Coffee Companion for July 16, 2012

Each morning, Monday through Friday, we'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.

** The Ravens have until 4 p.m. today to reach a deal with Ray Rice. If no deal is reached, Rice will play this season under the $7.7 million franchise tag. Matt Vensel took a look this weekend at other contracts of top NFL running backs, and how Rice might stack up.


** The Orioles were baffled Sunday by Detroit's Justin Verlander in a 4-0 loss to the Tigers. Dan Connolly wants to know if the O's should be buyers at the MLB trade deadline.

** Rookie reliever Steve Johnson, a Baltimore native, lived out his dream yesterday by pitching for the Orioles. Kevin Cowherd writes about the St. Paul's graduate's major league debut. Johnson was sent down to Triple-A Norfolk after yesterday's game to make room for Monday starter Chris Tillman.


** After hitting a walk-off home run in the 13th inning Saturday in the Orioles' win over the Tigers, Taylor Teagarden uttered a celebratory expletive on live TV. The O's catcher discussed his national TV oops with Dan Connolly.

** Jason Hammel, the Orioles' best starting pitcher of the first half, will undergo surgery to remove cartilage in his right knee today and miss at least a month of the season.

** Ring Posts blogger Adam Testa says that last night's WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view was strong if unspectacular.

** Maryland guard targets Aaron and Andrew Harrison will lead their Houston Defenders AAU squad in an exhibition game tonight against Nike Baltimore Elite at Baltimore City Community College.

** Don Markus writes that the legacy of the Dream Team has cast a shadow over the 2012 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team.

Best of the local blogs

** Baltimore Beatdown continued its 2012 Ravens Players to Watch series with a look at Ray Rice.

** Baltimore Sports & Life conducted a Maryland basketball Q&A with Mike Miller of NBC Sports.


** Camden Depot looks back at the Orioles' 2012 draft from a financial perspective.

** Maryland Basketball: Where Are They Now? writes about former Terps Sarunas Jasikevicius and Ekene Ibekwe playing for Lithuania and Nigeria, respectively, in the 2012 Olympics.

** Testudo Times' Profiles in Terpage takes a look at offensive lineman Pete White.