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News and analysis on the Ravens, Orioles, Terps and more
How much are Dan Duquette and other top execs really worth?

The Toronto Blue Jays' pursuit of Dan Duquette has become a fascinating story on many levels, but one question keeps hitting me amid all the will-he-or-won’t-he speculation: What is Duquette actually worth?

It’s a more nebulous issue than you might think.

When we analyze player-for-player transactions, we do so based on thousands upon thousands of past deals and on wide-ranging, fairly precise tools for measuring performance. Even so, trades are an inexact science at best, with the full implications often unclear for years.

So start from that base and then consider how little precedent we have with executive-for-player deals and how imprecisely we measure executive performance.

For a long time, executives were generally allowed to change jobs as they wished. The notion of general manager as star asset didn’t gain widespread currency until the last 20 years — with “Moneyball” making Billy Beane a household name and Theo Epstein helping end Boston’s championship drought.   

Even so, top...

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Torrey Smith's son, Torrey Jr., a winner in Gerber Spokesbaby contest

Torrey Smith’s nine-month-old son, Torrey Jr. (T.J.), is quickly catching up to his old man when it comes to national attention.

The Ravens wide receiver and his wife Chanel entered their young son into the “Crawler” division of the Gerber Spokesbaby competition late last year.

T.J. didn’t win the $50,000 grand prize, but his autumn-themed photo featuring him in a turkey hat and a crate of apples won his division and a $5,000 prize along with it.

At the time, they said half the winnings would go to a children’s charity, with the other half going to a college fund for Torrey Jr. The elder Smith is soliciting charity suggestions on his Instagram.

Maybe that nice little income bump for their son will bring down contract demands slightly for Smith, a pending free agent. I know that's improbable, but I have to make this about sports somehow. 

And that concludes another edition of the Baltimore Sports Baby blog. Check back tomorrow for what I can only assume will be more coverage of the...

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Dan Duquette ranked 17th best general manager in baseball history

As speculation swirls about Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette and his future with the organization, a pair of baseball writers have put his career accomplishments into a wider view, along with the rest of baseball’s executives.

On a blog in support of their upcoming book “In Pursuit of Pennants: Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball,” writers Mark Armour and Daniel Levitt have been counting down the top 25 general managers in baseball history.

Duquette ranks 17th.

Without seeing who’s above him, it’s hard to put that into context. But on top of what he’s been able to do with the Orioles in the past few seasons, Duquette is lauded in the accompanying blog post for his drafts and talent acquisition with the Montreal Expos (including Vladimir Guerrero, Pedro Martinez, and Cliff Floyd) and Boston Red Sox (Nomar Garciaparra, Jason Varitek, and Martinez again).

At each stop, it was noted, Duquette’s past organization had success with the core he left in place after he...

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Ravens featured heavily in NFL bad lip-reading video

With all of the Patriots-hating and offensive coordinator hand-wringing lately, it's probably time for a laugh when it comes to the Ravens. This year's edition of the Bad Lip Reading NFL video should do the trick.

The Ravens, along with the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions, are heavily featured in this year's video, in which a loose lip reading of NFL players talking during games and on the sidelines is dubbed over with quips ranging from silly to startlingly funny.

This year's YouTube video features, among others, coach John Harbaugh yelling at officials, rush linebacker Terrell Suggs yapping on the bench, and offensive linemen Marshal Yanda and Rick Wagner sharing a joke. 

But the best Ravens-related moments in the video are the player introductions from the primtime games, with running back Justin Forsett saying "I just forgot to breathe," and Yanda saying "More sticks I will eat."

Ridiculous? Yes. But since football is a big heaping bowl of negativity lately, that's pretty much...

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What they're saying about Marc Trestman's hire as Ravens offensive coordinator

Now that the dust has settled around Marc Trestman, the man the Ravens hired as their fourth offensive coordinator in four years, it seems opinions are starting to form around the hire. Here's a brief roundup of what they're saying about Trestman, the longtime NFL coordinator and former Chicago Bears head coach.


Jeff Zrebiec, Baltimore Sun

In his first comments since being named Ravens offensive coordinator Tuesday, Marc Trestman made one thing clear: he has no plans to make sweeping changes with the offense.

“It’s never going to be my offense. It’s always going to be the Ravens’ offense,” Trestman said in a conference call today. “I’ve been in this situation before in two or three occasions. The framework and formula of this is for me to go in and learn the offense, learn the nuances of the offense.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Trestman’s experience with a West Coast offense and ability to offer continuity in the scheme that the team ran successfully this past season factored...

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Ravens 'did not notice anything' about Patriots' footballs, John Harbaugh says

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said on a conference call Wednesday that the team didn't notice if the New England Patriots deflated their offensive footballs in the teams' AFC divisional playoff game, as the Patriots have been accused of doing a week later against the Indianapolis Colts.

The NFL is investigating how the Patriots' footballs became deflated during a 45-7 rout of the Colts in the AFC championship game Sunday. ESPN reported late Tuesday night that 11 of the 12 game balls provided by the Patriots for that game were found to be under-inflated by two pounds per square inch, though the league is still investigating how that occurred after the referee inspected them before the game.

"It’s really not something that’s really in the forefront of my mind," Harbaugh said when asked about allegations that his team noticed differences. "They did call some of our people about it, and as far as I know – I didn’t know exactly what the conversations were – but our guys answered honestly. We...

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