On Ravens' priority list: cornerbacks, then statue

October 25, 1997|By John Eisenberg

Fact: The Indians are hitting 133 points higher against the Marlins than they did against the Orioles -- and losing.

Opinion: It's a good idea to adorn the new football stadium at Camden Yards with a 4-ton statue of a menacing raven, but it's a bad idea to give it flashing red eyes (please!) and make it swivel.

Fact: The Orioles have a 1-5 record in American League Championship Series games played at Camden Yards.

Opinion: Not to be a smart aleck, but if we want the raven statue to inspire the Ravens, it should be posed in "defense mode" rather than "attack mode."

Fact (From Chapter 64 in "Bud's Excellent Adventure"): Pitchers and catchers report in four months, and the Royals and Brewers still don't know if they're playing in the AL or NL next year.

Opinion: Only three blown calls in the last two innings of Game 5 of the World Series. Hey, that's not as terrible as, well, hmmm, never mind.

Fact: Livan Hernandez is a neat story for the Marlins and all that, but he walked more batters in Game 5 than Mike Mussina did in four postseason starts covering 29 innings.

Opinion: We don't know what the Ravens' record will be this season, but we already know what their priority should be in the next draft -- cornerbacks by the bushel.

Fact: The Browns/Ravens have been to the playoffs more recently than the Redskins.

Opinion: Now would be a great time for the Orioles to trade Armando Benitez if they don't think he has a closer's makeup, but they would miss him as a setup man if they re-sign Randy Myers.

Fact: The NBA's Ironman streak will change hands if the Mavericks' A.C. Green plays in 21 more games in a row, breaking Randy Smith's record of 906.

Opinion: Penn State fans can gripe all they want about falling from No. 1 to No. 2 in the polls after beating Minnesota last week, but, let's face it, that wasn't a No. 1-caliber performance.

Fact: Hall of Famer Bob Feller's feisty reaction to a radar gun clocking Marlins closer Robb Nen throwing 102 mph: "That was my changeup."

Opinion: The Ravens would make the playoffs if only they could somehow arrange for Jermaine Lewis to return a punt on every play.

Fact: The highest-rated World Series in TV history -- Yankees-Dodgers in 1978 -- drew ratings more than twice those for the first four games of this year's Series.

Opinion: A winter without minor-league hockey at the Baltimore Arena is, well, a winter in which the 2,176 fans who went to every game are going to need something new to do.

Fact: When reporters asked Michael Jordan what he wanted to do in Paris when the Bulls played there last week, he said, "I want to go to that art museum -- the Luge."

Opinion: The Orioles should re-sign Harold Baines instead of making the same mistake twice.

Fact: Portland Trail Blazers forward Jermaine O'Neal, 19, says, "I'm going to work really hard so I can get a really, really good contract after this year."

Opinion: You could follow another dozen baseball seasons without seeing a player have a bigger year than Sandy Alomar, whose 1997 has included a 30-game hitting streak, an MVP performance in the All-Star Game and now a record-setting October filled with important homers.

Fact: A British television network showed Game 3 of the World Series live in the middle of the night, then changed to new programming with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

Opinion: It's no surprise that Roger Clemens has the most wins of all active pitchers with 213, but it's quite a surprise that Dennis Eckersley is second with 193.

Fact: Each member of the Marlins had to sign 77 dozen boxes of baseballs before playing Game 1 of the World Series.

Opinion: Tennessee's Peyton Manning is going to win the Heisman Trophy, but no college football player is having a bigger year than Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch, who has thrown for 29 touchdowns and 2,506 yards in seven games.

Fact: Hale Irwin is 164-under-par for the year on the PGA Senior Tour. He has played in 21 events (and won more than $2 million).

Opinion: Seems like Marv Albert's "counseling" should include trips to the orthodontist.

Fact: Eight of the 13 other American League teams have won an AL pennant more recently than the Orioles.

Pub Date: 10/25/97

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