Posted on: April 28, 2012 9:54 am

Orioles honor the Greatest Oriole of all times!

After the 1965 season the Orioles traded Milt Pappas to Cincinnati for the "over the hill" Frank Robinson. Frank was a rookie of the year and a NL MVP for the Reds.  The Orioles came close in 1963 when they had pennant feaver but were stuck.  The Orioles made two moves that put them over the top.  Besides getting Frank they added All-Star shortstop Luis Aparicio from the Chicago White Sox and traded former rookie of the year, Ron Hansen.

Immediately in 1966 Frank Robinson became the leader of the Orioles both on and off the field.  On the field he won the triple crown, first in home runs, RBI and batting average.  He was the first to accomplish that feat since Mickey Mantle in 1956.  Off the field he created the Orioles (then famous) kangaroo court.  He would preside as judge and fine players $1.00 for making mental errors or not getting someone home in an RBI situation.  He brought a sense of family and responsibility to the Orioles which had never been seen before.  The term "The Oriole Way" was created by the Ripken family but the Oriole Way was created by Frank.  I was fortuante enough to watch his solo shot off of Don Drysdale in game 4 of the 4-0 sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. I was sitting in the upper deck behind the Orioles 3rd base dugout.

I think it was 1970 when he slid into second base and injured himself having double vision.  Although he was never the same on the field his short six year stint with the Orioles is the largest single contribution any player has ever made.  Sorry Cal.

Posted on: January 12, 2012 4:28 pm

My take on the NFC

Ok, I have no dog in the fight in the NFC so I can be fairly objective about the remaining games.

The New York Football Giants are a psycho team.  Some weeks they look like they should be booking rooms in Indy and some weeks they look like they should be booking tee times the next Monday.  To predict what they do from week to week is impossible.  Like most quarterbacks, if Eli Manning is hit early and often he will make mistakes.  That leads to interceptions.  The one thing the G-men have going for them is the north-south running of Brandon Jacobs.  Once he gets a bit of steam he is difficult to bring down. If the Giants establish their running game they have a legit shot to win.  Their defense must put pressure on Aaron Rodgers or they will lose.  Nobody has really done that in the last 13 months in a game that's mattered.  Green Bay will win by 10 points.

San Francisco has had a great run but New Orleans will beat them handily.  Drew Brees is the best qb in the NFL. I am aware that Rodgers is having a great season but Brees is the best.  The Saints can beat a team in so many ways and Alex Smith is still an average quarterback.  The opportunistic Saints defense will confuse Smith and create an environment where he will at least have two turnovers.  New Orleans by 14.

New Orleans is the best team in the NFC. They will go to Lambeau Field and beat the Pack.  Yes, they lost in week one.  The key is Darren Sproles.  It was his first game with basically no off season.  He has had an entire season to acclimate and has furnished the Saints with a weapon that cannot be covered by a shaky Green Bay defense.  People in Cheese territory love their TE, Jermichael Finley, but he will be the second best TE in the week one match up. Jimmy Graham is the best TE in the NFL.  The Saints D will allow the Pack to score points but not enough to stop the Saints from going to the Superbowl twice in the last three attempts.  New Orleans will win the NFC title by 10.
Posted on: November 9, 2011 5:35 pm

Have Mercy on PSU - Give the NCAA Death Penalty

Folks, this isn't going to get any better.  Until this week the head coach of Penn State, Joe Paterno, was one of the most powerful people in the state of Pennsylvania.  In the pecking order starting with God, JoePa was top five in PA.  What he stood for was much more than wins and losses.  He was the law and the morality of at least the Pennsylvania State University.  What has come out in the last few days will not only tarnish a perceived stellar reputation but will crush the university, the athletic program and their football program.
For Joe Paterno to tell the board of regents he will retire on his own terms is no longer reality.  His excuse of telling the athletic director was proper protocol is not believable.  What would happen to a Penn State Athletic Director who disagreed with Paterno on an important issue?  A man with backbone would have acted.  This is a sad day for all the victims, none of which are those that knew about Sandusky's criminal acts.
There are plenty of victims.  First and foremost are the young men who were sexually assaulted.  Those were the forgotten folks who needed help the most and received the least.  They came from difficult backgrounds looking for hope and found despair.  The perceived hope of helping the boys get on the right track was a fraud.  All those who knew about the abuse as well as Sandusky should be fired and not allowed to resign. They are not the victims.

All students, faculty and those in the athletic department who were totally unaware have been devastated.  The pride of being a Nittany Lion is now a joke.  Those on the football team and their families who were unaware of this incident are victims.  You entrust a young man who is a stellar high school athlete to a program far from home.  You think that life's lessons as well as football will be taught.  What does covering this up and placing blame elsewhere teach you?  How can a player fully trust those remaining, including Paterno, ever again?

The business community and alumni who have supported JoePa as one step removed from religion have been betrayed.  The Pennsylvania State University Program is Joe Paterno.  Their passion has betrayed them.  How can they continue to spend thousands per year?  What would a business be saying if they willingly contribute to a program that has knowingly looked the other way when sexual assault on children has taken place.  The public would not look to favorably on this.

Recruits?  Forget it.  Parents will no longer want their blue chip sons to go to Penn State. 

The most merciful way the NCAA could deal with this is to give the Death Penalty to Penn State Football.
They must only allow current players to regain a year of eligibility and transfer but also insure any scholarship promises given are paid for by Penn State University to other Universities.  There needs to be an NCAA program to help those players in the enrollment and recruitment process to other universities.  Any future commitments to Penn State should be voided.  Other universities will understand and help those blue chippers.  If Penn State committed money to their recruits they should be made to pay that amount to other universities. The new universities chosen will not have to count their PSU former recruits scholarships against the NCAA limit.

Eliminating the football program will have a harsh immediate affect however the time to do the wrong thing to benefit the greater good is over.  Do the right thing and eventually Penn State's reputation which will soon be tarnished beyond belief will repair itself. It may even become stronger. 

The PSU football program must suffer due to its most powerful leader in school history abusing his power and allowing an unforgivable crime to be swept under the rug.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 24, 2011 7:34 am

The Harsh Reality of Baseball in Baltimore

This weekend the State of Maryland and a group of private investors unveiled a 9 foot statue of Mr. Oriole, Brooks Robinson.  This statue is located across the street from Orioles Park at Camden Yards.  The statue's likeliness of Brooks is uncanny.  The glove he's sporting is gold to honor the 16 consecutive gold gloves he earned during his career.  For the record Brooks also appeared in 18 All-Star games and collected 2,848 hits.  His entire professional baseball career from 1955 to 1977 was spent in the Orioles organization.  Though Brooks was born in Little Rock, Arkansas he has spent the majority of his life as a Baltimorean.

During the time Brooks played professional sports most had off season jobs.  Brooks was the pitchman for Crown Central Petroleum.  It was the gentleman he worked for at Crown, Henry Rosenberg, who was the driving force in making sure the most beloved Oriole of many generations had the well deserved statue.  During the ceremony the list of donors were read.  There was nobody named Angelos mentioned.  The statue located near the stadium was not on stadium property. Angelos should have worked with the group and had the statue at the stadium, just like Brooks' friend, Johnny Unitas, statue is located at Ravens Stadium.

There is a harsh reality that hit me in the face.  Peter Angelos has taken the Baltimore Orioles away from Baltimore.  His name should be mentioned in the same breath as former Baltimore Colts owner, Bob Irsay.  The difference is the way each accomplished their task. Irsay dismantled the team, and when they had nothing left packed up the moving vans and went to Indy.  Angelos abandoned the rich Baltimore Orioles history and because he had achieved a degree of success in the business of Law he didn't need to know anything about baseball to make all the decisions for the Orioles. 

Immediately after he bought the Orioles it was noted that he boasted his son's knowledge of fantasy baseball made him an expert on how to make the Orioles successful.  Angelos' Orioles fantasy has turned out to be a tragity.  His abandonment of the "Orioles Way", a term coined by Cal Ripken, Sr, is evident.  The attitude of "Whatever happened before I arrived is insignificant" is appalling.  He alone has turned my beloved Orioles into a joke. 

The harsh reality is the team playing in Camden Yards is not the Baltimore Orioles.  Their resemblance is by uniform only.  Every year the hated New York Yankees have an alumni game in celebration of their history and out of respect to players and fans of years ago. Angelos has never done that.  Brooks and Frank Robinson brought the city of Baltimore joy.  Angelos has brought only despair.

I can no longer cheer for this team as it is no longer the one of my youth.  Mr. Angelos should take the lead of a Washington professional sports franchise owner.  I am not speaking of the equally evil Daniel Snyder.  I am talking about Bob Short, who took the Senators out of DC and moved them to Texas.  It is apparent that Angelos will not sell the team so get them the hell out of Baltimore.  We deserve better.  We deserve Brooks at Camden Yards.  Peter, you don't deserve Baltimore. Get the hell out! 

Posted on: October 15, 2011 9:27 am

McGee - Reality at the end of the bench

Derek Fisher and most of the well dressed folks at the podium have enjoyed the fruits of their labors for many years.  If those fortunate few have invested wisely or at least not squandered their millions they are set for life.  That is not the case for those sitting at the end of their teams benches.

For a rookie player who sits at the end of their team's bench earns the NBA minimum $473,000.00.  If they are lucky enough to get a second year before a younger more promising player takes their place at the end of the bench they will earn an additional $760,000.00 minimum for a player with 1 year experience.  That totals to over $1,000.000.00 over two years for a person considered for two years to be one of the best 360 people in their profession during that period. 

Once that small window is closed they will no longer be able to have that earning power.  By taking the second year away from one of those results in a devistating loss for someone considered at one time being at the top of their profession.  Forget LeBron. Forget Kobe and the likes.  That's why JaVale McGee said what he said.  If you knew the potential income of over $750,000.00 would be taken from you wouldn't you waiver in your support of holding out for the best deal?

Think about it.
Posted on: October 11, 2011 3:53 pm

Lucifer Vanden Bosch

I know the defense is supposed to scare the hell out of the offense but Kyle Vanden Bosch has taken it to a new level.  I don't know how many folks watching the game last night noticed that the cameras were constantly focusing on Vanden Bosch's face, at least every series of downs.

After checking to see if my wide screen had slipped a gasket I realized that Vanden Bosch must have worn RED, yes I said RED, contact lenses.  His eyes were red.  If his devistating play and his glaring looks weren't mean enough?  I found myself having to look away from my set.  Hollywood couldn't have done it better. 

The bottom line is Kyle Banden Bosch has taken football to a lower level.  That's entertainment!!!!! Gotta love them Lions!
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 14, 2011 5:59 pm

Reflections from Ravens 35-7 victory

Now that it's midweek and I've had time to see the highlights from Ravens domination over their Arch Neminsis, Pittsburgh Steelers there are some things that strike me.

1.  What's wrong with America's team?  (Cowboys relinquished that title many years ago)  This is the first Steelers game I've been to that the stands weren't filled with former, current or wannabe Western Pennsylvanians.  A few graced M&T but they were few and far between.  The team itself was not ready for the level of energy the Ravens exploaded upon them.
2. Two of the best defensive players in the NFL play for The Ravens. Suggs and Ngata are amazing. 
3. Although Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are not the same players they were 5 years ago their cerebral abilities have enabled them to remain elite and All-Star calibur.
4. Hines Ward got what was coming to him for many years thanks to JJ.  How dare Ward whine about the Ravens running up the score.  Keep dancin Hines.
5.  Joe Flacco does amazing things when he has time.
6.  Can't wait to see how well the offensive line plays when it comes together.  Flacco was sacked once on a coverage sack and hit only one other time.
7. We shouldn't be surprised if Ray Rice gains more yards from scrimmage than anyone else in the NFL.  Vonta Leach is a beast. 
8. Next time I think of panicking about the lack of quality personnel going into a new season I should take a big breath, say "Ozzie Knows" 10 times and relax. 
11. Anquan Boulden is great going over the middle. Lee Evans' presence on the field grabs so much attention the opposing safety just can't camp out waiting for Boulden.  If he does look for Flacco to throw to Evans who will be two yards past any corner in the NFL.
12. The two headed monster of Ed Dickson/Dennis Pitta will more than adequately replace the aging Todd Heap.
13. This team will not overlook an opponant. The contingent of veterans including Reed, Lewis and Ngata on defense and Rice, Matt Birk, Vonta Leach, Flacco, and Marshall Yanda will make sure the focus is directed towards the task at hand.
Posted on: May 5, 2011 11:00 pm
Edited on: May 5, 2011 11:04 pm

Thank You Gary Williams...Time to move on

A short tribute to Gary Williams then let’s get down to business.
Gary Williams took a program that was in chaos and made it into an elite program, then took it back to mediocrity.  I remember it all very well.  
The day after the 1986 NBA Draft when The Boston Celtics chose Len Bias with the second pick the basketball program imploded.  Charles "Lefty" Driesell became the fall guy for the new UM administration.  The new administration wanted change and used Lefty to change not only the basketball program but also the overall reputation of the University of Maryland which was known as a top ten party school.  The administration hired Baltimore City legend, Dunbar High School Coach, Bob Wade to succeed Lefty.  The boosters and those remaining in the Athletic Department administration hated how all this went down.  Lefty was their guy.  Bob Wade got no support from the Maryland Athletic Department or the boosters.  He was the "Doug DeCinces" of the Terps.  (DeCinces, an outstanding 3rd baseman succeeded the HOF Brooks Robinson). 
Now enter Gary Williams, a former Terp, and successful coach at several college programs including The Ohio State University.  Both boosters and the Athletic Department opened their hearts and pocket books to Gary.  Williams did not disappoint.  He took Wade's talent and made them respectable.  Then he took a second tier recruiting class to consecutive final four appearances which culminated in 2002 with a national championship.  He did that with Lonnie Baxter, Chris Wilcox, Juan Dixon, Steve Blake and a cast of a few more.  Blake is still in the NBA as back up to Derek Fisher on the Lakers.  
After the championship season for whatever reason the Terps still didn't get top tier hoopsters.  Gary and Athletic Director, Debby Yow got into a public tiff resembling your typical afternoon soap opra.  There were no winners in that tiff, only losers including both Yow and Williams. 
OK, OK. Not much of a tribute but now I can get to the point.
Driesell was a superb recruiter and an average coach.  I can only imagine what Gary Williams would have done with a team with Tom McMillen, Len Elmore, Albert King, Len Bias, Buck Williams, Mo Howard, Brad Davis and John Lucas, the first pick in the 1976 NBA Draft, taken by the Houston Rockets.
Lets stay with John Lucas for a while.  John was absorbed in the 1970's drug scene.  Ad admitted addict, he has spent the majority of his adult life helping young adults in life situations.  In the early 1990's Lucas coached the San Antonio Spurs to the Western Conference semi-finals.  The following year under Lucas the Spurs went 55-27.   Lucas can coach.  He is a hard worker that has seen rock bottom and risen to heights dedicating his life to help young people.  He's a Terp, he can relate to inner city hoops and suburban hoops and the challenges they bring.  John Lucas should be the next coach of the University of Maryland Men's Basketball program.  He will be able to recruit top talent and get them to over achieve.
The popular picks will no doubt be Notre Dame's Mike Brey, Butler's Brad Stevens or VCU's Shaka Smart.  All are great coaches and very young.  They would be great picks but none could compare to what Lucas would bring to the table. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or