Facing the Cardinals is a good news, bad news proposition

October 28, 2011|Peter Schmuck

News item: Cam Cameron and Joe Flacco are back in the spotlight — and not a happy one — as the Ravens prepare for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens are favored by nearly two touchdowns.

My take: The good news is that the Ravens will wake up and take care of business. The bad news is that it will only be meaningful if they don't. Everybody knows the real test is next week in Pittsburgh.

News item: The search committee charged with finding a replacement for departed Orioles baseball operations chief Andy MacPhail reportedly interviewed player development director John Stockstill on Friday.

My take: No disrespect intended toward Stockstill — who was the fourth candidate to be interviewed — but it's going to be hard for the Orioles to make the case that the solution to their long-standing inability to develop players on a par with their AL East rivals has been right here in the organization all along.

Related news item: The Angels will announce on Saturday afternoon that Arizona Diamondbacks executive Jerry Dipoto will be their new general manager. Dipoto also was thought to be very high on the Orioles' wish list.

My take: Don't know yet if the Orioles got outflanked — since they're still ruminating over their list of candidates — so let's just say that the Angels helped them make their decision.

News item: Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts said recently that he's been free of concussion symptoms for two weeks — the longest period he has felt right since suffering his second concussion in eight months on May 16.

My take: That's great to hear, since getting Roberts back healthy in 2012 would be the equivalent of signing a top-flight free agent, but the Orioles still can't assume anything about his long-term status or their immediate future at second base.

News item: The most intriguing game of the NFL's Week 8, of course, is the late-afternoon showdown between the Patriots and Steelers at Heinz Field.

My take: Though the Ravens will gain some benefit in the standings from the outcome of this game no matter who wins, there's no question whom Ravens fans will be rooting for, and it's not just because their second-favorite team is whichever one is playing the Steelers. The Patriots can give the Ravens an important leg up going into next week's big showdown in the Steel City.

News item: Navy renews college football's longest continuous intersectional rivalry on Saturday when the banged-up Midshipmen take on Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. Navy has won three of its last four games against the Fighting Irish and is looking to win a third consecutive game over Notre Dame for the first time.

My take: The Mids can only afford to lose one more game if they want to extend their string of eight consecutive bowl appearances, and all indicators point to this being that loss.

News item: The NCAA has approved a sweeping slate of reforms that includes a provision allowing conferences to decide whether to let schools give up to $2,000 in spending money to scholarship athletes. Proponents insist that a modest stipend is long overdue. Critics say it will widen the economic gap between the big and small conferences.

My take: I feel strongly both ways.

News item: Receiver Terrell Owens staged a workout this week to show that he's healthy again and ready to join an NFL team, but no NFL scouts showed up and the only offer he received was from the Arena Football League.

My take: This is one of those situations where an athlete is trying to say hello when he should be saying goodbye. Owens is a phenomenal athlete who probably could make a few more big catches in the NFL, but there's something to be said for leaving your fans wanting more.

News item: John Harbaugh's Ravens dropped from No. 3 to No. 6 this week in ESPN's NFL Power Rankings and stand two places behind Jim Harbaugh's surprising 49ers.

My take: Thanksgiving can't get here soon enough.

Listen to Peter Schmuck when he hosts "The Week in Review" Fridays at noon on WBAL (1090AM) and wbal.com.

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