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:
After one of the worst outings of his career in a loss to the Cardinals, struggling starter Brian Matusz was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday night. ... After the game, Matusz was relatively upbeat about his demotion, saying he will use it for motivation. ... The Orioles will recall a reliever from the minors for Friday's game in Atlanta, and the most likely candidate is Double-A Bowie left-hander Pedro Viola. ... Three local sports talk show hosts -- Stan "The Fan" Charles, Jerry Coleman and Rob Long -- were without a home at radio station WVIE (1370 AM) as of Friday morning when the station started moving to a mainly network news/talk format.
Hitting the links:
1. Brian Matusz needs time to regroup [Schmuck Stops Here]
2. Matusz is going to be OK [Baseball Nation]
3. What are your thoughts on Matusz? [Orioles Insider]
4. Patience is not a virtue for Orioles hitters who frequently swing at pitches outside the strike zone [Baltimore Sun]
5. J.J. Hardy should be an All-Star -- at third base [ESPN]
6. Mark Reynolds has given us what we expected [Camden Depot]
7. Who was the best safety in the previous decade: Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu? [NFL.com]
8. Here are more details on Joe Flacco's wedding last weekend [Philadelphia Inquirer]
9. Terps alum Greivis Vasquez was bold [Testudo Times]
10. Maryland's ratings on "NCAA Football 2012" have been leaked [Testudo Times]
11. A look at where the Capitals stand entering NHL free agency, which begins Friday [Capitals Insider]
12. Why Semyon Varlamov chose the KHL [Puck Daddy]
13. George McPhee's moves need to pay off for the Capitals in the playoffs [Washington Times]
You said it:
"The worst moment in Ravens history was when teenagers who don't know a screen pass from a screen door took over the Internet and started posting inane and misinformed opinions about Ravens players, coaches and front office personnel between picking their zits and playing violent video games online with people they've never met." -- loyal reader Bernie19 thinks me having a sports blog is the worst moment in Ravens history -- and he apparently thinks I'm 16 years old
Video of the morning:
The Vancouver Canadians spoof a scene from "Major League" to sell tickets
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.