Jim Palmer and Cal Ripken are neck and neck…

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We’re down to the final hours of voting in the Final Four of the Toyota Live Web King of Baltimore Sports competition.

With just hours remaining, Jim Palmer and Cal Ripken are taking it down to the wire while Johnny Unitas has opened up a sizable lead on Brooks Robinson.

We’ll be crowning the King of Baltimore Sports next week at our 10th Anniversary Party at Sports Legends Museum. I’m doing invitations today and if you’re interested in coming to the party as my guest, please drop me a note at  nasty@wnst.net. I’d love to meet the regular readers of my blog here on WNST.net.

I’ve been super busy working behind the scenes with our company and haven’t been blogging so much lately and I apologize. We’re also gearing up for the Ravens season and have many surprises and cool things happening at WNST for our favorite time of the year: NFL season.

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I do write on Mondays and Fridays for b. Here’s my column from today’s editions…

Well, at least the Orioles were honest for a change. In the days and hours leading up to yesterday’s 4 p.m. deadline, general manager Andy McPhail said things were quiet on the trading front and we got no 11th hour surprises from the Birds.

Do you find it odd that a last place team – and clearly inferior in many ways to all four of the teams above them in the AL East – could finish the 2008 season with the likes of Aubrey Huff, Jay Payton, Kevin Millar and Ramon Hernandez at the end of their usefulness if not cost effectiveness here? They’re all decent players but certainly must be upgraded if this franchise is going to have any serious notion of competing with the Yankees and Red Sox every year.

And the pitching just stinks for the most part. What is the hope for next Opening Day’s rotation based on what the organization has in its depth?

I agree with the decision to keep George Sherrill and Brian Roberts, but I thought there would at least be some minimal action to change some moving parts, ditch contracts or aging veterans. With the season he’s having, I can’t imagine that Huff had no value in an American League market with the potential of a designated hitter.

I’m happy about many of the changes on and off the field this season, but any serious fan has to be delusional to think that the Orioles are anywhere near ready to step up into that Tampa Bay realm next year and actually be involved in a pennant race.

In some ways I think the early season optimism has hindered some of their thinking in regard to how far they are from truly being considered a factor in the division. And the fans might buy into some excitement and new blood like Adam Jones and Luke Scott, but in the end is their goal to be in third place? Is that the best they’ll ever do?


Lost amidst the vaunted QB battle in Westminster are all of the other roles on this team up for grabs and the many cuts that will be made between now the opener on Sept. 7 against Cincinnati. Training camp had been relatively ho hum during the Brian Billick administration with most jobs and the depth chart set by May 1st.

But in 2008, bubble guys are a plenty coming off 5-11 and a new coaching staff and many “minor” additions for roles by the new John Harbaugh regime. Many homegrown players and aging veterans are fighting for their careers over the next four weeks. So while Thursday night already promises to be an interesting game because of the first throws of the Joe Flacco era and the three-way duel with Troy Smith and Kyle Boller, there’s plenty more to look for beyond Bill Belichick’s latest summer fashion statement in Foxboro. 

Gary Stills, Daniel Wilcox, P.J. Daniels, Prescott Burgess, Dan Cody, Justin Green, Corey Ivy, Derrick Martin, David Pittman, Ronnie Prude, Cory Ross will all be playing with their careers on the line in New England.

And even though the game will suck – the preseason always does – it’s just great to have football and the NFL back in my life for a few months.

And I’m always looking for some reasons to get my purple on in heat of August.

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