Baltimore Sports Thoughts And Observations From Afar

Towson University Head Football Coach, Rob Ambrose (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Towson University Head Football Coach, Rob Ambrose
(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Guest contribution to BSR by Andrew Holly. 

Reporting from Tampa… Um, what?!?

Greetings from sunny Tampa, FL!  I know what you’re thinking… “Wait, what…?!?  There is a contributor to the BSR who lives in TAMPA?  Why is some joker who watches the Bucs, Rays, and Lightning writing for the BALTIMORE Sports Report?

It’s a two-part answer:

A) Like 90% of the people that live here I DON’T follow the local teams and B) I moved here for my day job.  As added bonuses, living minutes from the pristine beaches of the Gulf Coast of Florida is pretty freakin’ awesome and I can’t tell you the last time I shoveled snow…

With that said, let me give you a quick personal bio to prove to you that I bleed Orioles’ orange and Ravens’ purple:  I’m a proud Towson U grad (who else is fired up for Rob Ambrose and the 2-time defending CAA Football Champs?), a former Orioles ticket/promotions rep and tour guide extraordinaire (Fun Fact Time: I met and became great friends with fellow BSR contributor Jabby Burns while plying away in the Warehouse), I was the original Public Address Announcer for the Aberdeen IronBirds at Ripken Stadium (’02-’07), and my dog, Murray, is named after O’s HOFer, Eddie Murray.

So even though I’m living in the land of Early Bird Specials, Snow Birds, and terrible sports fans (Exhibit A: Attendance at the Trop & Exhibit B: The number of blackouts the Bucs have yearly), I rep the Land of Pleasant Living.

During O’s season you’ll find me glued to my MLB.TV subscription and every time the Ravens are kicking off, I’m on a bar stool at the closest sports bar with the NFL package. While I may touch on the O’s from time to time, I’ve been asked to mainly focus on our defending Super Bowl Champions, so I’ll be doing my best to add to the great Ravens coverage that BSR is already churning out. So without further ado…

Well Baltimore, September is upon us and there is arguably no better time to be a fan of both the Orioles and Ravens. The Orioles will be playing games that matter, as they try to ignite their push towards the playoffs, and the Ravens will be kicking off their Super Bowl title defense.

Throw in College and Fantasy Football and there isn’t too much else that rivals this time of year. Sure, the NCAA Tournament is a blast, but I’ll take September over March any day of the week…

While the ’13 Orioles may not have the same magic as they did in the summer of ’12, I keep harkening back to the Ravens of last December.

I have to admit that, like many fans, I was not happy with the apparent direction of the team and I didn’t have high hopes for the playoff run. I wanted to believe that the return of Ray Lewis would provide a spark, but figured reality would set in once the Ravens faced off against the Broncos in the Divisional Round.  Then it happened…  The miracle play. Joe Flacco heaves the prayer to Jacoby Jones and the Football Gods answer that prayer with a highlight Ravens fans will never forget.  The Ravens were able to get hot at the right time and make a great run to the title.

So where is the comparison with the ’13 Orioles?  There might be a bit more than 44 seconds left in the Orioles season, but, in my opinion, our Birds are going to need about 92-93 wins if they plan on playing into October.  That means they are going to have to get really hot, really soon. It may just come down to a last second heave to keep Oriole Park rocking late into the Fall.

Since I’m fast approaching my word count limit, here are some quick hit thoughts on the Ravens and one on the Orioles:

Credit: thenatsblog.com

Credit: thenatsblog.com

O’s acquire Michael Morse for Avery

Time will tell whether Morse’s right-handed power bat does anything to spark the team, but I have to give Dan Duquette major kudos for not sitting on his laurels.  He’s been on it all year trying to improve the team every way possible.  The cost of Xavier Avery for Morse (a soon to be free agent) wasn’t prohibitive either.

Ravens Pitta likely for IR-Designated to Return

I’m torn on this…  I love Pitta and his return would likely be a huge boost to the Ravens offense. However, I like the idea of holding onto the IR-Designated to Return spot for someone else. I’m obviously not privy to Pitta’s medicals and he may be legitimately on schedule to return at some point. I just don’t want to see someone like Rice, Suggs, or Flacco lost for the year due to false hope that Pitta might return.

Brown & Mellette Together On Roster?

Ravens Rookie Receiver Marlon Brown

Ravens Rookie Receiver Marlon Brown

I was pumped to read yesterday that Coach Harbaugh admitted both Marlon Brown and Aaron Mellette have just about locked up their spots on the roster. I can’t remember any Ravens rookie wide receivers performing as well as these two have.

Unless something unforeseen happens with the roster later today, I’m excited to see how these two will fit in the offense. I imagine we’ll see them worked into the Red Zone packages first, with their playing time increasing based off their production.

Who is the 3rd Running Back?

With Delone Carter and Anthony Allen getting their walking papers, it looked like Bobby Rainey had earned his way onto the roster as the third running back. The versatile Rainey showed some skills as both a KR/PR and had some good moments as a ball carrier. I thought Rainey looked like he could provide a spark if called upon, but the Ravens seemed to have disagreed with Rainey being one of the final cuts as of this morning. Who ends up as the third running back?

That’s it for now.  Have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend.  Can’t wait for kickoff on Thursday night…

Follow Andrew on Twitter, @AndrewDHolly.

Sports Without Charm. BaltimoreSportsReport.com features fan coverage and analysis of the Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Capitals, Maryland Terrapins and Towson Tigers.

6 Comments

  1. spy

    September 1, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Don’t worry about the Ravens 1) Rainey or Allen or another back will end up on the practice squad and you don’t have to use the IR-d to keep a player who is injured , just keep him on the regular 53 , so Suggs or rice ain’t going anywhere , if Joe gets hurt the season is over anyway,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,what have you done with the Raven organization ? You sound like just one more baseball weenie to go along with Zach…………………..

    • mystery man

      September 1, 2013 at 11:01 am

      You are correct spy , he probably wants the Ravens to get Tim Tebow.

      • Scrabby Turns

        September 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm

        I pretty sure the author would rather blow Big Ben in that bathroom stall he “allegedly” raped that girl before adding Tebow. Just an observation.

  2. Andrew

    September 2, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Wow… These are really insightful comments to my post.

    spy:

    1.) When you respond to someone and use 1) or A. that denotes there will be a second point to what you are saying. You would then use a 2) or B. to signify you have reached your second point. It’s pretty basic writing skills and something you should have learned in English class. Since you never used 2) anywhere in your comment I’ll just assume you dropped out before you got to upper level English.

    2.) (See, this is how it’s done.) I’m not really all that concerned about the 3rd RB, but I find it interesting the Ravens aren’t carrying one on the active roster. It’s obviously due to having 2 FBs on the final 53, but I still find it interesting. Sue me…

    3.) Regarding the IR-Designated to Return spot, when did I ever say you couldn’t stash an injured guy on the backend of your roster? You can obviously do that, but doesn’t happen much when a player will be out for 10+ weeks. It leaves the team playing short and can really hurt your depth when other injuries inevitably occur. Plus, if a guy is only going to be out 2-4 weeks you wouldn’t bother wasting this designation on a player with that kind of injury. The bigger problem is the NFL’s antiquated IR rules. There should be a better way to go about it…

    4.) I only had so much space to introduce myself, but since you asked about my Ravens experience… While at TU, I worked at Fox 45. I spent about three years working at Fox, mostly on Sundays, so I could assist with their Ravens coverage. During the 2000 Super Bowl year, I was part of the TV crew at BWI when the Ravens came back from beating the Titans in the playoffs. I interviewed players and coaches when they filed through the airport, speaking with Goose and Billick (among others). Due to the tight shot I even ended up getting on the air. In addition to that experience, I got to cover a couple home games and have been involved in post-game locker room interviews. Finally, I was the Fox 45 representative sent to cover the ’01 Draft at the Ravens HQ, interviewing Phil Savage about Todd Heap after the selection was made. I’m praying that meets your high standards of experience for an internet sports blog.

    mystery man:

    Tebow? Really? That’s the best you could come up with? So I write that I live in Florida, but list my Baltimore cred and your best putdown is Tebow? It’s safe to say that I’m not a Tebow fan. While I wouldn’t use quite the same analogy as “Scrabby Turns”, the only position I might (and I stress MIGHT) be ok with Tebow having on the Ravens is Team Chaplain.

    • spy

      September 3, 2013 at 9:24 am

      A) WOW , a guest isn’t supposed to use personal attacks against long timers 1) there were too many points too list 2) didn’t you read my comments,,,,,,,,,,,
      B) more personal attacks,,,,,,,,,,,,,
      C) you are really confused in your item number 3 , you must have concentrated too much on your numbers,,,,,,,,,,,,
      D) sounds like you were the guy who got the coffee at Fox,,,,,,,,,,
      E) As a guest , you have over stayed your welcome , sure hope you are gone when the O’s are gone and take you personel attacks with you , guest , that’s funny……………….

    • mystery man

      September 3, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Looks like you are also confused about mystery man , no surprise here,,,,,,,,,,,just a note , RBs are a dime a dozen , the position has change since you ran for the coffee at Fox ,,,,,,,,stick to baseball…………..