Each morning, Monday through Friday, I'll hook you up with reading material to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday -- that way I'll have an excuse to do the same at the start of mine. 

Running it back:

Andy MacPhail acknowledged that the Orioles have had internal discussions about a potential extension for J.J. Hardy and he's hoping to initiate contract talks with the shortstop's agent next month. ... Although the namesake of the Brooks Robinson High School All-Star Game was unable to attend the annual event at Camden Yards on Monday, the Orioles legend wasn't far from the thoughts of those participating. ... When Mark Turgeon was asked about his frontcourt Monday, the Maryland men's basketball coach inhaled deeply like a swimmer about to take a plunge. ... Sergio Kindle says he has been cleared to resume playing football.

Hitting the links:

1. The curse of J.J. Hardy [Fangraphs]

2. How Hardy stacks up against other shortstops [Orioles Insider]

3. The Orioles are building around their young starters, but they have a long way to go [ESPN]

4. Brian Matusz hasn't looked like himself from the early days of spring training [Orioles Insider]

5. Jeremy Guthrie can't help the losses [Camden Chat]

6. Matt Wieters gets some Gold Glove love [ESPN]

7. No June swoon for Mark Reynolds [MASN]

8. The Birds love to Tweet [MLB.com]

9. Haloti Ngata found a surrogate father in his high school coach [Salt Lake Tribune]

10. Chatting with Mike Preston, John Harbaugh said he has plenty of time to plan for the 2011 season [Baltimore Sun]

11. Ed Reed of the Ravens is second on another list of the NFL's best safeties [USA Today]

12. But Pete Prisco thinksTroy Polamalu is overrated [CBS Sports]

13. Hope and concern for the Ravens [ESPN]

14. Who shaped your love for sports? [Orioles Insider]

You said it:  

"It's the Invasion Of The Unibrows!" -- longtime blog reader thescottishgypsy responds to my post about another Flacco brother coming to Baltimore to play sports

Video of the morning:

Jimmy Kimmel pulled a pretty good prank on eccentric Lakers forward Ron Artest last week [via Hot Clicks]

Send me your funny and/or interesting links, photos, YouTube videos, blogs, Tweets, comments, emails, ideas, etc. If I deem them to be worthy for the blog, I’ll give you a plug. You can reach me at Matt.Vensel@baltsun.com and twitter.com/mattvensel.