Still Can’t Get Over Tuesday’s Orioles Game

 

Disclaimer: I still watch Orioles games. I talking big chunks of them, if not all nine innings. Despite football being right around the corner, I still care and watch a ton.

And to say that this season has been tough to watch would be a severe understatement. But nonetheless I still watch and part of me does so because with the sport of baseball, there is always the chance to see something new/different.

Take this past Tuesday evening for example. The Orioles and Yankees took just over three hours to play a nine inning ballgame. Pretty standard for a major league game. But pretty crazy when you toss in the fact that because of a four hour rain delay, first pitch wasn’t thrown until 11:08 PM…EASTERN TIME!

Because this was the last trip to New York the Orioles would make this year and there were no more dates on the schedule for make up games, Tuesday’s contest had to be played by any means necessary.

And did they ever.

Paul Folkemer of OriolesHangout.com summed it up pretty well at this point:

 

Is…is this a joke? Is this actually happening? We’re actually going to play a baseball game in a downpour, four hours after the scheduled start time, in rain-soaked conditions that Noah himself would consider a dealbreaker? Do I even need to point out how incredibly and recklessly dangerous that is to the players on the muddy, puddle-ridden field, any of whom could suffer a season-ending injury with one ill-fated slip on wet grass? What is going on? This isn’t baseball– this is a soggy debacle.

 

 

What ensued was a rather exciting baseball game. The Orioles fell behind early 2-0. But then tied it up on a Matt Wieters homerun.

The birds fell behind again, 3-2. This time Nick Markakis tied it up with an RBI double.

But thanks to back to back Yankee homeruns in the seventh from Francisco Cervelli and Brett Gardner, New York sealed the deal.

The Cercelli homer (see top picture) was eerily reminiscent of the 1996 ALCS when 12 year old Jeffrey Maier reached over the wall to catch a ball that was ultimately ruled a Yankee homerun.

Words don’t do justice, this game was crazy to watch. It ended at 2:15 am with no more than 1,000 fans in Yankee stadium.

Just a bizarre night.

CAN YOU HANDLE THE MADNESS??

Greetings. It is the eve before the real part of the NCAA Tournament begins. I know the TV networks want you to believe these “first four” games are part of the tournament but c’mon, who are they trying to kid? These are play-in games. The good stuff starts tomorrow.

The Thursday and Friday of the what used to be the 1st round (it is now called the 2nd round because of the play in games which makes things more confusing) are up there with Super Bowl Sunday as my favorite sports days of the year.

I have wonderful memories of coming home from middle school and high school on these two days and there waiting for me was the madness! Already in progress! Yes! No waiting ’til primetime to see how my bracket is faring. I get to see it NOW!

See ya later soap operas. For a few days in March, NCAA hoops rules the daytime airwaves and cause a dip in production in workplaces around the country. I love it.

One aspect of the big dance the lures me and so many others to watch countless hours of it, is the sheer unpredictability of the whole thing. Granted, there are only about 8-10 teams each ear who have a real shot at being the national champion. However, the chaos that ensues in the early rounds is exciting and people want to see it. Cinderella’s knocking off the big dogs. The favorites hanging on. It is as sure a thing as the sun rising tomorrow that there is gonna be some tight games that involve overtime and buzzer beaters.

And amazingly, is almost always a sure thing that CBS’s Gus Johnson will be calling those games! And that is a great thing as well.

Johnson’s memorable calls over the past 5 years have made him as much a part of March Madness as the players and the teams. The excitement in his voice is so much fun to listen to. He can make any game feel that much more important.

But back to why these next few weeks are so great and why they lure so many to watch. It is simple really. The tourney as a whole lives up to the hype. We expect great finishes, and we get ‘em. We expect teams winning games they shouldn’t. Check. We expect those who know nothing about college basketball to win their respective office pools. Check. Lastly, we expect uncontrollable emotions from the players. Shock, grief, and the agony of defeat show themselves in full force during this tournament. On the flip side, the excitement, pure joy, and relief of surviving to play another day can be seen on the faces of the victors every year.

So follow me this month (not always a smart plan) and forget your worries or troubles. Sit back, relax, and let the wonderful thing that is the NCAA Tournament overwhelm you with more basketball than you can handle. They say too much of a good thing is bad and that moderation is key. But I liken this to Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone eats too much on that night, and it is certainly not a bad thing at all.

So stuff yourself with some hoops baby!

Happy holidays!!

Conference Tourneys Underway…March Madness Looms

-I’ve been hooked to Championship Week and its only Wednesday. Monday night I watched a fantastic CAA Championship Game between VCU and Old Dominion. The CAA is no slouch, I think George Mason assured all of us that back in March of 2006. But I still think the conference is flying under the radar to most. Do not be surprised if Mason or Old “D” get past two or three opponents in the dance.

-Yesterday and today I’ve taken breaks from studying to catch some the Big East tournament. The top seeds don’t even play until Thursday! But that doesn’t mean there isn’t exciting basketball being played at the Garden in rounds 1 and 2. Seton Hall and Rutgers provided quite a show in the “battle of New Jersey” yesterday afternoon. Hall’s Jeremy Hazell drained a last second three pointer to send the game into overtime. But the underdog Scarlet Knights were too much in OT and moved on to play St. John’s on Wednesday.

-South Florida upset Villanova after being down 16 in the second half. That’s right…South Florida! Nova’s season has taken an absolute free fall. At one point they were ranked sixth in the country. Since Jan. 17, they own a record of 15 and 5, capping that with their fifth straight defeat Tuesday night. I believe they have kissed their at-large bid goodbye.

-Throwing away at-large bids is something the Maryland Terrapins know all about. The Terps couldn’t win on Senior Day against Virginia, which was just sad. The good news is, the loss didn’t change much for Maryland’s situation. The Miami loss already screamed IGNORE ME to the selection committee. So they UVA loss was more of a downer for the Seniors than anyone else. There is still hope for the Terps…albeit a dim light of hope. They play their opening round of the ACC Tournament on Thursday against N.C. State.  They only shot the Terps have of making the NCAA Tournament is to flat-out win the ACC’s. Their path to the title should they beat the Wolfpack? Duke, most likely Florida State, and most likely UNC in the final. Yikes! Once again…they have to win their first game to even think about the others.

Video Blog?? Let’s Try It Out

Ok maybe this will be somewhat of a recurring segment of the ol’ blog…but here we go. I decided to plug in the trusty webcam and record two and a half minutes or so of me talking….YIKES. Let me know what you think. Cya.

Terps Handle ‘Noles 78-62

(AP) COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Freshman Terrell Stoglin scored 17 points, and Maryland used a strong second half to beat Florida State 78-62 Wednesday night and severely damage the Seminoles’ pursuit of their first Atlantic Coast Conference title.

The Terrapins (18-10, 7-6) had five players score in double figures. Jordan Williams had 11 points and 11 rebounds, Dino Gregory scored 14, Adrian Bowie added 12 and Sean Mosley chipped in 10 in Maryland’s eighth straight home win over Florida State.

It was the 21st double-double of the season for Williams, who became the seventh sophomore in ACC history to collect at least 600 rebounds in his career.

Derwin Kitchen scored 16 and Deividas Dulkys had 14 points for the Seminoles (19-8, 9-4). The loss dropped Florida State three games behind first-place Duke with three games to play.

Thoughts on the win:

-Dino Gregory was key for the Terrapins in the second half. He bailed out their stagnant offense several times. From 10:57 to play to the 2:10 mark, Gregory was the only Terp to make a field goal as he connected on four. Dino finished 6 of 10 overall for 14 points.

-Terrell Stoglin can play! After back to back 25 point performances, the freshman point guard added another 17 on Wednesday night. He looks more and more comfortable running the offense and has no fear taking and making shots from beyond the arc, shooting 3 for 4 from downtown. He has truly earned his spot in the starting lineup.

-Gotta cut down on the turnovers. 16 turnovers may be OK against Florida State (who had 17 of their own). But it won’t get it done against the tougher teams of the ACC.

-Much better from the charity stripe. Over the past two games, Maryland has shot 80% from the foul line. This is a big positive for the team as it was clearly their weak spot for the better part of the season. Whether or not they can get to the line often and convert will be one of the key determining factors in this final stretch run.

-A bit of concern against the zone. The Seminoles zone on ‘D seemed to frustrate the Terps on quite a few offensive possessions. Maryland was able to hit some tough shots, take advantage on fast breaks, and draw fouls to rack up some points. However there were some stretches in the second half where the zone looked quite effective. And that was without the Noles’ top player Chris Singleton. It will be interesting to see if UNC, Miami, or Virginia try a similar style in the next three games when they face the Terps.

Caps End Power Outage; Defeat Ducks 7-6

(Washington Post) ANAHEIM, Calif. – For a night, the Washington Capitals didn’t want for goals. Facing an Anaheim Ducks squad that had scored at least three goals in each of its past four contests, the Capitals quickly accepted their roles as Western gunslingers in an old-fashioned, high-scoring shootout where defense was optional and it was an unwelcome night to be a goaltender.

All told, 11 players scored goals and 20 recorded points Wednesday night at Honda Center. But Alexander Semin’s tally with 1 minute 47 seconds to go proved decisive in a 7-6 Capitals victory that snapped a three game losing streak. The goal was Semin’s third of the night, marking his fourth hat trick of the season and a resounding return for the winger, who entered the game on a 17-game goal-scoring drought that stretched back to Nov. 28.

The contest marked the first time Washington posted seven goals since an Oct. 30 win in Calgary, the most combined goals scored in a Capitals’ game this season and only the fourth time they tallied five or more goals over the last 35 games. The up-and-down pace came at the expense of the team defense that had been the Capitals’ recent hallmark, as they allowed six goals for the first time since a 7-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Dec. 12.

Last night the Caps finally played some decent and exciting hockey. They came into last night’s contest having lost six of eight and in those losses they scored a total of six goals including two shutouts. The offense had clearly been in a funk since the new year began and the numbers back it up. In January, Washington ranked second to last in goals per game at 1.92. Even if you include last night’s seven goal outburst, they still rank 23rd out of 30 teams in goals per game for the month of February.

It will be interesting to see if they can kick it into gear with just under two months to play in the regular season. If the playoffs started today, they would be the #5 seed in the Eastern Conference. At four points behind Tampa Bay, a fourth consecutive division title is still very much in reach. However no one else in the East is close to scoring the way conference leader Philadelphia is this year. And at 11 points back, it looks as if the boys from D.C. won’t be entering the Stanley Cup playoffs as the top seed like they did a year ago.

Next up for the Caps is San Jose tonight at 10:30 followed by a nationally televised game against Buffalo this Sunday at 12:30.

Annoying Things Sports Fans Do

 

A fan wearing a LeBron James Miami Heat jersey at a Cleveland Indians game is escorted out of the ballpark by police

 

 

I was listening to the Scott Van Pelt Show yesterday on ESPN Radio and he mentioned Austin Schindel’s article/slide show on Bleacher Report titled “The 30 Most Annoying Things Sports Fans Do.”

It was a fun discussion and thought I’d point out a few fun ones from the list (some of which I’m guilty of)

-Wear a jersey to a game where that team isn’t playing.

Full disclosure…I did this once. I was fifteen so cut me some slack. I was invited by a friend to go to an A’s-Nationals baseball game during the team’s first season in D.C. It was June 2005 and at the time the Orioles happened to be playing quite well (first place in the AL East, four games ahead of Boston). I didn’t give a hoot about either team so I wore my Miguel Tejada shirt to the game and purposely went up to the upper deck to walk around and try to get some comments. After a few “Baltimore sucks” and “Tejada sucks” got showered my way I was happy and went back down to my seats. Nowadays I see people at the games wearing a totally unrelated jersey and I think they are morons. Not saying you have to adopt a team or pretend as if you like one of the teams that are playing. But leave your jersey at home. Don’t care if they are your team since birth. I will give exception to golf polo shirts and flat brim caps for fashion if they have a team logo on them. But the jerseys?? Get em outta here!!

-Saying that we should go for it on 4th down…in the middle of the first quarter.

The article says it perfectly here: THIS IS NOT MADDEN! I happen to sit in front of two whiny babies at Ravens games all season and they always want us to go for it. How old are you?? Do you understand football. Yes, it would be nice if we went for it on fourth down all the time. That would be gutsy. It would also be stupid and end up giving us horrible field position 70% of the time. Sit back, cheer for the team, and let the coaches make the call. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion. But if it is as juvenile as this one, keep it to yourself.

-Try to anticipate a play before it happens guy.

Oh I am totally busted. Ask my dad or any of my friends, I love calling the play before it happens. Most of the time I am wrong. And most of the time I’m just trying to look smart. Ravens on the goal line, play clock is running down and I confidently call “Toss right”. Play action to Heap instead. Yikes. Guess I should stop.

-Go behind sports announcers during post game and make stupid faces.

This is kind of annoying to me, but it doesn’t bother me that much. I’m going to take it a step further and bash the people who sit behind home plate at baseball games and have their cell up to their ear and wave all game. Guess what? You’re sitting behind the plate! You’re probably going to be on TV!! I don’t need you calling your friends and smiling and waving like you are at the Thanksgiving Day Parade asking “Am I on? Can you see me?” Just watch the game please.

-When people boo the guy in the shooting competion.

This is in reference to the on court shooting contests they let random fans participate in during timeouts/commercial breaks. But I gotta disagree on this one. See the fans want to see the guy do well. That part needs to be mentioned. They don’t want to see him fail. But if he does, he has the right to hear about it. And it is supposed to entertain everyone else in their seats. So if you are embarrassingly bad or just embarrassing period, I say it is fair game to boo. You could have said no when the arena staff asked you if you wanted to participate. So be prepared to suffer if you under perform, just like the players haha.

Wear a Jersey to Game Where That Team Is Not Playing


What I’m Tweeting

  • Nick with a SERIOUS web gem. Hell of a catch, took away runs. Time to seal it 1 week ago
  • O's record month by month: 12-12 March/April, 15-15 in May, 16-12 in June, 17-8 in July, have started August 9-3. #BUCKleUp #Birdland 2 weeks ago
  • It was a solo shot btw, both HRs broke a tie game. AL East is under control!!! 2 weeks ago
  • Atmosphere at the yard right now is amazing! What a sequence of events. I believe @SimplyAJ10 also hit a big 3R HR on 9/6/12? Lets Go O's! 2 weeks ago

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