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:
Matt Wieters, who has emerged as a leader for the Orioles, will make his All-Star Game debut on Tuesday night. Buck Showalter believes the experience will be good for his young catcher. ... Roy Halladay and Jered Weaver are the starters for the All-Star Game. ... Robinson Cano won the Home Run Derby on Monday night. ... Luke Scott and Justin Duchscherer were examined by Orioles team orthopedist John Wilckens. ... Gale Sayers said the NFL and its players could have done more for former Baltimore Colts tight end John Mackey, who passed away last week. ... Ray Rice got into a Twitter fight with Pittsburgh's Ryan Clark.
Hitting the links:
1. Cal Ripken's thoughts on Derek Jeter [New York Post]
2. Jeff Zrebiec's midseason Orioles report card [Baltimore Sun]
3. Matt Wieters talks about the pressure on prospects and the evolution of a catcher [CBS Sports]
4. Our media critic, David Zurawik, can't watch the Orioles on television any longer [Z on TV]
5. Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain is anxious to get back to hitting people [Philadelphia Inquirer]
6. The Ravens and the Steelers are reloading to maintain their division dominance [NFL.com]
7. Ed Reed feels "sluggish" [Ravens.com]
8. Veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason sticks up for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco again [Carroll County Times]
9. Besides Matt Stover, who were the best special teams players in Ravens history? [Ravens Insider]
10. Maryland stops the bleeding, expects football season ticket sales to increase [Testudo Times]
11. Are these Maryland's new football uniforms? [D.C. Sports Bog]
12. Tomas Vokoun is goalie No. 1 in D.C. [Washington Post]
13. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is one of the most exciting players of all-time [NHL.com]
You said it:
"That survey which you published that placed the Orioles as the 13th most popular team had me and several other old guys at works in hysterics. We literally had tears running down our cheeks. We deduced that the responders were mostly fans of the other teams in the AL East, especially the Yankees and the Red Sox." -- reader Gil Beckhardt, 65, of Mount Wolf, Pa., responds (via email) to my post about the Orioles being the 13th most popular team in Major League Baseball
Video of the morning:
Another fun soccer goalie mishap [via Deadspin]
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.