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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

O's, World Cup, 105.7 The Fan misfire


Baltimore Mariners do not


Just how sad and pathetic are those other birds in town? Well let’s put things in perspective.

Remember that 0-21 start to the Orioles’ 1988 season? That season ended with a franchise worst 54-107 record. This year the O’s are on pace to shatter that mark and finish 43-119. In order to best their franchise worst the O’s must go 38-60 the rest of the way.

Now this might not seem like such a tall task but that mark is a .388 winning percentage and to get there, the O’s must improve by 46%. Is there any sign of such improvement in sight?

To not lose 100 games, the O’s must go 46-52 the rest of the way, a .469 winning clip and a 76% improvement over their current state of ineptness.

If only there was a great consolation prize named Stephen Strasburg on the back end of the futility.

Count Mr. Mojo among those who think the following members of the Orioles are OVERRATED: Matt Weiters, Adam Jones, Chris Tillman and Andy McPhail.

Weiters looks uninterested at the plate and hardly attacks the strike zone. His long, loopy swings are devoid of bat speed; Jones also has a long swing although he does attack. Trouble is he attacks so many bad pitches that opposing hurlers have little incentive to serve him up anything decent to hit; Chris Tillman, sorry but Mojo has never been much of a fan. Not overpowering and not precise. The combination is BP pitching; McPhail, groom the arms and buy the bats, eh? So will you buy the bats? If so when because the “groomed” arms certainly don’t appear to be compelling enough to motivate Mr. Asbestos to dust off his wallet.

Hey TL, I noticed a little tidbit in your Grapevine piece last week about Ken Lucas and how he could “affect the chemistry in the Ravens’ locker room.” I did a little checking on my own regarding Lucas and what I heard through my own grapevine (no one will go on record with this)is that Lucas isn’t a problem child but if acquired you might find him in Mount Vernon on his days off. Just sayin’…

The World Cup! That is such a cool name for a tourney. I just like saying it, “The World Cup!” Too bad the games don’t measure up to the way cool name.

I have several friends who are soccer aficionados and I had the pleasure of their company this past Saturday while watching the USA take on the Brits. They were actually rooting for a tie. Mojo just can’t get his arms around that thought process. Why bother?

I have an idea for ESPN/ABC to make the games more appealing to folks like me who find these games pretty boring. How about starting them all at the same time in different parts of the world and then create something like the NFL has in the NFL Red Zone. Call it the World Cup Beehive…you know to keep in the spirit of those annoying horns these South Africans use to support the sport. Maybe the NFL could encourage those horns during games that Dan Dierdorf broadcasts to drown out his statements of the obvious.

Interesting poll here on 24x7 last week regarding the “go to” sports talker. No surprise that the fan favorite go to guy is Bob Haynie (32% of vote). However what is surprising -- Bruce Cunningham finished third with 15%. He outpaced Rob Long (13%), Mark Viviano (11%), Jerry Coleman (4%) and Drew Forrester (3%). Scott Garceau finished second with 22% of the vote.

Cunningham before Long and Viviano?

That’s like choosing the Bay City Rollers over the Rolling Stones and The Who.

Speaking of sports radio, former Baltimore jock talker Anita Marks is on her way to the Big Apple. For her sake, let’s hope she’s doing field reporting otherwise, I suggest a very short term apartment lease for Marks. That town will chew her up and spit her out faster than Sammy Sosa goes through a bag of Beech Nut chewing tobacco.

And for those who wanted Marks out, who would have thought that 105.7 The Fan would hire another woman (Jen Royle) who by comparison makes Marks sound like the ladies’ answer to Frank DeFord?

Congrats to the Baltimore Mariners on continuing their undefeated season.

Keep on rolling!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ravens rockin' boards while O's bobble heads


The Ravens have completed their installation of two new 24-by-100-foot HD boards at M&T Bank Stadium. But they didn’t stop there. The team also announced that they will feature the way cool product, NFL Red Zone on the new screens during breaks in the action.

"This goes to giving our fans the same thing they can get at home," Ravens president Dick Cass said.

Not so fast Dick. Last time I checked I don’t have to wait 10 minutes to relieve myself of the rented beer when at home nor do I have to pay $7 for a refill.

Only on the Bruce Cunningham Show! Yesterday Bruce treated us and his merry band of cerebrally challenged groupies to 120 minutes of interesting names in sports. Talk about incentive to change the dial over to WNST’s Bob Haynie who loses more sports brain cells after an evening of college hoops and Budweiser from his easy chair than the former Tidewater Virginia area DJ will ever round up in a lifetime. Uh, make that two lifetimes. Mojo does give Bruce points for catering to his audience, one that the Mojo Man was embarrassingly part of yesterday. But at least it was a fleeting stay.

On a loosely related note this could only happen to the Orioles. On Wednesday night it was Nolan Reimold Bobblehead night at Camden Yards but the bobblehead’s namesake was with the team’s AAA Norfolk Tide, packing his suitcase for a weekend series with Pawtucket. What’s next O’s, Melvin Mora T-Shirt Night?

Garrett Atkins celebrated Reimold’s bobblehead by hitting his first home run as an Oriole – a relatively meaningless one in the O’s 6-1 loss. Seems to me that Atkins’ offensive “prowess” is on an Atkins Diet.

Former Raven Adam Terry reportedly had no less than 9 teams interested in his services but he only visited one team.

"My first visit was coming [to Indianapolis] and I didn't leave," Terry said last week at the Colts training complex. "I came in, signed and started looking for a place to live."

Terry signed a one-year deal for the league minimum, $630,000 for a sixth-year veteran. Smart move really for the offensive tackle once described by a Ravens’ insider as a metrosexual tackle. Peyton Manning’s quick release makes Colts’ offensive linemen appear better than they are. When they sign as free agents elsewhere they are exposed albeit after the handsome signing bonus check clears.

While on the topic of signing bonuses, word is the Oakland Raiders want some of that $32 million they shelled out to bust QB JaMarcus Russell. A grievance against the former member of the Silver & Black has been filed. Al Davis is looking for Russell to give back $9.55 million. Don’t hold your breath on that one Al. When you make boneheaded mistakes you have to pay the price.

No confirmation on rumors that Darius Heyward-Bey has moved his assets to an offshore account in the Cayman Islands.

Lots of talk about Super Bowl XLVIII which will be played in the winter wonderland of Meadowlands Stadium on February 2, 2014. That’s the day when Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow signaling 6 more weeks of Super Bowl coverage. You’ve probably seen the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray, right? I’m thinking the rest of America will be feeling Murray’s pain when we are “treated” to Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York over and over and over and over.

All you people who like the idea of an outdoor Super Bowl in a northern city because it opens the door to your northern city hosting the event, you better recognize. Mojo loves me some B’more but please curb the enthusiasm about Charm City hosting this mammoth event. We can’t even get U2 to stop here on their tour – well the tour that was supposed to happen until Bono blew out his back, giving new meaning to the Irish rocker’s lyrics from “Kite”:

And when I'm flat on my back
I hope to feel like I did

Wonder if Adam Jones can relate?

Hey anyone else hear the whispers going around town of Matt Wieters being overrated?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bring on Bernie!


Has Mark Clayton become the Ravens’ version of the Tin Man? Sorry all you fans with 89 jerseys but for a guy who is on the bubble you have to wonder where his heart is. I mean the dude went to Africa on some charitable mission and then worked to finish his degree this offseason. Noble things for sure but I’m wondering if football is just a job to him.

In April, Clayton had a surgical procedure done to his shoulder that prevented him from participating in the mandatory mini camp a couple of weeks ago. Where is the love of the game? I’m not seeing it. You might see a player wearing 89 this season but the bet here is it won’t be Mark Clayton.

Aaron Wilson reported today that Jared Gaither is among the Ravens’ restricted free agents who have not yet signed their tender offers. Wilson mentions in this piece that the Ravens can lower restricted tender offers don't sign by a June 15 NFL deadline. If I’m Ozzie Newsome, that is exactly what I would do with Gaither. I think No. 71 and his agent Drew Rosenhaus need to be taught a lesson.

O’S QUIPS: Watching the Orioles is just a tad better than watching my kid’s T-Ball. Ty Wiggington fields pop ups like he’s suffering from vertigo…Will Ohman I can deal with and the Mojo Man isn’t all that upset when Dave Trembley calls for the southpaw. It’s when he walks to the mound signaling for Ohman’s bullpen buddies OhNo, OhSh*t and OhMyGodHereWeGoAgain…Garrett Atkins clearly fleeced the O’s when he signed that 1 year, $4.5 million deal. Believe it or not but Atkins had 3 seasons (2006-08) during which he averaged .305, 25 HR’s & 110 RBI. You think that maybe, just maybe Coors Field and some supernatural “juice” had something to do with that?...No one asked me but I think Bernie would make a better manager than Trembley. Probably be a more interesting interview candidate too…Anyone wonder why Andy MacPhail gets a free pass in this mess of a season? And what has he done in the last 19 seasons anyway? I get that he was GM of the Twins in ’87 and ’91 when they won the World Series. Hey Joe Gibbs was a great coach once for the Redskins but the game passed him by. Just sayin’…Who is the real Adam Jones, pre-2009 All Star Break or the one since?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bad Sports Talk in Baltimore


There might be more sports talk radio in town than ever before but when it comes to the jock talking heads, no one said more is better. Truth be told there is some bad rap Harry going down on the Baltimore airwaves.

The Mojo Man could go on and on about this but let’s touch down on a couple of the low lights while I was driving around town yesterday afternoon.

First up 105.7 The Fan ~ I dialed in hoping to hear Scott Garceau and Rob Carlin (nice addition by the way there Dave LaBrozzi) but I only got half of what I hoped for – Garceau. And he was at Old Hilltop talking about The Preakness. Zzzzzzz. Over to Coleman at Fox 1370.

I was greeted by a hate fest. Is there anyone or anything that Coleman likes besides the man in the mirror? He beat up on LeBron James mercilessly. Ok Coleman, so you don’t like your LeBron Fathead any more. We get it. Maybe you need to get it. This dude is in serious need of a happy ending.

So I jump over to WNST, something that is a rarity for Mojo in recent years. So what am I treated to? Ray Bachman reading press clippings. But that was far from Bachman’s best. He proudly blessed his listeners with a robust belch on the air and then bragged about how it tasted good – like the barbeque he had for lunch. Nice, right? Poor Rex Snider.

Maybe those guys should look into Gas-X as a sponsor?




Hey real quick, I recall a blog TL did about Cleveland and their crybabies. And while unlike Coleman I won’t sit here and say that LeBron isn’t great (he is) but is he perfect for Cleveland or what? That town has to be the Kleenex capital of the world. Boo-hoo.

And finally, I read a recent blog post from Bruce Cunningham where he claimed to knock Lawrence Taylor on his ass in a high school game. I think he left these words out of that post: “And then I woke up.”

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Sporting World of Charm City



A LAP AROUND THE B'MORE SPORTS SCENE

Word is Commissioner Roger Goodell is pushing New York and brand new Meadowlands Stadium as the locale for the 2014 Super Bowl. Two words Roger – BAD IDEA!

And Baltimore, don’t feed me the rationale that if NY is successful it will pave the way to Baltimore someday hosting the Super Bowl. C’mon man! Charm City has a better chance of hosting the Winter Olympics and using Federal Hill for the downhill slalom.

Look, the average high temp in NYC in February is 32 degrees. Flights into the Big Apple are as expensive as anywhere else on the continent. Remember the snow this past winter? Flight cancellations, hello! And let’s not forget that the wind chill in the New Jersey swamps only adds to the wrath of Mother Nature. If they wanted to host the Super Bowl they should have put a lid on that stadium.

Since they didn’t, we should put a lid on this discussion.

Many people think that this is a make or break year for Joe Flacco. Why? If he has a subpar season, are the Ravens going to go back to the QB drawing board? I don’t think so. Nobody asked me but since you are reading this column I’m going to tell you – this isn’t a make or break year for Sleepy Joe Flacco. It’s a make or break year for Cam Cameron.

Speaking of make or break, Mark Clayton to me seems broken. How does a player with his career on the line choose instead to go to Africa for some humanitarian effort only to return home to have surgery on his shoulder which prevents him from participating in a mandatory mini-camp? I’m not condemning his philanthropy. I’m condemning his commitment to the Ravens. I don’t see it. The Ravens should consider cutting him loose before he signs that restricted free agent tender, pulls a hamstring and then milks them for another $2.2 million.

Sorry, I like Clayton on a personal level but then again, Kyle Boller was nice guy too.

A lot of folks are curious to see how Paul Kruger plays in his sophomore season in the bigs. Judging from TL’s Camp Notes, I’m not optimistic. Last year the guy was all over the place in OTA’s and was a constant in the offensive backfield. Through TL’s eyes, it seems the guy is having a hard time carrying the added weight. Hey, I wonder what Dan Cody is doing these days?

Shifting gears here, can we just stop the talk about Adam Jones being a burgeoning superstar? The dude is barely above the Mendoza Line since the 2009 All-Star break. That big sweeping swing of his apparently has some holes that Terry Crowley can’t fix.

And what about the Crow? Who does he have pictures of? The dude is old enough to be a grandfather to many of these players. Ya think there might be a communication problem going on there?

Talk about communication, Dave Trembley addresses the media as if he had the resume of Casey Stengel. Yo Dave, I could stick my ipod on replay and listen to my boy Morrison’s “The End” over and over while knocking back a few in the dugout and produce your career record of 182-274. Hey I’m not a math major but that’s less than a .400 winning percentage. Andy McPhail, hit me back…I’m available.

Ok, I admit to listening to 105.7 The Fan on occasion – until that unbelievably annoying promo interrupts the show and screams, “Be the 100th caller…blah, blah, blah…” It’s rare that I agree with anything that comes out of Bruce Cunningham’s pie hole, even when he’s reading script at M&T Bank Stadium. But he’s balls on when it comes to that contest. Get rid of it!

The Fan did get rid of something, or should I say someone and it’s working. Jeremy Conn has filled in very nicely for Anita Marks and Conn’s sports acumen and knowledge also helps to bring the best out of the show’s namesake, Scott Garceau. Conn has always had potential and finally he respects his co-host enough to put the crotch humor on hold until he goes off air.

You think those guys over at WNST are envious of Conn?

Excuse me, isn't the Preakness this weekend? Talk about a fading star.

In closing, I had to laugh at the status bar of our Ravens 247 Facebook page today. Not sure who’s responsible for this comment but thanks. Here goes: Ravens 247 learned that the average American uses 743 tissues per year. Cleveland Browns fans use that many during halftime on Opening Day.

Who can blame them?

Joakim Noah was right, Cleveland does suck.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Touching down with Ben Roethlisberger


A Ravens24x7.com Exclusive...

Mojo Rizon: Ben before we get into the more obvious questions, are you experiencing any negative repercussions from that motorcycle accident suffered a couple years ago?

Ben Roethlisberger: What motorcycle accident?

MR: I guess that answers that…You have been described by some of your detractors as, “a dumb redneck with money and a sense of entitlement.” How do you respond to that?

BR: I’ve never thought of myself as dumb. I mean I scored in double digits on the Wonderlic Test.

MR: Do you realize an average score is 20?

BR: Average score of what?

MR: Moving right along and while we’re on the subject of average… Ben you are an NFL quarterback, an NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, a former Pro Bowler and a two-time World Champion. You could have pretty much any girl you want with all that fame and fortune yet you have settled for some women with at best average looks and then prey on drunken college students. What the hell are you thinking?

BR: Well I’m probably not thinking much. Just hanging with my boys, having a few beers…I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “She’s a 2 at 10 but a 10 at 2.”

MR: Rapper Eminem in his recent release Recovery takes a shot at you when he sings, "I'd rather turn this club into a bar room brawl, get as rowdy as Roethlisberger in a bathroom stall." How do you respond to that?

BR: He sounds like one of my fans to me. I don’t take that as a shot at all.

MR: Why the body guards Ben?

BR: Dude, are you kidding me? When that girl’s husband had me staring down the barrel of that Glock 17, that was an eye opener. I can’t have that. I’m the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I need protection off the field bro – God knows I don’t get any on the field.

MR: Speaking of which, your teammates have been very quiet with only one really coming to your defense publicly – Willie Colon. Are you bothered by that?

BR: Do you like everyone you work with Mojo? It’s a job, you know. I do mine, Willie does his, Hines does his, the end result is usually good. I don’t need to hang with them or be friends with them as long as we do our jobs.

MR: So you don’t think that these repeat incidents on your part will affect the Steelers’ locker room.

BR: Not as long as we’re winning. If we start losing I’m sure it will come back and bite me in the ass but if we win, my teammates, the Rooneys and the fans will all forget. I mean look at Tiger Woods. You want to talk about dumb. Wow! He had it all but he’s like a crack head when it comes to women yet America seems to have forgiven him. Here you have a good All-American guy in Phil Mickelson trying for to win that gold jacket at the Masters and he’s battling a dude that can’t keep it in his pants and the majority of the public was rooting for Tiger. That’s pretty bad ass.

Steelers’ fans won’t care. They’ll be wearing my jerseys and cheering as they always have when I take the field again.

MR: It's the green jacket...anyway let’s talk about that. You are suspended for at least four games. What if your team is 0-4 or 1-3 when you return? How do you think the fans will respond then?

BR: They’ll view me as a savior of sorts and realize that as Ben Roethlisberger goes, so to go the Pittsburgh Steelers.

MR: You’ve met with Commissioner Roger Goodell. You have said you will comply with the league’s punishment without a challenge. You’ve apologized to the fans, the league and your teammates. Why not the college student in Georgia, Nicole Biancofiore?

BR: We’ll get to that in time. Speaking of which, it’s Friday dude and you know what that means? It’s 5’oclock somewhere…





NOTE: This mock, fictional interview is intended only to highlight the gross sense of entitlement regularly practiced by the clown that wears No. 7 for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Our regrets go out to the Rooney Family.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ravens give up too much for Boldin?


While local website fails to give up credit



While looking around for info on the Boldin trade this morning, Mr. Mojo stumbled upon this at WNST from Chris Pika.

Clearly this is useful and insightful information. But then it dawned on me that I had seen this before. So I put Google to work and I found these two pieces at NFLLabor.com and BaltimoreRavens.com.

This entire blog of Pika’s is pretty much just a cut and paste and there's no indication that it's not written by Chris Pika.

That’s pretty interesting coming from a site whose owner claims that respected journalists around town lift from WNST.

C'mon guys, give up the credit where it is due!

Funny, you can’t even make this stuff up… (posting @ 10:10AM 3/6/10)

Anyway, back to the Boldin trade…

No one asked me but just like the trade that brought Willis McGahee to Baltimore, I think the Ravens gave up too much. I'm not against doing that for a difference-maker. McGahee wasn't. It remains to be seen if Boldin is.

This may seem like apples & oranges, but the Jets gave up a 3rd-rd pick NEXT yr for a 25 year old athlete playing an important position. The Ravens gave up a 3rd & 4th THIS yr for a 29 year old athlete who has missed a lot of games including playoff games.

It seems like a great trade for Ravens fans because we are so starved for a wide receiver.

That said in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

In regione caecorum rex est luscus.