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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens are facing the Cleveland Browns in arguably the most irrelevant nationally-televised game in franchise history.Perhaps ESPN Monday Night Football broadcaster Mike Tirico said it best last week when he asked analyst Jon Gruden if he loved football and followed that by saying, “We’ll test you and see how much all of you love it out there.” Not only are these AFC North foes playing out the string with their playoff hopes having already been dashed weeks ago, but the Ravens will be competing in their first-ever contest without any of Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, or Joe Flacco, who are arguably the five most significant players in their 20 years in Baltimore.But ask head coach John Harbaugh if he cares about the outside perception of his injury-depleted team and of Monday night’s game between two of the worst teams in the AFC.“We want to go win a football game. It’s a fight out there,” Harbaugh said on Saturday. “We’re not sitting there saying, ‘Oh, I wonder what everybody thinks about me.’ I’m not worried about [that]. We’re not in seventh grade here. ‘I wonder what they think of me. What are they texting about us? What does Snapchat say?’“We don’t care what they think. We’re going to go out there and be our best, do our best and try to accomplish everything we can accomplish.”It’s the right attitude for the Ravens to have as there’s no such thing as tanking the remainder of the season with a slew of players — and, frankly, several coaches — fighting for jobs in 2016 and beyond. But when your current starting offense — aside from four-time Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda — more closely resembles one for a fourth preseason game, there’s no hiding from the truth.Wins and losses do not matter as it relates to the context of the 2015 season. The end result only affects where the Ravens might pick in next April’s draft as the organization is in desperate need of impact talent. In that way, they’re better off losing as many of their final six games as possible.And if we’re being honest, the Ravens aren’t equipped to win with what remains of the original 2015 roster — no matter how hard they try. The loss of Flacco was the final straw in that regard.That’s why it’s important for the organization to get an extended look at younger players the rest of the way. The list is headlined by rookie running back Buck Allen, who will be making his first NFL start after veteran Justin Forsett suffered a season-ending arm injury last week.“We’re excited to put the ball in Buck’s hands and see what he can do and give our other guys an opportunity to play, and that’s the nature of our league,” offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said. “The next guy has to be ready to help us. It can happen during the course of the game — which it did — and it happens week to week. That’s an expectation that we have that they’ll play well for us.”Regardless of how many games they win or lose the rest of the way, the Ravens would love to see Allen look the part of a starting running back for the future after selecting him in the fourth round this past spring. Learning more about other little-used players such as safety Terrence Brooks, defensive end Brent Urban, and the forgotten 2013 second-round linebacker Arthur Brown could go a long way in trying to revamp the roster in the offseason in hopes of once again being a playoff contender next season.Harbaugh won’t say it publicly, but identifying pieces for the future and making decisions about dead weight on the roster must be the top priority. Other than determining whether he can play at a level warranting a return to back up Flacco next season, it’s just not compelling to see how Matt Schaub — or any number of other known commodities — will fare against the Browns in front of a national audience.It’s an unfamiliar place in which the Ravens find themselves, but all eyes need to be on the future for the final six games of a nightmare season. They’ll show up and play to the best of their ability, but these Ravens are firmly in evaluation mode.Any other thinking would be shortsighted.“Everything you do you have to be thinking about the short term and the long term, so we try to do both,” Harbaugh said earlier this week. “Definitely from a coaching perspective, your focus is most certainly on the short term — and your players and your coaches — and getting ready for the next game. But there is an awareness of the long term, for sure.”The long term is the only intrigue remaining in a lost season that — unfortunately — will be on display for the football world to see on Monday night.
With as many pitching moves Baltimore has made this year, fans should not be surprised if Eades makes his Orioles debut sooner than later. Earlier this afternoon, the team claimed 27-year-old RHP Ryan Eades off waivers from the Minnesota Twins and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk. (Baltimore Orioles) To open a spot on the 40-man roster, the Orioles have designated RHP Jimmy Yacabonis for assignment. Eades is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.1 WAR for his carrer due to his short appearances in the majors, but he will most likely join an Orioles bullpen that desperately needs help. Eades has appeared in just two games in his career, both were this year the the American League Central powerhouse Twins. Eades tossed 3.2 scoreless innings of four-hit ball, striking out five and walking two. Yacabonis is having a rough 2019 season, holding a 1-2 record, with an ERA of 6.80 in 29 games with the Orioles this year. A Slidell, Lousiana native, Eades was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 19th round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Northshore HS and the Minnesota Twins in the 2nd round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Louisiana State University. The Baltimore Orioles have made another pitching change, but this time ftom a waiver claim. Welcome to Birdland, Ryan!Please follow and like us:
SALT LAKE CITY — Anyone who has been paying only casual attention to the Utah basketball team this year is probably asking the question, “Where has this J.J. O’Brien been all year?”O’Brien was a revelation Wednesday night in the Utes’ 82-72 victory over New Mexico, as he scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, had a pair of assists and a steal in 33 minutes of action.The answer to the aforementioned question is, “sitting on the bench,” although it wasn’t because his coach didn’t think O’Brien was any good. The freshman from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., had to sit out six weeks with a stress fracture in his foot and watch in frustration as the Utes struggled in the early part of the season.But now he’s back and don’t blame coach Jim Boylen if he says, “I told you so.””I’ve been preaching that I thought J.J. O’Brien could be special, and I tried to be humble about it,” Boylen said. “But I thought he could be a really special player. I’m thankful he’s healthy, because he’s a difference-maker for us.”O’Brien showed that from the opening tip as he made Utah’s first two baskets on drives to the rim.”I was just trying to be aggressive,” he said. “Driving the ball is a strong suit of mine, so that’s what I was trying to do.”Later he scored on a spin move inside, scored on a couple of follow shots off rebounds and also sank his first 3-pointer of the season.O’Brien has gradually been working his way back and showed a glimpse of what he could do with a 13-point, 11-rebound performance in a loss to BYU last week. He said he feels more comfortable every game after having to sit out for most of the season because he was injured after the first game.”It was very frustrating being out,” he said. “Coming in and starting right away I had expectations from the fans. Being out was a big setback, and I tried to see the game from a different perspective sitting on the sidelines.”But I always knew my opportunity would come — rebounding, playing defense, stuff like that and showing my versatility. Coach Boylen has been talking about that third scorer. I’ve been working hard to help my team and today it was me.”After scoring the first two Utah baskets of the game, O’Brien scored 10 points in the first half when Utah took a 45-31 lead. Early in the second half, he sank a 3-pointer from the right angle, then made a three-point play inside.Then, after scoring his 18th point with 7:20 left, he created a Lobo turnover by forcing a jumpball under the New Mexico basket.The 6-foot-7 O’Brien played guard in high school and even played point guard this past summer, according to Boylen. With Utah being thin inside with Jay Watkins out for the year, O’Brien gives the Utes needed inside help along with his guard skills.”He has versatility with that big body and ability to handle the ball,” Boylen said. “He’s a physical presence for an 18-year-old freshman with a high basketball I.Q. That’s where he’s really special. He’s a special, versatile guy.”e-mail: email@example.com U. tames Lobos for consecutive wins Related
FILE – In this Monday, April 25, 2016, file photo, USA Today, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers are displayed at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, in Chicago. A little more than half of American adults regularly pay for news, through newspaper and magazine subscriptions, apps on electronic devices or contributions to public media, according to the Media Insight Project released Tuesday, May 2, 2017, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File) NEW YORK | A battered news industry can find some flickers of hope in a survey that gauges public willingness to pay for journalism, as long as its leaders plan judiciously.A little more than half of American adults regularly pay for news, through newspaper and magazine subscriptions, apps on electronic devices or contributions to public media, according to the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.It’s not only greybeards, either. Although they’re less likely than their parents’ generation to subscribe, close to 4 in 10 people under age 35 also pay. Younger people are also more likely to express a desire to support a news organization’s mission as a reason for subscribing, the project’s study found. On the other hand, young adults who don’t pay for news are especially likely to say they’re just not very interested in the content that’s for sale.“We sense a shift,” said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute. “There’s this perception that people don’t want to pay for news, especially young people, because they can get things from social media … We found that’s not true.”A quarter of people who confess to regularly tapping a news source for free said they’d be at least moderately likely to pay for the information if they had to pay.Chicago resident John Ashford subscribes to a handful of news organizations online, partly because of the work’s importance. He said the truth behind a police shooting near where he lived likely would have remained hidden if not for reporters digging in to the story.“People don’t have the time and the money to investigate what is going on,” he said. “You have to have somebody to do it.”Nearly one in five Americans donate money to at least one nonprofit media source, such as public television or radio, or a digital news site such as ProPublica, the study found.The New York Times saw slow and steady growth in its digital subscriptions from 406,000 at the end of 2011 to 1.09 million at the end of 2015. During 2016, the number of subscriptions shot up to 1.85 million, the Times said, a spurt contrary to President Trump’s assertion that the Times is “failing.”Even before the postelection controversy over fake news, the Times found new subscribers who were concerned about the reliability of some stories they saw online and “they understood that you get what you pay for,” said David Rubin, senior vice president and head of brand for the newspaper.Rather than simply tout what a subscriber would receive, the Times is running an advertising campaign that focuses on the news organization’s mission and the importance of journalism, including one that shows the dangers faced by a photojournalist covering the conflict between Iraqi forces and the Islamic State.The newspaper also recognizes the importance of building a relationship with subscribers, instead of simply making sure an article is seen by as many eyeballs as possible, Rubin said.Three-quarters of newspaper subscribers say they primarily read the product in print, while 21 percent said they see it online, the study found. News executives can’t afford to focus on one type of consumer at the expense of another, Rosenstiel said.The biggest reason people choose to subscribe is because they believe a news organization excels at covering issues they care about. Executives looking to cut costs need to consider the importance subscribers place in quality, he said.“Spreading the pain equally so you get a little worse at everything is probably a bad strategy,” he said. “You’ve got to be more surgical.”The poll of 2,199 adults was conducted Feb. 16 through March 20 with funding from the American Press Institute. It used a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.Follow David Bauder on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/dbauderOnline:Media Insight Project: https://mediainsight.org/