The seemingly light punishment Raven running back Ray Rice received from the NFL for knocking his wife out highlights what critics say is a flawed league disciplinary system. Players found to have used marijuana, for example, often get more than Rice's two-week suspension.
This Sunday, the group will join a dozen other current and former National Football League players — including Ravens' wide receiver Torrey Smith — at a four-day conference in Baltimore on getting started in consumer products sales. While the NFL has held "boot camps" on broadcasting and other topics, this is its first focusing on product pitches, and it's the first hosted by Baltimore.
Every morning, Monday through Friday, blogger Matt Vensel will hook you up with reading material -- mostly on the Ravens but with some other Baltimore sports stuff, too -- to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday.
We are into the nitty-gritty of the fantasy playoffs, so let's get down to business with injury updates, some waiver-wire pickups if you're desperate, and more. If your squad needs help, shoot me a note. And feel free to leave your horror story in the comments section if you have already been dismissed.
Fellow owners of Hakeem Nicks, I feel your pain. I can also relate to what you're going through if you own Greg Jennings, Reggie Wayne or even Anquan Boldin. Those fantasy maestros have been outscored by second fiddles this season with Victor Cruz leading the way.
The not-yet-official release of veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason opened the possibility of the Ravens making a play for one of the bigger-named wideouts on the free-agent market. Mason is in the twilight of his career, but his ego has shown no signs of decline. As we saw last season, there are only so many balls to go around, and when they aren¿t going to Mason's side of the field, he will freely voice his displeasure.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco appeared on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia on Monday afternoon, and he was asked about Ray Lewis' controversial comments about how an extended work stoppage would lead to an increase in crime in NFL cities. Flacco, rarely one to rock the boat, said "I hear what he's saying."
The Orioles got three solo home runs and five scoreless innings from starter Chris Jakubauskas to beat the Athletics, 4-0, on Tuesday night. ... Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, who hasn't played since May 16, has been shut down from baseball activities for at least two more weeks. ... The Orioles selected Vanderbilt third baseman Jason Esposito in the second round of the draft. ... Maryland men's lacrosse coach John Tillman has told athletic director Kevin Anderson he is staying at the school despite overtures from Navy about its coaching vacancy. ... Jordan Williams has a trim new body, a new position and an explanation on why he entered the NBA draft.
The Orioles ultimately landed the player they wanted with the fourth overall pick in Monday night's amateur draft, selecting right-hander Dylan Bundy form Owasso High in Oklahoma. ... Brian Matusz allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings and was backed by a flawless night from the bullpen in the Orioles' 4-2 win over the Athletics. After the game, Matusz said that he is not worried about his decreased velocity. ... Chris Jakubauskas will start Tuesday night's game against the Athletics at Camden Yards. ... Navy continues to be interested in Maryland men's lacrosse coach John Tillman. ... Baltimore native Josh Selby sat on the sidelines during predraft workouts for the Wizards.
Former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress was released from prison Monday morning after serving his 20-month sentence for handgun charges (for shooting himself in the leg at a New York City nightclub).
Vladimir Guerrero passed his physical Thursday and finalized his deal with the Orioles. To make room for Vlad, the Orioles put Alfredo Simon on the restricted list. ... The Maryland women picked up a big win over Duke. ... Tamir Goodman -- aka the "Jewish Jordan" -- was back in Baltimore on Thursday conducting a basketball clinic.
The Ravens will get another opportunity to overhaul their receiving corps this offseason, and former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, expected to get out of the slammer in June, will be one of the more intriguing options on the market. Burress hasn't played in an NFL game since he accidentally shot himself in the leg at a nightclub back in November 2008.
John Harbaugh told 105.7 The Fan on Wednesday that the Ravens are "going to win championships with Joe Flacco." ... Superman showed up in Sarasota (OK, fine, it was just Vlad Guerrero). ... Ravens outside linebacker Sergio Kindle is now working out four times a week. ... Hard-liners are derailing the NFL's CBA negotiations. ... One day after former Miami coach Randy Shannon declined an offer, Maryland promoted inside linebackers coach Todd Bradford to defensive coordinator. ... Alexander Semin scored a hat trick as the Capitals rallied to beat the Ducks, 7-6.