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Sports Blitz News and analysis on the Ravens, Orioles, Terps and more
Buck Showalter garden gnome makes rounds on social media
Baseball power rankings for May 26

There's been a force at work in baseball over the past month or so, and now it takes over the top spot in these Sports Blitz power rankings. Will the red-hot Nationals be the only Mid-Atlantic team in the top 10 this week? Click on the captions above to find out. As always, these rankings are completely subjective and yet objectively correct.

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Buck Showalter once taught David Letterman to be a ballplayer on 'Late Night'

The biggest of the big-name guests have paraded into the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City in recent weeks, all to say a fond farewell to David Letterman, the late-night titan who will appear in CBS' 11:30 p.m. timeslot once more tonight.

One former big-name guest who didn't make it to the "Late Show with David Letterman" retirement tour, however, was Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who in a 1992 epsiode of NBC's "Late Night with David Letterman" tried to teach a then-45-year-old Letterman how to be a ballplayer.

"We're looking for the subtleties," Letterman said. "We're looking for the lost art of baseball. ... I want to look like a player."

Showalter, manager of the New York Yankees at the time, then joined Yankees hitting coach Frank Howard in teaching Letterman and "Late Night" staffer Mary Connealy some of the game's finer points, such as spitting, successfully being hit by a pitch and shouting nonsense from the dugout during a game.

"Usually there are a lot of things said that...

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Synced-up delivery leads to early success for Bowie's Mychal Givens

Mychal Givens’ live fastball and unique arm slot were enough for the Orioles to consider him as a pitcher when his career as a shortstop stalled.

Syncing that arm up with the rest of his body has turned him into one of the top relief pitching prospects in the Orioles system, and helped him earn the organization’s minor-league Pitcher of the Month honors for April.

“When these kind of accolades come up, it’s neat to see for a Mychal Givens,” Orioles director of player development Brian Graham said. “I know that [Bowie pitching coach] Alan Mills has done a really good job with him. Alan Mills deserves a lot of credit, as well as at the mini-camp, [Orioles bullpen coach] Dom Chiti and [pitching coach] Dave Wallace made an adjustment to his delivery, by keeping the upper part of his body connected to the lower part of his body longer. Mychal Givens deserves the most credit, because he’s done what everybody has asked him to do and he’s doing it very well.”

Givens allowed a run in two innings...

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ESPN's Rick Sutcliffe on Orioles, impact of last week on team's fans

With the Orioles appearing on ESPN tonight at 7 for the end of their brief two-game set against the New York Mets, broadcaster Rick Sutcliffe, a former Orioles pitcher and National League Cy Young Award winner who will be working the game, took a few minutes to chat about Baltimore's 2015 campaign and how recent unrest in the city has impacted both the team and its fans.

Jon Meoli: I’m wondering from a baseball perspective what it says about the Orioles for them to deal with all the schedule stuff, changing plans, and for them to come out on the other side no worse for wear?

Rick Sutcliffe: "The first part, Jon, is that I’ve talked with several people this morning, but I’m going to be in that clubhouse in about an hour, be there around 3:30. I’ll get a better feel for it then. I’ve obviously read a lot of the things, I saw a lot of the things that went on — we were all watching on TV. I just think that a lot of times, unfortunately, we’re reminded just how unimportant baseball really is....

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Ravens earn high grades for 2015 draft haul

The sun rises, the sun sets, and analysts love the Baltimore Ravens draft.

In a development that seemingly occurs every season — and most of the time proves correct — the Ravens’ draft class has earned early high marks from national draft analysts. Many like the potential of the early selections, and the sensibility of the later ones.

As always with these, it’s hard to judge given they’ve never played a snap for the team and the Ravens’ reputation, while earned, could be impacting the assessment here. But until they prove it one way or another, this crop of rookies is going to be viewed as a good one for the Ravens.

- ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. gave the Ravens an A-, his highest grade since 2013 for the Ravens, wrote his colleague Jamison Hensley.

"Baltimore drafted three players in the first 90 picks (wide receiver Breshad Perriman, tight end Maxx Williams and defensive lineman Carl Davis) who were among Kiper's top 50 players. Perriman, the 14th-best player according to Kiper, was drafted...

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