Even with all the spectacular athletes, highly respected managers and visionary executives that have graced the pod, few have made the kind of impact on American culture like Barry Levinson. Most importantly though, none of them have been as big of a Baltimore sports fan. Barry spends a lot of time talking with the guys about the state of the city’s sports, as well as some of the stories making headlines around the country. He even teases a bit about his upcoming work. Barry is a perfect fit on the pod as he is not afraid to give his opinion.
Jerry has flooded the Ravens’ locker room with cookies and it’s starting to pay off with two wins in one week. One of the most gracious recipients, Joe Flacco, took a little time to talk with the guys at practice to get all of you ready for the game in Big D.
Being a member of the Ravens’ Ring of Honor, a former department head in the Purple and Black’s front office, and a player for the Cleveland Browns qualifies Ernest Byner as an expert on this wee’s AFC North matchup on Thursday night. The guys know sports aren’t the only thing on everyone’s mind, so they try to have some fun… amidst the despair, with the election results coming in.
Who would have thought that Baltimore could forgive Bill Cowher, but since he put the clip board down, he’s been embraced by fans around here. He drops by to lend his experience in THE rivalry to get ready during Steelers week with the guys.
The Ravens’ season is caught in a “death spiral” as the team heads into their bye week, so the docs put on their lab coats and diagnose what’s wrong with the Purple and Black. It’s hard to find positives, but with Jerry catching all the sunshine in Florida, the guys have a whole lot of fun.
Jason and jerry dig deep into what’s happened to the Ravens in their last couple of losses, but really set their sights on the next trip to New York. With the AFC North in shambles, the guys don’t think the Purple and Black are shrouded by dark clouds yet, but this next game will be very telling. The guys talk about the MLB playoffs and how other teams have followed the bad model the O’s set.
Joe Banner was the President of the Philadelphia Eagles when John Harbaugh and Marty Mornhinweg were part of the organization. He is an analyst for ESPN now, and he drops some knowledge on what their relationship was like coming up. The guys review the Ravens tough loss, and project how their trip to New York will go. Plus the Orioles off season has already begun so Jason & Jerry start to talk about what they think needs to happen.
Jason isn’t the only O’s fan that needs a visit from a baseball shrink as the O’s season came to an abrupt end. A very rough outcome to swallow, coupled with the Ravens first loss of the year, makes the good weather this week feel more like the rainy one Bmore had last week. Regardless of the mood, you can always count on Jerry to find the silver linings, and the guys have their usual fun.
When the Orioles’ season opened this year, there were arguably no bigger pariahs on the team than Ubaldo Jimenez and Hyun Soo Kim. But rough starts don’t always make for bad endings.
Hyun Soo Kim’s arrival in Baltimore and the mystery that surrounded him caused a major buzz. Kim was known as one of the biggest stars in the KBO, a former batting champion, and multi-time gold glove winner. In his 10 year KBO career, he was most noted for possessing a consistent bat (.318 BA, 142 HRs, 771 RBIs), but most impressive were his low strikeout numbers, something a home run heavy Baltimore lineup badly needed. But things started rocky… incredibly rocky. Kim hit .179 in spring training, and, as many noted, struggled to get the ball out of the infield. At times, he looked lost in the field. His struggles were magnified by the stellar play of Joey Rickard. By opening day, media and fans openly questioned whether he would make the roster and if the team should cut ties with the Korean outfielder after he refused a demotion to Norfolk.
To most (if not all) Orioles’ fans, Ubaldo has become a bad word. After years of mostly staying out of free agency and being perpetually pitcher-needy, the Os ponied up and gave Jimenez a 4-yr, $50 mill deal in the offseason prior to 2014. The contract quickly became an albatross, as Ubaldo spent time split between the back end of the rotation, bullpen, and the DL. He pitched so poorly in 2014, that he was left off the ALCS roster and didn’t pitch in the playoffs at all. Things were so bleak this season that it seemed likely the Orioles would release Ubaldo and eat what was remaining on his contract.
But what a difference a few months can make!
Kim and Jimenez have come through frequently down the stretch for the playoff-bound Orioles. In 5 starts in August, Ubaldo carried an era under 2.5 and allowed only 9 earned runs in 35 innings of work. He also notched the Orioles first complete game in nearly 2 years. Meanwhile, Hyun-Soo Kim has been a model of consistently since finding his swing in the early part of the year. Down the stretch, he has provided multiple walk-off winners and maintained an average over .300.
The Buck-led Orioles have made their name by getting tremendous production from unlikely sources. This year has proven no different. Thanks in large part to the great play of Hyun-Soo Kim and Ubaldo Jimenez down the stretch, the Orioles (who were picked by most “experts” to be cellar dwellers this year) will be playing ball in October.
Get inside the huddle of the Ravens with our team insiders. The best preview for Sunday is always found here, and so is the most heated O’s talk. The guys look towards what the Birds are facing during their push to play in October and what to expect from them if they do.