By Matt Vensel
The Baltimore Sun
11:54 AM EDT, March 18, 2013
Every Monday, Baltimore Sun blogger and reporter Matt Vensel will rank the most significant athletes and events in Baltimore sports that week based on accomplishments on and off the field. Because, well, why not?
It was a week of tough losses in Baltimore sports. The Ravens lost a bunch of key contributors. The Terps lost in the ACC tournament. And the Orioles, now two weeks out from Opening Day, lost a few exhibition games (no biggie there). But it hasn’t been all bad in Baltimore sports over the past week, even if it does feel that way.
THE BOTTOM TWO
100. Bernard Pollard: After the Ravens expectedly lost players such as Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger in free agency, the team surprisingly released Pollard, their hard-hitting and gum-flapping strong safety. The 28-year-old is now looking for his fourth team.
99. J.J. Hardy: The Orioles shortstop cranked a home run Sunday for his second hit of the spring. But hitting .080 through the middle of March, Hardy is now getting asked about his slow start. He says he isn’t panicking, and neither is O's manager Buck Showalter.
THE TOP FIVE
5. C.J. Fair: No local teams are dancing, but several Baltimore natives will play in the NCAA tournament, including Fair, a former City star who leads Syracuse with 14.4 points and 7.1 boards.
4. Maryland men’s basketball: The Terps got themselves back in the tournament conversation by upsetting Duke -- again -- but simply making it to the ACC tournament semifinals wasn’t enough. Still, it was a nice little run for coach Mark Turgeon and the Terps, who will at least get a chance to build on that in the NIT.
3. Dunbar boys basketball: Dunbar beat New Town on Saturday to win their fourth straight Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association championship. It is the Poets' record 15th state title.
2. Kevin Gausman: The Orioles sent down Dylan Bundy, their top pitching prospect, but Gausman, another touted pitcher, has pitched well enough to earn at least one more start with the big-league club down in Sarasota. The 22-year-old righty has allowed four earned runs over 10 1/3 innings this spring.
1. Ed Reed: It wouldn’t be the offseason without Baltimore tuning in for its favorite soap opera, “As the Reed Turns.” The iconic safety has been flirting heavily with the Houston Texans, but the Ravens say they are still interested. Reed has not yet made his decision, so he will keep us on the edge of our seats for a few more days.
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