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 beat yesterday's 4 p.m. deadline and signed Ray Rice to a five-year, $40 million extension. If the two sides didn't agree to a deal, Rice would have played the 2012 season under a $7.7 million franchise tag. Rice's new deal makes him one of the top-five highest-paid running backs in the NFL.


** Chris Tillman lasted just 2/3 of an inning in the Orioles' 19-7 loss to the Minnesota Twins last night. With the O's in critical need of pitching development, Eduardo Encina wonders if different philosophies can co-exist. Zach Britton, meanwhile, is confident as he prepares for his first MLB start of 2012 tonight. And Robert Andino will miss 3-to-4 weeks with a shoulder strain.

** At his annual camp at Stevenson, Ravens safety Ed Reed focused on the kids and avoided NFL questions.

** The Harrison twins, Aaron and Andrew, dazzled Terps fans at Baltimore City Community College last night in the Houston Defenders' win over Nike Baltimore Elite. Kevin Richardson provided video coverage of the game.

** Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson denied a report in the San Francisco Chronicle that he was leaving College Park to become Stanford's AD.

** Don Markus was on hand for Team USA's 80-69 win over Brazil at the Verizon Center last night.

** Ring Posts blogger Adam Testa wrote about the momentum WWE is building for next week's 1,000th episode of Raw. Arda Ocal conducted a video interview with Road Warrior Animal.

Best of the local blogs

** Baltimore Beatdown says that Bernard Pierce is in the perfect situation now that Ray Rice has signed his deal.

** Baltimore Sports Report put together its "Ultimate Orioles Dream Team" since 2002.

** Camden Chat checked in with its "Birds Up, O's Down" feature for Week 15 of the MLB sesaon.

** Testudo Times writes that Maryland was "oh so close" to seeing Kevin Anderson leave for Stanford.

** Turtle Droppings began a series of Maryland football opponent previews with a look at Virginia.

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