News item: The Ravens signed quarterback Marc Bulger to provide a veteran backup for Joe Flacco in his third NFL season, apparently displacing former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.
My take: There are rumors that Smith could end up in Buffalo with a much better chance to play, which would probably be the best outcome for everybody involved.
News item: Orioles star Nick Markakis, who called out his teammates last week for their ineffective approach at the plate, met with owner Peter Angelos on Thursday to discuss the direction of the team.
My take: I don't know if anything will make a difference at this point, but you have applaud Markakis for stepping up and asserting himself as a team leader. That's what you're supposed to do when you're the highest-paid player on the team.
News item: Athletic director Debbie Yow has left Maryland for a similar job at North Carolina State.
My take: Everyone knows that it was a bumpy ride at times — and there was friction with top coaches Gary Williams and Ralph Friedgen — but Yow's tenure at Maryland featured 19 national sports championships and a solid record of fiscal stewardship. She deserves a fond farewell.
News item: Former Orioles pitcher Erik Bedard could make his 2010 debut for the Seattle Mariners on July 6 against the Kansas City Royals.
My take: If anybody out there is still questioning whether the trade that sent him to the M's was really a slam dunk for the Orioles, Bedard will be looking for his 12th win in three seasons.
News item: Team USA scored a last-gasp goal on Wednesday to defeat Algeria and move into the round of 16 in the World Cup.
My take: What a cliffhanger. When the game went into extra time, my whole life as a soccer fan flashed before my eyes.
Bonus take: Well, actually, that pretty much was my whole life as a soccer fan, but — the way things are going with the Orioles — I'm keeping my options open.
News item: Brett Favre said on a Mississippi newspaper website this week that he would "love to go beat the Saints" in the season opener, but stopped short of saying he would come back for another season.
My take: I don't know about you, but I'm so beyond 2010. I'm already trying to figure out if Brett will be coming back for 2012, and which limb he'll have reconstructed before that season.
News item: The Washington Wizards, as expected, drafted Kentucky's John Wall with the first pick in the NBA draft and will pair him in their backcourt with Gilbert Arenas. They also picked up veteran guard Kirk Hinrich in a draft day deal with the Chicago Bulls.
My take: I'm pretty sure Arenas will still be the gunner, if you'll pardon the expression.
News item: Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg finally proved human, losing for the first time in the major leagues to — of all teams — the Kansas City Royals.
My take: He gave up a run, so he's got no excuse.
News item: Controversial Boston Celtics forward Rasheed Wallace reportedly has decided to retire from the NBA.
My take: Either that or he's just been suspended for the rest of his career.
News item: Bobby Valentine is expected to be named the new manager of the Florida Marlins sometime in the next week.
My take: There's only one thing standing in the way. Owner Jeffrey Loria is waiting for approval from shortstop Hanley Ramirez to make the hire.
Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) on Fridays and Saturdays at noon and with Brett Hollander on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6. Also, check out his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here" at baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog.
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