Where have we seen this before?

The Baltimore Sun

N ews item: Rookie quarterback Joe Flacco makes his regular-season NFL debut today in the Ravens' season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.

My take: This could be a watershed day in Ravens history ... or it could be the day history repeats itself with another rookie quarterback moving right into the starting lineup. I'm going to stay positive. Flacco will hold his own.

News item: The Orioles extended the contract of manager Dave Trembley through the 2009 season Friday and added a club option for 2010.

My take: And the Oakland Athletics scored 19 fewer runs than the Texas Rangers did the first time Trembley got this kind of assurance from the front office. That's called progress.

News item: There is no Orioles game today. The club moved its scheduled Sunday game against the A's back into yesterday's split doubleheader (the opener of which was postponed) because of a scheduling conflict with the Ravens' regular-season opener.

My take: Kind of surprised the O's didn't think of this before. If they had moved up every Sunday game this year, they might still be in playoff contention.

News item: The former Chad Johnson has gotten clearance from the NFL to wear his new legal surname, Ocho Cinco, on the back of his Bengals jersey.

My take: This will be quite a challenge for stadium public address announcer Bruce Cunningham, who has enough trouble pronouncing names like Johnson.

Bonus take: Does anyone remember the Ravens vs. Washington Redskins scrimmage a couple of years ago during which Bruce directed fans to look to a certain section of the field for some "hot, one-on-one lineman action?" Just wondering.

News item: The LPGA, facing fierce public criticism, has backed away from a proposed rule that would have penalized players who do not speak English during the tour's pro-am events.

My take: Instead, they are employing volunteers to circulate during the pro-ams and shout, "Speak English!" at foreign golfers. This is more in keeping with our nation's values.

News item: Los Angeles Angels infielder Sean Rodriguez struck out on a 4-2 pitch on Thursday. Replays proved that umpire Tim Welke lost a pitch in the middle of the at-bat, and nobody - including Rodriguez and catcher Brandon Inge - noticed the discrepancy until it was too late to do anything about it.

My take: Hey, if the LPGA isn't going to require its players to speak English, I guess Major League Baseball shouldn't require its umpires to be able to count.

News item: Baseball's limited instant replay system has been in place for only a week or so, and - sure enough - there are people starting to wonder why it can't be used to fix obvious mistakes on calls other than just disputed home runs and fair-foul calls.

My take: You mean, like a four-ball strikeout?

News item: One seat in the front section of the outfield bleachers at the new Yankee Stadium will cost $100.

My take: Sounds excessive, but I believe it comes with a bodyguard.

News item: The Florida Marlins, who still have a mathematical chance to reach the playoffs, played in front of a crowd of about 600 on Wednesday at Dolphin Stadium.

My take: If I'm calculating this right, I can invite that entire crowd to the $1 MASN Maximum Access section at Camden Yards for $900 (including the 50-cent-per-ticket convenience charge).

News item: SI.com has uncovered documents that allegedly show two members of the Jamaican Olympic track team received shipments of human growth hormone.

My take: Let's not jump to conclusions. Lots of sprinters slow down at the end of their races and still set world records. OK, to be fair, neither of the two athletes under suspicion brought home any bling, and they deny using the banned drug.

News item: The University of Central Florida weekly conference call with football coach George O'Leary had to be rescheduled when reporters were accidentally given the telephone number of a phone sex service.

My take: And I'm thinking, of course, why can't this ever happen with The Fridge.

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

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