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A Cold, Hard Winter Ahead

baltimore-oriole1.jpgIt’s a tough time for Baltimore sports.

After their heartbreaking loss to the perfect Patriots, the Ravens are no longer relevant this season. Like the Orioles during last September (and the September before that, and the September before that…), all you can do as a fan is watch for the kids to improve and hope they at least try hard the rest of the season. And don’t lose to the Dolphins.

For us Orioles fans, the news hasn’t been much better. Jay Gibbons added his name to the growing list of players that have shamed the Great Bird with their deceitful, cheating ways. For now we just shake our heads and hope he won’t get a chance to don the orange and black again. And for all of us still hoping for our promised Sign of Change, it appears we will have to wait a little longer. After the big Winter Meetings hype, and Orioles players being in the middle of everything, Andy MacPhail didn’t end up seeing anything he liked. With Johan Santana still on the market, it was clear not a whole lot would get done – if you’re the Dodgers, you aren’t going to give up Matt Kemp for Erik Bedard when you might need Kemp to get Santana. We should, however, give Andy a little credit for not making bad deals. The Roberts for Murton/Gallagher trade was bad. The Tejada for Everett and some dudes trade was even worse. For now, we play the excruciating waiting game.

Well, at least the Wizards should be the bearers of some good news, right? Not so much. It’s old news by now, but Gilbert Arenas is going to miss the next 2-3 months rehabbing his second knee surgery in a year. After getting swept in the playoffs last year without injured Gilbert and Caron Butler, this is a slap in the face for our Bullets. Fortunately, they are treading water around the .500 mark quite nicely, with some inspired play by Gilbert backup Antonio Daniels (a much better true point guard than Arenas), Andray Blatche (averaging almost 2 blocks a game – the most for a bench guy in the NBA), and rookie sharpshooter Nick Young.

It’s going to be cold, hard winter in Baltimore. Stay warm, drive safe, and try not to obsessively refresh websites for shreds of Orioles news like I do.

8 comments to A Cold, Hard Winter Ahead

  • I think part of the reason why fans are so angry at Billick and the difficulties the Ravens have faced this season is because they hope that, after the six month disaster that IS the Orioles, Baltimore can take some renewed pride in the Ravens. This year that just ain’t happening. The Ravens are down but not out. At least not long term. I REALLY like the offensive line play and to build a potent offense you better have a great O line. McGahee has shown why he was much sought after and Boller may have even turned the corner. ALL quarterbacks make bad throws sometimes (well, except Joe Montana and Tom Brady) if he can limit that, and come up with the big play when needed, he may just turn into a true NFL starter after all.

  • dan the man

    Thanks for the input, Marc.

    I agree about Boller. I don’t see what this guy has done this year to not be strongly considered for the starting job next year. He’s got the arm, and he looks more confident out there. Tony Romo wasn’t discovered until now – he’s what, 27? 28? Put a good (and healthy) O line in front of Kyle, like you said, and maybe he really shines. It seems like most everyone still wants to try another year of McNair or shop the free agent QBs, but I don’t agree with that. Let the kid play with a healthy team – he’s earned it.

  • random dude

    I agree that all quarterback make bad throws sometimes. But you can pencil in at least one bad throw per game from Boller EVERY GAME. I will be the first to tell you that I was very impressed with the way he played against the Pats. He did only make that one bad throw in my opinion. If he had ONLY made ONE bad throw for several games in a row, or if he finishes the season making ONLY ONE bad throw per game from here on out, AND plays the rest of those games as well as he played against the Pats, then I’ll admit that he may have turned a corner. To say that he turned the corner after one positive outing against what I consider an overrated defense (note – the offense of the pats is beyond incredible, only talking about the defense) at home is like saying that Daniel Cabrera turned the corner after one incredible start against the Devil Rays (sorry just Rays now). He still has to prove that he can play on the road, something he has never been able to do in all his 5 years here. Trust me, I would love to see Boller turn into something. I think Newsome has done an incredible job in scouting and selecting players, and the only thing he’s missing is selecting a good quarterback. I want Boller to be that quarterback. I don’t think he is. I just haven’t seen any improvement. He’ll have good games here and there, then just follow it up with more Bolleresque performances. Think about it, the Pats defense made A.J. Feeley look incredible two weeks ago. A.J. Feeley!?!? Did he turn a corner too?

    I do agree with the offensive line though. KEEP RUNNING McGAHEE! I think those guys will develop into a great line.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    i disagree marc unger of the fighting ungers.

    i’m pissed at billick because he shows a lack of basic football knowledge when it comes to x’s and o’s and because he’s the centerpiece for all the raven’s problems regarding discipline and maturity.

    as much as i loved the kisses he gave harrison when it happened, when i really analyzed it over the course of this week i came to the realization that no other nfl coach would have done that. there’s a reason no other nfl coach would go there – it sets the kind of example that makes guys like bart scott think it’s ok to throw a refs flag into the crowd. it makes games like the detroit game in 2005 possible.

    there are years (like last year) when the team’s talent just overrides everything else. but in those moments when a team needs to dig deep within their souls for a disciplined attack, it’s a far easier jump to the fingerpointing and excuses this coach has cryptically leveled in his press conferences for years now.

    i don’t know what the answer is. we’ve probably got him for a while, love him or hate him. an offensive coordinator would be a good start.

  • dan the man

    Yup, the discipline thing is a problem and there’s no question that starts at the coaching. If DT were coaching the Ravens, he’d make a speech about “The Little Things” and “Respect The Game”. Double-digit penalties in almost every game speaks a lot to why they have the record they have.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    come back when you have a real revelation.

  • Based on Sunday night’s game against the Colts, allow me to formally retract what I said about Kyle Boller. HE WILL NEVER BE A STARTING QUARTERBACK IN THE NFL of any value. I’m solid on this and will not change my mind… If you want to know why the Ravens lost, I mean other than the fact that Boller is horrible, go to http://www.wnst.net and you’ll find a piece I wrote called “The Refs Cost The Ravens The Game”