Even with no Red Sox fans, downtown was buzzing

The Baltimore Sun

The scrimmage between the Ravens and Washington Redskins yesterday at M&T; Bank Stadium drew an announced paid crowd of 25,332, making it the year's best-attended event at the Camden Yards complex that did not feature the Yankees, Red Sox or a Cal Ripken Jr. bobblehead giveaway.

My take: That's not really true, but admit it, you were thinking the same thing.

News item: The afternoon began with the Redskins punting on each of the first four simulated plays.

My take: That's pretty much their regular offense, right?

News item: The Ravens encouraged stadium announcer Bruce Cunningham to pump up the excitement during the first hour of the scrimmage, which featured a variety of orchestrated drills.

My take: He did a fine job, but I thought it was a little over the top when he directed the crowd to look toward midfield for some "hot, one-on-one lineman action."

Yes, really.

News item: The Indianapolis Colts terminated the contract of defensive tackle Corey Simon, who did not appear in a game during last year's Super Bowl run.

My take: The Colts ended up paying him $14 million in bonuses and salary to appear in a total of 13 games. Couldn't happen to a nicer team.

News item: Terrell Owens returned to the field Thursday after missing three workouts with a sore hamstring.

My take: What a relief. He has spent so much time on that stationary bicycle the past couple of years, the NFL was threatening to test him for blood doping.

News item: Former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn has entered the second week of his contract holdout, much to the displeasure of the Cleveland Browns.

My take: He's still really cute, but when you get picked No. 22, you generally get paid like a No. 22.

News item: Orioles interim manager Dave Trembley announced Friday that Danys Baez will take over the closer role.

My take: Since Baez is going to pitch only when the Orioles have the lead in the ninth inning, it really makes perfect sense.

News item: Barry Bonds has been stuck on 754 home runs for six games, and commissioner Bud Selig acknowledged the other day that following Bonds has been "a tough experience."

My take: I totally understand. I grew weary of traveling around in private jets and eating room service at the Ritz a long time ago.

News item: Alex Rodriguez hit a three-run homer yesterday to become the youngest player ever to reach 500 home runs.

My take: At the rate Bonds is going, A-Rod could pass him and Hank Aaron in the same week.

News item: Michael Phelps, of Rodgers Forge, won six gold medals at the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships in Indianapolis.

My take: The last time anyone ruled the water like this, the runner-up was the Spanish Armada.

News item: Mike Ditka announced last week that he will not attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies again until the NFL improves the pension and disability benefits for former players.

My take: NFL officials never imagined it would be this easy to keep Ditka from showing up in public.

News item: A court orders New York Giants star Michael Strahan to pay his ex-wife $15.3 million to settle their nasty divorce. That doesn't include $3,100 per month in child support and tuition payments until the 2020s.

My take: Is he holding out of Giants training camp or just having trouble coming up with cab fare?

News item: In college football, the Southern California Trojans got 45 of 60 first-place votes to easily claim the top spot in the preseason USA Today coaches poll.

My take: If you think that's impressive, you should see their 14-and-under basketball team.


Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon Saturdays and Sundays.

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