Green Is Good, At Least For That Kind Of Football

July 03, 2009|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Peter.Schmuck@baltsun.com

N ews item: The Ravens are installing natural sod at M&T Bank Stadium for the big July 24 soccer game between AC Milan and Chelsea.

My take: Natural grass in an NFL stadium? Why don't we just join the European Union and get it over with?

Related news item: The euro, based on Thursday's exchange rate, is worth $1.39 (U.S.).

My take: That means you would be able to get a 24-ounce beer at M&T Bank Stadium for just five euros. Sweet!

Bonus take: Of course, with the value-added tax, it'll end up being the equivalent of $10 (U.S.). Damn.

News item: Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome told the Tuscaloosa News recently that he will someday be "coming back home" to Alabama. That recharged old speculation that he will eventually take over as athletic director at his alma mater.

My take: I'm sure he pines for the Crimson Tide, but you would think after all these years in the NFL, he would want to go to a conference like the Pacific-10, where they don't have a salary cap.

News item: Major League Baseball again has increased the size of each All-Star roster, adding a 13th pitcher to expand each team to 33 players to reduce the likelihood of an extra-inning roster crunch.

My take: I'm OK with that, but I liked my idea better. I think it would be cool if each manager got to choose the two top rookie pitchers not already on the team to form an emergency "taxi squad" to be used only after the ninth inning.

News item: When the Orioles overcame a 10-1 deficit to defeat the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night, it was the largest comeback in the 55-year history of the franchise in Baltimore.

My take: Sadly, a lot of Orioles fans didn't know about it until Wednesday morning, and didn't care about it by late afternoon.

News item: Former Orioles pitcher Sidney Ponson tested positive for the stimulant/weight-loss drug Phentermine during the World Baseball Classic and has been suspended from international competition for two years.

My take: I've heard the World Anti-Doping Agency might consider removing Phentermine from its banned substance list now that Ponson has proven it is not a performance-enhancing drug.

News item: Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen told The Baltimore Sun this week that he might want to coach beyond the Jan. 2, 2012, deadline for coach-in-waiting James Franklin to receive a $1 million payment if he does not ascend to the Terps' top job.

My take: Don't know why everybody thinks this is a big deal. This is major college football. It's not like anybody's going to miss a measly million dollars.

News item: Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara has a partially torn flexor tendon in his right elbow and will be lost to the Orioles for up to two months.

My take: I'm still not second-guessing the decision to sign him. The Orioles clearly have raised their profile on the Pacific Rim, which will be worth a lot more than $10 million if an Asian player ends up helping them go to the World Series in the relatively near future.

News item: The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving the NFL that could increase the ability of professional sports leagues to act as legal monopolies.

My take: Wake me up when this one's over. This is all about stuff like revenue-sharing and franchise relocation. For all fan-related practical purposes, the NFL already is a legal monopoly. That's why you paid to build the Ravens a stadium and you have to buy a seat license for the privilege of going there.

News item: The people at ESPN.com recently gave out their "All-Decade Honors," naming the New England Patriots the team of the decade, Bill Belichick the coach of the decade and Tom Brady the most valuable player of the decade.

My take: Hard to argue those choices, but isn't it customary to wait until the end of the decade for this kind of thing?

Bonus take: Oh, I just checked and they had to do that this year because they're going to be making their All-Century selections in 2010.

Listen to Peter Schmuck weeknights at 6 on WBAL (1090 AM).

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