News item: Top Orioles executive John Angelos put speculation to rest that the club might leave Baltimore when he said publicly Thursday that the team would be here “as long as Fort McHenry is standing watch over the Inner Harbor.”
My take: In a related development, rumors have surfaced that Fort McHenry is moving to Indianapolis.
News item: Brian Billick is set to be inducted into the Ravens Ring of Honor when the team hosts the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
My take: No jokes here. Billick took over a team that had losing records in its first three seasons in Baltimore and led it to a Super Bowl title in only his second season as head coach. This honor is richly deserved and too long in coming.
News item: Ravens kicker Justin Tucker tried a rare drop kick in the final minutes of Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Though the unusual kickoff ploy did not succeed in getting the ball back for the Ravens, new special teams coach Chris Horton would not rule out trying it again.
My take: Why not? Since the NFL all but killed the onside kick with the 2018 rule change that prevents the other members of the kicking team from getting a running start, the Ravens had nothing to lose. But they weren’t the first modern NFL team to attempt that. The New England Patriots tried to fool the Philadelphia Eagles with a drop kickoff in 2015 and — though the running start rule was not in effect yet — it didn’t work then either.
News item: Félix Hernández took his final bow at T-Mobile Park on Thursday, leaving to a huge ovation after 15 seasons in Seattle. He said he isn’t retiring, but after going 1-16 in his past 26 appearances dating to last season, it might be time to leave the stage.
My take: Great pitcher derailed by injuries. It was pretty obvious that the end was near when he got knocked around by the Orioles on Sept. 20 at Camden Yards.
News item: Running back Melvin Gordon was welcomed back by his Los Angeles Chargers teammates after an unsuccessful contract holdout that kept him out of the team’s first three games and likely will prevent him from playing against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
My take: Wonder how his teammates will feel if the 1-2 Chargers miss the playoffs this year by one game.
Bonus take: Pretty sure Gordon was thrilled to sign his $15 million rookie deal four years ago, but honoring a contract supposedly signed in good faith is so yesterday.
News item: The Texas Rangers deliberately misplayed a foul popup Thursday so pitcher Mike Minor could have another chance to record his 200th strikeout of the season, drawing criticism from Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora.
My take: Though I’m tired of hearing the Red Sox whine about stuff, it’s not like 200 strikeouts is some kind of important milestone. Minor was the 23rd major league pitcher to get his 200th this year.
News item: When former Oriole Jonathan Schoop hit his 23rd home run Thursday, the Minnesota Twins became the first team in major league history to hit 300 homers in a season.
My take: Of course, they broke the previous full-season home run record of 267 in August and three other teams have broken it since, including the New York Yankees, who set it last year.
Wild theory: I’m starting to think Major League Baseball is just bypassing the middle man and injecting the steroids right into the baseballs.
News item: The Dallas Cowboys released defensive end Taco Charlton on Sept. 18. The 2017 first-round draft choice quickly landed in Miami.
My take: The only thing surprising about this was there was no Taco Bell promotional giveaway attached to the move. Maybe he should have changed his name to Chalupa.