Each morning, Monday through Friday, I'll hook you up with reading material to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday -- that way I'll have an excuse to do the same at the start of mine.
Running it back:
The Orioles finally ended their seemingly interminable losing streak at Rogers Centre with a 4-3 win on Thursday afternoon, but they might have lost one of their most important players to injury. Starter Jeremy Guthrie, who pitched well before leaving the win over the Blue Jays, expects to see team physician Dr. John Wilckens Friday in Baltimore to have his upper back strain evaluated. ... Orioles designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero picked up his 2,500th career hit (his 2,501st may come as a pinch-hitter). ... Michael Phelps said there is no doubt he won't win eight gold medals in the London Olympics because he isn't competing in eight events.
Hitting the links:
1. Would you let Vladimir Guerrero play in the outfield this week to get his bat in the lineup? [Orioles Insider]
2. The lost art of patience [Schmuck Stops Here]
3. Checking in on the free agents who spurned the Orioles in the offseason [Orioles Buzz]
4. Another setback for Justin Duchscherer [Orioles Insider]
5. Nick Markakis by the numbers [Baltimore Sports Report]
6. Mike Preston: As NFL players and owners negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement, the Ravens wouldn't mind if they kept the old terms in regards to free agency [Baltimore Sun]
7. The Ravens need to improve their passing game to get over the hump [Sporting News]
8. Derrick Mason kind of defended Joe Flacco [ESPN]
9. Who will play cornerback for the Ravens? [CSN Baltimore]
10. The lockout will affect blitzing defenses [NBC Sports]
11. High school center Shaquille Cleare said the Terps are "No. 1 on my list" [Recruiting Report]
12. After three long years, Olaf Kolzig is back -- as the Capitals' new goalie coach [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
13. And here's Ollie's take on the Capitals' trio of young goalies [Capitals Insider]
14. Nicklas Backstrom said the Lightning had the Caps "fooled completely" in their second-round flame-out [Japers' Rink]
You said it:
"Hands down the greatest wire to wire season was Ray Lewis and the Ravens defence that led to a 2000 Super bowl. I can still see Ray running from the off side to run down and catch [Tiki] Barber at the far sideline for no gain. In his prime their was no one close to his passion, ability, and dominance." -- reader shoreraven131 gives his or her take on the greatest wire-to-wire performance by a player that he or she has ever seen
Video of the morning:
Another reason why Dirk Nowitzki winning was better than LeBron: Dirk butchering "We are the Champions"
Send me your funny and/or interesting links, photos, YouTube videos, blogs, Tweets, comments, emails, ideas, etc. If I deem them to be worthy for the blog, I'll give you a plug. You can reach me at Matt.Vensel@baltsun.com and twitter.com/mattvensel.