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The Sports Latitudes: Decompression Edition

decompressionIt’s a good Friday night to relax, sip a bit of this, and consider some weekend discussion topics.

The Loss Column is — justifiably — known as primarily an Orioles site, but in fact this is a clearinghouse for all things Baltimore Sports. The O’s are a primary focus but I don’t want to entirely lose sight of the bigger picture. So, here we go.

The NFL free agent signing period is open. I don’t have a read on whether or not the Ravens will be active — any thoughts?

They did jettison both Mike Anderson and Mike Flynn this week. Neither move surprises me (maybe Flynn a little), and I take it as a sign that they’re looking to get a little younger and more versatile. Both of which are good things.

With any luck, Chris will have a full NFL post coming soon.

You might not be paying attention (it’s hard to keep up), but college basketball in Baltimore right now is as healthy as it’s ever been.

UMBC (my beloved alma mater): they’ve won nine straight games and currently sit at 21-7 overall, 13-2 in the America East. They have a very realistic shot at winning their conference tournament and making it into the NCAA field of 65.

Loyola: winners of 11 of 13, they’re at first place in the MAAC and likewise have a real shot at the NCAAs.

Towson: not doing nearly as well at 11-17 overall, 6-11 in the CAA. But they’ve shown signs of improvement, and let’s not forget that the CAA is a very tough mid-major conference.

Maryland: on the bubble but still looking OK. At 8-6 in the ACC they have to beat either Clemson (home) or Virginia (away), ideally both. One loss and a conference tournament win or two will get them in.

Down in DC, the Capitals are putting together a nice playoff run. I don’t know if you can call them serious contenders but they’re certainly a team to watch.

There’s a fascinating and terribly long article in the New York Times about the new leadership of the Yankees. This isn’t something you can really skim, but it’s worth a read. Check it out here.

I can’t help but look at that fat bastard on the right and think that the Yankees might be headed for a 1980s redux. Probably just wishful thinking.

So there’s all that and anything else you want to talk about. Floor is all kinds of open.

14 comments to The Sports Latitudes: Decompression Edition

  • neal s

    Just noticed a stat I want to share with everyone:

    total Loss Column visits in February 07: 1,615

    total Loss Column visits in February 08: 5,799

    A good chunk of that 08 number comes from Deadspin linking the Jon Heyman article, but even without that (good for about 1k extra) it’s a great jump.

    This isn’t blockbuster traffic by any means, but I’ll take it. Growth has been and remains slow but very steady. The reason for it has very little to do with me and a whole lot to do with all of you and the discussions you set up in the comments.

    I want you to know that I appreciate it a great deal. I hope you’ll continue visiting the site, linking it on your own sites, and emailing your friends/family/coworkers to let them know that this is a great place to talk O’s baseball, Ravens football, and Baltimore sports in general.

  • Greg

    I don’t follow college sports of any sort (being an alum of Towson U certainly didn’t help).

    The Yankees are in desperate need of a retooling. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Baltimore-esque overhaul within the next 5 years, because I just don’t see enough depth in the farm system to be able to patch EVERYTHING with free agency.

    In fact, this year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yanks not take the wildcard, and perhaps not even place 2nd in the AL East. With a healthy Toronto team and the Rays looking like they could be the Nationals team of last year… there’s going to be some real competition.

    Who knows, the Orioles may be able to pull a fast one as well.

  • df1570

    You left out Morgan State basketball.

    They are 12-2 in the MEAC and could be the #1 seed in the conference tourney if they win today and Monday to close out the regular season.

    UMBC, Loyola and Morgan St all could make the tourney. I doubt all three will…but it sure would be cool to see three BALTIMORE teams get in during the same season.

    All this positivity…I wonder if Kona will applaud me for it?

  • KonaBoy

    *golf clap*

  • neal s

    I was thinking more along the lines of this.

  • dan the man

    Hank’s got some recent funny comments about Red Sox Nation:

    I pulled this off of Bostondirtdogs.com:

    “‘Red Sox Nation?’ Hank says. ‘What a bunch of [expletive] that is. That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans. Go anywhere in America and you won’t see Red Sox hats and jackets, you’ll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We’re going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order.”

    Wow. I mean, most of that is arguably true, but it’s such a George Steinbrenner thing to say – the guy not only looks like the big boss, but he talks like him, too. Big, grandiose, stubborn statements. Stubborness certainly doesn’t always lead to success, as we can see here in Baltimore. The game changes and if you can’t change with it, you’ve dug yourself a hole. If I’m a Yankee fan (which I’m obviously not), I’d be praying that Hank lets Cashman make the baseball decisions. But for us O’s fans, we can only hope that Steinbrenner huff and puffs and blows a lot of money at “America’s Baseball Team” and thus runs it squarely into the ground. Again.

  • Mike L

    Although i love the red sox bashing, good ol hank has come off as an idiot recently. Why did this even come up. “Restore the universe to order”? Isnt that a little much. So is this a parallel universe we’ve been living in. A “Bizzaro” world if you will. One where the orioles have sucked, and until the janq’s are back on top, we cant contend again. Or does he not want to just say “Daddy hasnt made all the right decisions over the better part of the last decade.”

    I think a few weeks back in the midst of the clemens case he brought up “Why is it only the baseball players people are worried about. Why not football players, they should be tested.” Ummmm. I’m pretty sure the NFL has had random steroids testing for quite a while now, and people have gotten caught. Youd think a guy in his position would have his facts straight before running his new york mouth off to the media.

    As far as red sox nation goes, 4-6 years ago the red sox were the good guys. Everyone hated the yankees, and they always got the better of the sawx, and people who lived in places where they dont have a team, or are not faithful to there hometown club, would pull for boston, being the underdogs all the time. And admit it, we all loved seeing the yanks implode in that 04′ ALCS. Its great history despite the teams. Boston hadnt won anything in 86 years. So no one could pin the excuse on you “you only like them cause they win all the time” like you could pin on fake yankee fans. the ones who became NYY fans because fred durst and 99% of their favorite rappers wore yankee hats in many assorted colors to match any outfit. how trendy.

    In a few years when the yanks are just your average 3rd place ball club, and the red sux are the new evil empire, and the cubs finally break their curse, it will be cubs nation for the same reasons. Fuck that. When the orioles win again, it will be orioles nation.

  • dan the man

    Dude, congrats on being the first in TLC history to mention Fred Durst in a comment.

    Let’s just say I can’t wait until the O’s become the bad guys. O’s dynasty baby! Geaux Eaux’s! At least there’s not as many Marylanders with that accent as there are Bostonians with NE accents, so our fanbase won’t be that annoying once we’re winning World Series (es?) every year.

  • neal s

    Dude, congrats on being the first in TLC history to mention Fred Durst in a comment.

    This is not something to celebrate.

  • dan the man

    Maybe my sarcasm wasn’t dripping enough.

    But seriously when’s the last time you heard that name and did you ever think you’d see it on the Loss Column? Bizarre. And disturbing.

  • dan the man

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-sp.orioles02mar02,0,1844464.story

    Good to have a gun-toting uber-Christian in your locker room, I suppose. Never know when some heathen needs the fear of God to be shown to them in handgun form. Haha I might not agree with carrying around a gun, but it actually makes me like this guy more. Elijah Dukes what? We’ve Luke fucking Scott, don’t mess with the O’s.

  • KonaBoy

    He [Luke Scott], Walker, and Markakis all sound very responsible though in their gun comments, nice to hear/see the “violent hick gun-nut” myth get a couple more nails in the coffin.

  • dan the man

    I agree. Definitely nothing wrong with having a gun as long as you have it for the right reasons and are responsible enough. It’s when that thing starts burning a hole in someone’s pocket that it causes trouble. That’s why if I ever own a gun, I’d be sure to get that out of my system at a firing range every once in awhile.

    Meanwhile, Guthrie shat the bed today.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    this might give pitchers a little something to think about before delivering a little chin music, eh?