

And especially considering that he's a huge liability in the field, even if Trumbo reaches his career average of 34 home runs and stays in line with his other typical numbers, you end up with a drastically overpaid player who wants the ability to prevent you from shipping that obligation out of town.

If the situation were dire that might be one thing, but it's most definitely not. The Orioles still have a very potent offense, for one thing, but the market is flooded with good hitters and solid pieces in the outfield. Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista are better bets to fill a hole at the DH spot, if not for the Orioles then for some other potential suitor who would then presumably be out on Trumbo, thereby increasing the Orioles' leverage.

The Birds were linked to Carlos Gomez, who's coming off of a disappointing tenure with Houston but was an MVP caliber player in Milwaukee. Unfortunately, Texas scooped him up on Tuesday.

And then there's my personal preference: A DH platoon of Pedro Alvarez and the National League's reigning home run champ Chris Carter. With Alvarez (.251/.326/.522 vs. RHP) and Carter (.224/.338/.537) splitting the job you'd get similar production to what Trumbo produced last year, at roughly 60% the asking price. The complicating factor would be devoting two roster spots to DH-guys of course, but the point is that Trumbo's limited skill set makes it pretty easy to replace him on the cheap if you work hard enough at it.

The cautionary tale here is Chris Davis, the team's own $161 million slugger. Despite hitting 100 home runs between 2013 and 2015 (ignoring his awful 2014 for now), the guy who might be the premier home run hitter in the game never saw a market materialize last winter, primarily because there's a glut of good first basemen in the league right now.

The Orioles ended up paying well above market for marketing and fan services purposes, but it's pretty clear in hindsight that they'd have been better served playing Trumbo at first base and spending the difference on an outfielder or a better starting pitcher than Yovani Gallardo.

Which is not to say that Trumbo should be written off entirely. But unlike last season, management needs to recognize that they have all the leverage...and use it. If they're worried about making a fan pleasing move, they'd be much better off opening up the wallet to extend Manny Machado or Chris Tillman.

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four quarters of
college football


Contributed by #DMD's College Football Reporter
KEN GREELEY


First Quarter: Indisputable - Last weekend, conference championship games brought the college football regular season to an end. After selection Sunday, the bowls and playoff season starts anew.

The championship games for the top two teams, Alabama and Clemson, were fair representations of their seasons. As the #1 team in the country, the Crimson Tide won the SEC championship easily over Florida, lead by a dominate defense and an effective offense.

Clemson survived a challenge from Virginia Tech to capture the ACC title. Nothing has come easily for the Tigers this year – seven games decided by less than a touchdown. But they finished with an 11-1 record and a conference title and were rewards with the #2 playoff seed.

Second Quarter: Stands As Called – The playoff committee had two remaining spots left to fill, but arguably three teams with qualified resumes – Ohio State, Washington, and Penn State.

The committee showed their hand last week when ranking Ohio State as the #2 team, even though the Buckeyes were not going to win their conference. Ohio State was basically another version of Clemson, without a conference title (a single loss by less than three points, good strength of schedule, narrow victories, several quality wins.)

Washington was the only other one-loss team and capped their resume by winning the title of the fourth-best conference, the Pac12. Despite the Huskies’ weak out-of-conference schedule, the committee could not exclude the Pac12 for a second consecutive year when it had a viable option this year.

In the end, the committee rounded out the playoffs with Ohio State and Washington as the #3 and #4 seeds respectively by taking the four teams with one or less losses. (Sorry but Western Michigan does not deserve to be in playoff discussions).

Third Quarter: Under Review – What about Penn State? Apparently including a two-loss team (replacing Ohio State) or having multiple teams from one conference (replacing Washington) was not a path the committee wanted to take.

Even though by selecting Ohio State, this year’s playoff includes the first non-conference winner in the three-year history of the playoffs. But the Buckeyes lost to currently the hottest team in America (not named Alabama).

Penn State has won nine straight by an average margin of victory of 20 points in the toughest conference. The Nittany Lions finished strong by putting 38 points on the fourth-best defense (Wisconsin, allowing 15.5 points per game) in a come-from-behind victory for the Big Ten championship.

Conversely, in four of Ohio State’s last six wins, the margin of victory was 7, 4, 1, and 3 and needed overtime in two of the wins. Penn State was definitely the better team over the second half of the season.

Fourth Quarter: Visual Evidence – Gone are the days of the BCS system where a computer calculated who would meet for the national title. The current selection system consists of a 13-member panel which allows for human interpretation to go along with all the on-field metrics.

But does the committee really factor not quantifiable information such as:

- Road wins – Winning on the road is hard, and should count for something extra. Penn State did not have a quality road win this year.

- Bye weeks – Preparing for an opponent with an extra week to plan and heal helps. Ohio State played Wisconsin and Penn State, back-to-back weeks, on the road, after each team’s bye week.

- Eye-test – Do member watch the game to see how a team performs and assess the margin of victory. Can most committee members do that with their current jobs? The Nittany Lions passed the eye-test over the last six weeks.

The system is better than it’s ever been, partially due to the expansion of the playoff field to four. But just like prior systems, teams cannot leave it up to selection process.

Penn State lost one too many games, left it in the committee’s hands, and will just need to be happy with its fifth-place finish in a four-team contest. The Rose Bowl is a great consolation prize!

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please help us next tuedsay and thursday with your winter apparel donations!


For those of you needing a little extra incentive to dig through those closets and storage spaces for your no-longer-worn winter apparel, we have it for you!

I'm excited to announce that the Baltimore Blast is joining with us as a partner in the 2016 "Winter Apparel Drive, presented by Jerry's Toyota".

Thanks to our friends at the Blast for partnering with #DMD for our holiday winter apparel drive! Bring us ten items of winter clothing and you'll get two free Blast tickets for their January 14th home game.

For those that might not know, my old radio pal Glenn Clark and I have been doing this for six years now, collecting winter apparel for men, women and children and donating it to the fine people at Helping Up Mission in downtown Baltimore.

This year, we have three public drop-off locations coming up in December, and we're thrilled to have the Blast joining us to help you "dig a little deeper" for that winter apparel.

Anyone bringing us ten (10) articles of winter clothing gets two free tickets to the January 14 Blast home game when they host the Harrisburg Heat at the Royal Farms Arena.

What's an "article" of winter clothing, you ask? Easy: Anything that can be worn in the winter. Coats, jackets, pullovers, sweatshirts, winter hats, gloves, socks, boots, shoes.

And please know this is NOT just restricted to men's clothing, even though it's going to be donated to Helping Up Mission, which is an "all male" facility.

Many of the guys use the women's or children's clothing for holiday gifts to their loved ones. It's a very touching scene down there to see men so excited about finding something to give to a family member or friend when they otherwise wouldn't have been able to do so on their own.

Your participation is so appreciated by them! And we'll be video taping it all and presenting it here for you at #DMD so you can see first-hand what it's like on December 20 (donation day) at Helping Up Mission.

X
Our friends at Jerry's Toyota will once again serve as the title sponsor of our Winter Apparel Drive. Visit Jerry's Toyota at 8001 Belair Road from 3 pm to 6 pm on December 15 and donate ten items and receive two free Blast tickets!

Here are our three public drop-off dates where you can get the two free Blast tickets.

Tuesday, December 13, Glory Days Grill on East Joppa Road in Towson. 5 pm to 8 pm (free appetizers for those who come out that night!)

Thursday, December 15, Jerry's Toyota on Belair Road in Fullerton. 3 pm to 6 pm (free Royal Farms coffee for those who come out that night!)

Monday, December 19, Chick fil-A of Nottingham Square in White Marsh, 5 pm to 8 pm (a very special guest will join us that night...)

All we need now are your gently used pieces of winter clothing! Please take some time to go through your closets, dressers and storage spaces and give us what you no longer use. You will be making a big difference in someone's life this holiday season.

And...you'll be going to see the Baltimore Blast!!! Absolutely free!!!


Tuesday
December 6
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIX
Issue 6
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


flacco, mornhinweg tiff might be the turning point


Admittedly, a lot has to happen between now and Super Bowl Sunday in Houston, but if the Ravens somehow fight through the crowded AFC playoff race and make it back to the big game, the turning point in the 2016 season might wind up being an argument between Joe Flacco and Marty Mornhinweg.

It wouldn’t be the first time Flacco challenged the team’s offensive coordinator, and probably won’t be the last, either.

There was that now-famous moment during Baltimore's 2012 season when Flacco and then-offensive coordinator Cam Camerson had a somewhat heated exchange on the sideline during a game and Flacco barked, "I'm not trying to argue with you. I'm just telling you what we need to do."

We all know who won that little battle. And we also know who went on to win the Super Bowl that season, too.

Following the 19-14 win over Cincinnati two weeks ago, Flacco was rather “public” with his post-game thoughts that the offense suddenly stopped being aggressive in the second half after jumping out to a 16-3 lead.

Mornhinweg, to his credit, didn’t just let the quarterback spout off without rebuttal, addressing Flacco’s criticism during a meeting last week and putting some of the onus on the 9-year veteran.

”Maybe we’d be more aggressive if you’d stop throwing the ball to the other team.”

I don’t know that Mornhinweg said that, exactly, but he apparently told the quarterback that he was part of the problem, which wasn’t exactly stretching the truth.

Could an early December "airing of the grievances" between Marty Mornhinweg and Joe Flacco be the catalyst for a late-season Ravens offensive resurgence?

And Flacco, to his credit, didn’t just bark back about making $22 million a year and being elite and all that other jazz.

It was, as John Harbaugh likes to say, “a good exchange of information”, which really means, “an argument where no one got their feelings hurt”.

Oh, and in case you missed it this past Sunday, the Ravens came out looking like a modern-day version of Air Coryell and stayed that way most of the afternoon in a 38-6 pasting of the Dolphins. Flacco was the star, producing his best game of the season.

Give credit to Mornhinweg. And Flacco.

And hats off, too, to John Harbaugh, who has been criticized in the past for not allowing the players to “have a voice”.

Rather than scuffle over who had more power – the coach, or the player – Mornhinweg and Flacco got into it, said what was on their mind(s), and then figured out how to move forward and – here come Harbaugh’s two favorite words – “get better”.

Flacco is an interesting guy. He doesn’t lack for confidence, that’s for sure.

And whether or not you think he’s elite, Flacco believes he’s among the best in the business.

One thing Joe wants, every game, is to have the team’s fate be put in his hands. Literally.

Some guys don’t want to take the last shot with five seconds left.

Flacco isn’t that guy.

Not only does he want to win, badly, but he wants to be the player with the responsibility of producing that victory.

He hasn’t had a great season to date. There’s nothing about his numbers that are deceiving or telling a different story. But Flacco is nothing if not resilient.

He thinks, for better or worse, the team is going to win if he’s allowed to dictate the offensive system and the pace of their efforts.

Flacco typically only thinks in one direction: Forward. Make that “fast forward”.

If he controlled the gameplan, the team would throw the ball 70 times and run it zero times.

Like all great athletes, he wants the game to revolve around him.

Mornhinweg just needed to gently remind Joe that confidence is all well and good, but throwing the ball to the other team more than you throw it in the end zone to your team isn’t the tonic for success.

Once the two figured out a way to compromise and prepare for the Dolphins, the rest of it fell into place.

This episode also wasn't the first time Flacco used the confines of a team meeting room to air his issues and get others on the same page. There was that time in 2012 after a thorough pounding at Houston when safety Bernard Pollard was whining about having to practice in pads on the day after the game and Flacco stood up in the team meeting and said, "Will you give it a rest, man? The defense just gave up 43 points down there. Yeah, the offense sucked, too, but you're acting like you guys were great yesterday. Let's put the pads on and go practice."

Flacco's never been afraid to speak his mind, that's for sure.

Cameron, Pollard and, now, Mornhinweg have all faced Joe's wrath at some point.

It sure did work out well in 2012 when the quarterback got pissy with a couple of people.

Let's see if does the same thing for the Ravens' fortunes in 2016.

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don't forget about our quarterback poll


Today's the final day to vote on our #DMD quarterback poll, so make sure you get in there and cast your vote.

Unlike the situation with our Presidential election, we promise not to have a recount or anything else like that once the final numbers are tabulated later today.

If you didn't see yesterday's story about Tom Brady -- which prompted the poll in the first place -- just scroll down and check it out, then cast your vote for the best QB of the last 30 years.


 Drew's Morning Dish

#DMD Poll

Question: What is the Ravens biggest problem thus far in 2017?
Flacco and his QB play
Lack of receivers and playmakers
Key injuries
Offensive and defensive schemes
Harbaugh and his coaching
Name
Email address


the nfl's best six and worst six


We're closing in on some season-ending awards here at #DMD. With four weeks left, there's still plenty of room to decide who ranks as the NFL's best team, and little doubt at all who might wind up being the worst team.

The Browns didn't lose last Sunday. That had to be a weird feeling in Cleveland yesterday, huh? No loss to pour over and criticize.

Let's get to the rankings and see where everyone stands through 13 weeks of the NFL season.


The Worst Six

27. LOS ANGELES RAMS -- Nothing sums up the Rams' season like head coach Jeff Fisher searching in his left jacket pocket for the challenge flag during Sunday's loss at New England and not being able to find it in there. If Jared Goff turns out to be the real deal, the Rams might not be bottom feeders for long, but Fisher isn't exactly Vince Lombardi, you know.

28. CHICAGO BEARS -- I moved the Bears up because they won a game -- albeit against the 49'ers -- and the Jets were absolutely horrendous last night at home vs. a very mediocre Indianapolis team. Chicago's no good. We all know that. But at the very least, they're now ranked ahead of the Jets.

29. NEW YORK JETS -- Every time I watch the Jets get blasted by someone -- like last night's 41-10 home loss to the Colts -- I can't help but shake my head at the thought that those same Jets beat the Ravens back on October 23. How on earth did that happen? Todd Bowles is probably in the December of his Jets coaching career.

30. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS -- I'm still not 100% sure what would happen if the Jaguars, Browns and 49'ers all played a home-and-home round robin series to truly determine which of those three teams really IS the worst one in the league. It might very well by the Jaguars. Blake Bortles has more career pick-sixes than he does wins. That's not a good stat if you're a quarterback.

31. SAN FRANCISCO 49'ERS -- It's so bad in San Francisco that benching Colin Kaepernick for Blaine Gabbert is somehow seen as a potential upgrade.

32. CLEVELAND BROWNS -- We all know Cleveland's the worst team, but are they going 0-16? That's the only question about the Browns that concerns anyone at this point. Much like we marvel at a team that has the chance to go 16-0, we should also look at the Browns with a certain amount of interest as they pursue a winless season.


The Best Six

6. DETROIT LIONS-- That was hard to type, believe me. The "Detroit Lions" are really the 6th best team in the NFL? Well, they're 8-4. But this position in the rankings could be very temporary. Their remaining schedule (Bears, Cowboys, Giants, Packers) will likely leave them with nine wins, maybe ten. Right now, though, they're playing awfully well offensively.

5. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS -- The Seahawks remain the league's strangest "good" team. One week they lose at Tampa Bay, 14-5, the next week they throttle the defending NFC champion Panthers, 40-7. Granted, the loss was away and the win was at home, but Seattle has been very up and down all season. They're still the best bet to win at Dallas in the playoffs if that match-up takes place.

4. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -- They've pulled two straight wins out of the magician's hat, but a win is a win. We'll see what they're made of this Thursday night when they host the Raiders in Kansas City. That game either makes them a division title contender or shifts them back into the wild card chase.

3. OAKLAND RAIDERS -- If their defense was better, they might even be ranked #1 here. But giving up 24, 28, 32 points a week is going to burn them at some point, most likely in the playoffs when they face a solid defensive team who is somehow able to slow down that Oakland offense. Maybe they can't be slowed down? Right now, that possibility exists.

2. DALLAS COWBOYS-- If they continue to win and get home field advantage in the post-season, the only team that stands in their path would be Seattle. No one else in the NFC can beat them in Dallas. They'll get a real test this Sunday night when the play the Giants in the Meadowlands.

1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -- Make no mistake about it, they're a different team without Rob Gronkowski. That's not to say they've become vulnerable or anything like that, but the road to the Super Bowl definitely became a little more uphill for them with Gronkowski now out for the rest of the season.

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avoid the four-letter network and come here for the good stuff


How is it possible the Nationals are about to get Chris Sale and teams like the Orioles don't have enough to package together to make that deal? If the Nats do finalize the much-discussed trade today, that would give them Sale, Scherzer and Strasburg -- in some order -- at the top of their rotation. That's pretty scary stuff.

Really? The Nationals are about to acquire Chris Sale? Don't they already have enough quality starting pitching in DC? Apparently not.

The Orioles apparently made Mark Trumbo a 4-year offer a few weeks ago and he promptly turned it down. No telling what the money was, but Trumbo must think he's going to command big bucks on the open market and decided to see who was out there with money to burn. I wouldn't be shocked to see the Blue Jays sign Trumbo.

And please tell me these reports of a Brad Brach for Curtis Granderson deal aren't true. Granderson is a soon-to-be 36 year old outfielder who, in his prime, was a nice player to have on your team. But his best days are behind him and Brach is a very competent middle relief specialist for the Birds. I know, I know, "anyone can throw an inning of good baseball here and there", but Brach has been outstanding for the last couple of years. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

That Capitals offense continues to sputter and spurt, but they broke their 3-game losing streak last night with a 3-2 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres.

Marcus Johansson scored twice for the Caps, including the game-winner, but Washington's ability to put the puck in the net has become troublesome over the last month.

In their last 13 games, Washington has scored TWO goals or less (in regulation) in 10 of those contests. That's pretty lame, particularly for a team supposedly loaded with offensive hotshots.

Jay Beagle scored his 5th goal of the season last night against Buffalo. That equals the current goal-scoring total of Burakovsky and Kuznetsov -- combined. Those two have five goals between them. Heck, Johansson (11 goals) only trails Alex Ovechkin (12 goals) by one goal in that department.

The MIAA high school basketball season kicked off last night and #14 Mount Carmel pulled off the season's first upset with a 77-70 win at #5 Calvert Hall.

Terry Nolan, Jr. had 30 points for Mount Carmel, who trailed by seven at the half and by as many as eight points on several occasions in the third quarter.

But a 24-6 run late in the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter brought them back to take a 10-point lead with six minutes left in the game. The Cougars outscored Calvert Hall in the fourth quarter, 31-14.

Brendan Adams led Calvert Hall with 21 points in the loss. Mount Carmel hosts #8 St. Frances on Wednesday night, while Calvert Hall will visit McDonogh on Wednesday.

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our holiday winter apparel drive will now officially be a "blast"


For those of you needing a little extra incentive to dig through those closets and storage spaces for your no-longer-worn winter apparel, we have it for you!

I'm excited to announce that the Baltimore Blast is joining with us as a partner in the 2016 "Winter Apparel Drive, presented by Jerry's Toyota".

Thanks to our friends at the Blast for partnering with #DMD for our holiday winter apparel drive! Bring us ten items of winter clothing and you'll get two free Blast tickets for their January 14th home game.

For those that might not know, my old radio pal Glenn Clark and I have been doing this for six years now, collecting winter apparel for men, women and children and donating it to the fine people at Helping Up Mission in downtown Baltimore.

This year, we have three public drop-off locations coming up in December, and we're thrilled to have the Blast joining us to help you "dig a little deeper" for that winter apparel.

Anyone bringing us ten (10) articles of winter clothing gets two free tickets to the January 14 Blast home game when they host the Harrisburg Heat at the Royal Farms Arena.

What's an "article" of winter clothing, you ask? Easy: Anything that can be worn in the winter. Coats, jackets, pullovers, sweatshirts, winter hats, gloves, socks, boots, shoes.

And please know this is NOT just restricted to men's clothing, even though it's going to be donated to Helping Up Mission, which is an "all male" facility.

Many of the guys use the women's or children's clothing for holiday gifts to their loved ones. It's a very touching scene down there to see men so excited about finding something to give to a family member or friend when they otherwise wouldn't have been able to do so on their own.

Your participation is so appreciated by them! And we'll be video taping it all and presenting it here for you at #DMD so you can see first-hand what it's like on December 20 (donation day) at Helping Up Mission.

X
Our friends at Jerry's Toyota will once again serve as the title sponsor of our Winter Apparel Drive. Visit Jerry's Toyota at 8001 Belair Road from 3 pm to 6 pm on December 15 and donate ten items and receive two free Blast tickets!

Here are our three public drop-off dates where you can get the two free Blast tickets.

Tuesday, December 13, Glory Days Grill on East Joppa Road in Towson. 5 pm to 8 pm (free appetizers for those who come out that night!)

Thursday, December 15, Jerry's Toyota on Belair Road in Fullerton. 3 pm to 6 pm (free Royal Farms coffee for those who come out that night!)

Monday, December 19, Chick fil-A of Nottingham Square in White Marsh, 5 pm to 8 pm (a very special guest will join us that night...)

All we need now are your gently used pieces of winter clothing! Please take some time to go through your closets, dressers and storage spaces and give us what you no longer use. You will be making a big difference in someone's life this holiday season.

And...you'll be going to see the Baltimore Blast!!! Absolutely free!!!


Monday
December 5
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIX
Issue 5
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


that was some stinky fish in baltimore yesterday


I've seen my fair share of rotten visiting teams in Baltimore over the years.

Some of them were bad teams who played bad, and some were thought-to-be good teams who came in and stunk up the joint.

As I told you yesterday here at #DMD, the Dolphins aren't a good team.

And they proved it with that 38-6 shellacking they took at the hands of the Ravens on Sunday.

The Ravens are somewhere between decent and good, although their tendency is to play "up" at home and "down" on the road. That's how most mediocre teams piece together a season, mind you. They play well enough at home to win most of the time and don't perform adequately enough on the road.

That's who the Ravens are in 2016, I think.

"I'm trying to find my haters up there in the stands but I don't see any of them."

But they're still good enough to be better than Miami, and potentially even good enough to win the AFC North.

Someone mentioned on Twitter yesterday "Let's not run up the score on these guys, we might have to see them again in the playoffs."

Phooey on that, I'd love to see Miami come bouncing back in here in early January. They'd get smashed again.

Opponent no matter, that was about as well as the Ravens can play on Sunday.

And if the Baltimore offensive line can continue to protect Joe Flacco the way they have over the last three weeks, there's no telling what kind of roll #5 might be able to get on between now and the end of January.

I don't want to get the cart before the horse, but Sunday's performance from Flacco looked eerily like the play he produced in the 2013 playoff campaign, when he carved up four opponents in succession to help the Ravens win their second Super Bowl.

You can argue whether or not Flacco is "elite" all you want, but the kind of day he had on Sunday vs. Miami is one not many quarterbacks in the league can deliver. It was a terrific performance, period.

When he gets offensive line support, Flacco is dangerous. When he's running around for his life, he's not all that good.

It's now a four-game season.

And the Steelers helped themselves big time yesterday with a win over the Giants, who came in winners of six straight. Pittsburgh is now 7-5, with remaining games at Buffalo, at Cincinnati, home vs. Baltimore and home vs. Cleveland.

It's likely going to come down to that December 25th game at Pittsburgh.

There's still a lot of football left, though, and it's possible that the Ravens and Steelers could both finish 10-6 and one of them makes the post-season as a Wild Card.

I say "Bring on the Dolphins again" if that's possible.

We'd be on to the next round of the post-season if the stars line up right and Miami makes another visit to Baltimore this season.

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201 career wins lifts brady to top rung on nfl qb ladder


It’s an argument without a true “right” answer, but if you believe in numbers, Tom Brady is the best quarterback in NFL history.

He’s won more games than any other quarterback. Ever.

Some would say that’s the number that makes him the best.

201 career wins.

This has to be one of the hardest-to-stomach sports pictures ever taken, but you can't argue with rings.

More than Peyton. More than Favre. More than Elway or Marino or Montana, even.

More than everyone.

And unlike baseball, where stat nerds have won over the last decade and eliminated a pitcher’s win/loss record as a method for determining his greatness, they haven’t yet done that to quarterbacks in the NFL.

The more games you win, the better you are.

It’s that simple, really.

And no one has won more than Brady.

Oh, and it took him 31 fewer games than Peyton to reach 200 wins.

Here are a couple of impressive notes about Brady’s 17-year career that help quantify just how great he’s been:

Brady’s career record against the AFC East is 68-19. That’s impressive, but the division hasn’t exactly been a tower of strength over the last dozen seasons.

Guess what? Brady’s lifetime winning percentage in the NFC North (.875), AFC South (.846), NFC South (.813) and AFC North (.800) is better than his winning percentage in his own division (.782).

In other words, he hasn’t only feasted on the weaklings of the AFC East.

And Brady’s greatness isn’t connected only to playing in Foxborough, where his home winning percentage is a staggering (.857). He’s compiled a .675 winning percentage on the road, which is better than the HOME winning percentage of guys like Favre (.674), Brees (.622) and Warner (.596).

Let that soak in for a second -- Brady has been better ON THE ROAD than Favre was AT HOME.

You probably know this, but Brady has four Super Bowl rings. And if not for a remarkable catch by David Tyree and a once-a-year drop from Wes Welker, he’d have six of them and an unblemished mark in the big game.

No one has ever played at the level of Tom Brady.

Unitas fans will bristle at that comment. So, too, will the folks who think Montana was the best ever. Marino, Elway, Brees – all great in their own right, but not a match for Brady’s career.

The biggest challenger, Peyton Manning won 200 career games. And he played about 40% of his career games indoors, don’t forget.

Peyton Manning also had (Hall of Famer) Marvin Harrison and (Hall of Very Good) Reggie Wayne.

Brady threw to 15 half-scrubs you don’t remember, plus the aforementioned Welker and one season of Randy Moss.

Rob Gronkowski has helped him, sure, but Manning had a decent tight end too, if you remember a guy named Dallas Clark.

Short story? Brady won more games than Manning and with far less help.

He’s won more games than anyone else, for that matter.

No one’s done it better than #12.

Hate to say it, but that’s the truth.

You get your chance to vote on Brady's greatness below. Is he the best of the last 30 years? Cast your vote below. We'll publish the results in the Wednesday edition of #DMD.


 Drew's Morning Dish

#DMD Poll

Question: What is the Ravens biggest problem thus far in 2017?
Flacco and his QB play
Lack of receivers and playmakers
Key injuries
Offensive and defensive schemes
Harbaugh and his coaching
Name
Email address
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Well, Tiger Woods didn't win the Hero World Challenge this weekend, but he caused quite a stir, as Woods finished the event with the second most birdies (24) of any player in the field en route to a 15th place finish and a four round total of 4-under par.

It would have been a much better final score for Woods had he figured out how to play the 18th hole. Woods made double bogey there on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

But the tournament was nothing short of a smashing success for Tiger, who hadn't played a golf tournament since August of 2015. He was rusty, at times sloppy, and seemingly wore down as the weekend rolled on, but that birdie stat -- 24 in four rounds -- will be what he focuses on mostly.

Hideki Matsuyama won the tournament at 18-under par, by the way. I'm not sure anyone was too concerned with that, though. Everyone wanted to see how Tiger would hold up. And he passed the test with flying colors.

The college football playoff schedule was released and it features Alabama vs. Washington and Clemson vs. Ohio State, with the winners facing off in the national title game.

Everyone is bellyaching about Penn State winning the Big Ten and NOT being part of the playoff, while Ohio State didn't even make it to their own conference final and yet they're somehow still in the playoff picture with a chance to win the national championship.

I'm OK with how it all played out. Last I checked, Penn State lost twice. Ohio State lost once. Yes, that loss was at Penn State, but Ohio State dropped one less game than did the Nittany Lions.

The team that has the real beef might be Michigan. They lost at Iowa by a single point and then got half-jobbed at Ohio State when the refs couldn't make the right call in overtime on that 4th and 1 play by the Buckeyes.

Oh, and the Wolverines wallopped Penn State earlier in the season, 49-10.

I thought the Orioles were a solid contender for Matt Holliday, but the former Cardinals outfielder and now likely American League DH signed with the Yankees yesterday for $13 million.

He's precisely the kind of guy Dan Duquette would pursue...someone with limited career shelf-life left who might want one or two more years of play-money and can still hit at a decent enough level.

I thought Holliday was a shoo-in to be in orange and black, but the Yankees snagged him on Sunday.

Rumors in Boston have the Red Sox signing Pedro Alvarez, by the way. If that happens, the O's would need to find a quality left-handed hitter as well this off-season.

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around the nfl in thirty seconds


CHIEFS 29 - FALCONS 28 -- Kansas City is good. Yes, they pulled a bit of a rabbit out of their hat on Sunday with that late 2-game two-point conversion run back by Eric Berry, but K.C. has a solid team and a decent chance to do some damage in the post-season. They host Oakland this Thursday night. I'll be watching.

LIONS 28 - SAINTS 13 -- I'm not sure if this one tells us more about the Lions or Saints, but a road win is a road win, and beating Drew Brees and the Saints in New Orleans is particularly difficult. Detroit has a whopper of a remaining schedule. After an automatic win over the Bears next Sunday, they finish at the Giants, at the Cowboys and home vs. Green Bay.

PATRIOTS 26 - RAMS 10 -- I missed this one in "Show Me The Money", as the Patriots easily handled Los Angeles at Foxborough. If you haven't seen the video of Jeff Fisher looking for the challenge flag in his pocket, please find it today and watch it. It's hilarious. One other key note in this one: Danny Amendola left the stadium on crutches and could miss next Monday night's game with the Ravens.

BRONCOS 20 - JAGUARS 10 -- Another one I missed in "Show Me The Money", thanks to the lousy Jaguars not being able to hang with a Denver team playing your nephew at quarterback, basically. Jacksonville stinks. I don't know if Denver's really any good, but I know the Jaguars are terrible.

PACKERS 21 - TEXANS 13 -- Green Bay is starting to make their move. You heard it here first. Actually, you heard it from Aaron Rodgers first. He said they could win their last six in a row and get in. He might be right. I nailed this one in "Show Me The Money" and got it right in the "Best Bet" category too.

BENGALS 32 - EAGLES 14 -- Philly's season is officially over, which bodes well for the Ravens since the Eagles are coming to town on December 18. The Bengals are scrappy if nothing else. They still don't have A.J. Green or Gio Bernard and they blasted the Eagles.

BEARS 26 - 49'ERS 6 -- The two teams combined for zero pass completions in the first quarter. None. No one threw a complete pass. That's all you need to know.

RAIDERS 38 - BILLS 24 -- I thought I was in good shape when I saw Buffalo was leading this one 17-9. Next thing I know, it's 31-24 in favor of the Raiders. Oakland is VERY legit, even if their defense is somewhat shaky. I missed this in "Show Me The Money". Stinkin' Bills. Thanks a lot, Rex.

STEELERS 24 - GIANTS 14 -- I'm not buying this upgraded, revamped Pittsburgh defense, but they looked good yesterday, that's for sure. Yes, I missed this one too (noticing a theme?). This was a really big win for Pittsburgh as they keep pace with the Ravens in the AFC North.

CARDINALS 31 - REDSKINS 23 -- Somehow, the Cardinals (5-6-1) are still very much alive in the NFC playoff picture. Washington (6-5-1) is, too, but they could have put Arizona out of their misery yesterday and weren't able to do it.

BUCCANEERS 28 - CHARGERS 21 -- Tampa Bay is now 7-5. After starting the season at 1-3, they've reeled off four straight wins here of late and look much stronger than the fading Falcons. And the Bucs play the Saints twice in the last four weeks.

SEAHAWKS 40 - PANTHERS 7 -- The Panthers lost in Oakland last Sunday and then stayed out west all week to face the Seahawks last night in Seattle. Carolina needs to figure out a better way to do it.


Here's my "Show Me The Money" update for the season after going 2-4 yesterday in Week #13.

OVERALL RECORD: 36-42

GAMES INVOLVING THE RAVENS: 6-6

BEST BET OF THE DAY: 6-7


Sunday
December 4
#DMD GAME DAY

Week 13

Volume XXIX
Issue 4
Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins

1:00 PM EST

M&T Bank Stadium
Baltimore, Maryland

Spread: Ravens (-3.5)


we'll learn more about dolphins than ravens today


I have a hunch.

Before you laugh, just remember that I went 5-1 last week here at #DMD, the second time in four weeks I was able to do that.

My hunch?

The Dolphins aren't all that good.

I know, I know -- they're 7-4 and Baltimore is 6-5.

But I'm here to tell you that I think Miami is a bit of a paper tiger.

They've won six straight games, yes. Did you see who they beat in their last four? The Jets, Rams, Chargers and 49'ers. Combined, those teams have 13 wins this season.

Miami comes to town with something to prove today.

Miami running back Jay Ajayi is the key figure to the Dolphins' offense today in Baltimore, as he looks to break out after three straight weeks of 80 yards or less on the ground.

I think they're going home with their tail between their legs.

As you'll see below, I'm taking the Ravens to win easily today.

I'm still not 100% certain that John Harbaugh's team is really any good, but I don't see much in Miami that tells me the Ravens can't handle them this afternoon in Baltimore.

People are going to point to Miami's improved running game and the recent work of Jay Ajayi, but since gaining 529 yards in three straight home games (Pitt, Buff, NYJ), he's managed just 201 yards in the three games that followed.

At home? Ajayi has been outstanding in 2016.

On the road? He hasn't run for more than 79 yards in a game.

Miami's on the road today. And the defense he'll see in Baltimore won't remind him of the Jets, that's for sure.

Oh, and to cover every angle, here it is, pretty simply put: Ryan Tannehill isn't coming to Baltimore and beating Joe Flacco.

Nope. Not happening.

The Ravens are due for a bit of a breakout game, actually. I thought it might come last Sunday against the reeling Bengals, but Cincinnati manned-up in the second half after trailing 16-3 and made a game of it.

Miami won't do that today.

They are NOT a high quality team, 7-4 record be damned.

The Ravens have played three games this season against "high quality teams" and they're 0-3 in those games, losing to Oakland, the Giants and Dallas.

They face another "high quality" opponent next Monday night in New England and, well, we know how that one is going to end.

And that makes today's game with the Dolphins ultra-critical, a point I'm sure John Harbaugh has driven home this week as much as he could without putting a scare into his team. I doubt that John has jumped ahead to next Monday's game in New England, but I'm sure he's looked at all of the playoff variables and made his team well aware of how important this Dolphins game is in terms of wins and losses, record within the conference, and record against common opponents with the Steelers.

This one is big today.

And Miami isn't leaving the stadium with a win.

Look for the Ravens to post their best "all around" game of the season this afternoon.

You heard it here first.

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show me the money, week #13


After last Sunday's 5-1 mark, I'm actually within striking distance of that elusive .500 mark. And I really like a few games on the schedule, so let's hope I can continue the magic carpet ride in week #13.

OVERALL RECORD TO DATE: 34-38

GAMES INVOLVING RAVENS: 5-6

BEST BET OF THE WEEK: 5-7

Here we go with my five picks for this week, plus the Ravens-Dolphins game.

RAMS AT PATRIOTS (-13.5) -- This is one of those games I really like, and I'm going against the grain here and favoring the Rams. They're not going to win, of course, but I think New England will suffer a little bit from the loss of Rob Gronkowski and I can see the Rams throwing a scare into New England the way the 49'ers did a few weeks ago before finally faltering in the 4th quarter. Let's take the Patriots to win this one, 31-19, but Los Angeles covers despite giving up a late score that gives New England some much needed breathing room.

TEXANS AT PACKERS (-6.0) -- After that Monday night win in Philly, Green Bay has their sea legs again. At 5-6, they can ill afford another loss, and with the Lions facing a tough game in New Orleans today, Green Bay could be a game out of first if things work out in their favor today. I think the Packers win easily here, as Houston starts to wobble in the AFC South. Let's go with a Green Bay win of 30-17.

BILLS AT RAIDERS (-3.0) -- I have a feeling the Raiders are due for a loss. They nearly took one on the chin last weekend at home against Carolina before a late game rescue job from Derek Carr. Something tells me Buffalo wins today, so let's take the Bills plus-three-points and call this a Buffalo outright win, 24-23.

GIANTS AT STEELERS (-6.5) -- Something REALLY smells fishy here. The Steelers are 6.5 point favorites over the Giants? Holy canoli. Vegas is just DYING for you to take New York here, which really worries me, since I think New York's not only going to cover, but win the game outright. So, do we take the hook or let the line dangle in front of us? Vegas wants us to bite, which I don't like, but I'm all in. I say the Giants win this one, 28-25, so give me the 6.5 points and a NY victory.

BRONCOS AT JAGUARS (+3.5) -- I half-think Jacksonville might win here, just because they're due for a victory and the Broncos might be coming in at just the right time. I'll take Denver to win just for kicks and giggles, but I'm going with the Jaguars to cover in a 19-16 Denver victory.

BEST BET OF THE DAY: -- Has to be the Packers against the Texans, right? Green Bay, at home, backs against the wall, coming off a season saving win over the Eagles. Houston, on the road, just not very good, and primed to get clobbered. I'll take the Packers (-6.0) as my Best Bet for Week #13.

HOW DREW SEES THE RAVENS (-3.5) AND DOLPHINS GAME: Like they did last week against Cincinnati, Baltimore drives down the field on their first possession and scores a TD. Miami counters with a field goal and the Ravens then parlay a defensive turnover in the 2nd quarter into another TD to lead 14-3. Miami tacks on a late field goal to make it 14-6 at the half. The Ravens use their ground game to set up a Flacco to Smith Sr. TD throw in the third quarter, then score again early in the 4th on a Terrence West run to make it 28-6. Miami connects on a meaningless TD with a few minutes to go and the Ravens win easily, 28-13. Curiously, the Ravens finally go a game without having Justin Tucker kick a field goal. Weird, huh?

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the terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his third season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in 2016-2017.


terps stand tall in comeback win over oklahoma state


The University of Maryland men's basketball team had another improbable win last night against Oklahoma State at the Xfinity Center. It wasn't improbable, as in Goliath vs David improbable. It was improbable because there were several times during that game where anyone watching had to believe Maryland just didn't have a chance to emerge victorious.

But just when things looked most bleak, Maryland ratcheted up the defensive pressure and was able to turn a 12-point deficit at the 12:11 mark of the second half (60-48) into a one-point lead (61–60) with just 6:27 left to play.

The Terps then hung on down to stretch to snatch a 71-70 victory away from the visiting Cowboys of Oklahoma State.

The Maryland defense was the star of the game and Jaylen Brantley was the star of that defense.

From the opening bell, Oklahoma State’s length gave Maryland problems on both ends of the court.

Maryland had trouble rebounding with the longer, springier Cowboys team. Oklahoma State pulled down 27 rebounds in the first half (including 12 on the offensive glass).

While the Terps endured a spell of offensive futility in the first half, the Cowboys were pulling away. They gradually built an 11 point lead behind a bunch of 3 pointers and some stellar play by their leader, Jawun Evans.

Maryland's Jaylen Brantley emerged as the star of last night's win over Oklahoma State, as he helped shut down Juwan Evans in the second half as the Terps rallied from a 12-point deficit.

Maryland rallied, as Anthony Cowan and Melo Trimble helped to cut the lead to one with 3:30 left in the half, but before you could say, “We’re back in it”, Jeffrey Carroll made 3 shots in a row and Phil Forte knocked down a three to push the OK State bulge back up to ten points with 44 seconds to go in the half.

The opening 20 minutes would end with Oklahoma State leading 43-35. The buzzer ending the half seemed to be the only thing that could stop the Cowboys from jumping over top of Maryland defenders for offensive rebounds and easy put backs.

I'm not sure what Coach Turgeon’s message was at halftime, but I would guess it centered around being more careful with the basketball, putting a body on the OK State offensive rebounders, along with some ideas on better ways to switch on ball screens.

Whatever it was, it worked. And it sure fired up Jaylen Brantley.

After the Terps trimmed the deficit, then saw Oklahoma State go on another mini-run of its own, things started to look bad. At the second media timeout, with 11:34 remaining in the game, Maryland was down by 12 and seemingly in danger of dropping a second straight home game.

But, Maryland's fortunes would soon change.

Even though the Terps had been losing ground, they were also slowing down the Cowboy’s offense. With Brantley now firmly attached to Evans’s hip, the Cowboys guard wasn’t able to drive, draw, and dish like he had so easily done in the opening half.

The score was 60-48 when Maryland put together a run over the next five and a half minutes that would give them a 61-60 lead. Six Cowboys missed shots and two Oklahoma State turnovers resulted in a scoring drought that allowed the Terps to grab the slight (but welcome) one point advantage.

The Terps were able to extend their lead to 4 with 2:20 left to go when Dodd grabbed a tough offensive rebound and made the put-back.

A jumper by Evans and two Forte foul shots knotted the game at 68 with 1:26 left. After a miss by each team, Trimble was fouled while attempt a driving shot in the lane. He converted only one of his two free throws to put the Terps ahead by one with 37 seconds left in regulation.

It was no surprise that the ball, and Oklahoma State’s fate, were both in the hands of Jawun Evans. He rose to the occasion by converting a short running jumper from 8 feet away on the right side. Evans was initially guarded by Brantley, but when Forte came out to set a pick for Evans (bringing Trimble with him), the Terps switched and Trimble was now on Evans. It was a tough shot over both Trimble and Dodd. Evans was well guarded, but it was a great shot by a great player and it put the Terps down by one with 21 seconds left.

With Maryland needing a bucket to go ahead, there was never a doubt that Trimble would get the ball. After the timeout, the Terps inbounded under their own basket with the Cowboys offering only token pressure. As Melo crossed half court, the Cowboys moved into a 1-2-2 zone. Trimble found a crease on the right side and dribbled into the lane, creating contact. A foul was called and Trimble buried both shots. The Terps had a one point lead.

With no timeout called, OK State inbounded the ball to Evans who drove to the right side of the top of the key. He did a little spin move and headed down the right side to almost the same spot as his previous shot. This time, however, he pushed just a tad deeper and lost his angle to use the glass. This made the shot a bit harder and it rolled off of the rim but into a perfect position for the Cowboy’s Jeffrey Carroll to make an easy put-back.

Carroll had come, hauling butt, from deep on the right wing to get into prime tap-in position. The ball came just to his right, but it wasn’t a hard play until two Terps high/lowed Carroll and knocked the ball away.

Justin Jackson took the high path and attempted to tip the ball away. Kevin Huerter went low and simply shoved Carroll with his right hand and forearm. I watched the replay at least 25 times and am convinced that the play is a foul 100% of the time – in Stillwater, Oklahoma, that is.

In College Park MD, it’s a no call. The tipped ball went right back to Evans who threw up a floater that hit nothing but net. The refs went to replay, but it was very clear that the shot was late and the Terps had won another nail-biter.

It was a good win for Maryland and one that may help them with a bid in March provided they have a somewhat successful Big 10 conference record.

The offense is still a work in progress and I was slightly disappointed that Maryland made no effort to get Michal Cekovsky involved in the offense. OK State does not defend the interior very well and the Terps could have exploited that. However, Cekovsky’s defense was very suspect last night and it greatly limited his minutes.

Trimble paced all Maryland scorers with 13 points on 4-12 shooting, having missed on all five of his 3 point attempts. He did not make a field goal in the second half.

As a team, Maryland missed all 10 of their three pointers in the second half. Assist to turnover ratios were horrible for both teams. OK State had 13 assists with 15 turnovers while the Terps had 11 and 18.

You don’t win many games against quality opponents when you miss 10 of 29 foul shots, have an assist/turnover ratio of .61, go 4-22 from 3 point land, and your star fails to make a field goal in the second half.

It takes an outstanding defensive effort to win a game when you post those anemic numbers. The Terps got exactly that in the second half last night. Brantley’s job on Evans was the catalyst for a big comeback and a key win over a pretty good Oklahoma State team.

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he won't win the event, but tiger has already "won" this weekend


No matter what happens today, Tiger Woods will leave the Bahamas tomorrow and be excited about his return to golf.

The rest of the guys on the PGA Tour? Maybe not so much.

Woods fired a second consecutive under-par round on Saturday in the Hero World Challenge, although another double bogey at the 18th hole soured an otherwise solid round of golf for Tiger, who posted a two-under 70 that included seven birdies on the day.

Hideki Matsuyama is the runaway leader at 19-under par and owns a 7-shot lead enterining today's final round.

But no one really cares about Matsuyama or anyone else in the now-17-man-field after Justin Rose dropped out of the event on Friday due to a back ailment.

Tiger's been flashing his trademark smile all weekend in the Bahamas, as he's produced three solid rounds of golf to stand at 8-under par through 54 holes in his first tournament since August of 2015.

Everyone came to see Tiger's return and, without question, he has passed the first test with more-than-flying-colors.

Yesterday was the first time we saw Woods truly "go after" a tee-shot, and it happened on the par-5 11th hole, where he shredded a drive right down the middle, some 339 yards down the fairway. If there was any doubt at all in Tiger's mind that his back and body could withstand the sort of torque and force needed to generate the clubhead speed for that kind of length off the tee, it was answered with one golf swing.

Earlier in the round, Woods started the day with three straight birdies, then produced an improbable hole-out from the sand at #5 for another birdie. He was suddenly in 3rd place, and you couldn't help but wonder, "Is this guy really going to come back in his first event and win?" at that point.

But Matsuyama was making birdies like they were going out of style and he had a hole-out eagle from the fairway himself en-route to that 7-shot lead he owns.

Woods, though, will be highly energized from this effort and the results he's seen at the Albany Resort.

Throughout 44 of the 54 holes played thus far, he's truly looked very similar to Tiger Woods, circa 2005. His iron play has been sublime and his putting has improved dramatically now that he has his trusty Scotty Cameron flat stick back in the bag.

He's played like a bum for about 10 holes this week, but in the other 44, he's been as good or better than anyone else in the field.

And that fact, more than anything, will have the guys on TOUR wondering if Tiger's poised to make one final late-career run at the wins record (82) and the majors mark (18).

If nothing else, Woods will make the opening months of the 2017 PGA Tour campaign interesting.


Saturday
December 3
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIX
Issue 3
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will walz's rant help or hurt louisville’s season?


No one in sports wants to win more than the coaches themselves.

For those who listened to my radio show “back in the day”, you’ll remember I’d claim on a regular basis that coaches are my favorite people in sports.

They want to win way more than the players want to win, which is why coaches stay in the building until midnight and then get back in there the next morning at six o’clock.

I’m sure Jeff Walz wants to win.

But the Louisville women’s basketball coach might have damaged his team's season on Thursday evening when, after a loss against the University of Maryland, he launched into a lengthy post-game rant about the entitled nature of today’s college athlete.

Mind you, at least from this writer’s eyes, everything Walz spoke of in the press conference is accurate. If you asked me to choose a side – was Walz “right” or was he “wrong”? – and there wasn’t any gray area, I’d say the coach was right in his post-game assessments.

Kids these days -- college athletes, that is -- are too soft. Too easily offended. They're looking for the promise first, then deciding if it's worth the effort to pursue it.

We could probably nitpick a thing or two he said and I’d perhaps beg to differ on a couple of things by virtue of semantics, but all in all, if pressed to vote, I’d say Walz was spot on with his post-game commentary.

These “kids” today – and that doesn’t just include college athletes, mind you, but most “young people” – live in a world that few of us older folk can comprehend.

And Walz came out blasting with both barrels on Thursday night, as you’ll see below.



The question now? It’s not whether or not Walz was “correct” in what he said. The question is, simply, will his team respond positively or negatively to that message of entitlement that he vomited to the media after their loss to the Terps?

At first blush, your guess is that they likely won’t respond well. After all, the coach was rather critical in his commentary.

But if those girls who play basketball for him have any gumption, they’ll band together and forge ahead with positive energy and a new-found dedication to the season they recently commenced.

That might be easier said than done, though.

Players rarely want to admit the coach is actually right, particularly when it comes to matters of effort.

Walz, as you heard, spoke openly about today’s culture of college students, nearly all of whom believe something is owed to them, when, in fact, they haven’t yet come close to actually putting out enough effort in life to justify any kind of undeserved reward or benefit.

This – to stray off the topic of sports for a second – is precisely what endeared millennials to the whimsical ways of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton: The thought that they were “owed something” when, in reality, they’ve done nothing at all in their young days on earth to deserve a gift or benefit from the government that otherwise should be distributed to someone more worthwhile.

You work hard, you get rewarded.

That’s a pretty simple way of looking at things, and to hear Jeff Walz speak after the loss, he felt like that was missing from his club’s effort on Thursday night.

So he called out his women’s basketball team. And launched into a pretty damning tirade of not only their play, but their character as well.

That’s where things might get dicey for Walz.

These are not days where words are used for character tear-down.

In the old days when you didn’t go into a tackle hard in soccer or wouldn’t battle for a rebound under the hoop, you were called a “sissy”.

Those days are gone. Long gone.

I mean, it still happens, of course, but no longer are student-athletes compelled to just “take it like a man", as the basketball team at George Washington University proved last summer when they essentially had coach Mike Lonergan fired because he said some things that hurt their feelings.

Coaches calling out players, both at practice and in the media, are a thing of the past now.

It takes someone with a lengthy guaranteed contract and the favor of the school President to lash out, embarrass a student or athlete, and move on as if nothing happened.

There’s no telling if Louisville cares enough to even pay attention to what Walz said on Thursday night. The video above was a little more than two minutes of his eleven minute post-game rant, but you got the juicy stuff in that 120 seconds.

”These kids don’t want to work hard enough to get their reward,” is basically what he said.

He’s right, you know.

But they don’t want to hear it.

And if they turn on him, Walz might be forced to remember that Thursday night press conference as the moment his players decided to confirm about them what he had already said: They don’t understand the value of hard work.

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uh oh...is he going to be tiger woods again?


Wait. Hold on a second. Who was that on Friday in the second round of the Hero World Challenge at the Albany Resort in the Bahamas?

Was it...could it have been...Tiger Woods?

For one day, it sure looked like him.

In just his second competitive round since August of 2015, Woods torched the Albany course for a 7-birdies, no bogies round of 65. That's 7-under par if you're counting at home and don't know that it's a par-72 course.

And it wasn't a fluke-filled 65, either. There wasn't a magical hole-out from the fairway or a 60-foot eagle putt that somehow luckily found the back of the cup.

No, no, no. This was just solid golf from start to finish, like the old days.

Woods striped it off the tee, flushed his irons close, and rolled in a number of lengthy putts, including a 20-footer at #16 that even produced a circa 2005 fist-pump from Woods as he secured a par and kept his card clean for the round.

It seems silly to talk about the first two rounds and gush so glowingly over Tiger's play, but the truth of the matter is not many guys could do what he's done over the first 36 holes. Yes, he's played a bunch of high-dollar practice rounds at his home club in Jupiter, Florida over the last eight weeks or so, but none of that is anywhere close to duplicating what it's like to play in an actual golf tournament.

And after not putting a tee in the ground in a "real" event for 15 months, Woods is now 6-under par after 36 holes.

Whether you're a Tiger backer or Tiger hater, you have to admit that's pretty good stuff.

He's not going to win this weekend, but he was probably the only person alive who thought he might.

This, for Tiger, is the same thing major league baseball players go through when they make a two or three game appearance in the minor leagues after an extended stay on the disabled list.

They head down to AA, where the talent level is about a quarter of what it is at the major league level, and they just try to get themselves "back on track". They might get a couple of hits that first night, strike out once, pop up once and "only" go 2-for-4, but that plays second fiddle to the concept of going down to the minors and "just playing".

With Woods, right now, he's "just playing", trying to once again capture the feel and rhythm of the golf swing and produce results as they come.

He'll have 36 more holes this weekend to dial it in and see if he can work his way back into contention, but that should really be the least of his intentions at this point. Just being back out there, making swings, holing putts, and hearing the roars -- that's real progress for the 14-time major champion.

Winning comes later. At least that's what Woods believes, even if the rest of us don't.

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dale williams aims
the terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his third season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in 2016-2017.


terps need better offense against oklahoma state tonight


Three weeks ago, the University of Maryland men’s basketball team struggled against the Georgetown Hoyas before staging a miracle comeback for an eventual 76-75 win.

Flash forward to November 23rd in Maui where Oklahoma State destroyed those same Hoyas 97-70.

Based on those results I can understand anyone who has doubts about the Terps ability to hang with these Cowboys when they meet tonight at 9:00pm at the XFINITY Center in College Park.

Maryland has struggled with nearly every team on its schedule so far this year. They were behind by double digits in no less than four games and got drilled by Pitt on Wednesday night. They have no inside scoring and very little “muscle”.

Two of Maryland's top freshman, Kevin Huerter (left) and Justin Jackson (right) will have to come up big for the Terps tonight against a talented Oklahoma State team.

That makes tonight's game with the Cowboys a potential problem for Mark Turgeon's team.

Not only does OK State head coach Brad Underwood have the best player on either team (and maybe the best under 6’2” in the country) in lightning quick point guard Jawun Evans, but the Cowboys shoot 47% from the floor and over 76% from the three point line.

The home team is in for trouble tonight, right? Well, maybe not.

Here are a few positives for Maryland that could swing things the Terps way.

Maryland has better ball handlers than the Hoyas and will not be as generous with the ball as Georgetown was when they gave it away 27 times in their blow-out loss to OK State. While the Cowboys are aggressive, they really don’t possess the type of “back to the basket” player that could regularly hurt Maryland inside.

When I watch Oklahoma State, I don’t see the high basketball IQ intangibles that I see on teams with a bit more discipline. Lastly, while Evans is legit, his supporting cast can sometimes not be so supportive.

Senior guard Phil Forte III is averaging 14.6 points per game, but tallied only 2 and 6 against North Carolina and UConn respectively. Lindy Waters III totally disappeared in the UConn game where he failed to hit a shot from the floor and had zero rebounds.

This may be the last year that sophomore Jawun Evans plays college basketball. He is a physically gifted 6’1” guard with amazing change-of-direction moves that free him up for shots in a blink of an eye. He’s a tough kid who sees the court well and will hit an open man with a quick laser pass. He has a pro style game, but is also good for 5 forced shots a game too. I see Anthony Cowan drawing this tough defensive assignment.

I believe Maryland can win this game if they balance out the offense. I saw flashes of a productive Michal Cekovsky in the Pitt loss and I think he can be effective here. I think Damonte Dodd can score against this team too. (Did I really just say that?).

I would look for Kevin Huerter to increase his production and Maryland’s other freshman, Justin Jackson, will be a match-up problem for OK State.

The most interesting matchup of the night will be Evans guarding Melo Trimble. Evans is so quick that it may serve coach Turgeon well to have Cowan initiate the offense if he is guarded by Forte. I look for Maryland to run sets for Melo while allowing Cowan to run the offense from the inside out.

It’s no secret that the Terps have issues scoring.

Only once this year have they surpassed 80 points in regulation time and they only had 59 in their loss to Pitt. I look for them to be much more effective tonight at home.

The linesmakers had Maryland as an early 1.5 point favorite and the betters pushed it up to 2.5 by Friday. I’ll agree with the public and give the Terps a 77 to 72 nod tonight.

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Friday
December 2
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIX
Issue 2
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in 18 holes, woods looked like "the old Tiger" and "an old Tiger"


Well, for a while there on Thursday afternoon, Tiger Woods made us forget for a just a second that he was playing in a throw-away event in the Bahamas designed to give 18 of the best players in the world the chance to make a bunch of free holiday spending money at the Albany resort.

He looked like the Tiger of old, stalking the fairways of Augusta, Firestone, Torrey Pines or any of the other courses he dominated for 15 years on the PGA Tour.

That lasted about 90 minutes.

There for a little while on Thursday, Tiger was quieting his critics after dipping to four-under par through 8 holes. But a back nine stumble left Woods at 73 after round one of the Hero World Challenge.

Then the other Tiger showed up and he stumbled down the stretch to an opening round 73 in the event, finishing ahead of only one player, Justin Rose, who, like Woods, is nursing a bad back these days and learning how to play with the ailment.

Depending on which side of Team-Tiger you're on, you were either really excited about the opening nine holes or happy to see him fade down the stretch. It definitely was a tale of two nines for the 14-time major champion.

Woods looked so good early on that his former teacher, Hank Haney, went as far as to tell Sports Illustrated's Alan Shipnuck on Thursday afternoon that he thinks Woods will, in fact, not only win again, but win another major title.

Tiger looked that good on the opening nine holes on Thursday.

"Based on what I saw today, I say he wins more tournaments and one more major," Haney told Shipnuck. Few people in the world know Woods and his golf swing as well as Haney. He served as Tiger's instructor from 2004-2010.

I say, "not so quick there, Mr. Haney."

I'm a card-carrying member of the Tiger fan club, but let's not get carried away with one round of golf.

I will say, happily, that Tiger's golf swing looked awfully good on Thursday, particularly early on in the round. Forget about the score -- he was 4-under par at one point. His swing is what matters most. And his health matters, too. If Woods can stay healthy and repeat that swing he showed on Thursday at Albany, he might do some damage again.

But we don't know that after watching him play one round.

The "old Tiger" showed up on the front nine on Thursday. Woods was rifling drives down the middle of the fairway, stinging iron shots close to the flag, and rolling in a couple of putts along the way.

His much-discussed and -- he says -- improved short game was on full display in the opening holes on Thursday as well. He looked the part, again.

Then, just like that, he stubbed a chip on the 9th hole, fell back to 3-under par with a bogey, and never really recovered from there, making a pair of double bogeys on the inward nine including one at the 18th hole. He turned 69 into 73, basically.

And not that anyone cares, but since there is a tournament going on, I'd like to pass along that J.B. Holmes is leading the event at 8-under par.

Now, back to the reason why everyone in golf is paying attention this week.

Back to Tiger.

Shooting one-over par at Oakmont, Baltusrol or Augusta, even, wouldn't be out-of-this-world-bad. For any player on TOUR, that kind of score on a difficult course is more than acceptable. But a 73 at that pitch-and-putt place in the Bahamas is nothing to brag about.

But if you've been away from the game for 15 months, 73 should probably be considered pretty daggone good.

It stands to reason that Tiger will likely improve over the next three days as he gets his "playing legs" back and gains a little more physical energy and mental confidence. He isn't going to win the event, mind you, but if he can sprinkle in a couple of under par rounds, that should do wonders for Tiger moving forward.

Thursday was about what I expected. I figured we'd see some excellence and I figured we'd witness some down moments, too.

I'm not nearly as excited about his first round play as was Haney, his former instructor, but I liked enough of what I saw to continue to say what I've said about Woods for the last 3-4 years. "If he can get 100% healthy, he can win again."

He looked really healthy for nine holes on Thursday. Then not-so-healthy on the back nine.

But that health was his golf game, not his back.

If Tiger's back is better, so, too, will his golf game be better.


tiger poll results show mixed opinions


On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, #DMD ran a poll that asked you to predict where you thought Tiger would finish in this week's Hero World Challenge, his first competitive tournament since August of 2015.

Not surprisingly, most of you felt like Woods wouldn't fare too well. Through round one, at least, most of you are right.

Here are the results from the Tiger poll:

Around 15th place: 37%

Around 10th place: 30%

Dead last, 18th place: 15%

Top 5: 15%

He'll win: 3%

And, no, before you ask, I wasn't one of the ones who said Tiger would win.

My vote? Around 15th place. I predicted before Thursday that Woods would shoot 72-71-68-74 for a four day total of three under par.

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is the orioles ticket price news telling us anything about 2017?


The Orioles announced on Thursday that season ticket prices will not be increased for the 2017 season, as they delivered that news some eight weeks earlier than they did in 2016.

The Birds waited until the Chris Davis decision/signing was wrapped up in late January to start producing their ticket price information for the 2016 campaign, so yesterday's announcement comes nearly two months earlier than it did a year ago.

Is yesterday's Orioles ticket news an ominous sign that Mark Trumbo won't be back with the Birds in 2017?

What should we make of that?

Does this mean Mark Trumbo isn't an option in 2017? It would stand to reason Trumbo is going to garner somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 million a year after his superb season in 2016.

If the O's were going to take on that kind of contract, wouldn't it seem likely they'd be forced to tweak the ticket prices just a little bit to help cushion the blow of a $50 or $60 million deal?

Granted, Davis' deal last January was for $161 million and that required major "help" from the fan base, but wouldn't the same logic be used for a multi-year contract on Trumbo?

And what does yesterday's ticket price news say about the team's desire to sign any other high profile free agents this winter?

Oh, and that guy who plays third base, Manny Machado...isn't he about ready to sign perhaps the largest contract ever in baseball?

We can let this one play out over the next few months to get the real answers to those questions. Perhaps the Orioles got the news out early this year to create "holiday gift ideas" for their fan base, which seems both likely and smart.

Or, maybe they're just standing pat on both tickets and players this winter.

And saving up to give Machado his $350 million.

You should be saving up, too, of course. You're going to help pay for him.


high school hoops tournament features several high quality teams, players


The 2nd Annual Shirts vs Skins Basketball Classic kicks off tonight at 5 pm at St. Frances Academy, as three local schools (Mt. Zion Academy, St. Frances, Capitol Christian) are set to participate in the weekend tournament.

The tournament is an elite high school basketball showcase featuring top high school teams and players in the country and will be held on Friday and Saturday at St. Frances in Baltimore.

Many of the players participating are receiving offers from the likes of MD, Syracuse, Duke, Kentucky, UNC and others.

Today's schedule includes:

5 pm -- Putnam Science Academy (CT) vs. Mt Zion Academy (MD)

7 pm -- Cape Henry Collegiate (VA) vs. Capitol Christian (MD)

8:30 pm -- St Benedicts Prep (NJ) vs. St. Frances Academy (MD)

Saturday's play at St. Frances begins at 1 pm.

Not only is this event an elite high school basketball showcase, there is a community component that is attached relating to diabetes awareness and teaching the players how to speak in front of a camera, at a press conference or in public.

For full details on the tournament, visit their website: www.shirtsvsskins.org. Tickets for the games this weekend can be purchased at the door.

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this weekend in
english soccer


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

Chelsea were able to do what Liverpool could not only the week before, maintaining their slight advantage at the top of the table to set up a top three matchup with Manchester City to kickoff Matchday 14 of the English Premier League. With second place Liverpool’s hope of staying in the title conversation taking a major blow with the news that midfielder and playmaker Phillipe Coutinho faces at least five weeks on the sidelines with ankle ligament damage, will the Blues be able to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the pack? Tune in to find out with all of the action available live on the NBC family of networks or online at NBC Live Extra.

Saturday, December 3rd (all times eastern)

7:30am – Chelsea @ Manchester City – Etihad Stadium, NBC Sports Network

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (left) and Chelsea's Antonio Conte (right), whose square off at the Etihad Stadium this weekend with first place on the line in the EPL.

A brace from Sergio Aguero, which moved the Argentine international level as the league’s top goal scorer with Diego Costa - who was not on the score sheet this past weekend however it was his assist to a streaking Victor Moses that proved to be the difference as Chelsea continued their Stamford Bridge dominance over neighbors Tottenham 2-1 - overturned a surprise first half deficit and give Manchester City a come from behind 2-1 victory over a determined Burnley side and keep the Citizens only a point behind the Blues ahead of their trip to the Etihad Stadium in the weekend’s marquee matchup.

They will provide the stiffest test to date of Chelsea’s seven game winning streak, with the Blues winless in their last four league meetings against City (D2) and losers of six of the last eight league encounters at the Etihad Stadium (D1 L6). More importantly however could be that Pep Guardiola has the personnel at his disposal to match Chelsea manager Antonio Conte’s preferred back three formation, which has proved to be the tactical catalyst of their rise to the top of the table, if he so chooses to do so (we think he will) and that the Spaniard has deployed previously this seasons with devastating effect.

12:30pm – Arsenal @ West Ham United – London Stadium, NBC

A second half header from Theo Walcott bookended by a brace from Alexis Sanchez on either side of the halftime whistle, the second of which officially put the game to bed in the first minute of injury time, moved Arsenal past Bournemouth 3-1 as the Gunners kept a firm hold of fourth place. They will make the short trip across London for a Derby with West Ham United after the Hammers stabilized the ship somewhat following their heartbreaking defeat at Tottenham the week before, taking an early lead and then surviving a Manchester United onslaught to earn a share of the points in a 1-1 draw with the hosts.

It was almost a repeat performance to the week prior for the Hammers, and without the heroics of goalkeeper Darren Randolph it likely would have been, but they are sure to be happy with a point from the road as they continue to run the gauntlet of a four-game stretch against the league’s top sides that will continue this weekend with a visit from the Gunners, where they have lost seven of their last nine meetings at home (D2) and twelve of their last sixteen overall (W1 D3), before mercifully coming to end with a trip to the now undermanned Liverpool next weekend.

Sunday, December 4th (all times eastern)

11am – Manchester United @ Everton – Goodison Park, NBC Sports Network

While West Ham may be content with the point, the fourth draw in as many games at Old Trafford leaves Manchester United sitting in sixth place, eleven points behind Chelsea and eight off the top four, with their twenty-point haul from their opening thirteen fixtures marking their worst start to a season in the Premier League era. They will hope to turn that around when they travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton, who continued their recent stumbles when they were comfortably pushed aside by Southampton in manager Ronald Koeman’s return to the club he guided the previous two seasons 1-0.

With only one win to show for their last eight league outings (D4 L3), Everton have somewhat surprisingly been able to maintain their place in the top half of the table, although that could change without a result in Sunday’s matchup as four teams in the middle of the pack are nipping at their heels. Everton have lost four of their last five meetings with Manchester United across all competitions (W1) but have taken all three points in four of their last seven matches at Goodison Park (D2 L1) and will face a vulnerable United side who have managed just two wins now in their last ten league games (D3 L5).

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our holiday winter apparel drive will now officially be a "blast"


For those of you needing a little extra incentive to dig through those closets and storage spaces for your no-longer-worn winter apparel, we have it for you!

I'm excited to announce that the Baltimore Blast is joining with us as a partner in the 2016 "Winter Apparel Drive, presented by Jerry's Toyota".

Thanks to our friends at the Blast for partnering with #DMD for our holiday winter apparel drive! Bring us ten items of winter clothing and you'll get two free Blast tickets for their January 14th home game.

For those that might not know, my old radio pal Glenn Clark and I have been doing this for six years now, collecting winter apparel for men, women and children and donating it to the fine people at Helping Up Mission in downtown Baltimore.

This year, we have three public drop-off locations coming up in December, and we're thrilled to have the Blast joining us to help you "dig a little deeper" for that winter apparel.

Anyone bringing us ten (10) articles of winter clothing gets two free tickets to the January 14 Blast home game when they host the Harrisburg Heat at the Royal Farms Arena.

What's an "article" of winter clothing, you ask? Easy: Anything that can be worn in the winter. Coats, jackets, pullovers, sweatshirts, winter hats, gloves, socks, boots, shoes.

And please know this is NOT just restricted to men's clothing, even though it's going to be donated to Helping Up Mission, which is an "all male" facility.

Many of the guys use the women's or children's clothing for holiday gifts to their loved ones. It's a very touching scene down there to see men so excited about finding something to give to a family member or friend when they otherwise wouldn't have been able to do so on their own.

Your participation is so appreciated by them! And we'll be video taping it all and presenting it here for you at #DMD so you can see first-hand what it's like on December 20 (donation day) at Helping Up Mission.

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Our friends at Jerry's Toyota will once again serve as the title sponsor of our Winter Apparel Drive. Visit Jerry's Toyota at 8001 Belair Road from 3 pm to 6 pm on December 15 and donate ten items and receive two free Blast tickets!

Here are our three public drop-off dates where you can get the two free Blast tickets.

Tuesday, December 13, Glory Days Grill on East Joppa Road in Towson. 5 pm to 8 pm (free appetizers for those who come out that night!)

Thursday, December 15, Jerry's Toyota on Belair Road in Fullerton. 3 pm to 6 pm (free Royal Farms coffee for those who come out that night!)

Monday, December 19, Chick fil-A of Nottingham Square in White Marsh, 5 pm to 8 pm (a very special guest will join us that night...)

All we need now are your gently used pieces of winter clothing! Please take some time to go through your closets, dressers and storage spaces and give us what you no longer use. You will be making a big difference in someone's life this holiday season.

And...you'll be going to see the Baltimore Blast!!! Absolutely free!!!

Thursday
December 1
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXIX
Issue 1
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tough questions – easy answers


The almost-first-down-that-was gift-wrapped-to-Ohio-State last Saturday got me to thinking about something.

How many “sports issues” are there that need an answer? And, by that, I mean, “the” answer. As in – the right answer.

Like that one from last Saturday’s game between Ohio State and Michigan. In overtime, facing a 4th and 1 in a “make a first down or go home” situation, the Buckeyes were given a first down by the width of a hair, I’d say.

In other words, here’s the question: “Did Ohio State really make a first down there or were they stopped and should Michigan have won?”

Easy answer: Ohio State didn’t make that first down. They got a wonderful home-cooked meal from the refs there. One that might have cost Michigan a shot at playing in the NCAA title game in January.

So, you get the idea, right?

Well, you’ll find three more “sports issues” below that all have a question attached to them and I’ll go ahead and give you the answer.


One game, one pitcher. Who do you take?

So here’s the scenario. You have one baseball game to win. You can pick any pitcher you want to start that game for you. In fairness, because you’d want to know the opposing lineup, perhaps, before making your pick, let’s just make it easy. You get to pick one right handed starter and one left handed starter.

One game? Winner take all? Pedro Martinez is the selection here.

Right handed starter: At his peak, during that 4-5 year run where he was absolutely at his most dominant performance level, no pitcher that I’ve ever seen was better than Pedro Martinez.

I’ve seen a lot of great right handed pitchers. I saw the end of Jim Palmer’s terrific career. I saw Tom Seaver. Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay. Those guys were all terrific. None, at THEIR peak, were as good as Pedro was at HIS peak.

And Martinez, remember, was wheeling and dealing at the height of the steroid era. So were others, too, but Pedro’s numbers were better than all of them.

One game? And you’re giving me my choice of a right handed pitcher to use? I’m going with the circa 2000 version of Pedro Martinez.

Now, if you’re going with a lefty lineup and I need to use a southpaw to try and slow you down, this choice is, I think, much easier than the right handed decision I just made.

With all due respect to Clayton Kershaw, owner of three Cy Young Awards already and destined for Cooperstown someday, if I have one game to win and I need a lefty to start for me, the obvious choice is Randy Johnson.

Kershaw is remarkable, right now, but Johnson, in the early 2000’s, was putting up staggering numbers, like Pedro, at the height of the steroid era. From 1999 through 2002, Johnson had 31 complete games and 11 shutouts. 31 complete games in four years. In one of the most productive offensive eras in baseball history, remember.


Lee Evans in the AFC title game. A catch? Or no?

I was there.

In fact, I was standing in the second level press box at Gillette Stadium, looking out over the edge of the press box at the corner of the end zone where Evans caught the pass that sent the Ravens to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

Except he didn’t catch it. And New England, not the Ravens, wound up going to Indy.

Some people still say Evans made that catch.

The referees said he didn’t.

I’ll tell you what happened.

It wasn’t a catch.

It was awfully, awfully close. When I was on the radio back then, we had a math/sciences professor from UMBC check in and say he believed Evans was three-tenths of a second away from completing the catch and not having the ball swatted out of his arm.

Three-tenths of a second is like the snap of a finger.

It was that close.

But Evans didn’t catch that ball. He needed one more half-a-stride. One more movement with his body. He just needed, well, three-tenths of a second more, I guess.

But that was NOT a catch.


Pete Rose – Hall of Fame now, or “out forever”?

I think this one is pretty easy, honestly.

Pete Rose bet on baseball games when he was the manager of a team in the league.

Other than actually endeavoring to fix the outcome of a game – which most gamblers would gladly do as long as they were in on who was going to win – there’s no greater mistake a baseball player or manager can make then betting on the games they’re playing in.

And everyone in baseball knows the “golden rule”. It’s posted in every locker room. In prime position, for everyone to view: DO NOT GAMBLE ON BASEBALL GAMES. YOU FACE A LIFETIME BAN IF YOU DO.

The Hall of Fame doesn’t need Pete Rose in order to validate themselves as the host of all of the sport’s greatest players.

Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame, yes. And he would be, too, if just hadn’t bet on baseball when he was a manager.

And this answer of mine has nothing to do with his years of lying and telling anyone who would listen that he was being “railroaded” by Major League Baseball.

It has to do with the fact that Rose bet on baseball games when he was a manager.

And he should never, ever be admitted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.

This has no connection to steroids or anything else. Whether or not baseball players who used steroids should make the Hall of Fame is an issue. But it has nothing to do with betting on baseball games. They are as similar to one another as are drunk driving and making an illegal right turn on red.

Pete Rose bet on baseball games when he was a manager. It’s a stand alone topic.

And an easy one to answer.

Pete Rose shouldn’t be in baseball’s Hall of Fame.

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baseball gets it right with two new rule changes


The owners and the player's association agreed on a new collective bargaining agreement yesterday, and with it come two new rule changes for 2017 and beyond that are good moves by everyone involved at Major League Baseball.

The All-Star Game winner will no longer get home field in the World Series.

Hip hip hooray for that one! After 14 years of awarding the extra home game to the league that won the mid-season classic, MLB will go back to the simplest rule of them all. The pennant winning team with the better record that advances to the World Series will be the one with home field.

It's a solid rule change and reduces the All-Star Game to what it should be. An "exhibition", where all selected players get to play and represent their team.

The other rule change is one likely pushed by the managers themselves. There is no longer a 15-day disabled list. Instead, a player must now only miss a minimum of 10 days. Welcome to the "10-day disabled list".

I like that one, too.

I was hoping they'd pass a rule change that says in the Wild Card game, if it goes to extra innings, you must use your best pitcher at some point before the expiration of the 12th inning. That one didn't get put on the table, sadly.

Turns out, it would have been one year too late anyway.

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so, what do our poll results show about the ravens?


On Tuesday here at #DMD, we gave you all the opportunity to vote on how you think the Ravens 2016 regular season is going to end.

You had five choices; 10-6 and win the division, 10-6 and lose the division, 9-7 and win the division, 9-7 and lose the division, 8-8 and fire everybody.

Here's the voting breakdown:

54% of you think the Ravens are NOT going to win the division.

46% of you think the Ravens ARE going to win the division.

Of that 46%, about 10% of those votes came in under the "8-8 and fire everybody" option.

You know what I think. I think the Ravens are going 9-7 and winning the division by virtue of a better record against common opponents, the 3rd tiebreaker on the list.

And speaking of polls, we'll give the Tiger Woods poll below one more day to marinate and collect some votes before we reveal those responses tomorrow here at #DMD.

Woods makes his return to golf today in the Bahamas at the Hero World Challenge.

He's listed as 4-1 to break 70 today, in case you care. I think I'd put a mythical $1,000 down on that, honestly. At 4-1? Those are pretty good odds that a guy with Tiger's pedigree can beat it around a course in a silly season event and shoot three under par or better.

He's 40-1 to win the tournament. Heck, I might even bet that, too, just in case he gets a huge dose of beginner's luck to fall his way.

But he's NOT winning. I mean, I'd bet that he's going to finish in the bottom five in the field of 18 before I'd bet he's going to win.

Even though no one really cares who wins the Hero World Challenge, 17 of the best players in the world are gathered at the course for four days of golf and a lot of extra spending money for the holiday season ($1 million to the winner) -- and at some point, pure "golfing pride" takes over and guys try to shoot the lowest score they can.

That said, a win for Woods would almost -- note that word: almost -- be as good as a regular TOUR event victory for him given his absence from competitive golf for the last 15 months. A win here would be a huge springboard for him in a way that it wouldn't be for anyone else in the field.

For the Tiger haters out there, have no fear: He's NOT winning this weekend.

Cast your vote on Tiger's return to golf below.


 Drew's Morning Dish

#DMD Poll

Question: What is the Ravens biggest problem thus far in 2017?
Flacco and his QB play
Lack of receivers and playmakers
Key injuries
Offensive and defensive schemes
Harbaugh and his coaching
Name
Email address
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umbc stays hot with road win at duquesne


First year UMBC men's basketball coach Ryan Odom certainly knows how to enter a room.

His Retrievers scored 52 first half points, built a 16-point second half lead, and held off host Duquesne, 81-72, last night at the A.J. Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

UMBC got another solid night from Jairus Lyles, as the junior guard scored 16 points in an 81-72 road win at Duquesne on Wednesday evening.

The Retrievers improved to 5-1 on the campaign, and posted its first victory over Duquesne (3-5) in five lifetime meetings.

Even better: The victory was the Retrievers' first over an Atlantic 10 squad since the 2007-08 campaign.

Four Retrievers scored in double figures, paced by sophomore wing Joe Sherburne and junior guard Jairus Lyles, who tallied 16 points each. Senior forward Will Darley added 13 points and junior guard Rodney Elliott added 11.

The 52 points were a season-high for UMBC in the first 20 minutes of play in 2016-17.

Duquesne quickly cut the 16-point halftime deficit to 52-49 early in the second half, but UMBC responded with a 17-4 surge to lead 69-53 with 13:17 remaining.

The hosts got as close as 73-68 with 4:20 remaining, but UMBC maintained its poise and Lyles hit a key layup with 2:15 to play and the Dukes could only counter with one more bucket in the final stages of the game.

The 5-1 record ties UMBC's best-ever at the Division I level, matching the 2000-01 squad.

UMBC returns home to face Messiah (Pa.) on Saturday, December 3rd, at 1:00 pm at the RAC.


our holiday winter apparel drive will now officially be a "blast"


For those of you needing a little extra incentive to dig through those closets and storage spaces for your no-longer-worn winter apparel, we have it for you!

I'm excited to announce that the Baltimore Blast is joining with us as a partner in the 2016 "Winter Apparel Drive, presented by Jerry's Toyota".

Thanks to our friends at the Blast for partnering with #DMD for our holiday winter apparel drive! Bring us ten items of winter clothing and you'll get two free Blast tickets for their January 14th home game.

For those that might not know, my old radio pal Glenn Clark and I have been doing this for six years now, collecting winter apparel for men, women and children and donating it to the fine people at Helping Up Mission in downtown Baltimore.

This year, we have three public drop-off locations coming up in December, and we're thrilled to have the Blast joining us to help you "dig a little deeper" for that winter apparel.

Anyone bringing us ten (10) articles of winter clothing gets two free tickets to the January 14 Blast home game when they host the Harrisburg Heat at the Royal Farms Arena.

What's an "article" of winter clothing, you ask? Easy: Anything that can be worn in the winter. Coats, jackets, pullovers, sweatshirts, winter hats, gloves, socks, boots, shoes.

And please know this is NOT just restricted to men's clothing, even though it's going to be donated to Helping Up Mission, which is an "all male" facility.

Many of the guys use the women's or children's clothing for holiday gifts to their loved ones. It's a very touching scene down there to see men so excited about finding something to give to a family member or friend when they otherwise wouldn't have been able to do so on their own.

Your participation is so appreciated by them! And we'll be video taping it all and presenting it here for you at #DMD so you can see first-hand what it's like on December 20 (donation day) at Helping Up Mission.

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Our friends at Jerry's Toyota will once again serve as the title sponsor of our Winter Apparel Drive. Visit Jerry's Toyota at 8001 Belair Road from 3 pm to 6 pm on December 15 and donate ten items and receive two free Blast tickets!

Here are our three public drop-off dates where you can get the two free Blast tickets.

Tuesday, December 13, Glory Days Grill on East Joppa Road in Towson. 5 pm to 8 pm (free appetizers for those who come out that night!)

Thursday, December 15, Jerry's Toyota on Belair Road in Fullerton. 3 pm to 6 pm (free Royal Farms coffee for those who come out that night!)

Monday, December 19, Chick fil-A of Nottingham Square in White Marsh, 5 pm to 8 pm (a very special guest will join us that night...)

All we need now are your gently used pieces of winter clothing! Please take some time to go through your closets, dressers and storage spaces and give us what you no longer use. You will be making a big difference in someone's life this holiday season.

And...you'll be going to see the Baltimore Blast!!! Absolutely free!!!


please click here to see previous issues of #dmd.

RETRIEVER ROUND-UP

UMBC baseball fell to in-state rival Maryland, 6-2 on Tuesday afternoon in College Park. The Retrievers fell behind early, but got a two-run home run from Hunter Dolshun to take the lead. However the Terps scored four runs in the sixth to take the victory.

The Retrievers fall to 18-20 on the year while Maryland improves to 32-15 in 2017.

breakfast bytes

Astros blank Yankees in Game 7, 4-0, earn World Series trip vs. Dodgers that starts Tuesday in L.A.

College football: Maryland trounced at #5 Wisconsin, 38-13; Towson falls to 0-4 in CAA play with 40-17 loss at New Hampshire.

PGA Tour: Justin Thomas beats Marc Leishman on first playoff hole to win CJ Cup in Korea.

NHL: Caps offense continues to sputter in 4-1 home loss to Florida.