News item: The Maryland Terrapins men's basketball team, hindered by shooting problems and overall inconsistency this season, hoped to make some kind of statement against No. 2 Duke yesterday at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
My take: And I would like to make some kind of statement after the way the Terps performed in the most lopsided Maryland loss in the history of the rivalry, but I wouldn't be able to print it here.
News item: Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan was introduced Wednesday as the head coach of the New York Jets. Pressed on his quarterback situation, he said that "anybody would want Brett Favre to be their quarterback."
My take: I'm going to have to check with Eric Mangini on that.
News item: The Orioles announced the signing of right fielder Nick Markakis to a six-year, $66.1 million contract that is the second-largest in the history of the franchise.
My take: What a relief. If he had gone to salary arbitration, he might have had to squeak by on $5 million this year.
News item: The club still is hoping to sign second baseman Brian Roberts to a long-term extension before he enters the final year of his contract.
My take: I'm starting to think they might succeed. The trade market has gone soft, and the signing of Markakis has to be encouraging for Roberts, who just wants a chance to play on a competitive team within a reasonable time frame.
News item: Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said Wednesday that the team will not use the franchise tag on pending free agent Ray Lewis. Bisciotti already said months ago that if Lewis enters the free-agent market, the Ravens will outbid other teams to keep him.
My take: At first glance, it looks like Bisciotti has put his front office at a decided disadvantage in negotiations with the Ravens' cornerstone superstar. At second glance, it still looks that way.
Bonus take: Of course, if Lewis' agent overplays his hand, all bets are off. Bisciotti proved when he fired Brian Billick last year that he is capable of changing his mind.
Related news item: Rumors surfaced after the AFC championship game that the Dallas Cowboys are interested in Lewis and might give him a three-year deal with a $25 million guarantee to police the locker room and improve team chemistry.
My take: Wouldn't it be a lot cheaper to release Terrell Owens and convince Jessica Simpson that Tony Romo is dating tight end Jason Witten?
News item: The Kansas City Chiefs fired coach Herm Edwards on Friday after a 2-14 season and are rumored to be interested in former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan.
My take: Edwards didn't have much to work with, but he's a classy guy who didn't try to take anyone down with him.
News item: The youngest brother of Mark McGwire has gone public with the claim that he injected Big Mac with steroids and human growth hormone, and reportedly is trying to get a book deal.
My take: Now, I actually feel sorry for Mac, who already has paid dearly for his squirrelly performance during that congressional hearing. Obviously, you reap what you sow, but this is ridiculous.
News item: Former Orioles pitcher Erik Bedard has been cleared for spring training after undergoing surgery late last year to remove a cyst from his shoulder and smooth his labrum. He signed a one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners worth $7.75 million.
My take: Here's a prediction. He'll have a good year and bolt for free agency in November, and a rebuilding team will convince him he can help get it into contention. I'll let you guess which rebuilding team that might be.
News item: Jeff Kent announced his retirement Thursday at Dodger Stadium. He holds the all-time home run record for second basemen and is considered by some to be an odds-on Hall of Famer.
My take: I don't know whether his numbers make him a first-ballot guy, but I would send him to Cooperstown just for the big chunk of his career he spent feuding with Barry Bonds.
News item: Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney and his son Jim personally gave a game ball from the AFC championship game victory over the Ravens to President Barack Obama.
My take: Obama should be honored. The only other one they awarded was to Daren Stone.
Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon most Fridays and Saturdays.