Now that the Ravens signed Haloti Ngata to a five-year, $61 million deal, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice could be next. ... On Wednesday, Matt Birk, Terrence Cody and Cory Redding were the latest Ravens to sit out practice. ... Caught between the need to rest his ailing ankle and his desire to play, Lee Evans may err on the side of caution Sunday. ... Michael Oher vowed to eliminate false starts. ... David Reed hopes to avoid surgery. ... Those spoiling O's beat the Red Sox again. ... 1st Mariner Arena officials are optimistic that they can prevent the ice issues from the Baltimore Hockey Classic if the Capitals choose to return in 2012.
The Capitals have started to retool their roster after another early playoff exit. They have re-signed center Brooks Laich, traded for power forward Troy Brouwer and added a few draft picks to their minor-league system. Expect more changes -- perhaps more significant ones -- after owner Ted Leonsis said the Capitals "want to change and improve" this offseason. He also suggested that some trades could be in the works.
Tuesday's game in Boston was rained out, so Orioles rookie pitcher Zach Britton will get the start at Camden Yards Wednesday against the Yankees. ... First baseman Derrek Lee and shortstop Cesar Izturis are likely headed to the disabled list. ... Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon will go to trial, a judge has ruled, according to an Associated Press report. Meanwhile, Simon is nearing a return to the team. ... Mark Turgeon finalized his coaching staff and got more good news when Nick Faust reaffirmed his commitment to the Terps. ... Despite the rain, Animal Kingdom had another strong workout, perhaps his most focused since arriving in Maryland.
Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie was pleased with his command in Sunday's 3-0 loss to Twins despite allowing two runs in three innings. ... Orioles first baseman Derrek Lee hit soft toss Sunday, but he won't get into his first Grapefruit League game until Wednesday at the earliest. ... Natty Boh will be sold on draft this season at Camden Yards. ... The Maryland men's basketball team has drawn the seventh seed in the ACC tourney and will face N.C. State on Thursday. ... Alexander Semin scored 28 seconds into overtime Sunday as the Capitals beat the Panthers.
The Capitals have had trouble cashing in this season, but playing five Washington forwards paid off for Jimmy Smith, a Capitals fan from Alexandria, Va. Smith won the Virginia Lottery's Cash 5 game last month with the lucky combination of 8-19-21-22-28, the numbers of Capitals' top five point-getters.
Ravens linebacker Sergio Kindle is looking to get cleared for contact over the next couple of weeks.. ... Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon could be released from a Dominican prison soon. ... With these Orioles, parking behind the outfield fence is a bad idea. ... Carmelo Anthony is a different player and person as he returns to New York.
Expect the Capitals, who trail the Lightning by five points in the Southeast Division, to be players before the NHL's trade deadline on Feb. 28. As it's currently constituted, this team doesn't appear to be capable of going on a deep playoff run (though nothing should be discounted as long as Alex Ovechkin is still in the scarlet and white).
The pre-Super Bowl showdown between the Capitals and the Penguins was significantly lacking sizzle with Pittsburgh stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin out of the lineup. But that doesn't mean the Capitals' 3-0 win on Sunday wasn't impressive.