Tuesday
February 28
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXI
Issue 28
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caps have no excuses now


With history begging them not to do it, the Capitals went ahead and made the deal anyway.

Let's hope this one turns out better than that time Martin Erat was acquired from the Nashville Predators for a top prospect and Erat had the impact of a feather.

The Caps got their guy yesterday when they acquired high scoring defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk from the St. Louis Blues for Zach Sanford, a 1st round pick in 2017, and a conditional future pick that could be anywhere from a second rounder to seventh rounder.

By picking up Kevin Shattenkirk from St. Louis on Monday, the Capitals acquired one of the most sought-after players at the NHL's trade deadline.

That's quite a haul for the Blues and quite a gamble for the Caps, particularly in light of Shattenkirk's free agency status at the end of the upcoming season.

But it's a gamble they had to take.

Shattenkirk comes in at a great time, with two backliners (Niskanen and Orpik) dinged up with injuries that have forced them both to miss the team's last two games.

It also gives the Caps another big shot on the power play, which can always help, but does so particularly in the post-season when extra-man opportunities are more limited than in the regular season.

And, honestly, if Shattenkirk's arrival decreases the amount of ice time of Orpik or Dmitry Orlov, that's not a bad thing. Both of those guys are liabilities.

Oh, and by getting Shattenkirk themselves, the Caps also kept him out of the hands of one of their rivals in the East. That's another important nugget to consider about the deal. By going to Washington, he doesn't go to Pittsburgh, New York or Columbus.

Who did the Caps lose? Zach Sanford is a promising young forward who could turn into a 20-goal NHL scorer, but the Caps have plenty of offensive fuel going now and in the future. They need help on the back line, and Shattenkirk's availability, even at a high price, was just something they couldn't turn down.

He's likely only a rental, as Washington probably won't be able to fit him under the 2017-2018 salary cap, but Shattenkirk has a great chance now to showcase himself even more to NHL suitors, including the early favorite to sign him in the off-season, the New York Rangers.

It all adds up to a smart deal for the Caps, who are clearly "all in" now as the NHL regular season approaches the stretch run. Washington leads the league with 89 points, but Pittsburgh and the Rangers (hosting the Caps tonight) are making up ground in the Metropolitan Division.

Anyone with even limited knowledge of the Capitals' history knows all about their playoff problems. They have been perennial Stanley Cup contenders in the Alex Ovechkin era, but haven't yet reached one final during Ovechkin's career.

Twice, the Caps have led the entire NHL in regular season points only to be bounced before the playoffs reached the third round.

Shattenkirk's arrival is part of a plan to change that history.

Let's hope he fares better than Martin Erat did in Washington. I think I still have the milk carton with his picture and "Missing" on the back.


a quick note about our #dmd ads

You'll note on the right side of today's edition that several ads -- Ravens at Jets bus trip, October 23, for example -- are outdated and no longer applicable to the web site.

We're on it.

Our main back-room I.T. guy is on vacation this week (yes, we allow people to take time off here) and, while trying to do some work at a remote location for us, pressed a button or two he shouldn't have and lo and behold, we have a technical glitch on our hands.

It will be fixed by the weekend.

And I never dislike giving old marketing partners a few extra days of "new" exposure. They're always part of the family here at #DMD.

Just wanted to point out that we're aware the right side ads are not all correct.

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a bettor's early guide to the masters


The odds for the 2017 Masters were updated at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook yesterday in the aftermath of Rickie Fowler's impressive win at The Honda Classic, and a few names moved up and down the wager board as we move into March and the annual chase for the coveted green jacket slowly approaches.

If you're the kind of person who likes to get your wagers in early and take advantage of a couple of potential darkhorses, I have those names for you here, today.

In the final wagering opportunity the week before and week of, you'll also be able to get "the field", but probably at something like 4-1 or so. In other words, it wouldn't be worth your trouble, unless someone pops up out of nowhere this year to win, like Danny Willett did in 2016.

2015 Masters Champion Jordan Spieth, who threw away last year's event at Augusta with a 12th blow-up on Sunday, is currently the favorite for this year's green jacket at 13-2.

Save your money. The field isn't winning this year.

I have listed a few "5-star" bets, meaning these three are players at really good odds who would return a nice payoff if they could get in the winner's circle.

But if you're inclined to make a wager, here's your early bird look at this year's Masters.

Jordan Spieth, 13-2 -- If he wins between now and Augusta, he'll dip to something like 5-1. If he doesn't play well between now and Augusta, you might get him at 8-1 or so, but nothing higher than that. If you like playing the favorites, this is a good one. He will be there on Sunday afternoon when the Masters reaches the back nine.

Dustin Johnson, 8-1 -- Like Spieth, if he wins again this season before Augusta, he might move down a bit. Figures to be in the hunt if he continues to drive the ball like he has for the last 12 months. Can he chip and putt well enough to win? That's the question. If so, it's only a matter of time before he wins a green jacket.

Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy, 12-1 -- Matsuyama has been red hot over the last five months, but until he makes a putt that wins him a major, it's hard to put any money on him. Day's been hot and cold in 2017, while McIlroy is still recovering from an off-season injury and is just now getting back out on the TOUR. If you made me bet one of the three in this group, I'd go with Rory, but all three have too many blemishes at this point to put a wager in on them.

Justin Rose, 15-1 -- He's a miniature Dustin Johnson in that his driver sets up the rest of the game for him. When he's hitting it on the screws, he's going to be in the hunt. Short game issues could hurt him at Augusta, but he handled things well in 2015 when he played great on Sunday to make Spieth sweat out his win.

Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson, 25-1 -- Watson is one of my "5-star" plays at this point. Getting a 2-time champion at 25-1 is a great investment, and Watson has a little bit of Fred Couples in him in that no matter how inconsistent he's been prior to Augusta, something happens when he drives down Magnolia Lane on Thursday morning (Note: They don't really drive down Magnolia Lane on Thursday...that's just a saying). Watson can win at Augusta this year, next year, the year after, etc. It's a perfect course for him. Adam Scott's probably not a bad wager at 25-1 as well.

Still without a major championship, Sergio Garcia looks to become the third Spaniard to win at Augusta National, joining Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal, both of whom won there twice.

Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, 30-1 -- I'd take any of those three at 30-1, actually, but the guy who catches my eye here is Garcia, who scored a big win in Dubai earlier this month and seems content in his personal life, which always seems to be the catalyst for his good play. Spaniards have a terrific track record at Augusta, and Garcia has played the course well enough now that should he get in the hunt, experience is on his side. Sergio is the second of my "5-star" picks at this wager rate.

Brandt Snedeker, Jon Rahm, Matt Kuchar, 40-1 -- Save your money. There's nothing to see here.

Louis Oosthuizen, Paul Casey, 50-1 -- Oosthuizen is actually a nice thought here at 50-1. He lost the wild playoff to Bubba Watson five years ago when Watson hit a miraculous shot out of the trees at #10 and has two other Top 20 finishes recently. Casey has also displayed good form at Augusta, but just doesn't have much lifetime success in major championships.

Gary Woodland, Jimmy Walker, Daniel Berger, Danny Willett, Zach Johnson, 80-1 -- None of those five are winning. Johnson could contend if he putts it well enough, but his lack of length these days puts supreme pressure on his short game and flat stick.

Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood, J.B. Holmes, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Ryan Moore, Emiliano Grillo, 100-1 -- This is the wager line where you can make some money! Woods can't win, but the other five are all interesting choices. Westwood has played the golf course VERY well throughout his career and, surprisingly, has actually chipped and putted better than you'd expect from him at Augusta. Holmes and Cabrera-Bello both hit it far enough to reach all four of the par 5's in two, but don't have the "major pedigree" you think they might need to win. Moore and Grillo are two smaller players in stature but both can move it off the tee and hit their irons very well. Putting is their bug-a-boo, but Moore showed at the Ryder Cup that he can roll it well under the most extreme pressure. I'm VERY bullish on Cabrera-Bello and think he's a great value at 100-1. He's my third "5-star" pick at this wager line.

Two things to always consider when betting at Augusta: First, former champions always have a chance to win again (those under 50, that is) because the golf course is so much more about experience than any other major championship venue. One guy who fits that bill is Angel Cabrera, who won the event once and lost to Adam Scott in a playoff back in 2013. Cabrera could fail to finish in The Top 25 in four straight tournaments and show up at Augusta and be Top 5 heading into Sunday's final round.

The aforementioned Scott could win twice at Augusta the way guys like Langer and Olazabal did. And if Phil Mickelson has another major left in him, Augusta could be the place he does it. Phil already has three Masters titles in his career.

Second, look at someone who has sniffed around the leaderboard a few times in previous years but couldn't put the finishing touches on the tournament for whatever reason. Three guys stick out to me who fit this category. All three have been on the first page of an Augusta leaderboard at least once, if not twice: Justin Rose, J.B. Holmes and Lee Westwood. Rose played very well in 2015, Westwood was a runner up a year ago, and Holmes was in the hunt last year and in previous efforts as well. Three high quality players, with only one major between them (Rose) but gobs of major and Ryder Cup experience that should bode well for them this April.

The next month is critical to the preparation for those who fancy themselves having a chance to win, but right now, in late February, my top five picks for Augusta are: Garcia, Spieth, Bubba Watson, Cabrera-Bello and Mickelson.

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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 the 2016-17 season.


terps should roll over rutgers tonight


There is no denying that the Maryland Terrapins are in dire need of a win tonight when they travel to Rutgers.

Losers of 5 of their last 7, Maryland is in danger of losing one of the four double byes in the Big 10 Tournament and perhaps an invitation to the big dance. At 10-6, they are tied with Minnesota and Michigan State for 3rd place in the conference. The top 4 teams are granted two byes next week in Washington D.C. at the conference tournament.

The game against the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers couldn’t come at a better time for Maryland.

With only two wins in conference, Rutgers is firmly entrenched at the bottom of the Big 10 but it's worth noting they have been very competitive in their most recent contests.

Corey Sanders leads Rutgers with 13 points per-game, but he's missing far more than he's making this season for the Scarlet Knights.

A four point loss to Northwestern 10 days ago preceded a four point loss to Michigan last Wednesday. The loss to Michigan was a closely contested game for the entire 40 minutes, and Northwestern needed a 10 to 2 run during the closing three minutes to avoid the upset.

Two things jump out at me as I look at those two games. The first is just how hard Rutgers is still willing to play. They are dead last in the Big 10 but playing their hearts out for first year coach Steve Pikiell.

The second item of note is that Rutgers hasn’t played in almost a week.

At a time of the year when fatigue is a major factor, six days without a game, or an airplane ride, is a big deal.

On the court, not much has changed for Rutgers since their 67-55 defeat at the hands of the Terrapins over a month ago. Despite some small changes to the starting lineup, the same cast of characters are still logging the significant minutes.

Corey Sanders is still the focus of the offense and he's still is missing a ton of shots. His team leading 13.1 points per game is accomplished by shooting 39% from the field and 29% from the three point line. He just takes a lot of shots.

The rugged Deshawn Freeman is still a force around the boards. His team leading 8 rebounds per game is tops on a team that ranks in the top 10 nationally in rebounding. The Terps will need to keep a body on Freeman and the other Scarlet Knights if they intend on limiting the second chance points for Rutgers.

In the game on January 25th at the XFINITY Center, Rutgers grabbed 22 offensive rebounds. That wasn’t enough to overcome 34% shooting from the floor, 27% from the three point line, and an inexcusable 10 of 24 from the foul line.

For Maryland to notch a sweep over Rutgers, they are going to need to up their defensive effort, including rebounding, and limit the turnovers. Game one between these two teams saw Melo Trimble (5) and Justin Jackson (6) combine for 11 of Maryland’s 18 turnovers. If you look at the box score tomorrow and see similar rebounding and turnover numbers, you are also going to see that Maryland just suffered its 6th loss in 8 games.

After seeing the success Iowa had against Maryland by employing zone defenses, it will be interesting to see if Rutgers mimics that strategy. If they do, then it will be equally interesting to see what counterpunch Coach Turgeon delivers. It’s reasonable to assume he had to make some type of adjustment in the last couple of days.

I don’t see this as a pretty win for Maryland. That’s not much of a stretch considering a lot of their wins aren't pretty. For that matter, not many wins in all of the Big 10 are “pretty”.

Maryland has too much talent too lose to this Rutgers team when they have so much on the line.

A loss here puts them in a “must win” situation for the season ending tilt with Michigan State. Sparty has won 4 of their last 5 including a double digit win over Wisconsin. That game promises to be a war regardless.

A loss to Rutgers might put the Terps on the brink of missing the NCAA tournament. But forget all of that, Maryland won’t let that happen.

This one promises to be tight early, but comfortable late. The line is Terps by 5. Give the points. Maryland wins by eight in a game that starts at 6:30pm in Piscataway, New Jersey.

With a 71 -63 victory, Maryland returns home for their season ending confrontation with Michigan State in prime position to secure the conference tournament double bye.

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Monday
February 27
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXI
Issue 27
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we knocked down a lot of bowling pins on sunday!


When I first started #DMD on August 25, 2014, I dove in not knowing with 100% certainty what it was that I was trying to accomplish.

It's still a fluid "dream" even today. Goals change, new interests develop and technology improves an almost weekly basis, it seems. I'm constantly trying to figure out if #DMD is "the best it can be".

Yesterday at Stoneleigh Lanes in Towson, we were the best we could be.

Mark McGrath (left) and Brian Walsh (right) enjoy DuClaw's awesome craft beer "Mysterium" while bowling on Sunday at Stoneleigh Lanes.

Fourteen four-person teams gathered for our annual Charity Duckpin Challenge, sponsored by our friends at Jerry's Toyota, Unison Business Solutions, Royal Farms and DuClaw Brewing Company. Unlike most charity events, where you raise money for one designated recipient, our bowling event allows each team to pick the charity they would like to bowl for and represent. Prize money goes directly to their charity of choice.

Most days, I'm proud of this website and the "business" of Drew's Morning Dish.

Yesterday, I was extraordinarily proud of the readers, sponsors and supporters who made a difference.

We had one reader -- who always asks to remain anonymous -- donate the entry fee for a team.

Shawn Shannon of Unison Business Solutions donated ten cents per-pin in everyone's first game to the Malone family of Baltimore, who tragically lost their home and six children in a fire back in January.

Royal Farms gave away valuable coupons to bowlers who participated in our Malone family fund-raiser.

And DuClaw brought along some of their oustanding craft brews and everyone had a great time!

Yesterday, I was very proud of the spot we've carved out for ourselves in the market. We made a difference.

Someone came up to me yesterday and said, "Events like these are why I feel good telling people about Drew's Morning Dish."

I couldn't have heard anything better. That, to me, was the statement of the day.

First place in the bowling event went to the team captained by Scott Edwards, who threw a 1,378 score for three games to win $750 for their designated charity, The St. Jude's Children's Center.

Second place went to Tony Iafolla's team, who bowled 1,337 in three games. Their charity, the M.S. Society, received $500.

In third place came John Novak's team with a score of 1,318. John's team raised $300 for the National Kidney Foundation.

And the fourth place team, captained by Mike Waldhauser, raised $200 for The Boy Scouts of America.

The winning team in the 2017 #DMD Charity Duckpin Challenge was comprised of Scott Edwards, Wayne Edwards, Chris Edwards and George Conn. They raised $750 for their charity!

The Malone family fund-raiser was a grand slam! The fourteen teams knocked down 5,085 pins in the first game, resulting in a donation of $508 to the Malone family from Shawn Shannon and Unison Business Solutions. With #DMD's match, that resulted in a total of $1,016 to the Malone's.

If you were unable to make it out to the bowling event on Sunday but would still like to contribute to the Malone's rising medical and home expenses, a trust fund has been set up to receive all donations: Checks can be made out to: The Malone Family Trust, c/o The Jeffrey Group at Morgan Stanley, 650 S Exeter St., Suite 1100 Baltimore, MD 21202.

My team was very representative, but not nearly good enough to compete with the top notch talent we had on Stoneleigh's lanes on Sunday. We had a blast, though! Thanks to my friend Dale Williams and his daughter, Hannah, plus Brian Walsh from DuClaw Brewing Company for hanging in there for three games and bowling with me.

I managed to bowl 100 or better in all three games, which, I figured, was sort of like breaking 90 in golf. Something in the 105 range in bowling is a decent score, like 85 is in golf, but it leaves you wanting to get to 110, 120 and 130. And duckpin bowling is far more difficult and frustrating than golf, I found.

Thank you once again to everyone who partcipated on Sunday, whether as a bowling team, a sponsor or a supporter.

We'll be back next year, bigger and better. I've already started making notes and plans for expanding the event with two divisions ("pro" and "amateur"), more prize money for charities and a lot more fun!

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transgender wrestling story makes national news because...she won


If you watched any of the national news shows over the weekend, you no doubt saw coverage of the story out of Texas where a transgender teen, transitioning from female to male, won the girls' Class 6A state wrestling title.

It's a big story.

And an important one, too.

Mack Beggs, born a female, started taking testosterone treatments last year to initiate the formal female-to-male transition process. But Texas high school athletic rules state a participant must play the sport -- gender wise -- that matches their birth certificate.

Mack Beggs won the 6A state girls wrestling championship in Texas, but Beggs identifies himself as a male and would have preferred to wrestle against other males.

Beggs, then, was faced with a dilemma. Wrestle against females, even though she no longer considered herself a female and was transitioning to a male? Not wrestle at all?

This past Saturday was the end of a two-week whirlwind for Beggs that started with a lawsuit filed on Feb. 7 asking that Beggs be suspended because his testosterone treatments provided Beggs an unfair advantage. Beggs is allowed to compete because he has a "valid medical use" for the testosterone and must wrestle girls because the rule in Texas stipulates that gender is determined by birth certificate.

With cameras flashing and media members swarming in the gym, Beggs worked her way (or, it is "his" way? I don't really understand the protocol in this situation) through the quarterfinals and semifinals and advanced to the championship, where she easily defeated her opponent to capture the 6A state title.

Had she not won, I don't think the Mack Beggs story would have had much traction.

But, by winning, she was able to take something away from those she defeated, so it's naturally much more of a story than if she would have lost along the way.

I'm not a doctor and know very little at all about testosterone and even less about the female-to-male transition process.

The folks in Texas who tried to stop Beggs from wrestling against girls assumed her testosterone intake was making her "stronger" and changing her body type, thereby creating an unfair advantage.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

I don't know how it works.

That she easily cruised through her weight division and won might be much more about her wrestling skills than some new found strength due to testosterone treatments.

There's also a train of thought that suggests her opponents were defeated before they started, that the attention placed on them was too much to handle as well.

This is a tough situation.

The easiest thing would have been for Beggs to realize the controversy probably wasn't worth the nagging attention she'd receive and to not wrestle in the state tournament.

Some would also say that would have been the "fair" thing to do, since, of course, Beggs believes he's a male, not a female, and thus, shouldn't be wrestling against other females.

Texas could change the rule to stipulate you can participate in sports within the gender you identify with, but we all know that's a loophole waiting to be exposed.

Since "insight and opinion" is part of #DMD's mantra, I'll give mine. I wouldn't have let Beggs wrestle against other girls. I realize the state rule says she must, so all I probably would have done is earned a bunch of lawyers another summer home somewhere, but my position would have been: If this person identifies as a male, he can't play with or against females.

I don't see what's so wacky about that.

We'd tackle the other subject later, which, of course is the real sticky one: When does Beggs "officially" become a male so that he, then, can participate in sports with or against other males?

It could be as simple as: When she receives her first testosterone treatment to intitiate the transition process, she's no longer a female.

Someone far smarter than me would have to answer that one.

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i'm not gaga over her
but you might know someone who is


Never let it be said that I'm not a man for the people.

What other explanation can you give when you read the information below about a trip to see Lady Gaga in Philadelphia other than, "Drew's a man for the people"?

Yes, we're going to see Lady Gaga.

Join #DMD on Monday, September 11 when we head to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to see Lady Gaga, brought to you by Jerry's Toyota.

It wasn't my idea, honestly, but we're doing it.

My friend Anna Lybrook was one of the first to check in. She has previously enjoyed trips with us to see Springsteen and Adele, and a couple of weeks back she rattled my cage about seeing Lady Gaga in Philadelphia.

It doesn't have to be my cup of tea for #DMD to take on a project.

Remember when I first launched the website in 2014? "People helping people will be a central theme at #DMD", I said then.

So, I'm willing to help you see Lady Gaga, or those of you who want to, anyway.

She's one of the hottest acts in music today, and no matter what you think about her wacky attire and "look", the young lady can definitely sing. And fresh off the heels of her Super Bowl appearance in Houston, she's launching a summer tour that will take her to every major venue in America.

If you'd like to see her perform live, we're making it happen for you.

The show is Monday, September 11, at 7:30 pm at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Ravens will be 1-0 after opening the season with a 24-20 nailbiter over the Colts the day before in Baltimore.

We'll leave Baltimore around 4:00 pm, our luxury motor coach stocked with ice cold DuClaw beer, water and soft drinks, plus delicious subs and sandwiches from our friends at Palmisano's of Baldwin.

We have both upper and lower concourse tickets available for the show. The package that includes upper concourse seats is $200 per-person and the package that includes lower concourse seats is $275. NOTE: As of 2/17/17 at 6:30 am, there are ONLY four (4) lower concourse seats remaining. The rest of the seats are upper concourse.

The $200 and $275 prices are only available to the first 28 customers who purchase their seats in full. We may add seats again once those first 28 are gone, but our bus will travel to Philadelphia with a maximum of 40 concert-goers.

If you're interested in seats on our Lady Gaga bus, just go here.

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Sunday
February 26
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXI
Issue 26
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this, that and the other


As I prefer to do, I'll leave the heavy lifting regarding Maryland's basketball team to our insightful reporter, Dale Williams, who covers yesterday's stunning loss to Iowa in great detail below.

But I still have an opinion on the Terps.

They look like they might really be in trouble.

Back-to-back 14-point losses at home? Not good at all.

Out-worked, out-hustled, out-everything'd? A coach's nightmare.

Maryland's 2016-2017 team figured to be led by Melo Trimble, but is the junior guard doing any real leading on and off the court this season?

And then, to me, the biggest one of them all: No team leader.

I don't see any kid on the team pulling the Terps together during this month-long stumble. Granted, I'm not at practice every day, nor in their locker room, so I'm not privvy to everything that goes on in College Park, but I see a team without a true leader. I just see a bunch of young men playing basketball.

The coach can only do so much. A kid -- or two, even -- has to take on a leadership role and do the dirty work when things are going bad.

I don't see Maryland having that kind of player.

Rickie Fowler is on the verge of his 4th career PGA Tour win at the Honda Classic, owning a 4-shot lead through 54 holes after a bogey-free round of 65 on Saturday.

But Fowler's history with Saturday night leads on the PGA Tour isn't all that good.

He's 0-4 when owning a 54-hole lead.

He did close out a European Tour event where he held a 54-hole lead, but that's kind of like hitting a home run in the 3rd inning of a baseball game that eventually gets rained out. You count it, but no one else does.

Fowler is a terrific player. He won the Players Championship in 2015 and then later that same season won a FedEx Cup event in Boston. Those aren't majors, but they included fields that were comparable to a major, for sure.

He's made $23 million on the course and probably double that amount off the course since arriving on TOUR in 2009. In 2015, he had three runner-ups and a 3rd place finish in the four majors.

Fowler is legit.

But if he goes 0-for-5 in final round close-outs today, that's bad. Not that any player on TOUR is capable of replicating what Tiger Woods did during his decade-long rampage through the world of professional golf, but if Fowler wants to take a page from Tiger's book, he learns to shut the door on these events where he leads heading into the final round.

With Woods, a 4-shot lead on Sunday morning grew to an 8-shot win by Sunday afternoon.

That's what Fowler needs to do today. He doesn't need to win by eight, mind you. He just needs to win.

No coach ever likes to lose, but if you gave Gonzaga coach Mark Few a dose of Meet the Fockers truth-serum this morning, he might tell you that he's happy to see his team's undefeated season come to and end last night at home against BYU.

It's really hard to work your way through the NCAA tournament in March and win six games.

It's even harder to do that having not lost a game during the regular season. At some point, if you believe in such things, the odds simply catch up to you.

Gonzaga, for those who might not know, has done this a lot over the last decade. And by "this", I mean, put together a terrific regular season, then bow out quietly on the 2nd weekend of the NCAA tournament.

Whether it's a lack of battle-tested moments during the regular season -- a by-product of a pretty weak conference -- or not enough high-profile games where the pressure gets ratcheted up a notch or two, Gonzaga never seems to carry over their terrific regular season play into March Madness.

This year might be different. Losing last night takes the pressure of an undefeated season off of them.

No one likes to lose, but sometimes it's for the best.

With three key players out due to injury, the Capitals lost in Nashville last night, 5-2.

One night after a hard fought 2-1 win at home over Edmonton, the Caps, minus T.J. Oshie (pictured) and three other key players, lost 5-2 in Nashville.

One loss? No big deal.

But there are now four important pieces to the Caps' puzzle sitting on the sidelines. Andre Burakovsky is out until late March and Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik and T.J. Oshie all missed Friday's home win over Edmonton and Saturday's road loss at Nashville.

Finishing first in the Eastern Conference isn't the be-all, end-all for the Caps. They've done that before and still lost early in the playoffs.

But anytime you can secure home-ice throughout the post-season, you're in a better position than if you don't secure home ice.

The injuries have reduced the Caps to a good team. With those four players in the lineup, Washington is a really good team.

True, the Caps were coming off a stretch where they played five games in eight days, a grueling schedule for any NHL team. Saturday's game in Nashville might have been a loss no matter who was in the lineup.

But Washington can ill afford to stumble down the stretch and cough up first place in the Metropolitan Division and/or Eastern Conference.

The standings have the Caps up five points (89 to 84) on Pittsburgh, but the Penguins have played one less game. The Rangers are coming on now, lurking just seven points behind Barry Trotz's team.

Speaking of the Penguins, it's hard to be mad at them for winning on Saturday night at home. They beat the Flyers, dropping those bums five full points behind Boston and the Islanders for the 8th and final playoff spot in the East.

Someone at the club better get Claude Giroux's golf clubs out and clean them up. He's going to need them in early April.

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today's the day we raise money for the malone family


Our annual Charity Duckpin Challenge is slated for today at 3 pm at Stoneleigh Lanes in Towson.

The event itself is sold out, but feel free to stop by, say "hi", have a cold DuClaw beer with us, and make a donation to the Malone family of Baltimore, who lost their home and six of nine children in a tragic fire back in early January.

Our 56 bowlers will not only be bowling to raise money for the Malone's, they'll also be bowling for their own charity of choice. We're handing out $1,800 in prize money today, going directly to the charities of the teams who finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

Thanks to our friends at Unison Business Solutions, we also have a fund-raiser in the first game for the Malone family. Unison will donate ten cents for every pin knocked down by all 14 teams in today's first game. Several teams in the event have agreed to donate ten cents per-pin knocked down by their team in that game.

Thanks to our sponsors of today's event: Jerry's Toyota, Unison Business Solutions, Royal Farms and DuClaw Brewing Company.

We'll post the results and pictures tomorrow morning here at #DMD.

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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 the 2016-17 season.


terps labor through bad loss to iowa


You can find many words to describe the beat down that Iowa handed the Terps last night in College Park.

"Embarrassing" would be accurate, as would "horrendous" or "frustrating".

But I’ll go with "humbling".

If it’s possible to humble a team that has lost four of their last six, then last night’s 83-69 defeat did just that. The young Terps got a humbling reality check, and they were incapable of reversing their fortunes.

Damonte Dodd registered just six points in Maryland's defeat on Saturday night, fouling out with five minutes remaining in the game.

Maryland was dominated in every aspect of the game and the final score didn’t accurately reflect the chasm that separated the two teams last night. Iowa had their way with Maryland and the game was decided early.

How early? Like, on Thursday when Iowa head coach Fran McCaffrey installed a Bill Belichick-type game plan that took away Maryland’s strengths as well as exposing and exploiting Terp weaknesses.

The Hawkeyes employed various zone defenses that had neutralized the Terps' backcourt quickness and efficient high pick sets. Last night there were no high screens and very little dribble penetration.

Maryland was left with a bunch of three point shots. Offensively, Iowa challenged the Terp big men and pounded the offensive glass. It was a winning combination for the Hawkeyes.

Almost 60% of the Terp shots taken were three point tries. They made 11 of 34 for a 32% showing. Melo Trimble was 1 for 9.

Maryland did manage to put 40 points on the board in the first half when they connected on 48% of their field goals and 35% of their threes. However, that effort was overshadowed by the 47 points that Iowa pinned on Maryland in the opening 20 minutes. The Maryland defense was laughable.

Trimble’s Iowa counterpart, Jordon Bohannon torched the Terp guards (mostly Melo) for 24 points while hitting 8 of his 10 three point attempts. Bohannon knocked down four of five in each half.

Iowa’s offense produced 48 of their 83 points from the three point line, hitting 16 of their 26 long range shots, but many of those were the result of Iowa taking advantage of a major Terp weakness. 15 Hawkeye offensive rebounds led to 30 second chance points for Iowa. They jumped over, went around, and out raced would be Terp rebounders. They were too athletic and too long.

Also exploited expertly by Iowa was Maryland’s lack of mobility in the low post. Damonte Dodd, Ivan Bender, and L.J. Gill were easy fodder for Hawkeye center Tyler Cook. Cook put up 21 points on 8 for 13 shooting. His athleticism and length were far too much for the sluggish Terp bigs to handle.

Iowa had the perfect game plan and the right combination of talent to pull it off. They attacked the Maryland interior with their superior athletes, crashed the offensive boards which led to easy put-backs and kick-outs for threes, and they stymied the Terps' attack with varying zone defenses.

Maryland's defense was just atrocious in the first half, but not to be outdone, the offense was equally horrible in the closing half. In the first 16 minutes of the second half, Mark Turgeon's team produced just 18 points. The pattern seemed to repeat itself almost every possession. Maryland would wind down the shot clock, launch a three, and fail to challenge for the rebound.

One component of Maryland’s zone offense left me scratching my head and questioning Turgeon’s scheme and game plan.

You absolutely cannot be effective against the 1-2-2, 1-3-1, or 2-3 zones with either Bender or Dodd running the foul line or high post. That player must be someone who provides options when they get a touch inside the perimeter of the zone.

Bender was merely a distributor of the ball when he touched it at the high post. He almost never turns and faces or goes to the basket. They were practically giving him the short jumper and he never took the shot. All Bender seemed to do was kick it outside.

Dodd was equally inept there, but his touches were far less frequent.

The Terps have two players, and only two, who can run that spot. They are Justin Jackson and Kevin Huerter.

I would much prefer Jackson because he has good hands and is a stronger finisher around the basket. Huerter is still shying away from contact. The point is, using Dodd or Bender in that spot on the court is a guarantee you’ll be hoisting threes. Those two just don’t present options that force defenses to react.

It was a huge mistake yesterday to put those Bender and Dodd in that spot on the floor. It’s one that needs to be corrected or else every team will shut the Terps down in a similar fashion.

The Terps have just two more regular season Big 10 games remaining. They play Rutgers on Tuesday before concluding with Michigan State on Saturday. Hopefully, Coach Turgeon can use those games to make the adjustments needed to be a factor in the Big 10 tournament and win a game or two in the NCAA’s.

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i'm not gaga over her
but you might know someone who is


Never let it be said that I'm not a man for the people.

What other explanation can you give when you read the information below about a trip to see Lady Gaga in Philadelphia other than, "Drew's a man for the people"?

Yes, we're going to see Lady Gaga.

Join #DMD on Monday, September 11 when we head to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to see Lady Gaga, brought to you by Jerry's Toyota.

It wasn't my idea, honestly, but we're doing it.

My friend Anna Lybrook was one of the first to check in. She has previously enjoyed trips with us to see Springsteen and Adele, and a couple of weeks back she rattled my cage about seeing Lady Gaga in Philadelphia.

It doesn't have to be my cup of tea for #DMD to take on a project.

Remember when I first launched the website in 2014? "People helping people will be a central theme at #DMD", I said then.

So, I'm willing to help you see Lady Gaga, or those of you who want to, anyway.

She's one of the hottest acts in music today, and no matter what you think about her wacky attire and "look", the young lady can definitely sing. And fresh off the heels of her Super Bowl appearance in Houston, she's launching a summer tour that will take her to every major venue in America.

If you'd like to see her perform live, we're making it happen for you.

The show is Monday, September 11, at 7:30 pm at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Ravens will be 1-0 after opening the season with a 24-20 nailbiter over the Colts the day before in Baltimore.

We'll leave Baltimore around 4:00 pm, our luxury motor coach stocked with ice cold DuClaw beer, water and soft drinks, plus delicious subs and sandwiches from our friends at Palmisano's of Baldwin.

We have both upper and lower concourse tickets available for the show. The package that includes upper concourse seats is $200 per-person and the package that includes lower concourse seats is $275. NOTE: As of 2/17/17 at 6:30 am, there are ONLY four (4) lower concourse seats remaining. The rest of the seats are upper concourse.

The $200 and $275 prices are only available to the first 28 customers who purchase their seats in full. We may add seats again once those first 28 are gone, but our bus will travel to Philadelphia with a maximum of 40 concert-goers.

If you're interested in seats on our Lady Gaga bus, just go here.

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Saturday
February 25
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXI
Issue 25
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i found a sporting event where no one really lost


The history books will show that the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League title was won by Gonzaga, on February 24, 2017.

The pages dedicated to covering the championship game will reflect a 2-1 Gonzaga win over Calvert Hall, as the Eagles scored a goal with 1:55 remaining in the game to seal the victory.

What all of that history won't show is that Calvert Hall didn't actually lose on Friday night. Not in the least.

Gonzaga won the game. Fair and square. But Calvert Hall most certainly didn't "lose". They just ran out of time.

I ventured down to the impressive complex in Laurel on Friday night to see the Final in person. The captain of the Calvert Hall hockey team, Ryan Camille, is also a captain on my Calvert Hall golf team.

This piece isn't about Ryan Camille, per se, but I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you two things about him because the time is right.

Ryan recently received a West Point appointment from a local government official. It's not 100% certain he's going to be selected as an incoming Cadet, but the appointment alone is a significant accomplishment for him. That he wants to graduate from high school in late May and then start at the Academy in July, forfeiting what would likely be the most memorable summer of his young life, tells you a lot about Ryan.

This also tells you a lot.

The Calvert Hall hockey team won a quarterfinal game earlier this week on Tuesday in Washington D.C., then won the semifinal match-up with DeMatha on Wednesday, again in D.C., to earn the right to play in Friday's title game.

Our Calvert Hall golf team practiced on Thursday afternoon. Ryan Camille was there.

The Gonzaga Eagles captured the MAPHL championship on Friday night with a 2-1 win over Calvert Hall.

After practice, I pulled him aside and offered him a chance to take a break after Friday's title game. "Why don't you take next week off, rest up, and join us again the following Monday, March 6?" I offered. The hockey season is a tough one for high school teams. They play 2-3 games a week, often practice at 6 am before school, and the grind of two playoff runs (Calvert Hall also fell 2-1 in OT in the MIAA title game two weeks ago) can wear down even the heartiest of young athletes.

"No, Coach, no need for that. I'll be at practice this Monday," Camille replied. "I'm ready to go."

There's my quick Ryan Camille story.

But the Friday night hockey game and the Calvert Hall loss to a supremely talented Gonzaga team wasn't about Camille. It was about the spirit displayed by both teams, the winner and the loser, and how both programs exemplified what youth sports should be about. Yes, "should be" is in bold for a reason.

The record books will show Gonzaga won the title game, 2-1.

What the record books won't show is that Calvert Hall left everything they had on the ice, took their foes right down to the final whistle, and then conducted themselves appropriately when the celebration ensued on the ice in front of a packed arena, with 400 or so Gonzaga fans roaring at the south end of the arena.

I'll admit it. I'm fond of hockey players. Yes, I was once one, myself, so that certainly jades my opinion. But hockey players typically don't play the blame game.

Calvert Hall could have talked about the game-winning goal afterwards and lamented a double-deflection out of nowhere that somehow find three inches of daylight and skipped over their goaltender's left shoulder with less than two minutes remaining.

It wouldn't have been outrageous at all to call the goal "a fluke", because it probably was just that. After squandering a dozen or so high quality chances in the 2nd and 3nd periods -- many of which were miraculously stopped by the Cardinals' goalie, so perhaps they weren't "squandered" -- Gonzaga won on a shot that had little real intention of finding the back of the net.

But, that's hockey.

And, that's sports, too.

The idea is to score more goals than the other team. As we like to say in golf, "there aren't any pictures on the scorecard".

No one cares about "how?", they just care about "how many?"

When the game ended, the Cardinals participated with dignity in the post-game handshake at center ice. Gonzaga, it should be noted, was gracious in victory. Sure, they celebrated madly in the moments following the final horn, which is expected and appropriate given the stakes at hand.

But when they skated through the line, there was a mutual respect evident that warmed anyone who had the privilege of being there in the standing-room only venue.

Afterwards, I went down to the Calvert Hall locker room to say a few words to the coach, Ryan Woodward, who suffered his 3rd loss in 4 years in the MAPHL title game in that very building in Laurel.

"What a game," he said as we shook hands. "It was a real pleasure to be involved in such a great atmosphere like that."

He didn't bemoan the loss ("They have a really good team over there..." he said) or reflect on the imperfect game-winning goal that beat his team fifteen minutes earlier ("We always talk about just putting the puck on net and giving it a chance to go in...").

There was nothing but satisfaction coming from the coach. Disappointed his team lost? Of course. Did he stay up last night, watch the game tape, and wonder what he might have done differently to change the outcome? Most likely, yes.

But afterwards, Coach Woodward "got it". The other team tries, too. You give everything you have and if you're ahead at the end, be humble and happy. If you're on the short end, knowing you couldn't have given any more is reward enough.

And just being there, in that moment, where every other team would like to be, is sometimes the best moment of them all.


The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


Ryan Camille popped out of the locker room during my visit with his coach.

"Helluva game," I said as we shook hands. "You guys played your asses off."

"Yep, we did," he replied. "They were just a little better."

No excuses. No complaining. No whining.

No losers, either.

Everyone was a winner on Friday night.

Even the golf coach.

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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 the 2016-17 season.


expect favored terps to clobber iowa


The Maryland Terrapins, losers of four of their last six games, will try to right their ship tonight when they host the Iowa Hawkeyes at 6:00 pm.

There will be a halftime celebration for the Terp’s two Final Four teams. This year’s team hopes that at about 8:00 pm they can celebrate the end of an untimely two game losing streak.

After a quick review of the box score from the January 19th game between these two teams, I was left feeling a tad uneasy about Maryland’s chances tonight.

They were down by three points with only 3:12 remaining in that game and Iowa was on their way to shooting just 35% from the field and 25% from the three point line. Any improvement at all on those numbers and the usually high scoring Hawkeyes might have emerged victorious.

Maryland hopes to once again contain the Big 10's leading scorer tonight, Iowa's Peter Jok.

Add to that a highly unlikely to-be-repeated subpar performance from Iowa’s top scorer, Peter Jok, (4 for 12 from the field) and it’s easy to project a tough task for the Terps tonight.

But then I watched a replay of the game. My thinking changed.

Maryland won because they were a better overall team than Iowa. They gave up 20 offensive rebounds and they turned the ball over 21 times (8 by Anthony Cowan), but they were still the better team.

Peter Jok is an extraordinary athlete and the Big 10’s leading scorer, but outside of him the talent level in Iowa City drops precipitously. They are, statistically, the worst defending team in the Big 10 and really struggled to stop Maryland’s guards who were just too quick for them in that January encounter.

I can see a bunch of points for Maryland tonight and not just from the guards. Five Terps in the first game managed to score in double digits. That included Justin Jackson and Damonte Dodd. Ivan Bender went 3 for 4 from the field and grabbed 8 rebounds in 21 minutes.

Look for much of the same in tonight’s game as Maryland spreads the scoring around.

Iowa hasn’t had an away game in two weeks and most recently defeated Indiana on Tuesday, giving them an extra day of rest over a tired Maryland team that played Wednesday.

Mark Turgeon gave his Maryland starters some much needed extra time off after the loss to Minnesota. His team played with dead legs in the second half of that loss and need to recharge. A day off and a loud crowd should give them the boost they need.

The oddsmakers must have seen some of the same things I did because they've installed the Terps as 8 point favorites in this game tonight. That’s a lot of points for a team with only two wins in their last six games, but it’s not enough.

With a Saturday crowd all pumped up from seeing Chris Wilcox, Lonnie Baxter, and a host of other Final Four participants, Maryland gets an energizing 83-70 victory in front of a packed house and an ESPN 2 audience.

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i'm not gaga over her
but you might know someone who is


Never let it be said that I'm not a man for the people.

What other explanation can you give when you read the information below about a trip to see Lady Gaga in Philadelphia other than, "Drew's a man for the people"?

Yes, we're going to see Lady Gaga.

Join #DMD on Monday, September 11 when we head to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to see Lady Gaga, brought to you by Jerry's Toyota.

It wasn't my idea, honestly, but we're doing it.

My friend Anna Lybrook was one of the first to check in. She has previously enjoyed trips with us to see Springsteen and Adele, and a couple of weeks back she rattled my cage about seeing Lady Gaga in Philadelphia.

It doesn't have to be my cup of tea for #DMD to take on a project.

Remember when I first launched the website in 2014? "People helping people will be a central theme at #DMD", I said then.

So, I'm willing to help you see Lady Gaga, or those of you who want to, anyway.

She's one of the hottest acts in music today, and no matter what you think about her wacky attire and "look", the young lady can definitely sing. And fresh off the heels of her Super Bowl appearance in Houston, she's launching a summer tour that will take her to every major venue in America.

If you'd like to see her perform live, we're making it happen for you.

The show is Monday, September 11, at 7:30 pm at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Ravens will be 1-0 after opening the season with a 24-20 nailbiter over the Colts the day before in Baltimore.

We'll leave Baltimore around 4:00 pm, our luxury motor coach stocked with ice cold DuClaw beer, water and soft drinks, plus delicious subs and sandwiches from our friends at Palmisano's of Baldwin.

We have both upper and lower concourse tickets available for the show. The package that includes upper concourse seats is $200 per-person and the package that includes lower concourse seats is $275. NOTE: As of 2/17/17 at 6:30 am, there are ONLY four (4) lower concourse seats remaining. The rest of the seats are upper concourse.

The $200 and $275 prices are only available to the first 28 customers who purchase their seats in full. We may add seats again once those first 28 are gone, but our bus will travel to Philadelphia with a maximum of 40 concert-goers.

If you're interested in seats on our Lady Gaga bus, just go here.

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Friday
February 24
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXI
Issue 24
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


orioles face delicate situation with president trump invitation


I'll violate a very obvious credo today and connect the world of politics with the world of sports.

It's a mistake, I know. But I'm doing it anyway, because it involves the Orioles.

On a 1-to-10 scale, my affection, love and general knowledge of politics is probably about a "2".

My love for sports is a "10". I hate when the two get mixed together, because sports usually loses.

Toe in the water...here we go.

We're a little more than five weeks from opening day at Camden Yards and the Orioles already face a major decision.

And, no, it's not who starts on opening day? We know that's going to be Kevin Gausman now that Chris Tillman is on the shelf through early-to-mid-April.

The Birds have an even bigger decision to make, if that's possible.

Do they extend an invitation to the President of the United States to participate in their opening day ceremonies and throw out the game's first pitch?

The Gausman decision is much more simple than the Trump decision, of that I assure you.

From Taft to Obama, the President's participation in baseball's Opening Day has been a tradition most teams are proud to enjoy. The Orioles, apparently, don't feel the same way in 2017.

Orioles owner Peter Angelos is a longtime Democrat who has provided staunch support of political candidates affiliated with the party of his choice. President Trump, of course, is a Republican, recently starting his first term in the Oval Office.

The natural step in previous years would be for the Orioles to invite the President to Opening Day at Camden Yards. The White House is a mere 45-minute drive up I-95, so it's not like the logistics are all the difficult to manage -- on either end -- from a transportation standpoint.

It's always been a no-brainer: He's the President, you have a baseball game, it's Opening Day, hope springs eternal and all that jazz -- and you invite the President to enjoy the afternoon with the local nine and throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

There's no guarantee he's in town or able to make the game, mind you, but the invitation itself is a fait accompli.

But, it's apparently not a no-brainer this year, at least not in Baltimore.

And that, in all honesty, is a shame.

It's not a shame that the Orioles choose to neglect the President of the free world because the family roots of the ownership group are Democratic. Peter G. Angelos owns the Orioles and he can do whatever he pleases when it comes to matters that involve his franchise.

What is a shame, though, is taking something once considered an honor -- having the President stand on your mound and throw out the first pitch of the season -- and turning it into a complicated mess.

That's the nuts and bolts of it.

This issue, like many others in our country, gets twisted into something that isn't and then, sadly, it falls apart. All the Orioles would be doing by inviting the President to Opening Day is carrying on a tradition that has long been symbolic more than anything else, but still important nonetheless.

Somewhere there's a person or group of people who will figure out a way to turn the Presidential visit into something it's not. It's nothing more than a courtesy invitation that gets extended to the person who runs the country. It's the nice thing to do, the pleasant, warming thing to do.

No one is saying the Orioles have to hand out pamphlets proclaiming their love for the President or have a plane fly overhead with a banner waving with "O's love Trump!" on it.

Just invite the President to Opening Day because you have some common decency.

Alas, if you're the Orioles, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Inviting Trump would be looked upon by members of the local Democratic party as the Orioles selling their soul.

Orioles executive John Angelos participated in a local podcast earlier this week in which spewed a bunch of rhetoric about President Trump's beliefs and philosophies and how uncharacteristic they were with the ideals of an evolving America.

Don't worry, I won't bring up the Orioles buying their Manny Machado bobbleheads from some factory in China.

Not inviting Trump, while pleasing the voters in Maryland who didn't pull his lever, does nothing at all to help stitch up the wounds of an ugly election in which both candidates were fraudulent on a number of levels.

And by not asking the President to throw out the game's first pitch, the Orioles join the masses in Maryland and the country who refuse to accept the election results even though it was their peers who voted him into office in the first place.

It smells -- or stinks, more like of it -- of the uppity, elitist philosophy that so many Democrats accuse the Republican party of maintaining in the wake of Trump's election night win.

"Our candidate didn't win, so we're not playing along like we usually would," the Orioles would be saying by not inviting the President to Opening Day.

It's bad form. Or bush league, even. Whatever you call it, it's a tactic that does nothing at all to help bring the nation together at a time when there's an obvious split amongst the masses.

There was, of course, a very public "split" in the country as well during the last two Presidential terms, but that didn't seem to bother the Orioles or restrict them from inviting then-President Barack Obama.

I didn't vote for either candidate last November, nor do I have a particular party affiliation, so I don't have a Trump-dog in this race.

I'd just like to see people come together, stop whining, and move on with making the country better in whatever way each individual can contribute to that effort.

And if I ran the baseball team, I'd invite the President -- regardless of who is in office -- to Opening Day. Every year.

The only thing negativity can do at this point is create -- you guessed it -- more negativity.

I'm certainly not saying that Peter Angelos and his family have to change their political beliefs to accommodate the current President. It's a free country.

I merely believe the Orioles baseball franchise has a responsibility to help create a moment in Baltimore that promotes unity in the nation. Not inviting the President manufactures even more division than we have already. Then again, some would say that's what the Democrats are trying to do these days.

It's a sticky situation in Charm City, one that the Orioles will likely finagle their way out of by doing what everyone else without an original thought would do -- they simply won't invite the President to the game.

That's a shame.

On a day when the Orioles could potentially help create unity, they're instead likely going to do the exact opposite.

That's not a tremendous surprise, of course. The Birds have been walking on their own path for the better part of 24 years now.

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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.

It's an axiom in sports that, as a referee, if anyone knows your name you’re not doing your job well.

Perhaps no one has ever embodied that principle more than Major League umpire Jim Joyce who, along with Bob Davidson, John Hirschbeck, and Tim Welke retired from MLB this week.

That’s an impressive quartet with a lot of experience under their belt, all of whom were involved in big games and moments. But none held the stature or fame of Joyce who, for better or worse, may well be the most famous official in baseball history.

Joyce has long been recognized as one of the game’s very best and most respected officials.

With tears in his eyes, Jim Joyce collects the lineup cards at home plate the day after his botched call at first base cost Tigers' pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game.

As a crew chief he always maintained control of the game and never made an attempt to show up a player or coach, or to escalate an on-field confrontation to draw attention to himself. That might not sound like much, but considering that he’s in the company of Davidson and Hirschbeck this week, it’s definitely not nothing, either.

Joyce did have a loud, demonstrative strike call when he worked behind the plate, but by all accounts batters and hitters alike loved it for its quickness, decisiveness, and making sure there were no doubts about what the call was. And in terms of the metrics, for as long as we’ve been able to measure these things anyway, Joyce really was one of the most accurate umpires, both behind the plate and on the bases.

But of course, that has nothing to do with why Jim Joyce is so well known. If you’ve heard the name, it’s very likely the first time it registered with you was one very unfortunate June night in Detroit, when Joyce erroneously called a Cleveland batter safe at first base and cost Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game with one out to go.

Social media immediately blew up with the expected hot takes, the replay was shown in super-slow motion dozens of times within a half an hour of the call, and Joyce was well on his way to being the punchline of decades worth of jokes about bad officiating.

But then a funny-yet-simple thing happened: Joyce owned every bit of his error. He could have defended his decision or just refused to talk about it like many officials would, but Joyce met with the media immediately after the game and didn’t hesitate to acknowledge that, after a second viewing, he realized he got the call wrong. He didn’t shy away from the historic stakes of his mistake either, having denied Galarraga the designation of having officially thrown a perfect game.

And because Murphy’s Law never fails, Joyce was scheduled to work behind the plate the very next afternoon, inviting abuse from the Detroit crowd with literally every pitch. MLB actually offered him the opportunity to take the day off and bow out of such a tough position, but Joyce refused, insisting on going out like any other day. “That shows you what kind of a man he is,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland put it in a passionate defense of Joyce, practically begging fans to take it easy on the umpire.

And with that, the narrative changed practically instantaneously. Joyce went from an umpire who would be synonymous with failure and ineptitude to a model of integrity and professionalism who didn’t make excuses and respected everyone else in the game. When Joyce did take the field the next day it was Galarraga who delivered the Tigers’ lineup card to a visibly crying Joyce and shared a handshake with the man whose mistake cost him a claim to history.

Back in 2013, after another controversial call from Joyce in the World Series, NBC’s Craig Calcaterra wrote a column that’s really redefined the way I view officials. In short, the axiom at the beginning of this column is entirely true…and also incredibly unfair.

Professional officials in all sports have an incredibly difficult task, and it’s amazing that they get the calls right as often as they do. And yet…you can’t tell me one great umpiring call you’ve seen off the top of your head. When the right call gets made, it fades into the back of our consciousness and turns into just another blip in the game. Or maybe we remember it, but only for the play and the players involved.

When Manny Machado makes a seemingly impossible throw to put out a runner at first, you never think about the identity of the umpire making the right call on the bang-bang play. It doesn’t even occur to you to think about it. But one mistake, least of all in a huge moment, and an umpire who maybe gets 90% of calls right is suddenly famous for all of the wrong reasons.

Thankfully that didn’t happen to Joyce.

Yes, he’s famous because of that moment in Detroit, but by this point the integrity and humility he showed in response to it all is much more remembered than the call itself, and everyone came out the better for it.

Joyce remained nearly universally liked and respected within the game, and arguably the most popular official ever in the eyes of fans. Galarraga might not have officially thrown a perfect game, but his effort is much better remembered than several such efforts that were completed. I guarantee that people will forget Phillip Humber threw a perfect game long before they forget that Galarraga threw one he doesn’t officially get credited for.

And that’s the kind of heart-warming story that sports can still provide from time to time.

All Joyce had to do was have the integrity to admit a mistake, and the world embraced him for it. In a world that still argues over whether athletes are or should be role-models, an umpire stood us and reminded us all that a little common decency really does go a long way. As he bids farewell to the game, Jim Joyce finds himself the rarest of creatures: an umpire whose name is known for all the right reasons.

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buzzer beater sends mount carmel past calvert hall and into miaa title game


Having lost a 24-point second half lead and battling to hold off a Calvert Hall team awash in momentum, No. 5 Mount Carmel got a buzzer-beating three-pointer from junior William Miller to stop the Cardinals comeback cold, Thursday in Essex, and advance to Sunday’s MIAA A Conference Basketball Championship with a 66-63 semifinal playoff victory.

It will be Mount Carmel’s second trip to the final in three years. The Cougars will face top-seeded Mount St. Joseph (31-3), which advanced with a come-from-behind 54-46 victory over McDonogh (20-10), in Thursday’s other semifinal. The title game will be played at 5:30 p.m. this Sunday at Harford Community College's APGFCU Arena.

The Cardinals stormed back from a 24-point third quarter deficit but couldn't complete the effort as Mount Carmel earned a 66-63 win on Thursday in the MIAA Boys' semi-final.

For much of the night the Cougars (25-8) did not appear as if they would need any last minute heroics. With the Cardinals (14-18) struggling with their shooting, the Cougars hit eight three-pointers and built a lead that grew to 24 points late in the third period and they led 56-35 at the start of the fourth quarter.

In the final quarter, however, the Cougars struggled from the free throw line, making just 5-of-16 attempts, opening the door for Calvert Hall. The Cardinals began the final frame with an 11-1 run to pull within 11 with 4 minutes, 57 seconds to play, with senior D’Yante Doughty hitting a pair of threes in the surge.

After a timeout, the comeback continued, with the run swelling to 22-3, bringing the Cardinals within two, at 59-57, with 2:14 remaining. Down the stretch, junior Xavier Gravette hit two huge threes for the Cardinals, the first giving them their first lead since midway through the first quarter, 60-59, and the second tying the contest, 63-63, with 8.9 seconds to play.

Following Gravette’s tying shot, Christian Evans inbounded the ball for Mount Carmel to junior Jordan Jones, who took it across mid-court on the right side. With all eyes fixed on Mount Carmel senior star Terry Nolan, Jr., Jones found Miller for an open look from the right corner. Jones caught the ball, rose up and found nothing but net, as he faded back into the Cougar bench, setting off a wild celebration with his teammates and the Mount Carmel student section.

“I just had to let it go. I had to let it go,” said Miller of the winning shot. “My team was counting on me. I knew it was coming to me because my teammate (Nolan) drew their attention. I was just hot the whole game. I let it go.”

Mount Carmel coach Hakim Hibbert gave credit to Jones for creating the final opportunity, as well as Miller for making the clutch shot.

“Jordon Jones did a tremendous job of passing the basketball, getting it to Miller,” said Hibbert. “I knew they were going to be hard on Terry Nolan. Miller got in his sweet spot and he made a great shot.”

Miller hit three three-pointers in the contest and finished with 11 points. Nolan scored a game-high 17 and Jones netted 15 points, including eight in the third quarter to help the Cougars build their lead. Mount Carmel also got nine points from Evans.

Junior Brendan Adams led Calvert Hall with 16 points and Doughty netted 15. Junior Josh Cornish scored nine points, while Gravette and freshman Justin Lewis had eight points each.

Mount Carmel has now defeated Calvert Hall three times this season and they will see each other one more time. The Cardinals will return to Mount Carmel on Thursday, March 2 for an opening round game in the Baltimore Catholic League Tournament.

While the Cardinals have already started to look forward to that opportunity, the Cougars have some more pressing business on Sunday, before turning their attention back to the Cardinals and the BCL.

“It’s great. We had a hard season. We fought all year long,” said William Miller of his team’s trip to the MIAA final. “It’s great and we’re just hungry for more.”

This game report was compiled and written by Varsity Sports Network, the area's leader in high school sports coverage. For complete coverage of A, B and C Conference basketball playoff action, plus Baltimore County basketball action, please visit -- www.varsitysportsnetwork.com.

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this weekend in
english soccer


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

With Manchester United and Southampton set to square off in the final of the EFL Cup on Sunday at Wembley, an abbreviated Matchday 26 of the English Premier League will kick off with all eyes once again turning to the bottom of table, where the fight to avoid relegation remains closer than ever as five teams find themselves separated by only three points.

With relegation rivals going head to head and another facing a visit from a top four contender, we are likely to have a better idea by the end of the weekend which sides will be the favorites to drop down to the Championship by seasons end. As usual, you can catch all of the action live on the NBC family of networks or online at NBC Live Extra.

Saturday, February 25 (all times eastern)

10am – Swansea City @ Chelsea – Stamford Bridge, NBC Sports Network

Swansea City moved four points clear of the drop zone when they shipped two first half goals past defending champions Leicester City before taking their foot off of the throttle to play out the second half string and easily coast past their relegation rivals 2-0. It was the Swans third win in their last four league games (L1) as they continue to thrive under manager Paul Clement and they will look to continue their march up the table when, following trips to Liverpool and Manchester City over the last month, they embark on another difficult road test when they visit Stamford Bridge for a meeting with Chelsea.

Chelsea may just be starting to show some cracks in their seemingly so far this season invincible armor after they split the points for the second time in the last three weeks in a 1-1 draw with Burnley, with the slight dip in form allowing Manchester City to make up four points and trim their lead at the top of the table to eight points. With City enjoying the weekend off due to United’s participation at Wembley, the Blues will try to restore their cushion against a Welsh side they have failed to beat in their last three league (L1) but have managed to win four of the last five meetings at Stamford Bridge (D1).

10am – Middlesbrough @ Crystal Palace – Selhurst Park, CNBC

Crystal Palace put in a better showing but were unable to bounce back from the absolute 4-0 drubbing they had received the week before against Sunderland when they lost in the league for the sixth time in their last seven (W1) in a 1-0 setback to Stoke City. They will welcome Middlesbrough to Selhurst Park for a high stakes relegation battle with Boro managing to once again split the points for the fifth time in their last eight league games (L3) but the draw with Everton nevertheless continuing their slow and gradual descent down the table as they find themselves just two points above the drop zone.

While holding only a three-point edge and winning just once in their last five meetings across all competitions with Palace, Middlesbrough will need to start taking maximum points beginning at the weekend and moving forward if they hope to avoid the drop down to the Championship, with three of their next five matches to follow against fellow bottom of the table dwellers Sunderland, Swansea City and Hull City before a brutal run in of games to end the season where points are surely to be at a premium against Manchester City, Chelsea, Southampton, and Liverpool.

Monday, February 27 (all times eastern)

3pm – Liverpool @ Leicester City – King Power Stadium, NBC Sports Network

Not even one full year after winning the EPL, Leicester City is looking for a new coach after firing popular Claudio Ranieri on Thursday.

After a dismal start to the New Year, which scuttled any title hopes and has left them outside of the top four looking in, Liverpool finally got back to winning ways as they notched their first league win of the calendar year with a convincing 2-0 victory over the now third place Tottenham. They will make the trip for Monday Night Football to the King Power Stadium for a meeting with the increasingly desperate Leicester City, who lost for the sixth consecutive league game and, possibly more worrisome, once again failed to get on the score sheet for the sixth game running when they fell to Swansea City.

With their struggles domestically only compounded by an embarrassing defeat against League One side Millwall in the FA Cup last weekend, the lone bright spot for Leicester City so far this season had been their Champions League form, however their midweek setback to Sevilla in the first leg of their final sixteen clash has cost beloved manager Claudio Ranieri his job less than a year after winning the title as they continue to search for answers ahead of their meeting with Liverpool at the King Power where the Foxes have lost three of their last four overall (W1) and six of their last nine against Liverpool (W1 D2).



Thursday
February 23
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXI
Issue 23
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caps save the night after terps get punked by minnesota


Twenty three seconds into the game in Philadelphia last night, the Caps were already on the ropes.

Then they were saved by a ticky-tack penalty that changed the game and they cruised home from there, beating the worst-franchise-in-the-history-of-sports, 4-1.

That saved the night for me, as Maryland produced an absolute stinker at home, losing to a suddenly-surging Minnesota team, 89-75. Yes, that score is right. The Terps got taken to the woodshed in their own building, losing by fourteen points.

If the Caps would have lost in Philly and Maryland would have lost at home? I would have had to listen to one of those old overrated albums from The Beatles just to fall asleep last night.

A Flyers fan in despair: The greatest picture in sports, other than Hogan's 1-iron at the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion.

Alas, I slept like a baby after that 4-1 Capitals victory, a win that moves Washington to 87 points on the season, tops in the NHL at this point, and drops the boys from Philly even further behind that 8th place playoff cut-line in the Eastern Conference.

If the Flyers somehow fail to miss the playoffs by one point, I can look back on that 4-1 home shellacking they took at the hands of the Caps on February 22 and say, "That's the one that kept you creeps out of the playoffs. Enjoy your golf..."

Who knows how the game would have went had that first goal not been disallowed because of goaltender interference? As I wrote on Twitter immediately thereafter, I can't stand the Flyers and hope they lose every game for ten years, but that was a garbage call. Pure garbage. I felt bad for the Flyers for about 1.2 seconds, tops.

Once that pesky 1-0 deficit was erased by the coach's challenge, it was all Caps from there. Philly did close the gap to 2-1 in the 2nd period and had several chances to tie it up, but never managed to do so.

A 3rd period tally from T.J. Oshie sealed the deal and, as they have done for the better part of 40 years now, as soon as the result was out of hand, the Flyers resorted to goon tactics to try and even the score. It's as predictable as the sun setting in the West.

A couple of cheap shots here and there, glove-rubbing in the face after the whistle, and just general hooliganism from the Flyers turned the final five minutes of the game into fifteen minutes of "if we can't beat you, we'll fight you."

"Scoreboard", you punks in orange. "Scoreboard."

Meanwhile, I gave the remote a workout in the final 15 minutes of the Maryland game, shifting back and forth with that Caps contest in Philadelphia.

A few weeks back, I wrote a piece about Maryland hoops here at #DMD and offered a light warning about the team's three big freshman, Anthony Cowan, Kevin Huerter and Justin Jackson, hoping they wouldn't fall victim to the "freshman wall" after a long, arduous six month season.

Last night, at least, those three looked tired. Or they did in the fifteen minutes or so that I was able to see in between clicks back to the Caps game to make sure their 3-1 lead was still intact.

To be fair, the whole team looked out of gas last night in the 89-75 loss to the Golden Gophers. But the three freshmen shot a combined 10-for-32 last night.

It's not about the physicality of a basketball schedule that wears down an 18 or a 19 year old. They've been playing basketball games at this pace for several years now. College basketball is MUCH different than anything those three have seen before, both from a classroom standpoint and a mental standpoint.

High school basketball is checkers. Big 10 basketball is chess.

I'm certainly not blaming the three freshmen for the fact that Maryland has stumbled in February, losing four of their last six overall. But they were critically important to the team when they were kicking ass and chewing bubblegum in January, and their (apparent) fatigue down the stretch could be an issue for Mark Turgeon as tournament time comes around.

Meanwhile, let's remember that the other team tries, too. Minnesota played their hineys off in the second half and are now at 9-6 in conference play, just one game behind the Terps.

Maryland, 3rd in the Big Ten and trying desperately to hang on to that spot to ensure a double-bye in the conference tournament next month, finishes with three games they should win: home vs. Iowa, at Rutgers and home vs. Michigan State.

Then again, they were supposed to win last night, too, and they didn't.

Here's the concerning part for the Terps in the final ten days of the regular season: They face an Iowa team with one of the league's most athletic players in Peter Jok. Maryland's defense will need to be up-to-snuff on Saturday night or Jok might go off. Rutgers has improved greatly this season, losing by just four points recently to both Northwestern (road) and Michigan (home). And Michigan State is, well, Michigan State. Never, ever assume you're beating Tom Izzo.

Three weeks ago, it looked like the double-bye was all but a certainty for Maryland. Now, with Minnesota and Northwestern both sitting at 9-6, the 10-5 Terps have to put their foot on the gas and win out to nail down that conference-tournament breather.

I don't like where this is headed.

But it all would have been much worse had the Capitals not polished off the Flyers last night in Philly.

I can walk around town today with my head held high, comforted by the fact that hockey fans in Philadelphia woke up this morning disappointed.

Beating the Flyers in their own building? There's nothing better.

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#dmd welcomes a new contributor today!

I'm very excited to welcome a new weekly contributor to the #DMD family today, as David Rosenfeld joins us to offer his weekly take on the world of sports.

David is a former sports publicist who not only enjoys writing, but looking at the games and players on an in-depth level, using his years of experience "in the game" to help balance his journalistic endeavors with his appreciation for the efforts being given by the players and coaches.

I think you'll find his work to be interesting, challenging and fair.

His debut piece for #DMD -- "What's A Hot Take?" -- appears below.

His work will appear every Thursday here at #DMD.

Welcome David! Thank you for your efforts in helping Drew's Morning Dish grow!


"the best 34 minutes of the week" returns


One of these weeks, #DMD's podcast, "The Best 34 Minutes of The Week", will actually be 34 minutes.

Or not.

We go into overtime today with my friend Shawn Shannon of Unison Business Solutions. We cover a wide range of topics, including Matt Wieters, Manny Machado, the Ravens and Maryland basketball.

Unison Business Solutions is also the sponsor of our Charity Duckpin Bowling Challenge this Sunday at Stoneleigh Lanes, so we talk about the big event during the podcast as well.

I hope you enjoy it.



PODCAST




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thursday sports with David Rosenfeld

DAVID ROSENFELD is a former sports publicist who still keeps his eye on the game. Looking at the game, the news or the players on an in-depth level is what he likes to do. Follow his work here at #DMD every Thursday, brought to you by Glory Days Grill.


what's a hot take?


It was on a recent visit to one of those sports bars with 50 televisions of various sizes when I found the sports peace I’d been searching for. I won’t give the place away, though it starts with the word “Buffalo.”

Anyway, the place was dead, and it was mid-afternoon; there were no live games to be seen. Darting from screen to screen, all I could see was one discussion show after another: the attractive female host, the former athlete(s), the newspaper guy now making twice as much as a TV pundit. What were they talking about? I had no idea. The sound was off, and none of the monitors had been set to show closed captions.

I smiled from ear to ear at my good fortune. Here I was surrounded by sports, but all the noise was gone. There was no debate, no analysis, and no provocation. I was blissfully deaf to what the former Deadspin writer Tommy Craggs says is “the television fallacy that debate is a good unto itself.”

Competitive sports on the professional, collegiate and high school levels exist, have always existed and will continue to exist without the hot takes surrounding them. I will never dislike Duke basketball, the Yankees, or the Steelers as much as I dislike the “Embrace Debate” culture that first took over ESPN and has now metastasized to every network and every topic in the sports world.

What’s a hot take? It’s not an easy definition. It’s more than an opinion, which we all have, or a comment, which we all make. It can be moralizing, but doesn’t have to be. It might be rushed, to make it relevant to today’s news, or it could be about old news (see Tebow, Tim or Flacco, Elite).

Here’s how I would define it. It’s a comment or opinion made primarily, and deliberately, to attract attention to the person saying it, with the added purpose of creating a conflict where one didn’t exist before.

Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith get paid millions for theirs, which is good for them even if it’s lousy for us. But the phenomenon has trickled down to every level of the sports media, from the local radio talk show to the college newspaper to the official Twitter feeds of professional teams. It’s even trickled down to the comments section of this website.

I’ve given up on watching any type of pregame or postgame shows; the Ravens game goes on at 1:01 and goes off when the hay is in the barn. Did you watch much of the most recent World Cup, in 2014? The game itself is terrific, presented without interruption and guaranteed to fit into a specific time window. The commentary before and after the game is pure drudgery, with three or four people struggling to find takes that are different than the others.

So why am I here? After all, isn’t this a place where Drew and others make their opinions known, and then offer readers the chance to comment on those opinions? In other words, doesn’t #DMD exist in part to provide the kind of hot takes that create page views and draw attention to itself?

Maybe, but I think this site aspires to be more than that. I think its tone is measured and thoughtful, not intended to create noise but to make you think about sports in general or the specific topic of the day. It’s passionate about local teams and sports issues, but it’s not about the emotions of being a fan getting ahead of the truth. That’s why I read it, and that’s what I hope to bring to it.

I also hope that my experiences working in athletics help me bring something to the table. What happens on the field or on the court is just the end of hours, months, years or a lifetime of preparing for those moments; what you see is a product of something you’ll never see, which makes it awful hard to throw out a hot take with any credibility at all.

But let’s go back to the sports bar, a different one, one that doesn’t even exist anymore.

It’s “The Coliseum” in Cockeysville, it’s 2003, and Maryland, the defending national champion, is playing in the NCAA tournament in Nashville. They have the late game, against UNC Wilmington, and everybody in every room of the place is watching the game. The game is close the whole way, and the Terps are down by one and need a miracle in the final seconds. Drew Nicholas provides it, and as his off-balance three-point shot goes in at the buzzer, the entire bar erupts in pure joy.

The noise was incredible, as I’m sure it was in other bars that night. It was a special ending I will always remember. Nobody cared about the keys to the game or the postgame interview or even the next game two days later. Like competitive sports so often is, the moment was great all by itself.

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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 the 2016-17 season.


terps lay an egg in home loss


The Minnesota Golden Gophers left the XFINITY Center with an impressive victory, 89-75, over the Marylan’ Terrapins last night. That’s not a typo; there was no “D” in College Park on Wednesday.

Minnesota put up 55 points in the second half, with most of the damage coming from the Golden Gopher guards.

The Terps, defensively as a team, were by far the worst they have been all year.

A lousy defensive effort from junior Melo Trimble was just one of the reasons Maryland fell at home to Minnesota on Wednesday night, 89-75.

Individually, Melo Trimble was torched by whatever guard he happened to attempt to defend. It was bad. I haven’t seen such defensive ineptitude since Evan Smotrycz and maybe Nick Canter-Medley before him.

Those two were Mark “The Glove” Jackson compared to Trimble last night. Akeem Springs dropped 10 quick points on Melo in the first half, and Springs only played 8 minutes. In the second half, Trimble found himself matched up frequently against Dupree McBrayer. All McBrayer did was go for 14 second half points.

Melo was not alone in blame, and certainly wasn’t the sole reason for the loss.

The interior defense was also lacking last night. Power forward Jordan Murphy had 15 second half points and went 5 for 5 from the field for the visitors. Offensively, Maryland only hit 7 of 27 three point shots and their three starting guards were a dismal 3 for 15 from long range.

The first half got off to a rough start for Maryland. (Actually, the pre-game got off to rough start when the young lady singing the National Anthem sang the wrong lyrics. To her credit, she had a nice voice and recovered courageously).

Springs buried two threes and a two in just one minute to put Minnesota up 10-4 at the 15:46 of the half. The Terps only hit three of their first 15 shots, but by the time the eight minute TV timeout arrived, Maryland had managed to forge ahead 21-19 behind two 3-pointers by Jaylen Brantley and another 3-pointer by Justin Jackson.

Overall, though, Maryland continued to shoot poorly. With 7:51 remaining in the half, Trimble had recorded three assists, as did Kevin Huerter. At that point, Maryland held a 17 to 12 advantage on the boards including 8 to 3 on the offensive glass.

After the timeout, Minnesota scored eight quick points to recapture the lead 27-21. Maryland fought back again, to gain a one-point advantage at halftime behind 12 sneaky points from Ivan Bender and eight by Jaylen Brantley. Bender, as predicted right here yesterday, was able to slip away while the focus was on other guys. All of his points came from layups and dunks.

The pace was fairly frantic to start the second half with both teams hitting a couple of threes before the first TV timeout. Springs, who torched Melo Trimble most of the night, hit back-to-back threes for Minnesota while Huerter and Cowan hit a couple for Maryland. The score was 49-48 and the Terps were still holding a one-point advantage at the 14:58 mark.

Coming out of the first TV timeout of the second half, Coffey hit two foul shots and on the inbounds Minnesota offered some token full-court pressure and then dropped back into a zone. They didn’t stay in it long, preferring their standard man-to-man.

The Terps were up 53-50 at the 13:16 mark when their game just fell apart. It coincided with some questionable player combinations on the court for the Terps and with Maryland taking seven consecutive three point shots, making only one.

Maryland got into the bonus at 9:10 mark of the second half, but they had stopped playing defense. A 17-7 Minnesota run put the Terps down by seven with 7:23 left. The lead expanded to 10 after McBrayer converted a three-pointer from the left hand corner. It went downhill for the Terps from there.

A technical foul at 4:30 to resulted in two more points for the Golden Gophers and a 72-62 lead. A conventional three point play by Murphy would push the lead to 13 and at that point the game was essentially over and Maryland had lost its fourth home game of the season.

The Terps looked tired in the second half.

Their freshmen certainly have had a drop-off from their early and mid-season performances. While their legs may be accustomed to the work, they could have some fatigue from being bumped and harassed by players much bigger and stronger than they are used to fighting.

While many observers and fans can rightfully point out that the Terps offense looked out of sync and settled for far too many threes, the real culprit of this loss was a poor defensive effort.

Fatigue can surely be a huge factor with that. Maryland needs some rest before they take on Iowa on Saturday, or they may wake up on Sunday having lost five of their last seven games. Hardly the finish they need while trying to secure a double bye in the Big 10 tournament and a favorable seed in the NCAA’s.



Wednesday
February 22
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXI
Issue 22
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orioles will miss wieters, but how much?


There comes a time when a player becomes expendable but, at the same time, not worth the gamble of having his departure backfire on his former employer.

That's what happened to Matt Wieters in Baltimore.

Wieters signed a 2-year, $21 million deal with the Washington Nationals yesterday. That no American League team coveted him enough to give him three years and $33 million is a testament to how much his stock has dropped over the last few years.

That the Orioles would rather have Welington Castillo than Wieters is also quite telling.

Former Orioles catcher Matt Wieters inked a 2-year deal on Tuesday with the Nationals, one that could pay him $21 million over the next two years.

But in the end, despite actually making the only reasonable move they could, the Orioles are going to regret letting Wieters get away.

He's expendable, yes. But it's not worth the gamble the Orioles are taking, in my opinion.

When the Birds drafted Wieters in 2007, they thought they were getting the next Mike Piazza.

Instead, they got the next Jason Varitek.

Wieters had a fine run in Baltimore. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. But he clearly didn't live up to the expectations that surrounded his 2007 1st round selection and the "Mauer with Power" tag he inherited almost from day one.

And still, the Orioles are going to miss him this year.

Wieters is on a short list of true "impact" players who have been with the club during their rebirth. Since making the playoffs for the first time in 14 years in 2012, only six field players have been on the post-season teams of '12, '14 and '16. Adam Jones, Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, Ryan Flaherty, Manny Machado and Wieters.

Wieters and Jones are the only two on that list that played for the club in the lean years. They were in orange and black when the team routinely lost 90 games a year. They went from seeing the organization effectively do their best to not compete to going all-in a half-dozen years later and trying to win.

If you identified the rebound of the Orioles franchise using players only, Wieters and Jones would be two you'd most highly profile. They've seen it all in Baltimore.

Yes, his skills have diminished over the last couple of years, noting again that no American League team -- who could use him 30-40 times a year as a DH -- wanted Wieters on their roster.

Catchers generally burn out quickly, which is why, "only" at age 31, Wieters commanded the paltry sum of $21 million when other players of his ilk and experience level would be commanding and getting deals ranging from $40 million to $85 million.

But, while he's not the catcher he was three or four years ago, his value isn't only judged on what he does with the bat and glove.

There's more to Wieters than that.

He's a clubhouse guy, someone everybody gets along with, and a player who quietly goes about his business. And does it well.

"His relationship with the pitchers was pretty extraordinary," said a team associate who has been around throughout Wieters' tenure. "He knows everything about them. I remember once a couple of years ago at a home game against the Red Sox he predicted before the game that Chris Tillman would pitch well because of the way he walked out to the bullpen area for his pre-game warm-up session."

"And he did pitch well," said the team associate. "I remember asking him the next day how he knew and Wieters smiled and said, 'I know their confidence is up when they're walking tall like Chris was before the game. I could just tell.' That's the mark of a really good catcher."

There have been stories -- and metrics -- recently that suggest Wieters isn't the best "framer" behind the plate and a pitcher or two in Baltimore would have preferred Joseph behind the plate when their spot in the rotation came around.

"I think that was a bit overblown," the team associate added. "Wieters still had the best arm out there, so pitchers knew if they allowed six guys to reach first base, for instance, that chances were good that none of them were getting down to second unless they gave up another hit. His framing might have dropped off a hair over the years, but not enough to do any real damage. Plus, with the bat, he's still a threat to drive in a big run."

Sometimes, teams simply have to move on from a player, but that doesn't mean it was necessarily a boneheaded decision. In the Orioles' case with Wieters, the time was right. And there's still a possibility that the catching position in 2017 will contribute 20-something home runs and 70 or RBI, which is about what Wieters would have produced this coming season in Baltimore.

But there are other intangibles that Castillo and back-up Caleb Joseph can't replicate. And that's where the Orioles might miss Wieters the most.

Despite his overall defensive metrics narrowing a bit over the last couple of years, his arm is still as dependable and deadly as ever. That's an area where the Birds might miss Wieters the most, actually. Anytime a runner gets to second base, he's a single away from possibly scoring.

Wieters cut-down a lot of potential runs at second base over the years. More than you realize, I'm sure.

And while his bat had dropped off a bit as well (think Varitek, not Piazza), Wieters was always capable delivering in the clutch, and did -- again, probably more than you can remember.

He was never a "great" player, but had plenty of "great moments".

Most importantly, he was one of the guys who came aboard when the franchise was wallowing in mediocrity and helped turn it into a winner.

That much can't be argued.

And those kind of players don't come around much. The Orioles -- with the exception of the year he was out after elbow surgery -- never had to worry about the catching spot from 2009 until yesterday when Wieters inked a deal with the Nats.

Today, for the first time in almost 8 years, the Orioles aren't quite sure what they'll be getting behind the plate.

They're going to learn just how valuable Wieters was to their team.

But the time was right for the Orioles themselves to find that out.

How much do YOU think the Birds will miss Wieters in 2017? Feel free to vote in our #DMD poll below and add any insightful thoughts in the "Comments" section at the bottom of today's #DMD.


 Drew's Morning Dish

#DMD Poll

Question: How would the signing of Colin Kaerpernick affect you as a Ravens fan?
I am against it and will not buy a ticket if they sign him.
I do not like it but if they sign him I will support the team.
I am fine with it.
I think he is a good addition to the team, and I support his political stances.
He will probably be starting by Week Four.
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calvert hall stuns john carroll in miaa playoff opener


When Calvert Hall's injury plagued team has been healthy this season, they've been a force.

The problem has been, unfortunately, they just haven't had many games where coach John Bauersfeld had access to his entire roster.

But he did on Tuesday night in Bel Air, and the result was an upset of #2 John Carroll in the opening round of the MIAA A-Conference playoffs, as the Cardinals posted an 84-78 win over the Patriots.

Calvert Hall moves on to Thursday night's semi-final game at Mount Carmel, who defeated Boys' Latin on Tuesday night.

At John Carroll, the Cardinals got big time performances from Brendan Adams (28 points) and Josh Cornish (26) and held off a sizzling late game rally from the Patriots, who were down 71-50 with just over five minutes left before eventually cutting that advantage to 81-76 with less than a minute remaining in the game.

Calvert Hall lost to John Carroll twice in the regular season, but the third time was the charm for the visiting Cardinals on Tuesday night as they won, 84-78.

For the Cardinals, it was their first win over John Carroll in 2017, as the Patriots clobbered them at home back in early January and then won a close one at Calvert Hall three weeks ago. It's not easy to beat a team three times in one season, which the Cardinals proved so well on Tuesday evening.

“This is our third time playing Calvert Hall. It’s hard to beat a team three times. I told the guys this was going to be our toughest game against them yet and that was a fact,” John Carroll head coach John Zito told Varsity Sports Network afterwards. “They came out very tough," Zito added. "I thought their man-to-man defense bothered us early and I did not like the way we responded. We need to take this as a learning experience going forward, going into next week's Baltimore Catholic League playoffs."

Junior star Immanuel Quickley scored 33 points for John Carroll, including 16 in the fourth quarter alone as he tried to bring the Patriots back from a 21-point deficit. Montez Mathis chipped in with 22, including a couple of thunderous dunks that delighted the home crowd.

“You never think any lead is big enough with Montez and Immanuel on the other side,” said Calvert Hall coach John Bauersfeld. “We knew a run was coming. We just had to make enough plays to survive. By no means did we think we were going to win this game by 25 points.”

John Carroll played the game without junior forward Qadir Ismail, a tough rebounder and interior defensive presence for the Patriots who suffered a broken nose last week. His absence was felt as the Cardinals repeatedly attacked the basket on the offensive end and controlled the glass over the first three quarters.

Calvert Hall not only got 54 combined points from Adams and Cornish, but sophomore Logan Curtis chipped in with 11 big points as well.

“We’ve had the sense since our last regular season game that the playoffs are a whole new season,” said Adams, a junior at CHC. “We’re 1-0 now and we’re going to try and go all the way and win the championship; win both championships (MIAA and BCL).”

“We knew we had the potential to be one of the best teams in the league this year,” added Cornish. “We started off slow with injuries. Now that we are all together, we know we can win it all.”

The other Boys' semi-final on Thursday night will pit #1 Mount Saint Joseph against visiting McDonogh. The Gaels defeated St. Vincent Pallotti on Tuesday night while McDonogh eliminated visiting Glenelg Country School. Mount Saint Joseph didn't lose a game in the regular season in conference play, finishing the campaign at 16-0.

In the Baltimore County Championship games on Tuesday night, New Town surprised Catonsville, 43-37 to win the Girls' crown. Catonsville didn't lose a regular season game in conference play, but couldn't finish off their perfect season last night.

On the Boys' side, as expected, Perry Hall defeated Milford Mill, 70-57, to capture the championship.

Some information for this story was provided by our friends at Varsity Sports Network, the area's leader in high school sports coverage. For complete coverage of all local basketball playoff action, visit their website at www.varsitysportsnetwork.com.

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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 the 2016-17 season.


terps begin big-ten stretch run tonight at home vs. minnesota


Minnesota and Maryland will clash tonight at the XFINITY Center (8:30 pm) in a rematch of Maryland’s 85-78 victory in Minnesota back on January 28th.

That game was much closer than the 7-point margin of victory might indicate. The Terps used a late spurt, some amazing shooting, and 59 second half points to erase a seven point halftime deficit in defeating the favored Golden Gophers.

Minnesota, a four point underdog this evening, will look to turn the tables on Maryland in tonight's contest.

Maryland was outrebounded in game one by a 41-31 margin, including 14-8 on the offensive glass. Justin Jackson poured in 28 points and had his best game as a Terp.

Maryland needs a big game tonight from Kevin Huerter (left) and Justin Jackson (right). In the first meeting at Minnesota last month, the two combined for 47 points in Maryland's win.

The freshman Jackson, who has looked a bit sluggish of late, connected on all five of his three point shots while going 9 of 15 from the floor. I’m thinking we shouldn’t expect that to happen again. But what can we expect?

First of all, we can expect both defenses to get more stops than they did in game one. I figure this game to more closely resemble the first half of the January 28th contest, where the combined points totaled 59, than the second half where some impressive shooting led to a 59 point explosion by Maryland and a solid 44 point performance by the Golden Gophers.

Kevin Huerter (19 points) and Jackson were the clear offensive stars for Maryland that night, but both have cooled off lately. Jackson has only reached double digits in one of his last five games, and in those games is averaging less than 8 points.

Meanwhile, Huerter has a combined eight points in his last two Big 10 games. He had two in the win over Northwestern and only six in the loss to Wisconsin. Huerter, while still playing a very solid all-around game, has been much too content with the outside jumper and has eschewed attempts at getting to the rim.

It’s the main factor in perhaps the Terps most bizarre stat line. Kevin Huerter has only attempted a grand total of 12 foul shots in 14 Big 10 games this year. Almost as unbelievable is that he has yet to shoot more than 2 in any one game and hasn’t made more than one. That’s just inconceivable for a guy who plays 30 minutes a game every night.

Huerter needs to go to hole more often, and get to the foul line more as a result. For tonight’s game, though, it’s safe to assume that Jackson won’t get 28 and Huerter won’t drop 19.

In that first game, Minnesota got 23 points from Akeem Springs but only 11 from Amir Coffey. I look for Maryland to do a better job on Springs, but I also expect the Gophers to do a better job getting Coffey involved. Gopher point guard, Nate Mason, will likely again hoist a bunch of shots and once again miss a bunch. He was 2 for 10 the first time around.

Defensively, Minnesota surely learned a lesson about losing sight of Huerter and Jackson, but putting extra effort in stopping them would mean some other Terp reaps the reward. That Terp is going to be Ivan Bender. Bender slipped past his defenders for 8 points in the first meeting and with his playing time likely on the upswing because of Michal Cekovsky’s season ending ankle fracture, Bender could come up big tonight.

While he’s not blessed with jumping ability, he does move well inside and often finds himself in great position for an interior pass. If Bender can convert those tonight, he’ll get double digit points.

The rest is pretty predictable. Minnesota will miss a ton of shots. Maryland will give up offensive rebounds but still hit enough threes to keep them in the lead. Melo Trimble will get inside and get to the foul line as he does so often at home.

Minnesota, who had five players in double digits in the last game against the Terps, will find the going a bit tougher in College Park.

The visitors' 5-game winning streek comes to an end with a close one against Maryland. The Terps survive a 67-64 scare as they head into their Saturday match with Iowa.

Eagles Nest banner

we only have eight seats left for lady gaga!


Never let it be said that I'm not a man for the people.

What other explanation can you give when you read the information below about a trip to see Lady Gaga in Philadelphia other than, "Drew's a man for the people"?

Yes, we're going to see Lady Gaga.

Join #DMD on Monday, September 11 when we head to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to see Lady Gaga, brought to you by Jerry's Toyota.

It wasn't my idea, honestly, but we're doing it.

My friend Anna Lybrook was one of the first to check in. She has previously enjoyed trips with us to see Springsteen and Adele, and a couple of weeks back she rattled my cage about seeing Lady Gaga in Philadelphia.

It doesn't have to be my cup of tea for #DMD to take on a project.

Remember when I first launched the website in 2014? "People helping people will be a central theme at #DMD", I said then.

So, I'm willing to help you see Lady Gaga, or those of you who want to, anyway.

She's one of the hottest acts in music today, and no matter what you think about her wacky attire and "look", the young lady can definitely sing. And fresh off the heels of her Super Bowl appearance in Houston, she's launching a summer tour that will take her to every major venue in America.

If you'd like to see her perform live, we're making it happen for you.

The show is Monday, September 11, at 7:30 pm at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Ravens will be 1-0 after opening the season with a 24-20 nailbiter over the Colts the day before in Baltimore.

We'll leave Baltimore around 4:00 pm, our luxury motor coach stocked with ice cold DuClaw beer, water and soft drinks, plus delicious subs and sandwiches from our friends at Palmisano's of Baldwin.

We have both upper and lower concourse tickets available for the show. The package that includes upper concourse seats is $200 per-person and the package that includes lower concourse seats is $275. NOTE: As of 2/17/17 at 6:30 am, there are ONLY four (4) lower concourse seats remaining. The rest of the seats are upper concourse.

The $200 and $275 prices are only available to the first 28 customers who purchase their seats in full. We may add seats again once those first 28 are gone, but our bus will travel to Philadelphia with a maximum of 40 concert-goers.

If you're interested in seats on our Lady Gaga bus, just go here.

#dmd comments


dan from virginia     August 18
It feels to me that for the last two months we have all been saying these next 10 games are a big deal for the Orioles. And if they are home for that set of games they finish .500 and if they are on the road they finish .400. That is not a playoff team. Because no other teams can take control of the wild card spots yes the Orioles are still "in it" but I don't think they have made up any ground on the second spot. If the Orioles were not the team we rooted for we would all be saying they don't have a chance.

George     August 18
Why is it disrespectful for Kaepernick to kneel during the National Anthem but perfectly acceptable for the American Solheim Cup team, its staff, and zealous fans to mangle the flag in uniforms and equipment? I even saw one guy at the matches using a real flag to wipe sweat off his face.

Brien Jackson     August 18
I'm........not sure Woodrum isn't a better QB than Mallet.

DELRAY RICK     August 18
@HERMAN---That and DAVIS looking at strikes down the middle.

CJ     August 18
"I've been watching football for 25 years" and then the subsequent comment is the funniest thing on sports talk radio. People are delusional. I was once on a panel discussing sports and there was a question and answer period about football, coaches and GM's in particular. .



A guy in the audience(who was pretty intoxicated) got up and spouted off a bunch of quasi-coach speak. He was upset about this and that and I finally got to ask him a question. It was during the Cam Cameron era. I cornered him and asked. "Could you do a better job than Cam Cameron calling plays?".

He then went to his Credentials.

1. Played High School Football. Did not play in college because he needed to focus on school...but also was not recruited.

2. Been watching football his entire life but had only been to three live games.

3. Excellent "Madden" player.

4. Tapes games.

5. Listens to sports talk radio and a frequent caller.



His answer to the question? "YES, I know I could because I follow the team very closely. Cam Cameron does not know as much as I do."



And now there are folks saying(heard it on radio) that this guy who everyone passed on, has virtually no chance of ever seeing an NFL field on Sunday....not only SHOULD beat out Mallet, but he should be able to beat out JOE.



But I have always found delusion the funniest of human emotions(failings?). Was it Monk who called it the Uncle Rico Syndrome? I might call it the Eric the Midget syndrome. That dude(RIP) was incredibly delusional.

Jason M     August 18
Entertaining comments over the last few days....good analysis from the armchair crowd. I agree with DR on the preseason, 10 years ago it meant little, now it means less. Wheneevr any one at the office starts getting that wild-eyed look and going on about Tim White or this kid from Jerry Fallwell's school, I just drop into my best Allen Iverson and, and say 'You're talking about the preseason??' ..Good ol AI, no poster boy for fiuiscal literacy, but what an amazing player and easily the toughest basketball player pound for pound that I've ever watched. He probably could have rushed for 2,000 yards in the NFL.

mike from catonsville     August 18
Didn't watch every play as I was watching the U S Amateur but were there any Flacco sightings last night. The times that I did watch I didn't see any.

Just wondering.

HERMAN     August 18
I have a small request for DMD. This season could we have a "counter" to the margin showing the number of 3RD down completions that do not result in a first down, and perhaps, even, some comparison to the league average of such plays?

Watching the team last year complete 3RD down passes short of the marker game, after game, after game, came close to giving me an aneurism. If we have to see that again continuously this year I fear that I may spontaneously combust right there in the living room chair. I almost want them to just go ahead and sign Kaepernick, so I can tune them out completely, and extend my life a few more years.

DR (the original)     August 18
Inasmuch as the preseason never meant anything anyway, it means even less now. I mean, it's essentially a bunch of guys running around wearing the colors of your team. I honestly can't pay one bit of attention to it. I hope Joe Flacco is ok, and I wish we had a better backup than Mallett, but what team doesn't wish they had a better backup?

In other news, did anybody see the story about Michigan and its football roster? Harbaugh won't let it be released/published, so NJ.com actually filed a FOIA request to try to get it. Paranoia on multiple sides!

Bob from Hereford     August 18
Watching Mallet last night with the knowledge that Flacco was rated 25th qb and the o-line has only 2 returning players that are proven makes me think that this could be a lomg year.

Confucius     August 18
There are sports talk radio stations that still take phone calls? I thought the new wave format was record yourself droning on and on about, well, mostly yourself, then re-run that all day long, interspersed around expired sponsor ads

Premier League Enthusiast     August 18
Liverpool are a disaster at the back, with the exception of Trent Alexander-Arnold, who looks like he could develop into something special at RB, Lovren is awful, Matip is mediocre, and Moreno is brainless. Henderson looks a shell of himself in midfield and made key errors that led to Watford goals. While still two weeks left in the transfer window, it's mind-blowing that Klopp has not brought in at least one CB at the very least to replace Lovren, Robertson should get games at LB when fit and was good business, but if Lovren-Matip are the first team CB pairing when the transfer window shuts, Liverpool are gonna need to goals galore to win matches. With Mane and Salah flanking Firmino, and Coutinho taking a deeper role in midfield behind the front three (if he stays), the potential is there for a world class attacking display, the polar opposite for which can be said about the defence.

Steve from Vero Beach     August 18
Hey Joe Flunko, Don't rush yourself back from your back injury to soon, the kid from Liberty looks pretty good !!!

Chuck Boemmel     August 18
Since the Orioles have to go 27-14 the rest of the way to get to the "magic" number of 86 wins all they have to do is just lose 1 game in each of the remaining 13 series to get to 87 wins...simple plan IF they can execute it.

pb     August 17
While I wanted Jones to pinch hit for Davis it was pointed out to me by my son that Davis has a higher on base percentage than Jones. So the fact that has to be taken into consideration. I also think that we naturally think if Buck took Ulbaldo out earlier than the next pitcher would have let up no runs and that Jones would have knocked in the winning run. You can not say Buck lost the game because you do not know what would have happened.



Also when Buck sticks with someone and it works we do not remember those outcomes. I am guessing he wins us more games than he loses. We usually win more games than the computers pick us to do so he has to have something to do with that.

Theotherguy     August 17
Over40 having a little trouble with the meaning of SOD. And I am pretty sure Bucks favorite thing is the same thing it is for Harbs: winning. Period full stop

edward     August 17
it is becoming increasingly clear that buck has his favorites and it clouds his thought process buck and brady need to be fired maybe we can package davis tillman and hardy to the tigers for verlander and kinsler ..lol

over40Don     August 17
So I guess we now have the SOB crowd vs the SOD crowd. I'd venture a small wager that more people were pissed that Ubaldo was left in and Jones left on the bench than vice versa.

Davis might be in serious need of a sport psychologists.

casual observer     August 17
This notion that both DMD and Brien are offering up that Buck is somehow asleep, too slow to pull the hook, trying to squeeze innings from the starter, etc, etc is just so preposterous, it’s not even funny, more like sad and pathetic. It’s Little Fella stuff, decide on your agenda and skew the facts to serve the agenda. When the home team fails, not hard to find situations after the fact that could have been different “if only”. Brien gleefully goes to the stats with his grand proclamation that Davis is hitting a “pitiful” .238 vs lefties this year. That’s great except, guess what, his overall avg is .221! I’m no math savant like Mr Stats Head is, but if he is at .221 overall, that means “.238 vs lefties” is way better than he is hitting rightys! Chris brought up the most pertinent point, Davis is their highest paid player. Buck’s job is to get him to play better, so pinch hitting in a crucial situation is a good idea to you people? Yeah, yeah, I know, winning is what matters, and each game counts, yadda, yadda, yadda. Forget Ubaldo (who BTW was on a little bit of what counts as a “good streak” for him), do you really think hiding Davis is the best way for Buck to win games down the stretch? If he can’t get Davis right, which only happens by playing, then their fate is sealed anyway. But regardless of whether or not Buck’s decisions work, this notion that he is sleep walking is as inane as the notion that “SEA was disinterested tonight”. But they sure seemed “interested” the next two games, eh? Do teams have pre-game meetings and vote on whether or not to be interested in any given game? I think we call this saying stuff to say stuff, a cousin of spitballing.

Chris in Bel Air     August 17
"Get those legs moving a little more quickly, guys." They have had all season to get those legs moving. It's not happening. I'll be watching and hoping they prove me wrong but it's just not working this year.

So basically Buck is at the point now where he needs to figure out a way to hide the highest paid pitcher and position player. Fabulous.

Brien Jackson     August 17
Also worth adding, Buck's own subsequent move in the 5th inning calls the logic of leaving Ubaldo in as long as he was into question. He brought the lefty Bleier in to face lefty Ben Gamel, so why not bring him in two batters sooner to face left-handed Yonder Alonso who *just homered off of Ubaldo his last time up?* It's not a matter of not having anyone available, it's a matter of not having a quick enough hook and trying to squeeze Ubaldo through the 5th inning.

Brien Jackson     August 17
@CJ



Buck said before the game that Jones was available to pinch hit. And even if he wasn't, Castillo was on the bench too. Try as you might, there's no defense for letting Davis face a lefty there.

mike from catonsville     August 17
@CJ, great Bad News Bears reference. Has DD scoured the wires for Kelly Leak? Like the Bears, Amanda Whurlizer goes down and they have no pitching left. But at least Kelly swings the bat unlike our own "Crush" Davis. Time to remove that moniker of his to "Frozen" Davis or something else more creative that epitomizes his looking at one down the middle to end the game.

TimD in Timonium     August 17
Yes, I recall rotisserie baseball, and, yes, I enjoy fantasy football. And I bet the NFL loves that millions of people are watching previously meaningless games. Look at RedZone on the NFL Network - pure fantasy football porn. (The O's will enjoy the upcoming home cooking where they're 35-23 so far. Man, was that Davis at-bat painful to see.)

CJ     August 17
@David

We might be in the handful of people left who don't play fantasy sports. I used to play, but found myself rooting for players on other teams. It is ridiculous to be at a Ravens game and seeing one of two things., Incessant looking at YOUR PHONE(for fantasy stats) rather than the action on the field OR people cheering the score board when a prominent fantasy player is having a big day irrespective of whether is hurts the home teams playoff chances. Plus it is pointless and a waste of time. Trolling is more fun. Nothing can be more boring than the guy at the water cooler explaining his fantasy football team. Like grown men who still follow, comment or opine about professional wrestling....it is odd.



The ''realists" are back and they are angry. Just take a look at the teams that the O's are battling. They are all the same. Enough about what they need to do. In this crazy season of middling teams who play well from time to time, all you need is one little run at the right time. I've seen the other teams, the O's have as much talent as any of them. Weird season that hinges on one thing. A hot streak at the right time will SEAL the deal. WHY NOT US? Odd season.



Glad that Brien knew ALL of the health of Oriole pitchers on the days that Buck didn't make the proscribed moves. Glad that all of managers know exactly the health of Adam Jones yesterday. The only "BAD" thing that Buck didn't do was have the Morris Buttermaker/Rudi Stein talk with Davis before his last at bat. "Same thing as Trumbo/Mancini".

pb     August 17
I very rarely disagree or second guess Buck's decisions with pitchers. There are often things that he knows that we are not aware of and he has for the most part kept our bullpen healthy and consistent over the past four years.



In the fifth I was calling for Tillman. I thought it was a good situation to use him as a long man and see could he give us a couple of innings. What truly fired me up was not pinch hitting for Davis. Now even if Jones is injured, we have Castillo as an option. We need to play the last 41 games like they are the last game of the playoffs.



On another note Britton just does not look sharp. Probably I am spoiled from last year.

unitastoberry     August 17
As it was put here a few columns back the Orioles are flawed. Not your 2005 variety but enough to make you realize the gravity of the situation. When Davis struck out with the bases loaded he looked like a statue time for him to go. There's a 161 million reasons for that.

Thatguy     August 17
Yup, its all Bucks fault.



And always love the "They need to spend money on a 'quality' pitcher". You like 217 M for a David Price?



That's not how you 'get" quality P....like, how did the,Dodgers "get" Kershaw, or the Indians "get" Kluber , etc

mike from catonsville     August 17
There was no excuse for Jones sitting in that spot. Buck wanted to give him a day off, so seeing 5-6 pitches would have exhausted him? Really? No excuse as I have maintained for quite sometime buck is a good manager not a great one.



Switching gears, watched the mens amateur last night. Some great matches. Watched this guy Thornberry with interest and the comment made by Azinger.



First, Thornberry has an unusual swing, huge understatement. But like every young gun (and old) hits it a mile and can really play at a reasonably high level. Azingers comment about the swing was perfect. Remembering back about 3-4 weeks ago there were threads about "instruction". Lots of comments. Azinger said last night and I paraphrase as he was going back and forth with Faxon , "I work with a lot of players and I tell them, you want the perfect swing or to be the best player". I thought that captured my sentiment perfectly. Faxon even chimed in that the other player (Niemann?) was the swing to copy if you wanted one and he doubted anyone taught Thornberry to swing like that and laughed about Furyks swing not being copied. Good commentary by both, actually thought they did a great job with their comments on the telecast.

Looking forward to watching again tonight.

Tom J     August 17
Drew, thanks for the clarification.

Tom     August 17
Agree with a lot of what Brien (and Drew) wrote today. Inexcusable that Buck let Davis bat in the 9th with Jones in the dugout.

Boxiron2     August 17
Is Buck still managing in those last 41 games? He is? OK, we can't win 27 of them then.

DF     August 17
@Tom J --



That wasn't Brien's fault today. I'm posting DMD from a mobile server and without boring you with the details, there are some nuances to the keyboard that I'm still learning and occasionally some letters get erased. I "lost" those letters in Brien's piece and was in the process of editing and fixing when you posted your comment about it. Thanks for picking up on it, but that one is on me/DMD, not Brien.

Joe     August 17
In some ways, I think for Buck, it's payback to the GM for signing absolute "stiffs" like Jimenez and Davis. If they are stick me with players incapable of performing under pressure and not use that money to sign one quality pitcher....than I'm going to stick it you and let you see the "fruits of your labor". Can't wait till he runs Hardy out there in a week or two; another player who can't play anymore. Oriole's are mediocre at best.




Tom J     August 17
Brien, agree with your sentiments but for God sake, PROOFREAD your work..!!!!! You set yourself up for all of the criticism. You left out the H in reach!!! You left out the N in Givens..!!! It's really not that hard to PROOFREAD before hitting send.

BJ     August 16
@CJ, define "hit piece".

HERMAN     August 16
Charlottesville has amplified racial strife in our country. The President's response has only enflamed the issue. Yesterday ESPN aired a fantasy draft that had the appearance to some factions of a "slave trade auction" and now fantasy sports have become mired in the argument. Kaepernick now appears a racial justice warrior hero, ahead of his time, and more intend after Charlottesville to follow his lead. The protests will only grow, not pass, and sports as a diversion from the daily strife will instead become a focal point for injustice.



"Are you ready for some football? A Monday night paaarrrtyyy"

CJ     August 16
Another hit piece.

It was amazing to me that many of the pro Baltimore media types have always given a pass to the Ravens on the Westminster Retreat(and just about everything else, so many are "on" for the Ravens and "off" for the O's and there is proof).

I recall DF saying at the time that If it helped the Ravens prepare for the season "better" than fans should be behind it. They won the Super Bowl in the early non training camp years(the first year?). So it proved to be a success. On the field, but that success has never been duplicated.

But they lost a valuable sales chip. No matter how you slice it, the inconvenience(for the team) is minimal, except in the minds of the over controlling coaching staff. We can call them ANTI SALESMAN. They can't be bothered by fan outreach. They are too busy overworking, over thinking and over coaching to be bothered with distractions.



I've always thought it was a fallacy that people couldn't be engaged by both teams at the same time. Maybe for the "head down" generation engaged with their phones 24/7 types, but most of us can read, watch and be engaged at the same time with the O's and the Ravens.

But the annual trip with families to Westminster has passed a half generation away. It bonded and cemented many as life long fans. Trying to get Dad away from the TV(these days) or talk football in that environment(training camp) is lost. It is a not positive thing. In fact I'd go so far as saying is that it is a brand killer.



Controlled message can't be denounced...but if you cover the team that is SOP and no sitting down, no texting, no this, no that. A bunch of silent well behaved robots are what cover the Ravens at "training camp". They get to eat well and some in the media(LF) get to go into the locker room and see well muscled men naked. So there is that.




Chris in Bel Air     August 16
My enthusiasm for the Ravens has diminished over the last few years. I still watch every game but for me, it's not the training camp. The two main factors are the team's level of play and the injuries. It's hard to go all-in on them when they are so inconsistent.

Brien Jackson     August 16
The Beckham situation really is fascinating on all sides:



1. It's pretty obvious that, for whatever reason, the new Rays' braintrust just had no idea what they had in the guy. As Dave Cameron pointed out at Fangraphs, even using last year's numbers Beckham, as a slightly below average hitter (98 wRC+) and slightly below average defensive shortstop is, in terms of value, an above average big league player. But not only were the Rays not playing Beckham as a regular, they went out and added a not all that cheap shortstop who can't hit A LICK to *replace* the guy. It's really an amazing blunder, and I suspect it's a matter of new management viewing him as a bust without having the investment in him that the Friedman regime did more than anything.



2. I get the points about loyalty and wanting to stick by your guys...but it's not like Buck is telling Hardy "hey J.J., the front office traded for out shortstop of the future and we're just gonna go ahead and play him instead of you now." The guy's hitting .484/.500/.855 since the trade. Surely the other veterans would prefer that the hot bat stay in the lineup, and Hardy is experienced/mature enough to understand that Beckham is just playing too well not to keep the job, right? And if not, what's the value of keeping him around for "locker room" reasons? If Hardy's going to be a malcontent about it (which I highly doubt he is), then just DFA him and end the controversy altogether.

Jason M     August 16
Agreed with U2B...if Hardy were not the mature leader he is I'd be concerned, but Hardy knows it's team first, and chances are he'll have some key at bats for us down the stretch filling in.

unitastoberry     August 16
Even if you still had training camp at Westminster its only one practice a day so no one gets hurt LOL and in the morning. Most people used to take off work early for the afternoon practice.But yes its the worst move the Ravens have made since signing Eugene Monroe.

It takes the whole community out of the bonding process and with the league the way it is now a bunch of scum billionares relocating at the drop of a hat they need training camps open to the public.

Hardy is a big boy he knows the drill. Beckam will cool off at some point too.

Kenny G     August 16
As for Raven's training camp, add in the factor the team has missed the playoffs three of the last four years. Add in the fact that there has not been much excitement added to the team - same head coach, same QB, lost some fan favorites - and I think it would still lack excitement if there was the Westminister training camp.

Tom J     August 16
Locker Room popularity doesn't win baseball games and get you into the playoffs. Thanks for the memories JJ. I think Buck would lose more credibility in the locker room by benching Beckham than by telling JJ "it's over Johnny, it's over"...!!!!!! As far as the Ravens excitement, the NFL with their stupid rules and decisions make it hard for me to get excited nowadays, period..!!!!!

David in Werstminster     August 16
Moving training camp from Westminster WITHOUT A DOUBT has affected THIS fan's feelings about training camp. The DUMBEST move the Ravens have ever made.

John In Westminster     August 16
I'd say taking training camp away from the fans has definitely diminished its enthusiasm. Also remember from 2000-2011, the fans were still in the honeymoon phase of getting an NFL team back. One more thing is the reduced participation of the starters due to injury or otherwise. Flacco rarely completes a full preseason and last weeks game in which he and 3 starting receivers didn't even play doesn't exactly have me wanting to check the latest training camp news.

Kerry from Brooklyn Park     August 15
Just a dose of reality and a hope that everyone does this. Navy's outstanding offensive coordinator, Irvin Jasper , found out his son is in need of a heart transplant at the age of 14. He went from being a normal teenager 10 days ago to being coded in the hospital. I hope everyone will offer up a prayer for this young man and hope he gets the transplant he needs. God bless him and his family!

H     August 15
I can't put Joe's contract in the same category as Davis's.

In 2012, Joe turned down the Ravens' initial offer and he rolled the dice that he would have a good enough year to earn a more lucrative deal. He went on a playoff run not seen since another Joe was winning Super Bowls. He had the track record and the moxie to earn his contract. Davis has always been hit or miss (more often miss).

HERMAN     August 15
One incredible thing from this past weekend of golf was how dramatically a little rain changed the scoring. Once the course softened up just a little bit scores started dropping dramatically. It's amazing just how good the top golfers are that given any edge they start a birdie binge. The pro tour boys, especially the top 50 just have another talent level. The top club pros from around the country played the same course and almost all were in the mid-80's, admirable for guys who don't play regularly, but still way behind the top players. And these are the top club pros, the ones out there blistering their home course in the 60's every week.

mike from catonsville     August 15
@George, perhaps my memory is a bit rusty, I was thinking that it what I heard, could be wrong, no doubt you looked it up.



I also looked up the world golf rankings:

December 2015 ranked 6

December 2016 ranked 12

August 2017 ranked 10



Yep he sucks and is just an illusion. As they say, you are entitled to your own opinions but not you own facts. These numbers don't lie.

Tuesday
February 21
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXI
Issue 21
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your call: machado is baltimore's biggest 2017 sports story


In a poll taken by #DMD over the last two days, readers have selected Manny Machado and his pending free agent status as the city's most significant sports story in 2017.

Machado received 45% of the vote.

John Harbaugh's status in Baltimore and the pressure he's under to win in 2017 finished 2nd and received 34% of the vote.

The Ravens draft and the off-season roster improvements they make heading into the upcoming season finished 3rd with 11% of the vote.

Local college hoops teams vying for the NCAA Tournament this March and the Orioles trying to make their first World Series since 1983 each received 5% of the vote.

Can the Orioles re-sign Manny Machado sometime in 2017? #DMD readers voted that story the area's biggest for the rest of the calendar year.

Thank you to all of you who voted.

I voted for the Harbaugh story, by the way.

But I certainly understand the sentiment for Machado's status. It's not only perhaps the biggest sports story in Baltimore, but one of the bigger stories in all of sports, too.

I voted for Harbaugh mainly because I'm fairly certain his status gets resolved in 2017, while Machado doesn't actually become a free agent until 2018. That the Orioles and Machado both say they're "open" to making a deal happen before then is good to hear, but doesn't in any way guarantee it actually happens.

Unless we're all reading the tea leaves wrong -- locally and nationally -- it's apparent that Harbaugh and the Ravens have to return to the post-season in 2017 or Steve Bisciotti will make sweeping changes.

I went with the more pressing current story with my vote, but I understand the Machado situation is critical as well.

Machado represents an iconic player who will be reaching his first date with free agency at the young age of 26 (if he eventually gets there after the 2018 campaign). Like most people hardly remember that Alex Rodriguez started his career in Seattle (he become a free agent at age 24), I doubt most people will remember that Machado actually toiled with the Orioles in the first six years of his big league career, assuming he plays 18-20 years in the big leagues.

This is the Orioles' chance to keep a Hall of Fame player in their colors for the most significant portion of his career, ages 26 through 34.

But it's going to cost a lot of money.

There's still wide speculation on what kind of deal Machado will eventually agree to, but his asking price figures to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $35 to $40 million a year.

We all know how that works: What you ask for and what you wind up getting are often two different things, but in Machado's case, assuming his play on the field continues to impress, he will likely command a per-season salary of $35 million or more.

Can the Orioles agree to fork over that kind of money for him -- or anyone else, for that matter? He'll ask for ten years, would settle for seven, but might only get five years at that kind of per-season rate. Still, even at $35 million a year for five years, would the Orioles sign on the dotted line for $175 million?

What could the Orioles get for that $175 million if they passed on Machado and used those resources to sign other free agents or pay their own?

That's a question worth at least pondering, I suppose. "If we don't re-sign Machado, how do we spend that money we allotted for him and improve our roster?"

The stakes are high and the usual suspects will likely be in the hunt once Machado officially reaches free-agency.

You can close your eyes and picture Machado at a table with a Yankees back-drop behind him as he pulls on a white pin-striped Yankees jersey, smiling from ear to ear after the Bronx Bombers give him $300 million for seven years in 2018.

Boston, Detroit, Texas, the Cubs -- they're all probably foaming at the mouth at the thought of having Machado in their lineup for 162 games.

The prevailing and most realistic thought for the Orioles and Machado is simple -- they have a legitimate chance to keep him if they can somehow get the deal done before he reaches free agency.

Once the curtain closes on the 2018 campaign and he's free to entertain offers from every team, someone is going to come along and blow him away with a deal that's too good to turn down.

As for Harbaugh, his tenure in Baltimore is much more complicated and not nearly as black-and-white as the Machado scenario.

We all assume he's gone if the Ravens don't make the post-season in 2017.

But what if they start next season at 7-3 and are rolling along nicely en-route to a return to the playoffs and then, Joe Flacco goes down with a season-ending injury and they stumble home to finish 8-8 and miss out on the post-season again?

In that scenario, it might be hard to fire Harbaugh.

What if the Ravens go 11-5 in 2017 and, somehow miss out on the playoffs by virtue of a tie-breaker after the Steelers, Bengals and Chiefs also all finish 11-5?

That's why Steve Bisciotti used the phrase "we'll just have to see how it all unfolds" when he was asked back in January if Harbaugh had to make the playoffs in 2017 in order to stay on board.

You can use that phrase for Machado, too, I'd say. "We'll just have to see it all unfolds" fits his situation perfectly.

I don't see him having an off year in 2017, but what if he drops off for some reason and hits .259 with 24 homers and 82 RBI?

What if he follows that up with a similarily "average" 2018 campaign?

Then again, what if he hits 48 homers in 2017 and drives in 124 runs and wins the American League MVP award?

I guess we'll just have to see how it all unfolds.

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high school hoops playoffs start tonight


Four months of hard work gets put on the line tonight all around town as high school basketball playoffs kick off on both the boys and girls sides.

The Baltimore County Girls Championship takes place at SECU Arena on the campus of Towson University, with New Town facing Catonsville at 5:30 pm.

New Town went 15-5 overall, losing to Catonsville, 73-47, back on January 4.

Catonsville compiled an impressive 21-1 record and finished 11-0 in conference play. They are heavy favorites to win the County title tonight.

John Carroll's Immanuel Quickley faces off with Calvert Hall tonight in the A-Conference Quarterfinals.

Following that game, the Baltimore County Boys Championship takes place, with Perry Hall (20-2 overall, 11-0 conference) taking on Milford Mill (15-5, 10-1) at 7:30 pm.

Perry Hall beat Milford Mill in their only regular season meeting, 53-37, in early December.

There are four games in the MIAA A-Conference Quarterfinals tonight, starting at 6 pm with Calvert Hall visiting John Carroll. The Patriots beat Calvert Hall twice during the regular season, including a 76-43 thumping in Harford County in January.

John Carroll finished the regular season at 21-11 overall and 11-5 in the Black Division of the A-Conference while Calvert Hall was 13-17 overall and 8-8 in the Red Division.

Also at 6 pm tonight, Glenelg Country School is at McDonogh. McDonogh won the only regular season match-up, 46-43, in early December.

At 6:30 pm, Boys' Latin visits Our Lady of Mount Carmel and then, at 7 pm, Mount Saint Joseph closes up the evening's action when they host Saint Vincent Pallotti.

Mount Saint Joseph finished the regular season at 29-3 and 16-0 in conference play. They are led by the area's top player in 2016-2017, Jalen Smith, who was voted the Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year on Monday. Joining Smith on the All-BCL first team was Mount St. Joseph teammate -- and University of Maryland bound -- Darryl Morsell, John Carroll's Immanuel Quickley, Mount Carmel's Terry Nolan Jr. and St. Maria Goretti's Elijah Clarance. The selections were based on voting by league coaches and media members.

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i'm not gaga over her
but you might know someone who is


Never let it be said that I'm not a man for the people.

What other explanation can you give when you read the information below about a trip to see Lady Gaga in Philadelphia other than, "Drew's a man for the people"?

Yes, we're going to see Lady Gaga.

Join #DMD on Monday, September 11 when we head to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to see Lady Gaga, brought to you by Jerry's Toyota.

It wasn't my idea, honestly, but we're doing it.

My friend Anna Lybrook was one of the first to check in. She has previously enjoyed trips with us to see Springsteen and Adele, and a couple of weeks back she rattled my cage about seeing Lady Gaga in Philadelphia.

It doesn't have to be my cup of tea for #DMD to take on a project.

Remember when I first launched the website in 2014? "People helping people will be a central theme at #DMD", I said then.

So, I'm willing to help you see Lady Gaga, or those of you who want to, anyway.

She's one of the hottest acts in music today, and no matter what you think about her wacky attire and "look", the young lady can definitely sing. And fresh off the heels of her Super Bowl appearance in Houston, she's launching a summer tour that will take her to every major venue in America.

If you'd like to see her perform live, we're making it happen for you.

The show is Monday, September 11, at 7:30 pm at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Ravens will be 1-0 after opening the season with a 24-20 nailbiter over the Colts the day before in Baltimore.

We'll leave Baltimore around 4:00 pm, our luxury motor coach stocked with ice cold DuClaw beer, water and soft drinks, plus delicious subs and sandwiches from our friends at Palmisano's of Baldwin.

We have both upper and lower concourse tickets available for the show. The package that includes upper concourse seats is $200 per-person and the package that includes lower concourse seats is $275. NOTE: As of 2/17/17 at 6:30 am, there are ONLY four (4) lower concourse seats remaining. The rest of the seats are upper concourse.

The $200 and $275 prices are only available to the first 28 customers who purchase their seats in full. We may add seats again once those first 28 are gone, but our bus will travel to Philadelphia with a maximum of 40 concert-goers.

If you're interested in seats on our Lady Gaga bus, just go here.

Monday
February 20
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXI
Issue 20
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caps spoil an otherwise fun day at the garden in new york


This one had all the makings of a snoozer right out of the gate.

The Capitals were playing their second road game in about 26 hours yesterday, and just their second contest after enjoying their in-season "bye week".

The Rangers hadn't played since losing at home on Thursday night to the Islanders.

And the game started at 12:30 pm as NBC's featured showcase game on national television.

As we settled in just prior to face-off, an older couple decked out in Rangers blue greeted us.

"I have good news and bad news," I said as we took our seats. "The bad news is I'm a Caps fan. The good news is I'm not overly obnoxious unless it gets to be 6-1 or 7-1."

"For which team?" the woman replied.

A goal with 12 minutes left by the Rangers spoiled an otherwise glorious 70-degree day in New York City in February.

So, we knew if nothing else, the fan base was awake and ready to go at 12:30 pm.

"That's the only problem with these games," said my friend who got the tickets for us as the first period rolled along with no goals. "Neither team wakes up until the third period and then all hell breaks loose."

Right on cue, the Rangers scored the game's first goal and the place went nuts.

"Thanks a lot for that," I said to him after the hootin' and hollerin' had stopped.

Our seats -- given to my friend by a client, were almost directly above center ice in Section 224 of the Garden. They were as close to "perfect" as you could find in that building.

The play of the Capitals, though...

Not so perfect.

Washington skated through a lackluster first period, trailing only 1-0 at the intermission. It would have been 5-0 without the help of netminder Philip Grubauer, who made a handful of outstanding first period saves, mostly when Justin Williams was losing the puck in the defensive end and then standing there and looking at it.

Alex Ovechkin missed a decent chance to swat one in early on and the Rangers controlled play, but led only 1-0 after the opening 20 minutes.

We retreated to the concourse for two bottled waters and two bags of veggie chips. Twenty two dollars later, we were back in our seats.

I completely understand the economics of stadium and arena food and beverage prices. There are about five different hands in the till, which makes a soda you'd buy for $2.50 at the local deli into a soda you'd pay $8.50 for at the stadium.

I don't like it, but I get it.

I get it until I see $5.95 for a bottle of water. I don't get it after that.

Six dollars for a bottle of water. That should be prosecutable in some court, somewhere.

The veggie chips were completely underpriced at $4.50 a bag, I thought, but I surely wasn't going to call a manager over and tell them.

We settled back in our seats, but not until I chirped a little bit at two guys wearing "LEETCH" jerseys, sporting the famous #2 of former Rangers great Brian Leetch.

"You guys are going to need Brian Leetch in this second period," I said to them as we walked next to one another.

Since I wasn't sporting any Capital colors, they didn't immediately realize I was there rooting for the enemy. I guess the gray "Calvert Hall Golf" jacket wasn't a give-away I was a Caps fan.

"You can have Leech, Brad Park, Ron Greschner...all of them...this second period isn't going to go well for you boys!" I repeated. It was "friendly banter", of course.

"How many Stanley Cups you guys won?" the guy on the right said.

He was the smaller of the two, I was happy to see.

"None," said his buddy, before I could answer. "They've won none. Ain't winnin' this year either."

With that, they wheeled to the right and headed up above us, while we went down a dozen steps to our seats.

I didn't like the fact that they were behind us, if I'm telling the truth. I figured we'd be easy targets for a stray packet of ketchup or something if the Caps somehow fell off the rails and started getting shellacked.

But the Capitals actually produced some decent hockey in the second period. They dominated the play overall and tied the game on an Alex Ovechkin goal.

"Anyone but Ovechkin," the woman next to me moaned when #8's right handed shot from the circle found the back of the net.

"He's such a creep," she continued. "Everything about him is creepy. It looks like he never washes his hair."

I would have laughed at that comment and perhaps even mentioned how it had nothing at all to do with Ovechkin's prowess as a hockey player, except I disliked that punk Danny Briere from the Flyers for exactly the same reason a decade ago.

The dude looked like he hadn't washed his hair in five days. It drove me nuts.

"You know, he just gave a million dollars to an orphanage in D.C. the other day," I said to the woman. It wasn't a true story, I was just anxious to see what her response would be and whether or not she had a soft spot at all.

"He could give ten million, he's still a jerk in my book," she shot back. Her husband glanced over quickly and just gently nodded his head side-to-side as if to say, "You have no idea what you're getting into if you antagonize this woman."

So much for the soft spot.

There were lots of Washington fans in the building on Sunday. It's an easy train ride from D.C. and my guess is hotel rooms aren't hard to find in Manhattan in the middle of February.

With the game tied at 1-1, there wasn't much back-and-forth from the two groups of fans during the second intermission. There was an occasional comment made, mostly from the New Yorkers to anyone in a red or white Caps jersey, but it was all relatively benign.

I did see a guy roaming the concourse in an old school Capitals road jersey with #9 and "WALTER" on the back. It looked like it still fit him, too.

Sadly, my #9 Ryan Walter jersey from the late 1970's doesn't fit me anymore.

Back to the game.

Alex Ovechkin's goal in New York on Sunday was the only tally of the day for the Caps, who dropped a 2-1 decision to the Rangers.

The Caps continued to control the play early in the 3rd period and had several great chances to go ahead, but they couldn't solve Rangers' netminder Henrik Lundqvist, who made a bunch of nice saves to keep the score deadlocked at 1-1.

A flurry in the Washington end led to a save by Grubauer and another shot narrowly missed the lower left corner of the net. The game action was picking up.

"I feel a Rangers goal coming on," I said to my buddy. "This isn't good."

Twenty seconds later, right off the face-off, New York took the lead.

"How the hell did you know that?" my friend asked.

"It's the Caps...you just kind of know," I said as the crowd settled back in their seats for the final twelve minutes of the game.

When Washington pulled their goalie with ninety seconds to go, trailing 2-1, the woman to my right, like a prayer she was reciting, just kept saying the same thing over and over -- "Don't let Ovechkin score. Don't let Ovechkin score. Anybody but him. Anybody but him."

I laughed, because that's the exact same prayer I'd say circa 2010 when the Flyers would pull the goalie trailing the Capitals -- except I'd insert Danny Briere's name where she was using Ovechin's.

With forty seconds left, the Capitals squandered a doorstep opportunity they'd regret. I still don't know who missed the easy stuff-in from just outside the crease, but I think it was Marcus Johansson.

"What a save!" the man two seats to my right yelled when Lundqvist turned aside the goal scoring chance.

"He actually didn't save it," I said under my breath. "We shot the puck right into him."

As the clock ticked down, the woman on my right continued her Ovechkin chant.

"Not Ovechkin, not Ovechkin, not Ovechkin..."

It wasn't Ovechkin. It wasn't anyone, for that matter. The Rangers held on to win, 2-1.

"Well, have a great rest of the day," I offered them as we left. "Maybe we'll see you guys in the playoffs -- if you get there," I said, adding the "if you get there" after a second or two of silence.

"Yeah, we hope to see ya's if we make it," the husband countered. "We always beat youze guys in the playoffs."

The crowd was generally subdued as we left the building. A 12:30 pm start will do that, I suppose.

As we made our way out into the New York streets, I saw six younger Rangers fans -- college age types -- standing on the corner; three guys and three girls, all sporting Rangers blue.

I needed to get one more good dig in, for some reason.

"Lucky win today for the Rangers!," I said. "Lucky, lucky win..."

To my disappointment, none of them engaged me.

But a second or two later, one of the girls turned around and said, "Go back to Washington -- and tell the President to wake up!"

She emphasized the words "Wake Up!" like a coach would yell to his team in the locker room at halftime or between the periods.

I laughed as they turned right and we turned left. "Go Caps!" I said. I don't know why. I couldn't think of anything else at that moment, I suppose.

Without breaking stride or looking back, one of the other girls just stuck up her middle finger behind her head and off they went.

I do love New York...just not the Rangers.

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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 the 2016-17 season.


refs, badgers too much for maryland


The Wisconsin Badgers used a big 44-27 second half advantage to overcome a six point halftime deficit and beat the Maryland Terrapins 71 -60 in front of a revved up crowd at the Kohl Center in Madison Wisconsin yesterday.

Wisconsin got 21 points from Nigel Hayes, 20 from Ethan Happ, and 9 key points from Bronson Koenig. Maryland was paced by Melo Trimble’s 27 in a losing cause.

Maryland got hammered on the boards in the second half, 26-11. Yes, you read that right; the Terps grabbed only 11 second half rebounds (Wisconsin had 10 on the offensive glass alone).

However, that wasn’t the story of the game. Trimble was a woeful 2 for 6 from the foul line in the second half, including three misses at seemingly crucial moments in the half. Those misses weren’t the story, either.

Melo Trimble led Maryland with 27 points on Sunday at Wisconsin, but it wasn't enough as the Terps fell to 10-4 in Big Ten play with a 71-60 loss to the Badgers.

After allowing only 27 points in the first half, the Terps defense gave up a whopping 44 points in the second half. But, you guessed it, that’s not the story.

The story was this; the way this game was officiated left the Maryland Terrapins without a chance.

Early in the game, the theme was set, and the whistles made sure it stayed true.

Maryland couldn’t move without getting blown for a foul. They couldn’t defend or put a body on someone without a member of the officiating crew tacking another personal foul on a Terp.

Things got so bad, and so obvious, that Terp coach Mark Turgeon took several steps onto the court and berated an official. In doing so, he received the obligatory technical foul.

During his post-game interview, Turgeon repeatedly referred to the foul trouble, the way the game was officiated, and how hard it is “in their building” as main factors in the outcome. That’s coach speak for, “The refs were horrible.” He should be proud that’s all he said in public.

At one point in the first half, Maryland was hit with 3 foul calls in a scant four seconds. They picked up a forth a few seconds later making it 4 fouls in 25 seconds.

The fouls were coming so fast that L.G. Gill fouled out after having played only eight minutes. Wisconsin was in the bonus in the second half at the 9:47 mark. At that time, the Badgers held just a 3 point lead, but that would balloon to 9 after they hit six out of nine foul shot attempts during a 48 second run where Wisconsin went to the line four separate times (one of those trips was for Turgeon’s tech).

I thought Turgeon made a statement by pulling Trimble out of the game with 4:32 left and the Terps down 12 points, 64-52. Kevin Huerter followed Melo to the bench just a few seconds later. Neither ever returned. By the 3:35 mark, the only Terp starter in the game was Anthony Cowan.

Had this been a tournament game, I’m sure Turgeon would have exhausted every resource in an attempt to stage some miraculous comeback. As remote as that possibility is when you are 12 down with less than five minutes left, the task yesterday was infinitely harder. There was no way that was going to be allowed to happen.

With this being a regular season Big 10 game (albeit an important one), Turgeon allowed the inevitable to play out without his starters on the floor in the final three minutes or so.

It’s tough to win road conference college basketball games. It has less to do with the travel, unfamiliar areas, and noise, and more to do with the fact that the home team is going to get the benefit of the doubt by the refereeing crew.

Every college coach knows this to be true. They all expect to be on the receiving end of a few home “gifts” or even no-calls. That being said, yesterday was too much. The refs were the story of the game, and not the players.

Maryland has much room for improvement.

Their weaknesses are obvious and fairly consistent. Rebounding, turnovers, and running good offensives sets when momentum is not in their favor are all on the list of improvements to be made.

I’m not sure that at this late juncture of the season we can expect to see much improving. They probably can't change much in the next thirty days.

Maryland is a good team with holes. They have a shot at beating most teams on most days. Yesterday, they had no shot to beat Wisconsin.

While the college b-ball world and the pollsters will use the results of yesterday’s game to elevate the status of Wisconsin and perhaps knock Maryland down a few pegs, make no doubt about the fact the Turgeon will be telling his kids to forget that score.

He’ll tell them it has no relationship to their ability as a basketball team. He’s right. I’m sure Turgeon is hoping for a Big 10 tournament rematch in Washington D.C. early in March.

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there's one day left to vote in our "pressing sports stories" poll


I'm not sure if you’re one to look ahead like this, but we’re in for an exciting next ten months here in Baltimore.

And I’m not talking only about the Orioles and their prospects for a trip to the World Series for the first time since 1983.

I’m looking more at “stories” that are going to play out in 2017 and wondering what order of importance you’ll place on them as the year unfolds.

The Ravens have a handful of critical issues that we’ll get to be a part of, starting with the draft in April. While every draft is important, this one might be the biggest of the last decade for Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and company.

Picking at #16 in the first round puts the Ravens in the middle of the pack . . . giving them a chance to scoot up a few spots if someone’s there they REALLY like . . . or allowing them to shift back a bit and pick up some extra picks if they’re not completely sold on any player in particular when that 16th pick is on the board.

The bigger story, of course, involves the head coach. Another losing season from the Ravens – or a non-playoff campaign – and it’s likely going to be the end of a great run for John Harbaugh in Baltimore. One way or the other, we’re going to see it all play out in high-def over 16 weeks starting in September.

The Orioles already have two bits of disconcerting news and the calendar hasn’t even flipped over to March. Chris Tillman (shoulder) and J.J. Hardy (back) are both unable to start workouts in Sarasota, and while neither player will “make or break” the Birds if they can’t play for a few weeks in April, both are valuable resources for Buck Showalter on the whole in 2017.

Can the Orioles, who have won more games than any other team in the American League over the last five years, finally break through and reach their first World Series since 1983?

Before you just assume they can’t, remember the Cubs and Indians both made the World Series in 2016. In other words: Anything can happen.

But there’s a bigger story than the Orioles trying to win the American League pennant and advance to the World Series: It’s the Manny Machado saga.

Can the Birds re-sign their star player sometime in 2017? Or will he hang on through the 2018 campaign in order to reach that coveted, lucrative free-agent spot where he’ll command upwards of $35 million a year?

Would the Orioles trade Machado sometime this season if they felt there wasn’t a reasonable expectation for him to remain in Baltimore past 2018? And if they did, how would the franchise’s fan base react to that move?

Those are the “big” stories in town, but on a smaller scale, the NCAA basketball tournament looms well within the grasp of a three local schools.

Towson started their CAA schedule at 0-4 but are now 11-5 in conference play and comfortably in 3rd place.

The Tigers haven’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1991, but this could be their year, particularly if CAA top dog UNC-Wilmington stumbles in the conference tournament.

No team in the CAA has played better over the last four weeks than the Tigers. The recent season-ending injury to John Davis will not be easy to overcome, but ex-Calvert Hall forward Justin Gorham and defensive specialist Dennis Tunstall have both stepped up over the last few weeks.

UMBC got off to a great start in America East, stumbled a bit recently, but still very much have the goods to make a run in their conference tournament early next month. The Retrievers – 8-6 in conference play – defeated visiting UMass Lowell on Saturday at the RAC.

Senior Will Darley has potentially moved into First Team All-America East territory with his outstanding play since the first of the year. The Retrievers aren’t quite the caliber of Vermont or Stony Brook yet, but they’re the most improved team in the conference under first-year head-coach Ryan Odom.

Navy has quietly put together a solid season in the Patriot League, now sitting at 10-6 on the season and in fourth place, although they did suffer a disappointing home loss to Army on Saturday after owning an 11-point halftime lead.

The Midshipmen could very well work their way through the conference tournament and advance to the NCAA’s Big Dance, too.

It’s generally big news in Baltimore when one of the local mid-majors qualifies for the NCAA basketball tournament. What if two or three teams made it this year? How important would that be to the city and its college hoops fans?

Some of the big stories in 2017 will be predicated on win-loss records, while others, like Machado’s status with the Orioles, will be more about money, investment and leverage.

Settle in – 2017 is going to be newsworthy.

Our #DMD poll below gives you the chance to vote on which of the stories will be the most significant one for Baltimore in 2017.


 Drew's Morning Dish

#DMD Poll

Question: How would the signing of Colin Kaerpernick affect you as a Ravens fan?
I am against it and will not buy a ticket if they sign him.
I do not like it but if they sign him I will support the team.
I am fine with it.
I think he is a good addition to the team, and I support his political stances.
He will probably be starting by Week Four.
Name
Email address
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i'm not gaga over her
but you might know someone who is


Never let it be said that I'm not a man for the people.

What other explanation can you give when you read the information below about a trip to see Lady Gaga in Philadelphia other than, "Drew's a man for the people"?

Yes, we're going to see Lady Gaga.

Join #DMD on Monday, September 11 when we head to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to see Lady Gaga, brought to you by Jerry's Toyota.

It wasn't my idea, honestly, but we're doing it.

My friend Anna Lybrook was one of the first to check in. She has previously enjoyed trips with us to see Springsteen and Adele, and a couple of weeks back she rattled my cage about seeing Lady Gaga in Philadelphia.

It doesn't have to be my cup of tea for #DMD to take on a project.

Remember when I first launched the website in 2014? "People helping people will be a central theme at #DMD", I said then.

So, I'm willing to help you see Lady Gaga, or those of you who want to, anyway.

She's one of the hottest acts in music today, and no matter what you think about her wacky attire and "look", the young lady can definitely sing. And fresh off the heels of her Super Bowl appearance in Houston, she's launching a summer tour that will take her to every major venue in America.

If you'd like to see her perform live, we're making it happen for you.

The show is Monday, September 11, at 7:30 pm at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Ravens will be 1-0 after opening the season with a 24-20 nailbiter over the Colts the day before in Baltimore.

We'll leave Baltimore around 4:00 pm, our luxury motor coach stocked with ice cold DuClaw beer, water and soft drinks, plus delicious subs and sandwiches from our friends at Palmisano's of Baldwin.

We have both upper and lower concourse tickets available for the show. The package that includes upper concourse seats is $200 per-person and the package that includes lower concourse seats is $275. NOTE: As of 2/17/17 at 6:30 am, there are ONLY four (4) lower concourse seats remaining. The rest of the seats are upper concourse.

The $200 and $275 prices are only available to the first 28 customers who purchase their seats in full. We may add seats again once those first 28 are gone, but our bus will travel to Philadelphia with a maximum of 40 concert-goers.

If you're interested in seats on our Lady Gaga bus, just go here.

#dmd comments


dan from virginia     August 18
It feels to me that for the last two months we have all been saying these next 10 games are a big deal for the Orioles. And if they are home for that set of games they finish .500 and if they are on the road they finish .400. That is not a playoff team. Because no other teams can take control of the wild card spots yes the Orioles are still "in it" but I don't think they have made up any ground on the second spot. If the Orioles were not the team we rooted for we would all be saying they don't have a chance.

George     August 18
Why is it disrespectful for Kaepernick to kneel during the National Anthem but perfectly acceptable for the American Solheim Cup team, its staff, and zealous fans to mangle the flag in uniforms and equipment? I even saw one guy at the matches using a real flag to wipe sweat off his face.

Brien Jackson     August 18
I'm........not sure Woodrum isn't a better QB than Mallet.

DELRAY RICK     August 18
@HERMAN---That and DAVIS looking at strikes down the middle.

CJ     August 18
"I've been watching football for 25 years" and then the subsequent comment is the funniest thing on sports talk radio. People are delusional. I was once on a panel discussing sports and there was a question and answer period about football, coaches and GM's in particular. .



A guy in the audience(who was pretty intoxicated) got up and spouted off a bunch of quasi-coach speak. He was upset about this and that and I finally got to ask him a question. It was during the Cam Cameron era. I cornered him and asked. "Could you do a better job than Cam Cameron calling plays?".

He then went to his Credentials.

1. Played High School Football. Did not play in college because he needed to focus on school...but also was not recruited.

2. Been watching football his entire life but had only been to three live games.

3. Excellent "Madden" player.

4. Tapes games.

5. Listens to sports talk radio and a frequent caller.



His answer to the question? "YES, I know I could because I follow the team very closely. Cam Cameron does not know as much as I do."



And now there are folks saying(heard it on radio) that this guy who everyone passed on, has virtually no chance of ever seeing an NFL field on Sunday....not only SHOULD beat out Mallet, but he should be able to beat out JOE.



But I have always found delusion the funniest of human emotions(failings?). Was it Monk who called it the Uncle Rico Syndrome? I might call it the Eric the Midget syndrome. That dude(RIP) was incredibly delusional.

Jason M     August 18
Entertaining comments over the last few days....good analysis from the armchair crowd. I agree with DR on the preseason, 10 years ago it meant little, now it means less. Wheneevr any one at the office starts getting that wild-eyed look and going on about Tim White or this kid from Jerry Fallwell's school, I just drop into my best Allen Iverson and, and say 'You're talking about the preseason??' ..Good ol AI, no poster boy for fiuiscal literacy, but what an amazing player and easily the toughest basketball player pound for pound that I've ever watched. He probably could have rushed for 2,000 yards in the NFL.

mike from catonsville     August 18
Didn't watch every play as I was watching the U S Amateur but were there any Flacco sightings last night. The times that I did watch I didn't see any.

Just wondering.

HERMAN     August 18
I have a small request for DMD. This season could we have a "counter" to the margin showing the number of 3RD down completions that do not result in a first down, and perhaps, even, some comparison to the league average of such plays?

Watching the team last year complete 3RD down passes short of the marker game, after game, after game, came close to giving me an aneurism. If we have to see that again continuously this year I fear that I may spontaneously combust right there in the living room chair. I almost want them to just go ahead and sign Kaepernick, so I can tune them out completely, and extend my life a few more years.

DR (the original)     August 18
Inasmuch as the preseason never meant anything anyway, it means even less now. I mean, it's essentially a bunch of guys running around wearing the colors of your team. I honestly can't pay one bit of attention to it. I hope Joe Flacco is ok, and I wish we had a better backup than Mallett, but what team doesn't wish they had a better backup?

In other news, did anybody see the story about Michigan and its football roster? Harbaugh won't let it be released/published, so NJ.com actually filed a FOIA request to try to get it. Paranoia on multiple sides!

Bob from Hereford     August 18
Watching Mallet last night with the knowledge that Flacco was rated 25th qb and the o-line has only 2 returning players that are proven makes me think that this could be a lomg year.

Confucius     August 18
There are sports talk radio stations that still take phone calls? I thought the new wave format was record yourself droning on and on about, well, mostly yourself, then re-run that all day long, interspersed around expired sponsor ads

Premier League Enthusiast     August 18
Liverpool are a disaster at the back, with the exception of Trent Alexander-Arnold, who looks like he could develop into something special at RB, Lovren is awful, Matip is mediocre, and Moreno is brainless. Henderson looks a shell of himself in midfield and made key errors that led to Watford goals. While still two weeks left in the transfer window, it's mind-blowing that Klopp has not brought in at least one CB at the very least to replace Lovren, Robertson should get games at LB when fit and was good business, but if Lovren-Matip are the first team CB pairing when the transfer window shuts, Liverpool are gonna need to goals galore to win matches. With Mane and Salah flanking Firmino, and Coutinho taking a deeper role in midfield behind the front three (if he stays), the potential is there for a world class attacking display, the polar opposite for which can be said about the defence.

Steve from Vero Beach     August 18
Hey Joe Flunko, Don't rush yourself back from your back injury to soon, the kid from Liberty looks pretty good !!!

Chuck Boemmel     August 18
Since the Orioles have to go 27-14 the rest of the way to get to the "magic" number of 86 wins all they have to do is just lose 1 game in each of the remaining 13 series to get to 87 wins...simple plan IF they can execute it.

pb     August 17
While I wanted Jones to pinch hit for Davis it was pointed out to me by my son that Davis has a higher on base percentage than Jones. So the fact that has to be taken into consideration. I also think that we naturally think if Buck took Ulbaldo out earlier than the next pitcher would have let up no runs and that Jones would have knocked in the winning run. You can not say Buck lost the game because you do not know what would have happened.



Also when Buck sticks with someone and it works we do not remember those outcomes. I am guessing he wins us more games than he loses. We usually win more games than the computers pick us to do so he has to have something to do with that.

Theotherguy     August 17
Over40 having a little trouble with the meaning of SOD. And I am pretty sure Bucks favorite thing is the same thing it is for Harbs: winning. Period full stop

edward     August 17
it is becoming increasingly clear that buck has his favorites and it clouds his thought process buck and brady need to be fired maybe we can package davis tillman and hardy to the tigers for verlander and kinsler ..lol

over40Don     August 17
So I guess we now have the SOB crowd vs the SOD crowd. I'd venture a small wager that more people were pissed that Ubaldo was left in and Jones left on the bench than vice versa.

Davis might be in serious need of a sport psychologists.

casual observer     August 17
This notion that both DMD and Brien are offering up that Buck is somehow asleep, too slow to pull the hook, trying to squeeze innings from the starter, etc, etc is just so preposterous, it’s not even funny, more like sad and pathetic. It’s Little Fella stuff, decide on your agenda and skew the facts to serve the agenda. When the home team fails, not hard to find situations after the fact that could have been different “if only”. Brien gleefully goes to the stats with his grand proclamation that Davis is hitting a “pitiful” .238 vs lefties this year. That’s great except, guess what, his overall avg is .221! I’m no math savant like Mr Stats Head is, but if he is at .221 overall, that means “.238 vs lefties” is way better than he is hitting rightys! Chris brought up the most pertinent point, Davis is their highest paid player. Buck’s job is to get him to play better, so pinch hitting in a crucial situation is a good idea to you people? Yeah, yeah, I know, winning is what matters, and each game counts, yadda, yadda, yadda. Forget Ubaldo (who BTW was on a little bit of what counts as a “good streak” for him), do you really think hiding Davis is the best way for Buck to win games down the stretch? If he can’t get Davis right, which only happens by playing, then their fate is sealed anyway. But regardless of whether or not Buck’s decisions work, this notion that he is sleep walking is as inane as the notion that “SEA was disinterested tonight”. But they sure seemed “interested” the next two games, eh? Do teams have pre-game meetings and vote on whether or not to be interested in any given game? I think we call this saying stuff to say stuff, a cousin of spitballing.

Chris in Bel Air     August 17
"Get those legs moving a little more quickly, guys." They have had all season to get those legs moving. It's not happening. I'll be watching and hoping they prove me wrong but it's just not working this year.

So basically Buck is at the point now where he needs to figure out a way to hide the highest paid pitcher and position player. Fabulous.

Brien Jackson     August 17
Also worth adding, Buck's own subsequent move in the 5th inning calls the logic of leaving Ubaldo in as long as he was into question. He brought the lefty Bleier in to face lefty Ben Gamel, so why not bring him in two batters sooner to face left-handed Yonder Alonso who *just homered off of Ubaldo his last time up?* It's not a matter of not having anyone available, it's a matter of not having a quick enough hook and trying to squeeze Ubaldo through the 5th inning.

Brien Jackson     August 17
@CJ



Buck said before the game that Jones was available to pinch hit. And even if he wasn't, Castillo was on the bench too. Try as you might, there's no defense for letting Davis face a lefty there.

mike from catonsville     August 17
@CJ, great Bad News Bears reference. Has DD scoured the wires for Kelly Leak? Like the Bears, Amanda Whurlizer goes down and they have no pitching left. But at least Kelly swings the bat unlike our own "Crush" Davis. Time to remove that moniker of his to "Frozen" Davis or something else more creative that epitomizes his looking at one down the middle to end the game.

TimD in Timonium     August 17
Yes, I recall rotisserie baseball, and, yes, I enjoy fantasy football. And I bet the NFL loves that millions of people are watching previously meaningless games. Look at RedZone on the NFL Network - pure fantasy football porn. (The O's will enjoy the upcoming home cooking where they're 35-23 so far. Man, was that Davis at-bat painful to see.)

CJ     August 17
@David

We might be in the handful of people left who don't play fantasy sports. I used to play, but found myself rooting for players on other teams. It is ridiculous to be at a Ravens game and seeing one of two things., Incessant looking at YOUR PHONE(for fantasy stats) rather than the action on the field OR people cheering the score board when a prominent fantasy player is having a big day irrespective of whether is hurts the home teams playoff chances. Plus it is pointless and a waste of time. Trolling is more fun. Nothing can be more boring than the guy at the water cooler explaining his fantasy football team. Like grown men who still follow, comment or opine about professional wrestling....it is odd.



The ''realists" are back and they are angry. Just take a look at the teams that the O's are battling. They are all the same. Enough about what they need to do. In this crazy season of middling teams who play well from time to time, all you need is one little run at the right time. I've seen the other teams, the O's have as much talent as any of them. Weird season that hinges on one thing. A hot streak at the right time will SEAL the deal. WHY NOT US? Odd season.



Glad that Brien knew ALL of the health of Oriole pitchers on the days that Buck didn't make the proscribed moves. Glad that all of managers know exactly the health of Adam Jones yesterday. The only "BAD" thing that Buck didn't do was have the Morris Buttermaker/Rudi Stein talk with Davis before his last at bat. "Same thing as Trumbo/Mancini".

pb     August 17
I very rarely disagree or second guess Buck's decisions with pitchers. There are often things that he knows that we are not aware of and he has for the most part kept our bullpen healthy and consistent over the past four years.



In the fifth I was calling for Tillman. I thought it was a good situation to use him as a long man and see could he give us a couple of innings. What truly fired me up was not pinch hitting for Davis. Now even if Jones is injured, we have Castillo as an option. We need to play the last 41 games like they are the last game of the playoffs.



On another note Britton just does not look sharp. Probably I am spoiled from last year.

unitastoberry     August 17
As it was put here a few columns back the Orioles are flawed. Not your 2005 variety but enough to make you realize the gravity of the situation. When Davis struck out with the bases loaded he looked like a statue time for him to go. There's a 161 million reasons for that.

Thatguy     August 17
Yup, its all Bucks fault.



And always love the "They need to spend money on a 'quality' pitcher". You like 217 M for a David Price?



That's not how you 'get" quality P....like, how did the,Dodgers "get" Kershaw, or the Indians "get" Kluber , etc

mike from catonsville     August 17
There was no excuse for Jones sitting in that spot. Buck wanted to give him a day off, so seeing 5-6 pitches would have exhausted him? Really? No excuse as I have maintained for quite sometime buck is a good manager not a great one.



Switching gears, watched the mens amateur last night. Some great matches. Watched this guy Thornberry with interest and the comment made by Azinger.



First, Thornberry has an unusual swing, huge understatement. But like every young gun (and old) hits it a mile and can really play at a reasonably high level. Azingers comment about the swing was perfect. Remembering back about 3-4 weeks ago there were threads about "instruction". Lots of comments. Azinger said last night and I paraphrase as he was going back and forth with Faxon , "I work with a lot of players and I tell them, you want the perfect swing or to be the best player". I thought that captured my sentiment perfectly. Faxon even chimed in that the other player (Niemann?) was the swing to copy if you wanted one and he doubted anyone taught Thornberry to swing like that and laughed about Furyks swing not being copied. Good commentary by both, actually thought they did a great job with their comments on the telecast.

Looking forward to watching again tonight.

Tom J     August 17
Drew, thanks for the clarification.

Tom     August 17
Agree with a lot of what Brien (and Drew) wrote today. Inexcusable that Buck let Davis bat in the 9th with Jones in the dugout.

Boxiron2     August 17
Is Buck still managing in those last 41 games? He is? OK, we can't win 27 of them then.

DF     August 17
@Tom J --



That wasn't Brien's fault today. I'm posting DMD from a mobile server and without boring you with the details, there are some nuances to the keyboard that I'm still learning and occasionally some letters get erased. I "lost" those letters in Brien's piece and was in the process of editing and fixing when you posted your comment about it. Thanks for picking up on it, but that one is on me/DMD, not Brien.

Joe     August 17
In some ways, I think for Buck, it's payback to the GM for signing absolute "stiffs" like Jimenez and Davis. If they are stick me with players incapable of performing under pressure and not use that money to sign one quality pitcher....than I'm going to stick it you and let you see the "fruits of your labor". Can't wait till he runs Hardy out there in a week or two; another player who can't play anymore. Oriole's are mediocre at best.




Tom J     August 17
Brien, agree with your sentiments but for God sake, PROOFREAD your work..!!!!! You set yourself up for all of the criticism. You left out the H in reach!!! You left out the N in Givens..!!! It's really not that hard to PROOFREAD before hitting send.

BJ     August 16
@CJ, define "hit piece".

HERMAN     August 16
Charlottesville has amplified racial strife in our country. The President's response has only enflamed the issue. Yesterday ESPN aired a fantasy draft that had the appearance to some factions of a "slave trade auction" and now fantasy sports have become mired in the argument. Kaepernick now appears a racial justice warrior hero, ahead of his time, and more intend after Charlottesville to follow his lead. The protests will only grow, not pass, and sports as a diversion from the daily strife will instead become a focal point for injustice.



"Are you ready for some football? A Monday night paaarrrtyyy"

CJ     August 16
Another hit piece.

It was amazing to me that many of the pro Baltimore media types have always given a pass to the Ravens on the Westminster Retreat(and just about everything else, so many are "on" for the Ravens and "off" for the O's and there is proof).

I recall DF saying at the time that If it helped the Ravens prepare for the season "better" than fans should be behind it. They won the Super Bowl in the early non training camp years(the first year?). So it proved to be a success. On the field, but that success has never been duplicated.

But they lost a valuable sales chip. No matter how you slice it, the inconvenience(for the team) is minimal, except in the minds of the over controlling coaching staff. We can call them ANTI SALESMAN. They can't be bothered by fan outreach. They are too busy overworking, over thinking and over coaching to be bothered with distractions.



I've always thought it was a fallacy that people couldn't be engaged by both teams at the same time. Maybe for the "head down" generation engaged with their phones 24/7 types, but most of us can read, watch and be engaged at the same time with the O's and the Ravens.

But the annual trip with families to Westminster has passed a half generation away. It bonded and cemented many as life long fans. Trying to get Dad away from the TV(these days) or talk football in that environment(training camp) is lost. It is a not positive thing. In fact I'd go so far as saying is that it is a brand killer.



Controlled message can't be denounced...but if you cover the team that is SOP and no sitting down, no texting, no this, no that. A bunch of silent well behaved robots are what cover the Ravens at "training camp". They get to eat well and some in the media(LF) get to go into the locker room and see well muscled men naked. So there is that.




Chris in Bel Air     August 16
My enthusiasm for the Ravens has diminished over the last few years. I still watch every game but for me, it's not the training camp. The two main factors are the team's level of play and the injuries. It's hard to go all-in on them when they are so inconsistent.

Brien Jackson     August 16
The Beckham situation really is fascinating on all sides:



1. It's pretty obvious that, for whatever reason, the new Rays' braintrust just had no idea what they had in the guy. As Dave Cameron pointed out at Fangraphs, even using last year's numbers Beckham, as a slightly below average hitter (98 wRC+) and slightly below average defensive shortstop is, in terms of value, an above average big league player. But not only were the Rays not playing Beckham as a regular, they went out and added a not all that cheap shortstop who can't hit A LICK to *replace* the guy. It's really an amazing blunder, and I suspect it's a matter of new management viewing him as a bust without having the investment in him that the Friedman regime did more than anything.



2. I get the points about loyalty and wanting to stick by your guys...but it's not like Buck is telling Hardy "hey J.J., the front office traded for out shortstop of the future and we're just gonna go ahead and play him instead of you now." The guy's hitting .484/.500/.855 since the trade. Surely the other veterans would prefer that the hot bat stay in the lineup, and Hardy is experienced/mature enough to understand that Beckham is just playing too well not to keep the job, right? And if not, what's the value of keeping him around for "locker room" reasons? If Hardy's going to be a malcontent about it (which I highly doubt he is), then just DFA him and end the controversy altogether.

Jason M     August 16
Agreed with U2B...if Hardy were not the mature leader he is I'd be concerned, but Hardy knows it's team first, and chances are he'll have some key at bats for us down the stretch filling in.

unitastoberry     August 16
Even if you still had training camp at Westminster its only one practice a day so no one gets hurt LOL and in the morning. Most people used to take off work early for the afternoon practice.But yes its the worst move the Ravens have made since signing Eugene Monroe.

It takes the whole community out of the bonding process and with the league the way it is now a bunch of scum billionares relocating at the drop of a hat they need training camps open to the public.

Hardy is a big boy he knows the drill. Beckam will cool off at some point too.

Kenny G     August 16
As for Raven's training camp, add in the factor the team has missed the playoffs three of the last four years. Add in the fact that there has not been much excitement added to the team - same head coach, same QB, lost some fan favorites - and I think it would still lack excitement if there was the Westminister training camp.

Tom J     August 16
Locker Room popularity doesn't win baseball games and get you into the playoffs. Thanks for the memories JJ. I think Buck would lose more credibility in the locker room by benching Beckham than by telling JJ "it's over Johnny, it's over"...!!!!!! As far as the Ravens excitement, the NFL with their stupid rules and decisions make it hard for me to get excited nowadays, period..!!!!!

David in Werstminster     August 16
Moving training camp from Westminster WITHOUT A DOUBT has affected THIS fan's feelings about training camp. The DUMBEST move the Ravens have ever made.

John In Westminster     August 16
I'd say taking training camp away from the fans has definitely diminished its enthusiasm. Also remember from 2000-2011, the fans were still in the honeymoon phase of getting an NFL team back. One more thing is the reduced participation of the starters due to injury or otherwise. Flacco rarely completes a full preseason and last weeks game in which he and 3 starting receivers didn't even play doesn't exactly have me wanting to check the latest training camp news.

Kerry from Brooklyn Park     August 15
Just a dose of reality and a hope that everyone does this. Navy's outstanding offensive coordinator, Irvin Jasper , found out his son is in need of a heart transplant at the age of 14. He went from being a normal teenager 10 days ago to being coded in the hospital. I hope everyone will offer up a prayer for this young man and hope he gets the transplant he needs. God bless him and his family!

H     August 15
I can't put Joe's contract in the same category as Davis's.

In 2012, Joe turned down the Ravens' initial offer and he rolled the dice that he would have a good enough year to earn a more lucrative deal. He went on a playoff run not seen since another Joe was winning Super Bowls. He had the track record and the moxie to earn his contract. Davis has always been hit or miss (more often miss).

HERMAN     August 15
One incredible thing from this past weekend of golf was how dramatically a little rain changed the scoring. Once the course softened up just a little bit scores started dropping dramatically. It's amazing just how good the top golfers are that given any edge they start a birdie binge. The pro tour boys, especially the top 50 just have another talent level. The top club pros from around the country played the same course and almost all were in the mid-80's, admirable for guys who don't play regularly, but still way behind the top players. And these are the top club pros, the ones out there blistering their home course in the 60's every week.

mike from catonsville     August 15
@George, perhaps my memory is a bit rusty, I was thinking that it what I heard, could be wrong, no doubt you looked it up.



I also looked up the world golf rankings:

December 2015 ranked 6

December 2016 ranked 12

August 2017 ranked 10



Yep he sucks and is just an illusion. As they say, you are entitled to your own opinions but not you own facts. These numbers don't lie.

Sunday
February 19
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXI
Issue 19
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


five pressing sports stories will
keep us all interested in 2017


I'm not sure if you’re one to look ahead like this, but we’re in for an exciting next ten months here in Baltimore.

And I’m not talking only about the Orioles and their prospects for a trip to the World Series for the first time since 1983.

I’m looking more at “stories” that are going to play out in 2017 and wondering what order of importance you’ll place on them as the year unfolds.

The Ravens have a handful of critical issues that we’ll get to be a part of, starting with the draft in April. While every draft is important, this one might be the biggest of the last decade for Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and company.

Picking at #16 in the first round puts the Ravens in the middle of the pack . . . giving them a chance to scoot up a few spots if someone’s there they REALLY like . . . or allowing them to shift back a bit and pick up some extra picks if they’re not completely sold on any player in particular when that 16th pick is on the board.

The bigger story, of course, involves the head coach. Another losing season from the Ravens – or a non-playoff campaign – and it’s likely going to be the end of a great run for John Harbaugh in Baltimore. One way or the other, we’re going to see it all play out in high-def over 16 weeks starting in September.

The Orioles already have two bits of disconcerting news and the calendar hasn’t even flipped over to March. Chris Tillman (shoulder) and J.J. Hardy (back) are both unable to start workouts in Sarasota, and while neither player will “make or break” the Birds if they can’t play for a few weeks in April, both are valuable resources for Buck Showalter on the whole in 2017.

Can the Orioles, who have won more games than any other team in the American League over the last five years, finally break through and reach their first World Series since 1983?

Before you just assume they can’t, remember the Cubs and Indians both made the World Series in 2016. In other words: Anything can happen.

But there’s a bigger story than the Orioles trying to win the American League pennant and advance to the World Series: It’s the Manny Machado saga.

Can the Birds re-sign their star player sometime in 2017? Or will he hang on through the 2018 campaign in order to reach that coveted, lucrative free-agent spot where he’ll command upwards of $35 million a year?

Would the Orioles trade Machado sometime this season if they felt there wasn’t a reasonable expectation for him to remain in Baltimore past 2018? And if they did, how would the franchise’s fan base react to that move?

Those are the “big” stories in town, but on a smaller scale, the NCAA basketball tournament looms well within the grasp of a three local schools.

Towson started their CAA schedule at 0-4 before winning nine of their next ten.

The Tigers haven’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1991, but this could be their year, particularly if CAA top dog UNC-Wilmington stumbles in the conference tournament.

No team in the CAA has played better over the last four weeks than the Tigers. The recent season-ending injury to John Davis will not be easy to overcome, but ex-Calvert Hall forward Justin Gorham and defensive specialist Dennis Tunstall have both stepped up over the last few weeks.

UMBC got off to a great start in America East, stumbled a bit recently, but still very much have the goods to make a run in their conference tournament early next month. The Retrievers – 8-6 in conference play – defeated visiting UMass Lowell on Saturday at the RAC.

Senior Will Darley has potentially moved into First Team All-America East territory with his outstanding play since the first of the year. The Retrievers aren’t quite the caliber of Vermont or Stony Brook yet, but they’re the most improved team in the conference under first-year head-coach Ryan Odom.

Navy has quietly put together a solid season in the Patriot League, now sitting at 10-5 on the season and in third place behind Bucknell and Boston University.

The Midshipmen could very well work their way through the conference tournament and advance to the NCAA’s Big Dance, too.

It’s generally big news in Baltimore when one of the local mid-majors qualifies for the NCAA basketball tournament. What if two or three teams made it this year? How important would that be to the city and its college hoops fans?

Some of the big stories in 2017 will be predicated on win-loss records, while others, like Machado’s status with the Orioles, will be more about money, investment and leverage.

Settle in – 2017 is going to be newsworthy.

Our #DMD poll below gives you the chance to vote on which of the stories will be the most significant one for Baltimore in 2017.

 Drew's Morning Dish

#DMD Poll

Question: How would the signing of Colin Kaerpernick affect you as a Ravens fan?
I am against it and will not buy a ticket if they sign him.
I do not like it but if they sign him I will support the team.
I am fine with it.
I think he is a good addition to the team, and I support his political stances.
He will probably be starting by Week Four.
Name
Email address
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i'm not gaga over her
but you might know someone who is


Never let it be said that I'm not a man for the people.

What other explanation can you give when you read the information below about a trip to see Lady Gaga in Philadelphia other than, "Drew's a man for the people"?

Yes, we're going to see Lady Gaga.

Join #DMD on Monday, September 11 when we head to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to see Lady Gaga, brought to you by Jerry's Toyota.

It wasn't my idea, honestly, but we're doing it.

My friend Anna Lybrook was one of the first to check in. She has previously enjoyed trips with us to see Springsteen and Adele, and a couple of weeks back she rattled my cage about seeing Lady Gaga in Philadelphia.

It doesn't have to be my cup of tea for #DMD to take on a project.

Remember when I first launched the website in 2014? "People helping people will be a central theme at #DMD", I said then.

So, I'm willing to help you see Lady Gaga, or those of you who want to, anyway.

She's one of the hottest acts in music today, and no matter what you think about her wacky attire and "look", the young lady can definitely sing. And fresh off the heels of her Super Bowl appearance in Houston, she's launching a summer tour that will take her to every major venue in America.

If you'd like to see her perform live, we're making it happen for you.

The show is Monday, September 11, at 7:30 pm at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Ravens will be 1-0 after opening the season with a 24-20 nailbiter over the Colts the day before in Baltimore.

We'll leave Baltimore around 4:00 pm, our luxury motor coach stocked with ice cold DuClaw beer, water and soft drinks, plus delicious subs and sandwiches from our friends at Palmisano's of Baldwin.

We have both upper and lower concourse tickets available for the show. The package that includes upper concourse seats is $200 per-person and the package that includes lower concourse seats is $275. NOTE: As of 2/17/17 at 6:30 am, there are ONLY four (4) lower concourse seats remaining. The rest of the seats are upper concourse.

The $200 and $275 prices are only available to the first 28 customers who purchase their seats in full. We may add seats again once those first 28 are gone, but our bus will travel to Philadelphia with a maximum of 40 concert-goers.

If you're interested in seats on our Lady Gaga bus, just go here.


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 the 2016-17 season.


As I watched the seconds tick away as Michigan put the finishing touches on a win at home against Wisconsin last Thursday, my initial feeling was that this wasn’t a good thing for the Terps.

But as I delved a little deeper into this Badger team, my thinking has changed a bit.

This may not be such a bad spot for the Terps after all. A share of first place with Purdue (11-3) in the BIG 10 is up for grabs when the Terps and Badgers (both 10-3) meet today at 1:00 p.m. at the Kohl Center in Madison.

The Badgers, 21-5 overall, have lost two in a row. The loss to Michigan was unexpected but not shocking, considering that Wisconsin was without their top guard, Bronson Koenig. Prior to that, the Badgers were upset by a shorthanded Northwestern team.

Even the two wins that preceded the losing streak were unimpressive.  They included an overtime win at Nebraska, and a close 65-60 win at home against an injury-depleted Indiana team.

What it all adds up to is a Wisconsin team that might not be at their peak today.

Koenig practiced on Friday. If he is able to go, he'll be a big lift for the Badgers. He averages 13.4 ppg (second on the team) and is an important piece for this Badger team. When he fails to contribute, the team struggles. In the four Wisconsin losses in which he played, Koenig has connected on only four of 27 three-point attempts. In two of those losses, he scored only two points.

On a team with premier players Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes, not allowing Koenig to get his points should be a key focus if Maryland wants to maximize its chances of victory against Wisconsin.

Happ, last year’s Big 10 Rookie of the Year, has a game that looks unconventional offensively but all he does is make plays. He leads in the team in scoring (14.5) and rebounds (9.1). He loves to slowly back up his defender, often to a position where he is under the basket and seemingly stuck.

From there he’ll back the defender away from the hoop leaving him with an easy layup. I can’t recall ever seeing a post player use that technique, but it works for Happ.

Happ is so tough inside, hitting over 60% of his attempts, that Maryland and coach Turgeon must resist the temptation to cover him one-on-one, and instead opt for the quick double-team.

Badger opponents have had some success collapsing on Happ and taking their chances with the other shooters. The recent Badger shooting slump makes this strategy a no-brainer. If Happ can find the open man, who in turn hits the open shot, then it could be a long day for the Terps.

But with Wisconsin hitting only 34% from the three-point line as a team, that’s a chance the Terps may have to take. Just don’t let the open man be Koenig, who has made twice as many threes as anyone else on this Badger team.

Damonte Dodd will be pivotal today for the Terps.

He and the other Terp big men cannot afford to lose contact with Happ. Dodd, especially, has a tendency to lose his man in the paint allowing him to slip free for easy baskets.

In a game that figures to be a half-court, grind-it-out affair, limiting easy looks and rebounding well are crucial. Dodd is the only Terp with enough girth to push back on Happ. He needs to step up today.

In Wisconsin’s victory over the Terps in College Park last year, the Badgers did a nice job of clogging the middle and in doing so limited the effectiveness of Melo Trimble. Trimble had one of the worst shooting days of his career, going 1-14 from the field.

That was also the game where Diamond Stone pushed a Badger head into the court after a collision under the basket. Tempers flared for a while.

But that Terp team was vastly different from this year’s ensemble.

The 2015-16 version had Stone and Robert Carter Jr. filling up the low blocks and bringing their defenders with them. This year’s edition usually features four perimeter players [Justin Jackson rarely works inside], more speed, and much more room (and sets) allowing for dribble penetration. That penetration is where the Terps win this game.

If they can maintain good spacing and use their superior ball-handling and quickness, Maryland should come home with a share of the Big 10 regular-season lead.

It would also add a nice resume-builder come NCAA Tournament seeding time.

The great equalizer in college basketball is the three-point shot. If Wisconsin gets hot from long range and the Terps go cold, then all bets are off. That being said, Maryland should get a win here.

They are the better shooting team and that should play out today. Happ will get his points, as will Hayes, but a motivated Melo, along with Justin Jackson (who should be too nimble for Vitto Brown), will help Maryland gain that elusive first win in 2016-17 over a ranked team.

Maryland gets the victory, 67-64.

KELLY banner ad

darley’s school record leads umbc
to win over umass lowell


UMBC senior forward Will Darley (Dulaney H.S.) was sent home from practice on Friday due to illness.

A day later, Darley made school history, knocking down 10 three-point field goals and scoring a career-high 38 points as the Retrievers (17-10, 8-6 America East) snapped a season-high three-game slide with a 108-102 victory over UMass Lowell (11-19, 5-10).

The 38-point effort is the third-highest total by a Retriever in 49 seasons of UMBC basketball.

Darley eased by teammate Jairus Lyles, who scored 37 at Maine last February.  The 38 points is the most scored by an America East player this season.

The senior played only 28 minutes, 12 in the first half and 16 in the second.  He set the tone by knocking down his first trey 14 seconds into the game. After a miss, Darley swished his next three first-half attempts, giving him four in the first 4:30. He made his fifth three-pointer of the first half at the 7:54 mark. His second three-point miss, and last of the game, came at the 14:36 mark.

Darley knocked down all five attempts from long range in the final 20 minutes. In total, he was 10-of-12 from behind the arc and 13-of-16 from the floor overall.

The senior's performance overshadowed a brilliant effort by UML sophomore guard Ryan Jones, who led his squad with 32 points and added seven assists.

The two top offensive squads in America East both easily surpassed the 50-percent mark from the floor. UMBC converted 34-of-59 shots from the floor (57.6 percent), while UML knocked down 32-of-57 (56.1 percent).

Led by Darley, UMBC knocked down 16-of-26 from behind the arc (a season-high 61.5 percent).

Rodney Elliott (John Carroll H.S.) and junior guard Jairus Lyles (DeMatha H.S.) each scored 14 points for UMBC. Junior guard K.J. Maura (San Juan, Puerto Rico) topped all players with 10 assists.

UMBC completes the home portion of the regular season by welcoming Stony Brook on Wednesday, February 22. The Retrievers will honor Darley and classmate Ben Grace before the 7:00 p.m. tip-off versus the Seawolves. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats at 6:45 p.m. for the pre-game ceremony.

Primary Residential banner

i'm not gaga over her
but you might know someone who is


Never let it be said that I'm not a man for the people.

What other explanation can you give when you read the information below about a trip to see Lady Gaga in Philadelphia other than, "Drew's a man for the people"?

Yes, we're going to see Lady Gaga.

Join #DMD on Monday, September 11 when we head to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to see Lady Gaga, brought to you by Jerry's Toyota.

It wasn't my idea, honestly, but we're doing it.

My friend Anna Lybrook was one of the first to check in. She has previously enjoyed trips with us to see Springsteen and Adele, and a couple of weeks back she rattled my cage about seeing Lady Gaga in Philadelphia.

It doesn't have to be my cup of tea for #DMD to take on a project.

Remember when I first launched the website in 2014? "People helping people will be a central theme at #DMD", I said then.

So, I'm willing to help you see Lady Gaga, or those of you who want to, anyway.

She's one of the hottest acts in music today, and no matter what you think about her wacky attire and "look", the young lady can definitely sing. And fresh off the heels of her Super Bowl appearance in Houston, she's launching a summer tour that will take her to every major venue in America.

If you'd like to see her perform live, we're making it happen for you.

The show is Monday, September 11, at 7:30 pm at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Ravens will be 1-0 after opening the season with a 24-20 nailbiter over the Colts the day before in Baltimore.

We'll leave Baltimore around 4:00 pm, our luxury motor coach stocked with ice cold DuClaw beer, water and soft drinks, plus delicious subs and sandwiches from our friends at Palmisano's of Baldwin.

We have both upper and lower concourse tickets available for the show. The package that includes upper concourse seats is $200 per-person and the package that includes lower concourse seats is $275. NOTE: As of 2/17/17 at 6:30 am, there are ONLY four (4) lower concourse seats remaining. The rest of the seats are upper concourse.

The $200 and $275 prices are only available to the first 28 customers who purchase their seats in full. We may add seats again once those first 28 are gone, but our bus will travel to Philadelphia with a maximum of 40 concert-goers.

If you're interested in seats on our Lady Gaga bus, just go here.

Saturday
February 18
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXI
Issue 18
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


there's a potentially scary scene in washington d.c. in 2017


No, the headline does NOT reference anything involving politics or our current President, and shame on you for even thinking that.

Is it possible that in 2017, the Washington D.C. area could have FOUR titles to celebrate? Four? Yes, four.

I know that would be awfully hard for us to stomach here in Charm City. We've enjoyed a grand total of two titles since 1983, both coming in football, although Loyola University's lacrosse program did capture a national title in lacrosse a few years ago.

It would be gut-wrenching in these parts if Washington gets to celebrate FOUR titles in one calendar, but it's quite possible we could see that.

OK, one of those is a little bit of a reach, as the University of Maryland is situated in College Park, Maryland and isn't in D.C. proper. Plus, it's the state school.

But, as I often remind me ex-radio co-host Glenn Clark, when you leave Baltimore to drive to the University of Maryland campus, all the signs taking you there have "WASHINGTON" on them with an arrow pointing you in that direction.

Do Max Scherzer and the Nationals have what it takes to win the World Series in 2017?

That argument aside, the Maryland Women's basketball team has a legitimate chance at winning the national title this year. Sure, I'm well aware that UConn has 100 straight wins and that streak might outlast the tenure length of our current President, but if anything at all happens to the Lady Huskies, the Lady Terps will be there to grab the low hanging fruit.

And don't be completely shocked come tournament time, on a neutral court, if the Maryland women knock off Geno Auriemma's team in the Big Dance.

There's potential title number one, albeit the least impactful of the four.

I'm not sure how much you follow the NBA, but one of the hottest teams of the last two months in "The Association" are the Washington Wizards.

Washington started the season by sputtering out of the gate at 2-9.

Their record at the All Star Break is 34-21, good for third place in the Eastern Conference.

Let me do the quick math for you Philadelphia Flyers fans out there: Since starting 2-9, the Wizards are 32-12. That's pretty daggone good.

Washington hits All-Star weekend in 3rd place in the East, five games behind the Cavaliers and two games behind second place Boston.

And here's the real issue in the East: If Kevin Love's injury is going to bother him for the rest of the season, the Cavaliers take a major step back and the playing field gets leveled considerably.

The Wizards have a very good team. They're running on all cylinders right now (9-1 in their last 10) and John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter, Jr. are getting along, helping one another and sharing the wealth. When they play hard and for another, the Wizards are a tough team to beat.

The Cavaliers cake-walking to the NBA Finals is not a foregone conclusion, trust me.

And if LeBron James and Company aren't the Eastern Conference rep, it could very well be the Wizards playing Golden State or San Antonio in the NBA Finals in June.

The Capitals will enter the Stanley Cup playoffs as the favorite to win it all for the second straight year. Is this finally when it happens? Do the Caps hoist the Cup in June?

The Capitals are looking, again, like the team to beat in the Eastern Conference of the NHL, as they're on their way to a second straight President's Cup trophy for accumulating the most regular season points.

We've seen this movie a lot in the past, though, and we know how it ends.

But this year, this time, just might be different.

Barring a slew of significant injuries in March or April, the Caps look primed to handle business in the Eastern Conference come playoff time. The conference is "down" this year, quality wise, and the only match-up issue staring the Caps in the face is the same one that scares them every spring: the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Other than the Penguins, no one in the East keeps Barry Trotz, Alexander Ovechkin and Braden Holtby from sleeping well at night.

I know it's crazy to think that the Capitals might actually hoist the Stanley Cup in June -- but they actually might just do that.

And then, there's the Nationals.

Baseball being what it is -- unpredictable -- would this be the year the Nationals finally break through and win the World Series after losing in the NLDS in 2012, 2014 and 2016?

I'm not betting on the Nats winning it all, but I'm saying they have the goods to do it if things fall into place for them.

Starting pitching remains their strength and if Joe Ross can step in and adequately fill the 5th spot in the rotation, the Nats might really be onto something.

They're a tad challenged offensively in the way most National League teams always seem to be, but the Nationals have a roster that's good enough to take that next step in the post-season.

Can you imagine the frustration in Baltimore if the Nationals somehow advance to the World Series? We haven't seen a World Series game in Baltimore since 1983. And they get one in DC? Uggghhhh.

What if -- this is hard enough to think about, let alone actually write -- the four teams above all somehow win their respective titles in 2017?

Admittedly, as a whopper of a Capitals fan, I'd be over the moon about the hockey title.

And let's face it, the Wizards are the closest thing we have to a NBA team in these parts. They're as "local" as local gets.

I joked about the University of Maryland being in DC, which it isn't, technically, but plenty of people in/around Baltimore consider it to be a "DC school". Still, a title from the Lady Terps (or the Men, obviously) would be great for our region.

The Nationals? That one would be hard to swallow around here, that's for sure. It would be akin to the Redskins winning the Super Bowl. We'd hate that in Baltimore.

Do I think all four are winning championships in 2017? No, I don't, mainly because something like that rarely happens.

But do those four teams all have realistic chances of advancing at least to their respective championship series? They most certainly do.

If that thought makes you shudder, it's OK. And always remember this: A team from DC winning is still far, far better than a team from Philadelphia winning.

BARCS banner ad

if you didn't like andrew mccutchen before, you might now


It's been a great week for one of my favorite websites, The Players' Tribune.

Earlier in the week, pro golfer Billy Hurley III wrote a stirring piece about the self-inflicted death of his father and I posted it here for everyone to read.

And now, just a few days later, comes an outstanding contribution from Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, who was the subject of constant trade rumors throughout the winter.

I don't make it a habit of championing the causes of many things related to Pittsburgh, but McCutchen is a stand-up guy and a solid representative of their city.

He reminds me a lot of our own Adam Jones here in Baltimore.

Take ten minutes today to read McCutchen's piece in yesterday's edition of The Players' Tribune. You can find it here.

ABC banner

i'm not gaga over her, but you might know someone who is


Never let it be said that I'm not a man for the people.

What other explanation can you give when you read the information below about a trip to see Lady Gaga in Philadelphia other than, "Drew's a man for the people"?

Yes, we're going to see Lady Gaga.

Join #DMD on Monday, September 11 when we head to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to see Lady Gaga, brought to you by Jerry's Toyota.

It wasn't my idea, honestly, but we're doing it.

My friend Anna Lybrook was one of the first to check in. She has previously enjoyed trips with us to see Springsteen and Adele, and a couple of weeks back she rattled my cage about seeing Lady Gaga in Philadelphia.

It doesn't have to be my cup of tea for #DMD to take on a project.

Remember when I first launched the website in 2014? "People helping people will be a central theme at #DMD", I said then.

So, I'm willing to help you see Lady Gaga, or those of you who want to, anyway.

She's one of the hottest acts in music today, and no matter what you think about her wacky attire and "look", the young lady can definitely sing. And fresh off the heels of her Super Bowl appearance in Houston, she's launching a summer tour that will take her to every major venue in America.

If you'd like to see her perform live, we're making it happen for you.

The show is Monday, September 11, at 7:30 pm at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Ravens will be 1-0 after opening the season with a 24-20 nailbiter over the Colts the day before in Baltimore.

We'll leave Baltimore around 4:00 pm, our luxury motor coach stocked with ice cold DuClaw beer, water and soft drinks, plus delicious subs and sandwiches from our friends at Palmisano's of Baldwin.

We have both upper and lower concourse tickets available for the show. The package that includes upper concourse seats is $200 per-person and the package that includes lower concourse seats is $275. NOTE: As of 2/17/17 at 6:30 am, there are ONLY four (4) lower concourse seats remaining. The rest of the seats are upper concourse.

The $200 and $275 prices are only available to the first 28 customers who purchase their seats in full. We may add seats again once those first 28 are gone, but our bus will travel to Philadelphia with a maximum of 40 concert-goers.

If you're interested in seats on our Lady Gaga bus, just go here.

KELLY banner ad

we have four "new" seats for the london trip to see the ravens!


Anyone interested in seeing the Ravens in London on September 24?

Thanks to our friends at British Airways, who alerted us when a small group canceled on Friday, we now have four new spaces available on our trip.

I gobbled up four more airline tickets and four more game tickets and the hotel has room for us -- so if you're interested in going to London, we'd love to have you!

Our game tickets at Wembley Stadium are in the lower concourse, I might add. And most of our group of 34 are sitting together and/or on in the same section.

The trip details are simple: We're leaving on Tuesday, September 19 and arriving (via direct flight) in London on Wednesday, September 20. We'll spend five days in the U.K., take in the Ravens-Jaguars game on Sunday, and return to Baltimore on Monday, September 25.

It's $2,445 per-person, which includes the airfare, five nights hotel at 4-star property within walking distance to Wembley Stadium, the Ravens-Jaguars lower concourse ticket, a week long complimentary "tube pass" and full English breakfast every morning at the hotel.

To reserve your space on the trip, all you have to do is go here.



Friday
February 17
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXI
Issue 17
subscribe to the #dmd rss feed


i'm not gaga over her, but you might know someone who is


Never let it be said that I'm not a man for the people.

What other explanation can you give when you read the information below about a trip to see Lady Gaga in Philadelphia other than, "Drew's a man for the people"?

Yes, we're going to see Lady Gaga.

Join #DMD on Monday, September 11 when we head to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to see Lady Gaga, brought to you by Jerry's Toyota.

It wasn't my idea, honestly, but we're doing it.

My friend Anna Lybrook was one of the first to check in. She has previously enjoyed trips with us to see Springsteen and Adele, and a couple of weeks back she rattled my cage about seeing Lady Gaga in Philadelphia.

It doesn't have to be my cup of tea for #DMD to take on a project.

Remember when I first launched the website in 2014? "People helping people will be a central theme at #DMD", I said then.

So, I'm willing to help you see Lady Gaga, or those of you who want to, anyway.

She's one of the hottest acts in music today, and no matter what you think about her wacky attire and "look", the young lady can definitely sing. And fresh off the heels of her Super Bowl appearance in Houston, she's launching a summer tour that will take her to every major venue in America.

If you'd like to see her perform live, we're making it happen for you.

The show is Monday, September 11, at 7:30 pm at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Ravens will be 1-0 after opening the season with a 24-20 nailbiter over the Colts the day before in Baltimore.

We'll leave Baltimore around 4:00 pm, our luxury motor coach stocked with ice cold DuClaw beer, water and soft drinks, plus delicious subs and sandwiches from our friends at Palmisano's of Baldwin.

We have both upper and lower concourse tickets available for the show. The package that includes upper concourse seats is $200 per-person and the package that includes lower concourse seats is $275. NOTE: As of 2/17/17 at 6:30 am, there are ONLY four (4) lower concourse seats remaining. The rest of the seats are upper concourse.

The $200 and $275 prices are only available to the first 28 customers who purchase their seats in full. We may add seats again once those first 28 are gone, but our bus will travel to Philadelphia with a maximum of 40 concert-goers.

If you're interested in seats on our Lady Gaga bus, just go here.

BARCS banner ad

towson rolling into march madness?


Could the Towson Tigers be on the verge of making their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1991?

Yes indeed.

There's still lots of work ahead and "one and done" in the conference tournament requires nothing short of perfection, but the Tigers are red hot as they wrap up the regular season.

Towson improved to 10-5 in the CAA last night with an impressive win over a lethargic Elon squad, 85-66, at SECU Arena. The Tigers started the season at 0-4 in conference play. They're now 10-5.

Towson's Mike Morsell hit the 30-point mark for the second time in three home games when he scored 32 in Thursday night's home win over Elon.

I'll help those of you who went to Old Mill or who are Flyers fans since I know math might be a challenge: They're 10-1 in their last 11 games since starting 0-4.

That's a really good piece of data for coach Pat Skerry and his team as they head into the conference tournament in two weeks.

Towson's Thursday night win over Elon was the team's first game since senior John Davis was shot in the knee in Philadelphia last weekend. Davis was at the game last night, on crutches, and will miss the rest of the season.

For one night, anyway, Towson didn't miss their feisty forward.

Mike Morsell pumped in 32 points for the Tigers and Towson pulled away early in the first half and never looked back, as Skerry's team now sits all alone in third place in the CAA with three games remaining in the regular season.

UNC-Wilmington leads the conference at 12-3, with College of Charleston next at 11-4. Towson could still finish first or second in the conference with a slip-up from either team above them and solid play of their own down the stretch.

Towson shot 50% from the field in the second half last night, "a testament to some hard work in practice", said Skerry after the game. The Tigers are not the most dangerous team you'll find shooting the ball, but they make up for that with size and strength in the offensive end that often times wears down opponents as the game goes on.

The normally hot shooting Elon squad (3rd in the CAA in 3-pointers made per-game at 9.2) was rattled by Towson's size and willingness to step out to the perimeter and put a hand up. The visitors connected on just six three pointers last night, a couple of which came late when the game was well in the books for the Tigers.

Morsell's big night wasn't the only reason Towson won, though. Zane Martin had 12 points and Brian Starr and Arnaud William Adala Moto both collected nine points on the night. Starr has been one of the team's most surprising performers during the 10-1 CAA surge that dates back to early January.

Towson returns home to face James Madison this Saturday night in the final regular season game at SECU arena in the 2016-2017 campaign. The Tigers have lost just once in conference play at home this season, dropping a 76-67 decision to league-leading UNC-Wilmington back on December 31. Since then, the Tigers are 7-0 at SECU Arena.

Following Saturday's home game, Towson heads on the road to finish up the regular season, visiting UNC-Wilmington next Thursday and William & Mary on Saturday, February 25.

It's then off to Charleston for the CAA tournament, where the Tigers figure to be a real contender for their first trip to the NCAA tournament since the 1990-91 season.

KELLY banner ad

lots to do in town this weekend


The weather in Baltimore looks remarkable for this Saturday and Sunday. Dust off the golf clubs and get out and play!

But if you're looking for some indoor sports action to take in, there are several options available to you.

Former Dulaney H.S. star Will Darley and the UMBC Retrievers are home on Saturday afternoon at 1 pm vs. UMass Lowell.

The Baltimore Blast are at home tonight against the Syracuse Silver Knights at Royal Farms Arena at 7:35 pm. Baltimore leads the Eastern Conference of the MASL at 10-5. Syracuse sits in the basement at 6-10. The same teams also play Sunday afternoon in Baltimore (4:05 pm).

There's good college hoops in the area tomorrow afternoon and evening. UMBC hosts UMass Lowell at 1 pm at the RAC on Saturday afternoon, as the Retrievers look to snap their first 3-game losing streak of the conference season. UMBC (7-6) is currently tied for 4th in America East with New Hampshire.

Saturday at 4 pm at Hill Field House, Morgan State hosts Savannah State in a key MEAC conference game, as both teams currently sit at 7-4. The Bears are 10-14 overall on the season, just like their visitors on Saturday.

On Sunday at Stevenson University, IAMM girls high school varsity basketball takes center stage with three games.

In the C Conference title tilt, it's Garrison Forest vs. Indian Creek at 2:00 pm.

Mount de Sales will face St. John's Catholic Prep at 4:00 pm in the B Conference title game.

And in the big one, the A Conference championship game starts at 6 pm with McDonogh facing St. Frances.

Head on out to Stevenson University for some championship high school hoops this weekend as the girls take center stage.

JERRY'S
TOYOTA banner

we have four "new" seats for the london trip to see the ravens!


Anyone interested in seeing the Ravens in London on September 24?

Thanks to our friends at British Airways, who alerted us when a small group canceled on Friday, we now have four new spaces available on our trip.

I gobbled up four more airline tickets and four more game tickets and the hotel has room for us -- so if you're interested in going to London, we'd love to have you!

Our game tickets at Wembley Stadium are in the lower concourse, I might add. And most of our group of 34 are sitting together and/or on in the same section.

The trip details are simple: We're leaving on Tuesday, September 19 and arriving (via direct flight) in London on Wednesday, September 20. We'll spend five days in the U.K., take in the Ravens-Jaguars game on Sunday, and return to Baltimore on Monday, September 25.

It's $2,445 per-person, which includes the airfare, five nights hotel at 4-star property within walking distance to Wembley Stadium, the Ravens-Jaguars lower concourse ticket, a week long complimentary "tube pass" and full English breakfast every morning at the hotel.

To reserve your space on the trip, all you have to do is go here.


we're still looking for new #dmd staffers


I mentioned this last Friday and received several responses (thank you!) and wanted to throw it out there again once or twice this week.

#DMD is looking to expand our staff.

We're adding a new writer or two to the roster, hopefully within the next couple of weeks, but certainly before baseball season. I've been in contact with several "prospects" and feel good about retaining their services. I'm sure you'll enjoy their work.

If there's an ardent follower of America's pastime out there who would like to take on the role of writing about Major League Baseball (not focusing on the Orioles, but more all of MLB in general), let me know and perhaps we'll add you to the stable here.

Reach me via e-mail if you'd like to contact me about a writing position: drew@drewsmorningdish.com

Additionally, we're looking to add another regional sales and marketing associate to the mix here as well. If you're interested in a position selling #DMD and our associated properties, you can also reach out to me via e-mail. Experience in media/advertising sales is helpful, but certainly not a mandate.



"the best 34 minutes of your week"

Those of you who consistently reach out to me for more podcasting work have finally won.

I'm doing it.

"The Best 34 Minutes Of Your Week" appears below, and we actually almost did keep it to 34 minutes!

I'm joined this week by Dave Larkin of The Baltimore Tent Company, a longtime fixture in the Baltimore community and a familiar face to those with Poly and Calvert Hall ties.

We buzz through several stories, including Tom Brady asking for $2,000 for an autograph, the Charles Oakley/James Dolan spat, and the UConn women's hoops team winning 100 straight games.

There's more, too. It's worth a listen, I think, but maybe that's because I'm one of the people you'll be hearing.

As the podcast evolves, we'll try to get other sports figures in town to stop by for a chat. I'm working on a visit from former Blast goalkeeper Scott Manning, for example. We might have to expand that one to 68 minutes or split it into two shows, because Scott always has lots to say!

Check out this week's podcast below:



PODCAST




Thursday
February 16
r logo#DMDfacebook logoVolume XXXI
Issue 16
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latest coaching moves show bisciotti, ravens are in "win or else" mode in 2017


It won't cause you to spit out your Royal Farms coffee when you read my declaration below about John Harbaugh and his status heading into the 2017 NFL campaign.

If the Ravens don't return to the playoffs next season, Harbs will be looking for a new gig.

And so, too, will his coaching staff.

That point was made even more clear earlier this week when the Ravens announced a series of changes to Harbaugh's coaching staff, which included promotions and call-ups but no "new" hires.

Craig Ver Steeg, who has been with Harbaugh since his arrival in Baltimore in 2008, will handle the duties of "quarterbacks coach" but also now serve as an offensive assistant to coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.

Nothing new there, except a small shift in title for Ver Steeg.

Chris Hewitt will start his 4th season in Baltimore, but his first as the team's secondary coach following the departure of Leslie Frazier to Buffalo.

Mike MacDonald goes from defensive assistant to assistant secondary coach while Drew Wilkins, whom many of the players have a fondness for, goes from defensive assistant to assistant defensive line coach.

I know what you're thinking. "There's a lot of assistants in that mix. No wonder they just raised ticket prices."

True that. But what's even more telling is that the club's off-season coaching carousel has included just one new hire of note, with Greg Roman re-joining the team as tight ends coach after a failed experiment as the Buffalo Bills' offensive coordinator.

Everyone else keeps the same parking spot and maybe gets a small bump in salary.

That leads this writer to speculate that bringing in new coaches and having to offer two or three years contracts just wasn't in the cards based on the instability of the person at the top (Harbaugh), who would have a hard time convincing anyone of note to join him in Charm City without the promise of extended, guaranteed employment.

I'm not saying Harbaugh was told he couldn't add anyone of his choosing or that the Ravens are in some sort of "hiring freeze". But I do think Harbaugh was told "no new multi-year contracts for coaches", which made promoting from within much easier than bringing in an outsider.

Those things happen when you've missed the playoffs two straight years and three of four overall.

Roman's arrival was likely a stop-gap for him as he looks to re-establish himself in the NFL coaching ladder. And, the guess here is Harbaugh quietly whispered to him that Baltimore might be a good destination for him in the event things don't work out with Marty Mornhinweg early in the 2017 campaign and he's forced to make an in-season change, a la the Marc Trestman saga of 2016.

You certainly can't blame Steve Bisciotti for laying down the law and putting a temporary halt to any new multi-year deals for coaches.

It's not a money thing, because Bisciotti has more than he knows what to do with, but it IS a money thing at the same time. Why bring aboard four or five new people, guarantee their salaries for three years, move their families, etc., when you really can only "guarantee" them one season of work?

If the Ravens don't make the playoffs in 2017, everyone goes, including the head coach.

And that will cost Bisciotti some money, too.

There's no need to pile on more owed money.

None of this has been published, of course, by the Ravens. But it's easy to read between the lines and see the extensions, promotions and position changes within the organization and understand what's happening in Owings Mills.

They're trying to win with what they have because that's most likely what they were told they'll have to do in 2017.

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pro golfer billy hurley iii authors letter to deceased father


I'm not in the habit of promoting the work of others since I don't see a whole of them linking #DMD to their site(s), but occasionally something comes along that I simply must post here at Drew's Morning Dish.

I thoroughly enjoy The Players' Tribune, a website where professional athletes write their own stories, in their own words, about virtually any subject they wish. In a world of sports-writing agendas and the need for page views and clicks, this is a place you can go and get the words and the quotes directly from the players themselves.

Bookmark The Players' Tribune website and go there often. You'll thank me later.

Billy Hurley III wrote an awesome piece on Valentine's Day that you can find here.

I won't spoil it for any of you, but I promise you'll find it heart-warming and fascinating.

Like a lot of you, I suppose, it's only taken me about three weeks to grow tired of the constant political whining and complaining that I see on an hourly basis on my social media pages.

I can't stand it.

And just when you thought athletes were the most entitled creatures on the earth, the election comes along and we find out that's not true after all.

But I digress...

I'd bet a Chinese lunch that you'll enjoy the piece authored by Billy Hurley III. It's human. It's sad. It's happy, too, if that's even possible. And Hurley III, who attended the Naval Academy, will probably be better off for having published it.

Please take ten minutes today to read Hurley's work. It's worth it, trust me.

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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 the 2016-17 season.


trimble, terps cruise past northwestern


With Melo Trimble scoring a career high 32 points, the poor shooting Northwestern Wildcats had no answer last night in Evanston, Illinois and fell to the Terps, 74-64.

Maryland has now won two straight after dropping a pair of games in succession, improving to 21-4 overall and 10-3 in Big Ten play.

Trimble was a very efficient 12 for 17 from the field last night, including 4 of 5 from three point range. Only 4 of his points came from the foul line.

With Northwestern’s top scorer, Scottie Lindsey, unable to play, and their number two and three men having off nights shooting, the Wildcats were never able to mount enough offensive pressure to challenge Maryland.

Northwestern couldn't stop Maryland guard Melo Trimble on Wednesday night, as the junior collected a career high 32 points on a 12-17 shooting night in Maryland's win.

Bryant McIntosh and Vic Law combined to shoot 7 of 25 from the field including 1 of 11 from three point range. If not for freshman guard Isiah Brown’s career high 19 points, the final score might have been ugly.

The story of the first half was pretty easy to write. Northwestern couldn’t make a shot, their team leader, McIntosh, got into early foul trouble, and Melo Trimble got hot from the field.

It all added up to a 32-22 intermission lead for Maryland.

Trimble finished the half with 13 points, while the top scoring Wildcat tandem of Law and McIntosh shot just 1 for 13.

The Terps got red hot from the field to start the second half, making 9 of their first 10 attempts. By the time their collective shooting hands had cooled off, Maryland built an 18 point lead.

Trimble handled a good deal of the scoring in the game's final ten minutes with a wide assortment of driving layups, floaters, and the occasional three point basket.

The Terps' lead grew to 20 before Northwestern made a few shots and cut the deficit to eight with 1:15 left. But it was a story of too little, too late for the Wildcats, who came into the game primed for a letdown after a surprising road win at Wisconsin last weekend.

The Maryland guards were simply too fast for the Northwestern backcourt to contain. Mark Turgeon's team was not only able to beat the Wildcat defenders off the bounce, but also got good looks from making hard cuts and receiving some nice passes.

Damonte Dodd added just enough inside scoring to keep the Northwestern defense honest. Dodd had 12 points on 5-6 shooting.

Freshman Kevin Huerter had a bit of a rough night on the offensive end of the court where he made only 1 of 7 shots, missed all four of his three point attempts, and committed four turnovers. However, he continues to impress with his defense and heady play. Huerter was the leading Terp rebounder with 8.

As a team, Maryland out-rebounded Northwestern by a 40-31 margin, another telling stat in a big road win for the visitors.

It’s the kind of effort on the glass they’ll need this Sunday at 1:00 pm when they travel to Wisconsin to face the Big 10 leading Badgers.


umbc leads at half, but falls at albany


Albany produced a pair of substantial second-half scoring runs to take control of a key league contest last night and defeated visiting UMBC, 78-69, at SEFCU Arena.

The loss drops the Retrievers into a 4th place tie with New Hampshire in America East at 7-6, while Albany moves into 3rd on their own at 8-5.

UMBC junior guard Jourdan Grant (Archbishop Spalding H.S.) came off the bench to lead the Retrievers with a season-best 15 points. Classmate and backcourt mate K.J. Maura added 14 before fouling out down the stretch.

UMBC junior guard Jairus Lyles scored just ten points in Wednesday's 78-69 defeat at Albany, giving The Great Danes a sweep of the season series with the Retrievers.

Sophomore Joe Sherburne played twenty minutes last night and failed to score a point. When he posts a "zero" in the points scored column, UMBC's not beating anyone.

Albany sophomore forward Devonte Campbell nearly doubled his previous career high, scoring 25 points, and adding a game-high 10 rebounds.

UMBC extended a 31-28 hafltime lead to 40-36 on a trey by Maura at the 15:43 mark of the second half. But Campbell and Dallas Ennema hit back-to-back threes for the Danes, starting an 11-0 surge that put the hosts ahead for good, 47-40.

The Retrievers came back with six straight points to cut the deficit to 47-46, but another Campbell trey sparked another Albany 12-3 run and the hosts led, 59-49, with 4:56 remaining.

UMBC would chip away and keep the score a two possession game, but the Danes converted 17-of-19 free throw attempts in the second half.

Retriever junior guard Rodney Elliott (John Carroll H.S.) knocked down his third trey of the game to cut the deficit to 74-69 with 33 seconds left, but that was as close as the visitors would come in the game's final minute.

UMBC leading scorers Jairus Lyles and Will Darley (Dulaney H.S.) didn't have their best stuff on Wednesday, as each scored just 10 points for the Retrievers.

The Retrievers return home to take on UMass Lowell on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 1:00 p.m.

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"the best 34 minutes of your week"

Those of you who consistently reach out to me for more podcasting work have finally won.

I'm doing it.

"The Best 34 Minutes Of Your Week" appears below, and we actually almost did keep it to 34 minutes!

I'm joined this week by Dave Larkin of The Baltimore Tent Company, a longtime fixture in the Baltimore community and a familiar face to those with Poly and Calvert Hall ties.

We buzz through several stories, including Tom Brady asking for $2,000 for an autograph, the Charles Oakley/James Dolan spat, and the UConn women's hoops team winning 100 straight games.

There's more, too. It's worth a listen, I think, but maybe that's because I'm one of the people you'll be hearing.

As the podcast evolves, we'll try to get other sports figures in town to stop by for a chat. I'm working on a visit from former Blast goalkeeper Scott Manning, for example. We might have to expand that one to 68 minutes or split it into two shows, because Scott always has lots to say!

Check out this week's podcast below:



PODCAST





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

A.L. East: Yankees sweep Mets, win 7-5.

A.L. Wild Card -- Twins split doubleheader with Indians, Rangers win.

Kevin Durant won't visit White House with rest of Warriors.

PGA Tour: Matt Every (-9) leads in Greensboro; Stenson one shot back.