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I'm starting to feel a little better about the Orioles' chances of winning the American League East. I hear Wichita State just eliminated the Yankees.

A while back, I mentioned owning a hockey stick autographed by the old Baltimore Clippers, and another one that belonged to one of their star players, Willie Marshall. I asked if anyone remembered Marshall. I received an interesting response over the weekend.

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"I sure remember Willie Marshall. He is my grandfather!," wrote Rob Nicholson. "And yes, he has been inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame. He loves hearing from fans. Anyone know where to get some old footage of him playing? Since I was born in 1981, I never got to see him play live."

If anyone can assist Mr. Nicholson, I'd sure appreciate it.

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Hasim Rahman becomes the World Boxing Council's heavyweight champion because the guy who had the belt abruptly retires, and he retains it last night by something called a "majority draw" over 37-year-old former middleweight James Toney.

I think it's time to start  mentioning Rahman's name with the all-time greats.

HBO's excitable ringside scorer, Harold Lederman, had Rahman winning eight rounds. He also had eight Red Bulls and a double expresso.

Here's today's lineup:

Corey Patterson - CF

Luis Matos - RF

Melvin Mora - 3B

Javy Lopez - 1B

Kevin Millar - DH

Jeff Conine - LF

Ramon Hernandez - C

Chris Gomez - SS

Ed Rogers - 2B

And pitching, Erik Bedard.

Rodrigo Lopez also will pitch today. Manager Sam Perlozzo said he let Bedard go first because he doesn't think the left-hander is "built" to sit around. It's easier for him to start.

Perlozzo is hoping to get five innings from one of them, and four from the other.

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