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Schmuck’s takes on the Ravens’ preseason winning streak, the juiced baseball and more

News item: When the Ravens defeated the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night, it was their 15th consecutive preseason victory. They haven't lost a meaningless game since 2015.

My take: If there is a record kept for this sort of thing, I couldn’t find it, but it’s certainly consistent with John Harbaugh’s competition-based approach to every aspect of his football operation.

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Bonus take: It’s also consistent with the Ravens’ new “Animal House”-inspired 2019 slogan: “Winning is good.”

News item: Since early labor negotiations haven’t been going particularly well, NFL players are bracing for the possibility of a lockout after the 2020 season.

My take: This is just a case of the union telling players to be more prudent with their money, which is a good idea regardless of the labor situation in a sport where the career of the average player is 3.3 years. The likelihood of the NFL doing anything so damaging is pretty slim, considering the image hits the league has been taking for the past few years.

News item: The Minnesota Twins are on pace to hit 316 home runs this season, which would shatter MLB’s single season record by a whopping 49 homers. The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros also are on pace to break the record of 267 homers set by the Yankees last year.

My take: Since Major League Baseball continues to insist no one has intentionally manipulated the manufacture of the baseballs, there is only one other possible explanation. All three American League teams on that list have played at least six games against the Orioles this year.

Related news item: Mike Trout and Cody Bellinger both hit their league-leading 40th home runs Thursday night and each is on pace to hit 53 this year.

My take: It’s probably just the thin air in Southern California, where the average elevation in Los Angeles and Anaheim is almost 160 feet.

News item: The NFL has just announced a partnership with Jay-Z’s company, Roc Nation, to help the league do a better job of addressing and advancing social justice issues.

My take: Don’t know why this is so controversial. If Beyoncé is included in this deal, it’s the greatest free-agent signing in the history of professional sports.

News item: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott reportedly has turned down the team’s offer of a contract extension worth $30 million per year.

My take: Apparently, heading into the final year of his rookie contract, Prescott is taking a page out of the Joe Flacco playbook and betting on himself.

Bonus take: That’s a pretty big bet, especially at a time when the NFLPA is advising players to stop eating in restaurants so much because there might be a lockout looming.

News item: Injured Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton is getting closer to returning to action after missing almost all of the season with a series of injuries.

My take: Got to feel good for the Yankees, of course, because they clearly do not have enough players who can hit the ball 440 feet.

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Bonus take: Orioles fans, however, will have to wait until Opening Day next year to see Stanton to go opposite field and break a fourth-floor window at the Warehouse.

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