Archive for April, 2011

Torrey Smith is staying in MARYLAND!

April 29, 2011

TORREY SMITH is staying in Maryland!

Torrey Smith’s road to Raven-hood has been storybook for the franchise as well as the speedster from the University of Maryland.  It’s completely common for Ravens fans to dawn Terps gear on Saturdays during football season and cheering for Smith is something many fans have already made a habit. The fact that the Ravens had a great addition for their offense playing down I-95 is just something that makes this pick extra special for both parties.

Torrey is poised to become the permanent field-stretching player the Ravens have been looking for to accommodate Joe Flacco’s rocket arm. Seemingly one Coach Harbaugh and Ozzie picked up the phone to call Smith, Donte’ Stallworth immediately started packing his bags.

Smith comes into the 2011-2012 season only two catches behind the player in the role he is replacing so its pretty fair to say this is an upgrade on so many levels for the Ravens.

I’m so glad Torrey is now in purple and I’ll definitely be picking up a T.Smith jersey this offseason. The good news for other Ravens fans/morons who called into WNST every day raving about how much “Troy Smiff” is better than Flacco-they can now take the jerseys out of the trash and put them to use…they just need to replace the number.

WELCOME TO BALTIMORE TORREY!!! Does anyone else named Smith want to join the team?

With the 26th (Actually 27th) Pick, the Ravens Select….

April 28, 2011

Jimmy Smith.

I’ll be honest.  I don’t like it. I’d much rather the team have went with a pass rusher to sure up the pass d than go with a guy with such a sketchy past.  Remember Chris McAlister? Super talented CB, but a head case who was frustrating his entire time here?  I hope we’re not in for more of the same with Smith.


Luke Scott Gives Josh Beckett a Tour of Eutaw Street

April 28, 2011

LUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKE took Josh Beckett 424 feet deep last night (see it here), becoming the first batter to reach Eutaw Street since…well, since the last time he did it, back in 2009.

The last person to do it before that? That’s right, Mr. Gun-totin’ Ricky Redneck himself, Luke Scott.

Scott has hit the last three Eutaw Street home runs, and is now tied with Rafael Palmeiro for the all-time lead with five.

Luke flipped his bat and admired his shot (deservedly so, I might add), actions that Josh Beckett got his little huka shell/hemp necklace all in a knot about.  Beckett glared at Scott as he rounded the basis, and reportedly shouted at the Orioles’ dugout.

Sounds like some crying in his Dunkin’ Donuts to me.

Luke would later pop out, prompting this suggestion from yours truly:

The O’s go for the sweep of the Sawx tonight, as Brad Bergesen takes on Jon Lester.

h/t to Roar from 34 on this post

It's Draft Day! Will the Ravens take Jimmy Smith?

April 28, 2011

With indications that football may be happening in the not-too-distant future, it’s a bit easier to get excited for tonight’s first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

“The NFL has filed for an emergency stay with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, while the Eighth Circuit considers the NFL’s stay request.  Unless and until such a request is granted, however, we believe the 2011 League Year now has to begin; the Clubs must open their facilities to allow players to work out, meet with coaches and otherwise perform their jobs; and the NFL and the Clubs cannot collectively continue to refuse to deal with players.  It is our view that the NFL and the Clubs will be in contempt of court if they do not comply with the order unless and until they hear differently from the Eighth Circuit.

“We will let you know later today what the NFL is going to do to comply with this order, and what the specific schedule will be going forward.”

We agree with everything they’ve said.  The orders are clear — and the league’s effort to delay the lifting of the lockout have served only to make the situation clearer.  The lockout is over.  Turning players away, as at least three of the teams have done, constitutes contempt of court.

Our man Tony Lombardi from likes Jimmy Smith, cornerback out of Colorado for the Ravens at 26.  Others have confirmed the Ravens’ interest. Personally, I’d rather the Ravens stay away from Smith, whose rap sheet is none too flattering:

  • Flunked three drug tests at Colorado
  • Two alcohol-related arrests
  • Two abortions paid for by parents of the would-be mothers
  • Arrest for 3rd degree assault in a restaurant

While I’m fully aware that we all do things in college that we regret and are ashamed of, these red flags are a bit above and beyond in my mind.  I’m enjoying that the Ravens are moving away from the thug/criminal reputation they had under Brian Billick here in the John Harbaugh era, and I think adding Smith to the roster would be a big step back in that regard. However, winning football games has to be the main concern here, and Smith’s talent is undeniable. I’d just rather, if it comes down to Smith and say, a good pass-rushing defensive end that will instantly make the entire secondary better, the Ravens go with the latter.

Regardless, enjoy the draft!


Zibby Fails Drug Test, Will Appeal (Updated)

April 26, 2011

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski failed a drug test that he took before his most recent boxing match.

Former Notre Dame and current Baltimore Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski was among five fighters suspended for failing a drug test after participating in Saturday’s boxing card at the WinStar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

The Chickasaw Nation Boxing Commission tested fighters before Friday’s fights and has suspended those testing positive for 45 days pending a second negative drug test. The drug in question is marijuana or, more specifically, THC.

Zbikowski’s manager, Chicago-area lawyer and boxing coach Mike Joyce, said that Zbikowski was scheduled to get a second test later today and was confident it would be negative.

“We’re appealing it,” Joyce told the Chicago Sun-Times. “After the fight, all the fighters tested were positive. They had you pee in a cup and put a strip of something in there. I’ve never seen results where you get them the day of the fight. It was like a home pregnancy test or something.”

I find it pretty hard to believe that Zibby was toking up at any point during his life, especially not as he was training to go into a boxing ring. That, in addition to the circumstantial evidence surrounding the failed test (five other fighters failing it, the incredibly quick turnaround time on the results), makes me confident that Zibby will be clean on his next test, which he will be taking soon as part of his appeal.

If he fails again, he could face penalty from the NFL as well.  Again though, I’m fairly certain that he’ll pass this next test.  Stay tuned.

Update: As expected, Zibby passed his follow-up drug test.  The results are being sent to the boxing commission. Via the Carroll County Times:

Baltimore Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski tested negative for all illegal drugs during a drug test conducted Tuesday, according to his attorney and boxing manager.

Zbikowski was suspended for 45 days by the Oklahoma boxing commissioner after allegedly testing positive for marijuana at a boxing match conducted at an Indian casino Saturday.

“Yeah, we got a good result and he passed the second test,” Mike Joyce, Zbikowski’s lawyer and manager, told the Carroll County Times. “We’re passing along the results to the boxing commission so they can lift the suspension.Tom is still pretty shook up. Tom was quite shocked. He has taken hundreds of drug tests in the NCAA and the NFL and had never tested positive for any illegal substance.


Buck Showalter Hates Glee

April 22, 2011

Buck was none too pleased with Wednesday night’s National Anthem performance at the Yard:

Something tells me he probably has a similar reaction when Nick Markakis is at the plate these days.

h/t Yahoo

Final Mock Drafts – One Week Out

April 21, 2011

With just one week remaining until the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, it’s time to take one final peek at who all the “experts” have the Ravens picking (see our previous round ups here and here).

Todd MacShay (subscription required):

Cameron Hayward, DE, Ohio State

Scenario 1: Heyward would have an immediate impact on a team that is trying to find the right fits along the front seven. Some teams prefer Clayborn as a 5-technique, but Heyward fits Baltimore’s desire for a bigger, stronger player.
Scenario 2: The best available cornerback — Smith, Miami’s Brandon Harris, Texas’ Aaron Williams — is also an option.
Scenario 3: The Ravens are yet another team that would like to trade back and this is prime real estate for teams looking to get back into the first round to get one of the second-tier quarterbacks. Baltimore could move back as many as 10 spots and get similar value with someone like Maryland WR Torrey Smith or Virginia CB Ras-I Dowling.

Our Take: Heyward could certainly be an option, and on paper fills a dire need for the Ravens – that of a defensive end/outside linebacker pass rushing type.  While Ozzie Newsome has stated that the story on Sergio Kindle “[isn’t] written yet,” the team would be wise to proceed as if the former Texas star will never see the field again.  However, Scouts, Inc. isn’t high on Heyward as a pass rusher,ranking him as only “average” and saying:

Is relentless as a pass rusher and drives legs when he gets under offensive linemen. Active hands and flashes the ability to slip blocks by hesitating before shifting gears quickly. However, he is limited athletically. Struggles to counter when offensive linemen beat him to the punch and get sound hand placement. Lacks the burst and closing speed to consistently turn the corner at the NFL level.

Based on these descriptions, it sounds to me like Heyward would be almost another Haloti Ngata-type (though perhaps slightly better as a pass rusher and weaker against the run).  With an extension for big #92 looming, I can’t see the team sinking first-round money into a guy like Heyward.  I’d be surprised if the Ravens took the Ohio State defensive end.

CBS Sports

Rob Rang: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

Chad Reuter: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

Our take: As far as Wilkerson goes, see my above argument: I can’t see the team investing that much money in the D-line right now.  No on him.

As for Smith, while I like the former Terp, I don’t like him much as a first round selection.  I participated in a mock draft on Twitter this week, where I served as Ravens’ assistant GM.  We were able to snag Smith in the second round, at number 58 overall.  If Smith is the Ravens’ guy (which I doubt, by the way), they certainly trade down and not take him at 26.

See video here

Brian Baldinger: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin OR Derrek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

Charlie Casserly: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA OR Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona

Charles Davis: Titus Young, WR, Boise State OR Torrey Smith

Our Take: While this segment was more of a “what are the Ravens’ needs and some possible ways to address them?” than a true Mock Draft, I think it’s worth taking a look at.  Baldinger obviously took on the Ravens’ needs at offensive line, while Casserly and Davis addressed pass rushing and wide receivers, respectively.

In the aforementioned Twitter Mock Draft, we took Sherrod in the first round.  If Carimi had been available, he would have been the pick.  I like the idea of the Ravens using their first rounder this year to solidify that offensive line that allowed 40 sacks last season.  I’m not looking forward to any more Jared Gaither drama either, so Sherrod – while not a sexy pick – would be a very welcome choice.

Akeem Ayers and Brooks Reed are both rated as above average pass rushers by Scouts, Inc., with Reed garnering a label of “exceptional.”  They are rated at 27 and 31, respectively, on Scouts, Inc.’s Big Board, so either could be  good value at #26.  I’m of the mindset that football games, even here in 2011, are still won in the trenches, so a defensive line pick – like an offensive line pick – would go over just fine in my view.  Reed has some durability issues that Ayers does not (played in all 37 games he was eligible to at UCLA), so he may be the safer choice.

Finally, wideouts? Unless it’s Julio Jones or A.J. Green – both of whom will go in the top 10 – not in the first round, thank you very much.

Thanks to the guys at, I think we’ve covered just about every scenario for the Ravens here in our last Mock Draft roundup.  The only exception, of course, is the trading down one, which NFL Network’s Mike Mayock sees the Ravens doing. While I trust the judgement of the Ravens’ front office, I would be a bit disappointed if they trade out of the #26 pick.  They traded down last year, with poor results (extenuating circumstances, I know, but still).  With the teams strong history of picks in the 20’s (Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Michael Oher), I like to think they can pick another star out of the bottom of the first round.

Enjoy the draft everybody – it will be our last chance for who-knows-how-long to pretend that everything is A-OK in the world of our favorite professional sport.

Ravens' 2011 Schedule

April 19, 2011

Honestly, I haven’t been as excitedly awaiting the release of the NFL schedule as I usually do at this time of year.  I was fully ready to go all-out orange and black for the next several months, and was eagerly anticipating having something to root for throughout the summer aside from the start of Ravens’ training camp.  As a result of the combination of Buck’s Birds starting the season 6-1, and the NFL labor issues dragging on with no end in sight, the start of football season was the furthest thing from my mind.

However, as the Orioles ride their now EIGHT game losing streak into tonight, I find myself once again looking forward to football just a bit.  I’m not giving up on the O’s by any means, but it’s impossible for any Birdwatcher to not have a foreboding feeling of “here we go again” as the team slips from 6-1 to 6-9 and all warm fuzzies from the fast start fade quickly into a distant memory.

Hopefully the team will get their act together sooner rather than later, and we’ll indeed have the near-.500 ballclub that many were predicting to cheer on throughout the summer.  If not though, this NFL lockout becomes even more frustrating as we won’t even have purple days in Westminster to save us come July.

Assuming there is NFL football in 2011, here is the Ravens’ schedule:

September 11 – Pittsburgh

September 18 – @ Tennessee

September 25 – @ St. Louis

October 2 – New York Jets

October 9 – Bye

October 16 – Houston

October 24 – @ Jacksonville (Monday Night)

October 30 – Arizona

November 6 – @ Pittsburgh

November 13 – @ Seattle

November 20 – Cincinnati

November 24 – San Francisco (Thanksgiving Night)

December 4 – @ Cleveland

December 11 – Indianapolis

December 18 – @ San Diego

December 24 – Cleveland

January 1 – @ Cincinnati

First impressions: Pretty shocked that the NFL chose to give the Ravens the Thanksgiving night game, but upon further review the reason becomes obvious – Harbowl 2011.  Jim vs. John on National Television. Ugh, already dreading the media week leading up to that.

Being done with Pittsburgh by the beginning of November? And before even a single game with Cleveland? Odd, to say the least, and surprising considering that Baltimore-Pittsburgh matchups more often than not have division-winning implications.

Anywho, there’s the schedule.  Now let’s just hope these games actually get played.

Number One Yankees/Turkey Legs Fan

April 14, 2011

A buddy of mine posted this screencap  from last night’s Yanks-O’s debacle on Facebook.  It’s glorious.

Welp, "Black and Orange" Finally Happened

April 13, 2011

I’ve been waiting for this. Ever since Wiz Khlafafizaia or whatever the hell his name is made that grating “Black and Yellow” song that became the Pittsburgh Steelers’ anthem, the copycats have been out in full force.

We’ve seen “white and purple” (by no less than the immortal Chet Haze AKA Tom Hanks’ other son not named Colin) for Northwestern, “green and yellow” for the Green Bay Packers, “black and purple” for the Ravens, and a ton of others.

I was wondering when an Orioles-themed “black and orange” would surface.

Thanks to “Dboi Da Dome, E’ From Da Wic, and Jay Luv,” that day was, apparently, April 4.

We rockin’ black and orange cuz we from Birdland. We represent the streets of Baltimore Murrrland.

Not bad.

And then…

We from the city where we wonder who gonna die next.

Um…Go O’s?


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