Red Sox 5, Orioles 2 : Temperature’s Rising – The bad blood between the Red Sox & O’s continues as Boston starter Chris Sale throws behind Manny Machado in the 1st inning, right after the Fenway crowd had given Adam Jones a standing ovation. Hanley Ramirez goes deep twice, hitting a solo shot in the 4th (#4) & Trey Mancini doubles in a run in the 5th to get the O’s on the board. Ramirez hits another solo shot in the 6th (#5) to make it 3-1 Red Sox. Machado hits a solo shot to left center (#6) in the 7th to cut the lead to 3-2, but thats as close as the O’s get. Mookie Betts doubles in 2 more in the 7th off of Donnie Hart to make it 5-2, as the Red Sox add some insurance. The teams split the first 2 games of this 4 game series, but you get the feeling that the bad blood isn’t over, it has been rearing it’s ugly head since the last series @ Camden Yards & looks like it’s going to go on all year.
The Baltimore Ravens capped off one of their more memorable Drafts in recent years – Going heavy on the Defensive side of the ball & addressing some major needs. Here is a breakdown of the Draft picks & my grades.
Marlon Humphrey – CB – Alabama – 6’0 – 197 (Round 1/ Pick 16)
Humphrey gives the Ravens a physical, fast corner, who can jam WR’s at the line and gives us an immediate impact corner, who can compete for a starting job right away, he also makes the Ravens that much deeper at corner. Humphrey, Jimmy Smith, Tavon Young & Brandon Carr make the Ravens corners a much improved unit from last year already. Humphrey going to us @ 16 came off as a shock to some, but not to Ozzie Newsome & the Ravens.
Grade – A
Tyus Bowser – OLB – Houston – 6’3 -247 (Round 2/Pick 47)
Bowser can be the replacement to Terrell Suggs, and will the chance to learn from the potential Hall of famer this season. Bowser jumped off the board to Baltimore and is just what they need to bolster their pass rush. Bowser, Suggs, Z’Darius Smith, Matt Judon & now fellow Rookie Tim Williams make Baltimore’s pass rush much improved as well. Bowser has a very high motor and he should fit in nicely.
Grade – B
Chris Wormley – DE – Michigan – 6’5 – 298 (Round 3/Pick 74)
Wormley immediately gives the Ravens a possible starter to replace the departure of DE Lawrence Guy, and he should be able to do some of the same things, he is expected to step into their five-technique Defensive slot line, and is known for being a hard worker. Wormley can play multiple positions on the Defensive line, and comes from Michigan, where he was coached by Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh’s brother Jim, and the brothers exchanged alot of information on Wormley leading up to the Draft. Wormley is just the type of player the Ravens need, tough, versatile & hungry.
Grade – B-
Tim Williams – OLB – Alabama – 6’3 – 244 (Round 3/ Pick 78)
Williams is an impact player, as stated already he can team up w/ fellow Rookie Tyus Bowser & form a mean duo of pass rushers. This kid is a playmaker and he only slipped to the 3rd round due to a few character concerns, but he is well worth the risk and fits into the mold of former Raven pass rushers of old. Peter Boulware comes to mind when you think about the long and lanky Williams, who has a huge wingspan. The upside is huge on Tim Williams and the Ravens know it. In an AFC that still has Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Ryan Tannehill, Derek Carr, Phillip Rivers & Andy Dalton, the Ravens pass rush could have just added a huge piece.
Grade – A
Nico Siragusa – G – San Diego State – 6’4 – 319 (Round 4/ Pick 122)
No relation to Tony Siragusa, this kid is reliable, and he is definitely durable, starting 41 straight games at LG in the last 3 years. A downhill blocker, who is described as a “mover” and that he is. Drafting this kid will allow former LG Alex Lewis to move RT, if not there a few others that can challenge for the position. I think this kid is considered a steal, slipping to the 4th round and he may help solidify the O-line, if anything he gives us depth at the least.
Grade – B-
Jermaine Eluemunor – G/T – Texas A&M – 6’4 – 332 (Round 5/ Pick 159)
Born and raised in London, Eluemunor accidently stumbled across the NFL by accident, but fell in love with it and never turned back. He moved to the U.S. at age 14 and loves the game, has all the tools, he just oozes confidence and that’s a great quality to have as a Raven. He may compete for the RT position or just may hang around as depth on a roster that is in need of young, versatile lineman. Baltimore considers him a project, he says he isn’t, saying – “I’m no developmental player, i came from England to play in the NFL and that’s what i plan on doing with the Ravens”……..Like i said, he just oozes confidence.
Grade – C
Chuck Clark – DB – Virginia Tech – 6’0 – 208 (Round 6/Pick 186)
Drafting Clark was more of a depth move and he may have to make the roster on Special Teams as well. He has nice size @ 208 lbs and was a 3 year starter at Virginia Tech & a two-year Captain. A very instinctive Safety, he is what Baltimore is looking for in terms of size, agility and football IQ, he is rangy and knows how to locate the football. This young man also looks forward to learning from a secondary that is loaded with playmakers. If Clark can make the roster, he wil have a chance to play sparingly, if not he may be moved to the practice squad.
Grade – C-
Overall Draft Grade – B
The Breakdown : Ozzie Newsome and his front office did a great job of going Defensive heavy and loading up for the best of the AFC’s offenses. Ozzie has been criticized in the past for not taking more Offensive players and showing too much love to Alabama (his alma mater) to that i say this…….We lost many games last year, because our prideful Defensive group failed us, NOT OUR OFFENSE, especially against Pittsburgh on Christmas when everything was on the line. We scored 27 points in that game and LOST.
I think that proved to Ozzie and owner Steve Bisciotti that we weren’t as stout on Defense as we thought we were……hence the numerous Defensive players we drafted. We wanted WR’s Mike Williams & Corey Davis but once they were selected our game plan changed. They still aren’t pleased in Baltimore, they want Offense….they say Ozzie didn’t draft enough Offense…….and, well here is what i have to say to that.
TE Maxx Williams, WR Breshad Perriman, TE Nick Boyle, WR/ TE Darren Waller, TE Crockett Gillmore, WR Chris Moore, RT Rick Wagner, LG Alex Lewis, C John Urschel, LT Ronnie Stanley, RB Kenneth Dixon, and RB Buck Allen. These are the names of some of the players we have drafted on Offense in the last 3-4 years. For all the people saying we haven’t drafted any Offensive players, we clearly have. Most of these players have either been injured or suspended and have not seen much of the field. How do we know what we have? I like your theory Ozzie, we decided enough with all that Offense mess & invested heavily in the Defense this time. Stop saying we don’t have any Offense. We will add a veteran WR, possibly Anquan Boldin (which i would love to see for a reunion) and possibly a veteran lineman. Relax y’all!! It’s gonna be all good in Charm City. GO RAVENS!! #InOzzieWeTrust
Orioles 5, Red Sox 2 : Knocking Their Sox Off – The Orioles take advantage of 4 Red Sox errors, Manny Machado homers & drives in 2 & Dylan Bundy pitches 7 solid innings as the O’s take Game 1. Bundy allows 2 runs on 5 hits he strikes out 2 & walks a season high 4. Caleb Joseph doubles to center, scoring Jonathan Schoop in the 5th to get the O’s on the board against Porcello. Machado blasts a solo shot (#5) to left in the 6th & reaches on an error that allows a run to score in the 8th. Mark Trumbo singles home another to make it 4-0 & Chris Davis then adds a sacfly to plate Machado as the O’s score 3 times in the inning. OF Andrew Benintendi gets Boston on the board w/ a single to center. Hanley Ramirez singles in another, but is called out when he runs to 2nd & doesn’t see Benintendi already standing there, killing the rally for Boston. Baltimore regains control of 1st place in the AL East.
Bal (16-8) Bos (13-12)
WP : Bundy (4-1)
LP : Porcello (1-4)
S : Brach (5).
GO O’S!! #BundyOfJoy
OK Caps, I get it.
The plan against the Penguins is to lose the first two games of your semi-final matchup, lull them into a sense of false security and then strike back and take the series in six or seven games. Very slick Washington.
It has to be the plan, right? While taking a tough loss in game one, they suckered Pittsburgh even more by playing hard in the first period in game two. They even went as far as having their goalie, Braden Holtby play so bad that he was taken out for the third period. I mean, he led the league with nine shutouts and was the league’s best goaltender last year.
Well Caps, the setup is perfect. I don’t think Pittsburgh has a clue. It’s time for phase two.
I have had a love affair with hockey ever since high school. I was playing floor hockey when I hip checked a guy (of course I was a defenseman) into the seats. It was something that I saw when I watched games on TV. After I did it, I was waiting for the whistle, knowing that I had committed a penalty.
There was no whistle. It was a legal play. I’ve been in love ever since. It doesn’t hurt that it’s the one sport that the officials allow you to fight during the game to settle any differences that you may have.
My feelings for the sport were only amplified when my home team, The Capitals were founded in 1974. A team to call my own. While the Bullets and the Washington franchise were my main squeezes, the Caps were the girl that I always liked when I was growing up.
As things turn out, we go against the Penguins in second round of this year’s playoffs. To give you an ideal of the intensity level, we like the Penguins just as much as the Ravens like the Steelers. That has only been enhanced by the recent history between the teams in the playoffs. The last four times the teams these teams have met, not only have the Penguins beat the Caps, they went on to win the Stanley Cup.
The latest chapter between the two teams started Thursday night. If Cap fans can’t stand the Penguins in general, they really can’t stand their superstar Sidney Crosby. He staked the Pens to a 2-0 lead scoring his career 52nd and 53rd playoff goals in 53 seconds. Although our superstar Alex Ovechkin scored his 45th playoff tally of his own, it wasn’t enough as Pittsburgh took game one 3-2.
This is usually the time where I would complain about how the Caps get seem to get beat by these guys in the playoffs and start to let down. But after watching game one, I see a different Caps team. This team played hard the entire game and had no quit in them. Take away the two goals that Crosby scored and the Caps might be up 1-0.
But man, those Penguins are good. After all, they are the defending champs. But this year’s Caps do not want you to cry them a river. That’s because there is no crying in hockey.
Orioles 7, Yankees 4 (11 innings) : Escape From New York – The O’s breakthrough w/ 3 runs in the 11th inning as they hold off the Yankees & salvage the series in the Bronx. Matt Holliday takes Wade Miley deep to left center (#4) in the 1st to make it 1-0 Yankees. Adam Jones ties the game on a single in the 3rd, but Chase Headley puts New York back ontop on a single to right center. The O’s tie it on an infield single by Trey Mancini & the Birds score twice more in a 3-run 6th & leads 4-2 in the 9th, before things get really crazy. New York loads the bases in the 9th & Didi Gregorious singles off of Donnie Hart in the 9th to make it 4-4. Mark Trumbo puts the O’s ahead to stay in the 11th, on a single to center & C Wellington Castillo plates 2-more on a single to right. Logan Verrett works 2 innings of relief, including the 9th to wrap it up. Baltimore avoids the sweep & finishes April tied for 1st.
Bal (15-8) NYY (15-8)
WP : Verrett (1-0)
LP : Mitchell (1-1).
GO O’S!! #ExtraWildFinish
Yankees 12, Orioles 4 : New York, New York – After scoring 14 runs on Friday night, the Yankees come right back & score 12 more as they pound Ubaldo Jimenez for 5 runs in the first 2 innings. Brett Gardner hits a lead off homer in the 1st (#1) & a 3-run shot in the 2nd (#2) to make it 5-0. C Austin Romine adds a 2-run single to make it 7-0 in the 4th. Jimenez goes 3 1/3, he allows 7 runs, 6 earned on 5 hits, he strikes out 4 & walks 3. Mark Trumbo reaches on an error & scores on a wild pitch by reliever Adam Warren to make it 7-2 in the 6th. Romine adds a 2-run blast (#2) in the 6th, he drives in 5 runs & Aaron Judge adds a 2-run blast (#10) in a 3-run 7th. Caleb Joseph snaps a skid of 194 plate appearances w/ out an RBI, when he hits a 2-run shot (#1) in the 9th. Baltimore has now allowed 26 runs in the last 2 games. The O’s lose their first series & fall out of 1st place for the first time all year.
Bal (14-8) NYY (15-7)
WP : Pineda (3-1)
LP : Jimenez (1-1).
GO O’S!! #DamageControl
Orioles 5, Rays 4 (11 innings) : Walking the Walk – Seth Smith walks w/ the bases loaded to give the O’s the walk off win in extras @ Camden Yards. Ryan Flaherty singles to center to drive in a run & scores on a single by Smith, who scores from 1st, after 2 Rays throwing errors to make it 3-0. Tim Beckham hits a solo shot to left (#3) in the 3rd & then another (#4) in the 5th. Tampa Bay finally ties it in the 8th on a grounder to 1st off of reliever Mychal Givens. Dylan Bundy pitches 6 1/3 innings, allowing 2 runs (both HR’s by Beckham) on 4 hits, he walks 2 & strikes out 3. The Rays take the lead in the 11th on a single to right by C Jesus Sucre off reliever Alec Asher. Rays closer Alex Colome comes on to close it out in the bottom of the 11th, but allows a sacfly by Jonathan Schoop to tie it & then walks Smith w/ the bases loaded to give the O’s the win. Baltimore still has not lost a series yet.
Bal (14-6) TB (11-12)
WP : Asher (1-0)
LP : Colome (0-1).
GO O’S!! #TheWalkOffWalk
Sorry ass ESPN goes full on Savage!! Laying off over 100 employees, including some big names. NFL analyst Trent Dilfer, MLB analysts Doug Glanville & Jim Bowden, SC hosts Jade McCarthy & Jay Crawford, also many others.
They let go of MLB analyst Jayson Stark.
They laid off NFL reporter Ed Werder 36 hours from the NFL Draft & practically the entire NHL crew during the NHL Playoffs.
I guess they are feeling the effects of a saturated channel that is struggling to compete w/ all the other sports channels out now. ESPN now represents mainstream. It’s too commercial. Nobody cares about ESPN anymore. Their ratings are way down. People would rather watch the MLB Network or NFL Network then watch a watered down sports network that has fallen behind the times. NHL Network, NBA Network, FS1, NBC, CBS, all have their own sports channels now.
Live Streaming & social media have given people other ways to see their highlights on a nightly basis. ESPN turned into more of a sports tabloid covering source than a way of seeing or hearing about the latest news in the sports world. Too many talking head shows, not enough coverage & news.
ESPN used to have one of the best NFL gameday & highlights shows ever. Sunday NFL Countdown & NFL Primetime were the business when i was a kid. You would rush to your TV to see what Chris Berman was going to say next.
In closing, ESPN dug it’s own grave, it’s NBA games are boring, Monday Night Football games are boring too & even the Baseball games seem to be Blow Sox vs Stankees like every Sunday night. They have always had a love affair w/ Boston & New York. ESPN cared more about popular trends & guest stars than what made it so great in the first place. They got away from who they were, they got greedy & now they are paying the Price.
Heads rolled today, but most of these people will get jobs elsewhere. FS1 & a bunch of other major networks will be lining up to bring some of these personalities aboard. ESPN was too possessive, see ESPN wanted it all. ESPN now has learned a hard lesson, now ESPN may fall…….#TheDeclineOfAGiant