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Each morning, Monday through Thursday (and sometimes Friday, schedule permitting), I'll hook you up with some 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:

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Maryland hung in on Thursday night, but came up short against No. 5 Pittsburgh, 79-70. ... Ralph Friedgen is returning to Maryland for the final year of his contract. ... Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said his scheme isn't much different than Rex Ryan's. ... The Ravens are preparing to face Panthers QB Brian St. Pierre. ... The Orioles entered into trade talks for shortstops Jason Bartlett and J.J. Hardy.

Hitting the links:

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1. Mike Preston: Anquan Boldin is emerging as a locker room leader [Baltimore Sun]

2. Rookie man mountain Terrence Cody is continuing to impress [CSN Baltimore]

3. New Smith in town: Troy Smith breathes life into the 49ers' offense [NFL.com]

4. Ed Reed has returned, but the Ravens still have weaknesses [Baltimore Sun]

5. The rested Ravens are ready to pounce on the woeful Panthers [AP]

6. Police chief says the officer who got Ray Rice's autograph might have been wrong [Baltimore Sun]

7. Jamie Dixon: Jordan Williams "may be the best low-post scorer in the country" [Tracking the Terps]

8. Four things we learned from the Terps' loss to Pittsburgh [Testudo Times]

9. The Orioles are reportedly interested in pitcher Jorge De La Rosa [MLB Trade Rumors]

10. The Orioles are likely to bid on Tsuyoshi Nishioka [Hardball Talk]

You said it:

"I definitely believe that Buck earned some recognition. However, it isn't fair to those who managed the entire season to lose votes to a manager who skippered a team for just over a third of the schedule." -- Scott believes Buck Showalter deserved a little love in the AL Manager of the Year voting

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Today's water cooler question (your response could be published in b):

Is there any way the Panthers can beat the Ravens on Sunday?

Video of the morning:

Twitter groupie @sbolen recommended this video posted on his blog. In the post, he writes, "Pretty insane video of a dude taking a crazy nut shot to sell his cup." Enough said there, right?

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

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