News item: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has reduced the suspension he levied on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger from six games to four, which means he'll make his regular-season debut against the Cleveland Browns two weeks after the Steelers host the Ravens on Oct. 3.
My take: Roethlisberger had hoped to convince Goodell to cut the suspension in half, but the commissioner apparently decided that the NFL has tormented Baltimore enough over the past three decades.
News item: The Orioles went 17-11 in August, their first winning month since 2008 and the first time they have had a winning August since 1997.
My take: Mea culpa time. I believe I was the one who said there would be no good purpose in turning the O's over to Buck Showalter before Sept. 1. Obviously, I should stick to a sport I know something about … like ping pong or pro wrestling.
News item: Navy will be favored by nearly a touchdown when the Midshipmen face Maryland in the "Crab Bowl Classic" on Monday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium.
My take: That's a pretty long spread, especially when you consider how much the rebuilding Terps need a victory in their opener to have any chance at a winning season. I'm going out on a limb and taking Maryland outright.
News item: In a simulation of the 2010 season using the Madden NFL 11 video game, the Ravens went 13-3 and tied the Indianapolis Colts for the best record in the AFC.
My take: Don't you get the feeling that there will come a day when they won't even bother to have the real games and you'll just be hooked up to a couple of tubes so you won't ever have to leave the basement.
News item: The Washington Nationals have relieved baseball analyst Rob Dibble of his duties after he criticized phenom Stephen Strasburg for not pitching through a sore elbow.
My take: Strasburg has since been diagnosed with a torn ligament that will require Tommy John surgery and Dibble has been diagnosed with one of the most severe cases of foot-in- mouth disease in the history of baseball broadcasting.
News item: Rookie pitcher Aroldis Chapman recorded his first major league victory on Wednesday night, overpowering three Milwaukee Brewer batters with a fastball that topped out at 103 mph on the radar gun.
My take: Apparently, this kid is the baseball version of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
My take: Let's see. Dusty Baker took an unheralded Cubs team to within a deflected foul ball of their first World Series since 1945 … right after taking the Giants to within nine outs of a world championship. Now this. Maybe it's time to give the guy some credit for being a pretty good manager.
News item: The Arizona Cardinals moved quarterback Derek Anderson to the top of their depth chart, leaving former first-round draft choice Matt Leinart in limbo.
My take: Well, at least he'll have that ballroom dancing class to fall back on when he hits the reality TV circuit.
News item: The Big Ten will split into two divisions next year, separating traditional rivals Michigan and Ohio State, but "The Game" will continue to be played on the last weekend of the regular season.
My take: I'm sure it's not an unintended consequence that this arrangement sets up the possibility of the Wolverines and Buckeyes playing in back-to-back games if they both qualify for the Big 10 title game.
Bonus take: I'm usually not so orthodox, but I think Congress needs to pass a law mandating that the college conferences must have the exact number of teams as advertised in their names. Today's college kids already have enough trouble with simple math.
News item: The Ravens closed out the preseason with a 27-21 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night. It was their first preseason loss since 2008 and it ended a seven-game preseason winning streak.
My take: On the brighter side, they're going to be the last team to lose to the Rams for a while.
News item: Controversial New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez reportedly has fired super agent Scott Boras.
My take: Now A-Rod has officially broken up with his wife, Derek Jeter and the guy who made him the highest-salaried athlete in the history of professional sports. I guess he just can't handle commitment.
Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon Fridays and Saturdays and with Brett Hollander on Tuesday and Thursday at six. Also, check out his blog "The Schmuck Stops Here" at http://www.baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog.