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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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Former Orioles second baseman Roberto Alomar and former Orioles GM Pat Gillick were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Former Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro didn't get into Cooperstown, and he vented about it. ... On Wednesday, a Dominican prosecutor called Orioles closer Alfredo Simon "trigger-happy" and said he might have swapped gun barrels to disguise his role in a murder. ... The Baltimore media selected Haloti Ngata as the Ravens' team MVP.

Hitting the links:

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1. Kevin Cowherd: It's astounding that Flacco doesn't pass muster with that fans [Baltimore Sun]

2. Going on the road in the playoffs is not daunting for Ray Lewis' Ravens [USA Today]

3. Jason Cole ranked NFL quarterbacks, and Joe Flacco was in the top 10 [Yahoo!]

4. The Ravens are fourth in Don Banks' postseason power rankings [SI]

5. How did John Clayton grade the Ravens' regular season? [ESPN]

6. Where will John Harbaugh's brother coach next season? [SI]

7. The surprising Chiefs clawed their way to the division title [Baltimore Sun]

8. Peter King breaks down the Ravens in his "one-minute drill" [SI]

9. The Chiefs are winning, but attendance at Arrowhead Stadium is down [K.C. Star]

10. John Eisenberg: Anquan Boldin wants wins, not numbers [CSN Baltimore]

11: More Eisenberg: The Ravens run defense needs to deliver [CSN Baltimore]

12. Ed Reed is an Eric Berry fan [Ravens Insider]

13. Kerry J. Byrne wants Joe Flacco to play like Trent Dilfer [SI]

14. Towson's Rob Ambrose is excited to see former boss Randy Edsall at Maryland [Baltimore Sun]

15. The Orioles aren't (re)building anymore [Camden Chat]

16. Cal Ripken and Alex Ovechkin's Great 8 partnership [D.C. Sports Bog]

You said it:

"The New Caps ESPN Commercial is epic." -- @ryandburton enjoys Alex Ovechkin's latest work

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

Where will Vince Young end up next season? (I say the Redskins.)

Video of the morning:

We're not even a week into 2011, but we might have already found our viral hit of the year

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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