Saturday, August 25, 2007

CAN THE RAVENS MATCH THE RANGERS? Baltimore Sports Meanderings

On Wednesday night I was doing a little late night channel surfing when I happened to hit on Fox45’s Bruce Cunningham. Not knowing how the Orioles had done that night I stayed with Cunningham and watched the highlights.

After a ninth inning three run homerun by some random Ranger whose name I didn't catch, I noticed the score in the upper right hand corner as the ball headed towards the flag court. It read 27-3. Surely that was a typo I thought. But without blinking an eye and almost as though it was common place for such a disastrous score, Cunningham calmly and smoothly delivered the final score: 30-3.

Almost as if on queue, my son and I just erupted into laughter.

We jumped over to SportsCenter knowing that they would certainly weigh in on the topic. Sure enough Stuart Scott had fun with the score offering predictable comparisons to football and graphics to show that the last time a team scored 30 runs in the “modern” era of baseball was in 1897.

Ironically the historical night rained on the parade of Dave Trembley who signed a one year extension to manage the O’s in ’08. Could that be an omen for 10 more years of bad luck? Adding to the irony, the softpitch softball game took place one day before Matt Wieters was to make his first trip to Camden Yards. No worries Matt, things can only get better.

The Ravens take on the Redskins at Fed Ex Field tonight in the Ravens third preseason game of the ’07 campaign. Look for the starters to go the first half and look for them to mean business. They’ve heard enough about the Giants game and from what I’m hearing if the Ravens “ball up” and show well early, many from the first team will be in street clothes during their visit to Atlanta next Friday. And trust me on this, that's an incentive.

Brian Billick can afford to extend that luxury to his players because he’ll still have 75 on his roster when they visit the Georgia Dome. Now if I’m Brian Billick, here’s a list of the top 10 things I’d be paying close attention to:

1. The running game. Where is it?
2. David Pittman, Derrick Martin and Evan Oglesby: One of these three needs to step up because something tells me that Samari Rolle isn’t quite mentally locked in and the sting of last year’s criticisms still lingers. I don’t think Corey Ivy is suited to be an every down corner.
3. Chris Chester: I haven’t been as impressed with his play so far this season as I was last season. Ben Grubbs is knocking on the starting right guard door.
4. Bart Scott & Jarret Johnson: Both seem to be chasing all the time in pass coverage. I want to see them make a play away from the line of scrimmage.
5. Brian Rimpf: If he can be serviceable that could free up Keydrick Vincent who according to is on the Jets radar screen. If the Ravens could get that No. 5 pick back for next year’s draft…
6. Rhys Lloyd: He needs to be outstanding to make the team. There’s just too much depth.
7. Musa Smith: Can you put away the matador’s cape and pick up your blocking assignments on passing downs?
8. Darling or Moore? This game decides it.
9. Might a great return game from Figurs free up Sams for a trade particularly if Cory Ross continues with his Maurice Jones-Drew impersonation?
10. A quick getaway out of Fed Ex Field where leaving the stadium is about as fun as Route 50 at noon on a Saturday in July.

Some other things that I’ll be watching tonight…Todd Collins gets the nod over Mark Brunell to start in place of Jason Campbell. Did you know Collins is a 13 year NFL vet? There’s something to be said for the longevity of a serviceable back up QB. Are you listening Kyle?...Can Drew Olson do what Derek Anderson did a couple years ago and lead the Ravens to victory in overtime? If so, thousands of Ravens fans will lament his eventual departure as they have Anderson’s…Watch Chris Chester and see if he is in an upright stance during passing plays…the new TV commercial to be aired on MASN in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Harford County. We’ll youtube it later this week.

Photo by Sabina Moran


Harryos29 said...

Well, today (8/28) hind sight is 50-50. The Orioles made the right move in Signing Dave Trembley. I think things will be better as soon as they sign a big Bopper in the number 4 hole for 2008.
I'd trade Vincent to the JETS for a 6th round pick and Put GRUBBS in there to play.
I agree, from the replays that I saw, I have not seen a Running game. Having watched the STEELERS game vs the IGGLES; Willie Parker is tearing it up, and this was in the first half.
come on Brian, make the running game work and the passing game will take care of itself..
Harry O'
Sykesville, Md