Ravens win and crush the Mannequin Challenge.
Judging from the second half of the game against the Cleveland Browns last night, it appears the Ravens finally have their mojo back. Sure, it was the Browns (0-10) and we were a bit slow to start, but the team had an absolutely explosive second half. Thanks to a hurry-up offense, the surge was bookended by Joe Flacco's 20-yard completion to Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman's touchdown catch. In just 18 minutes and 20 seconds, Flacco threw for three touchdowns (mind-blowing considering he has had only one TD pass in the three previous games), resulting in a Ravens 28-7 victory over the Browns on primetime television.
Besides game play, you could really tell the Ravens were fired up when various players celebrated with the Mannequin Challenge (a "dance" craze started by a Twitter video where everyone freezes in place.) Flacco and Kyle Juszczyk paused a high five in mid-air, the defense stood completely still in the end zone, and even the Ravens marching band halted while playing music.
The Orioles were robbed of Gold Gloves, Cy Young nod.
There were clearly a lot of surprises this week and, while this one seems minor in the grand scheme of things, Orioles fans were shocked with the news. For the first time since 2010, no Orioles were awarded with Gold Glove awards. This is especially jarring since third baseman Manny Machado had the highest fielding percentage and the second-fewest errors at his position. The decision not to award Chris Davis, who we saw make some impressive catches at first base this year, is a bit more understandable considering his 10 errors to winner Mitch Moreland's two.
But the real crime is that closer Zach Britton wasn't even named a finalist for the Cy Young Award, when he didn't blow a save all year. Granted, relievers don't normally factor in, but his 2016 season was exemplary with a perfect 47-for-47 in save opportunities, a league-leading 0.54 ERA for pitchers who have worked at least 50 innings, and a span of 43 appearances without a single home run (from April 30 to August 24). Needless to say, manager Buck Showalter is not pleased.
"That's a real poor reflection on the people who are evaluating him," the skipper told MASN. "This guy had maybe the best year in the history of relief pitching. He should have finished in the top three in MVP, OK? He should. There’s nobody in baseball who’s more valuable to their team than Zach Britton is to the Orioles." Preach!
One possibly silver lining? Quite literally, Mark Trumbo received the 2016 Silver Slugger Award for one of three American League (AL) outfield positions, the first Oriole outfielder to win the award since 2013. And, possibly best of all, Showalter was once again named a finalist for AL Manager of the Year with some stiff competition in the Indians' Terry Francona. The winner will be announced next Tuesday, November 15, but we all know who gets our vote.
Orioles don't make QO to catcher Matt Wieters.
Fan favorite and hometown boy Matt Wieters may not be wearing an Orioles uniform next year. While the team made a qualifying offer to Trumbo, they passed on the chance to extend the $17.2M, single-season offer to Wieters this time around. The catcher struggled a bit this past season with a .243 average and fell well shy of the above-average offensive number he has posted in prior years. Though he was an All Star, hit 17 home runs, and had solid fielding, the team likely wasn't willing to pay big bucks based on his age, offensive production, and future injury risk. But Wieters, now a free agent, should have his fair share of suitors.
As far as the Orioles, they may not have to look very far for a replacement since Chance Sisco was named as the best position player in the club's minor league system by Baseball America. The 22-year-old spent most of the season at AA Bowie before a promotion to AAA Norfolk, hitting for a combined .317 with six homers, 28 doubles, and 51 RBIs.
Tatyana McFadden wins fourth-consecutive New York City marathon.
We've got a real-life Superwoman in Clarksville native Tatyana McFadden. After a stunning performance at the Olympics in Rio, the Paralympic athlete returned to the states to dominate at the New York City marathon on Sunday. It is her fourth-consecutive title, finishing the wheelchair race in one hour, 47 minutes and 43 seconds. Not to mention that she completed the Grand Slam by winning in London, Boston, Chicago, and New York. The New York Times beautifully recounted McFadden's multi-burough race, in which she thrived on the uphill climb of the Queensboro Bridge and stayed focus throughout:
McFadden pushed well ahead of the field at the start, before Schär, Amanda McGrory and Susannah Scaroni caught up by Mile 6 in Brooklyn. The pack stayed tight until the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. Koch, a former New York mayor, had a trademark line — “How’m I doin’?” — and McFadden had an answer. Just fine. She even loves the crosswind. Makes it even tougher. Here she continued to pass the elite male wheelchair racers, including her coach, Adam Bleakney, a four-time Paralympian. What did he say to his star racer? “Not a word,” Bleakney said. “She was going too fast.”