Power ranking the best in Baltimore sports this week
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 another mixed bag of a week in Baltimore sports. The Terps continued their nosedive. An Orioles star came through for his country. And a couple of Ravens defenders are prepared to cash in here or elsewhere.
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THE BOTTOM TWO
100. Maryland men’s basketball: The Terps are in the bottom spot for a second straight week. No explanation needed.
99. Orioles body parts: Right fielder Nick Markakis hasn’t played since March 1 because of soreness and stiffness in his neck. Left fielder Nolan Reimold is still dealing with a sore shoulder. And Chris Tillman, a candidate for the Orioles rotation, has been sidelined with muscle soreness in his abdomen. Opening Day is still a few weeks away, but these nicks and tweaks are starting to add up down in Sarasota.
THE TOP FIVE
5. The Ravens’ national image: Four weeks ago, the Ravens won the Super Bowl in New Orleans. They also capped off a victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the battle of public perception last week when they donated two motorcycles to New Orleans police and purchased a thank-you ad for the city in a New Orleans newspaper. The Ravens really boosted their national image over the past couple of months.
4. Kevin Gausman: Orioles top prospect Dylan Bundy got the start Saturday against the Boston Red Sox, but he was out-shined by fellow former first-round pick Kevin Gausman. The team's top pick in 2012 allowed two hits and no runs in three innings. He and Bundy combined to allow one run in five innings.
3. Adam Jones: The Orioles center fielder sparked a United States rally in Sunday's win over Canada in the World Baseball Classic. Team USA trailed, 3-2, in the eighth inning when Jones drove in two runs with a double. He later scored as the Americans pulled away for a 9-4 win, advancing to the second round.
2. Dannell Ellerbe: The Ravens would like to keep the inside linebacker around, but Ellerbe is expected to have many suitors when free agency begins on Tuesday and could score more than $5 million a season.
1. Paul Kruger: Kruger should make even more, and the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts are among those expected to try to lure him away from the Ravens. That’s what 12 sacks in 12 games will do for you.