Baltimore Tumbles into the Bay: Ravens Win For Art & Earl

toe to toe

toe to toe

BALTIMORE, MD –  Only three more columns from Baltimore.  I’m retiring from Mattsville after the Super Bowl, and none to soon.  Charm City is crumbling fast, and I need to devote my energies to gathering supplies and strengthening the bunker.

The zombie apocalypse begins here, bitches.

The first omen came on Saturday morning when I awoke to headlines of Earl Weaver’s demise.  If anyone could come back from the grave and start eating human brains, it’s the Birds’ feisty former skipper.

Weaver is perhaps best remembered for flipping his hat backwards and going toe-to-toe with many an ump.  Yelling, kicking dirt, and tossing the occasional base were staples of his repertoire.  And he paid the price for it.  Not only was he ejected nearly a hundred times, but Hall of Fame voters made him wait a decade before admitting him into Coopertown’s hallowed halls.

It’s a shame, because when he retired the first time in 1982 (he had a brief return stint a few years later), it was with a career record of 1354-919.

That’s a .594 winning percentage for those of you keeping track at home.  It’s also the fourth best of all time, a notch ahead of the fabled John McGraw, and trailing only Joe McCarthy (.615) Billy Southworth (.598), and Frank Seley (.597).

But he did spend the better part of two years back at the helm just as the O’s were beginning to slide, and it brought his percentage down to .583, slipping behind McGraw and Al Lopez.

When men were men

When men were men

Still, .583 is sixth best ever, and the decade of waiting was yet another black mark on the herd of mad-cow stumblers who make these decisions.

Seriously.  Can you believe that some of these cretins left entire ballots blank this year as part of some misguided protest?  Anyone who did should lose voting privileges.

Anyway, Weaver eventually got in, though he was too old to scream at anyone by then, which is a real shame.  Talk about missed opportunities.

But if you want to know the real impact of Earl Weaver’s  nearly eighteen years patrolling the dugout at old Memorial Stadium, then put aside for a moment the gaudy winning percentage, the six division titles, the four pennants, the 1970 World Series championship, and the nearly 1,500 wins.

Instead, think about the Duke of Earl, as he was affectionately known down here, the next time you watch someone crank a three run homer.  Or, for that matter, the next time you wonder why no one other than senior circuit pitchers lays down bunts anymore.

Because it Earl Weaver who blazed the trail of ditching small ball for the big inning.  Even during the pitching dominant era of the late 1960s and 1970s, he committed to have his team put up the occasional crooked number instead of chipping away one run at a time.  And once the A.L. add the D.H. in 1973, he quickly eschewed small ball altogether, thumbed his nose to the purists, and patiently waited for his teams to rack up runs.

yer out

Kenny Powers’ “I’m F’in in, you’re F’in out?” Weaver invented it.

This, while running a club that featured Mark Belanger at shortstop, a lifetime .228 hitter who averaged all of 21 RBIs per season.

Now that’s commitment.

Anyway, ole’ Earl cashed it in on a team-sponsored Caribbean cruise barely 36 hours before the Ravens took the field in New England.

The Baltimoreans, they got each others’ backs, which will come in handy once the zombies bust out.  Ravens went up into Fuxboro and punched Tom Brady  in the face.  Punched Bill Belichick in the face.  Punched Wes Welker in the face.  Just about crippled Stevan Ridley.  And Dick of the Year Jim Harbaugh is next.

They’re doing it for Art.  They’re doing it for Earl.

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About the Author ()

Mattville's George Plimpton, The Public Professor, is indeed a real, honest-to-goodness, legitimate professor at a major Maryland university. But because he doesn't have a cell phone or cable, he's crazy enough to be with us. A member of Angry Ward's Urban Spur Posse, the terrorized Bronx graffiti artist's by correcting their grammar. His loves? The Yankees, Knicks, NY Rangers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He also has a real website: (
  • Baseball Lifer

    Baltimore is a 3rd world country. It’s scary. I’m anti gun everywhere but for Baltimore and Baghdad. Great tribute to Earl.

  • jgclancy

    After you retire where you gonna live on that MtM pension money…..I got a nice cardboard box to sell.
    Now I don’t even want to watch the Super Bowl but I will…sigh….
    Go Knicks!

    • Oh, I canny afford corrugated cardboard. Oak tag is more my price range. You got a second-hand second grade diorama you can sell me?

  • Nice tribute to Earl Weaver, Prof.

    I’d like to say that really, the Ravens/Pats game was such an abominable match up. I hated watching it and the only way i felt that game could be great was if Ray Lewis ran full speed into Tom Brady and they both exploded into a huge ball of fire. Alas.. no.

    And while some of the Tom Brady memes going around this morning are fantastic, it’s dulled by the fact that I am SURE whatever Ray Lewis said after the Ravens won was just enough of a stomach turner to negate it.

    Go ‘Niners.

    • Ray had a bizarro speech after the game, including: “No weapon formed against us shall prosper.” Classic.
      I’d rather chew off my own nuts than root for a Jim Harbaugh coached team.

      • The guy is an idiot. Listening to him speak is the next level of torture BEYOND water boarding. Someone call the CIA.

  • Professor, I used to be an Orioles fan and loved Weaver. Let’s not overlook the pitching staffs he had helping him to that sterling winning percentage. Jim Palmer was simply the best pitcher I ever saw…something like seven 20-win seasons in nine years.
    I thought I saw Stevan Ridley die on the field last night. Tom Brady is a p*ssy for leaving the field and not shaking hands like QB’s and Coaches ALWAYS do. Faggot!

    • And of course, who could forget Dave Cuellar who joined Palmer on the only staff to ever feature four 20 game winners.
      As for Brady, that entire team is hateable. I don’t like Shannon Sharpe, but he was right to call out Bellichick for not addressing the media, calling him a sore loser, and saying he “makes it easy to hate the Patriots.”

      • AngryWard

        Mike Cuellar. Sharpe was right about Belichick. Bush league move. The Pats should sign Bernard Pollard away from Baltimore for a ludicrous amount of money. That guy is a one-man New England wrecking crew. Unbelievable.

        • The Jets will sign Pollard and he’ll go nuts off the field and end up a bust. You heard it here first.

        • Thanks for the correcto on Cuellar.
          They sent out Devin McCourty to speak to the press. Other than thumbing his nose and the league and dodging a fine, was that his way of telling McCourty he’s in the dog house?

      • You had us at zombie apocalypse.

  • Johnny Rox

    Every Fan of Baseball knows who is/was great! We don’t need no EFFIN’ Hall of Shame to tell us!!!
    Earl Weaver was a Great Manager and a Fine Man!
    Kudos to You Prof, on Paying Tribute to him!

    The Sun is Shining!
    The Birds are Chirping!
    and THE PATS LOST!

    Life is GOOD!!!

    A back-up QB (adopted and of mixed race) taking his team to the big Dance is AWSOME!
    He is playing TRULY AMAZING!!!
    How do ya not love THAT Guy???

    However, I’m rooting for Ray Lewis and the Ravens!
    I’ve ALWAYS liked how Ray Lewis plays the game!
    Not just the show, but the actual play!
    He’s a Middle Linebacker (one of the greatest to ever play the game) and he tries to put the hurt on you EVERY TIME HE HITS YOU!!!
    He’s in on every play (even still at the end of his career) and he covers like very few Middle Linebackers do!
    Did he help Murder two guys?
    After reading all the facts, I don’t think so!
    Does it matter?
    Not to me!
    Is he a “nice guy”?
    Actually, I’ve had the pleasure of working with him and he’s VERY nice!

    Most likely everyone here already knows I don’t “Idolize” athletes!
    I admire there athletic skills and leave it at that!

    There’s only one Athlete I’ll EVER Idolize!
    Zero performance enhancing drugs!
    Nice to puppies and young children!
    Trains 364 days a year for over 55 years!!!

    My Dad


    • Roxy.. the guy’s white suit from the night of the murder went missing and he settled a civil lawsuit related to the case. He obstructed justice and in my eyes.. that’s just as bad as wielding the knife. Screw him.. and screw the Ravens. GO NINERS!

      As for your final point about the only athlete you’ll every idolize.. RIGHT ON, Roxy. Two thumbs up and a smooch from your Cookie.

      • Johnny Rox

        Try as they may, and my Parents DID try, I found myself “hanging” with the wrong crowd on several occasions as a youngster! A few times that decision resulted in me being left to defend myself with legal counsel. I learned the difference between fighting for what you believe in, and just plain fighting. I also learned the true definition of “Tough”.

        Following in my Sisters footsteps, I was a Pre-Law Major in College. While I didn’t continue with that Major, I do have a good understanding of our Justice System. I’m familiar with the Ray Lewis case you mentioned, having read up on it. The “White Suit” is “incriminating evidence” and, whether guilty or innocent, was going to be withheld/destroyed by ANY counsel he obtained! Some of the facts that the general public may or may not know:

        – The two who died both had criminal records
        – One of the two “friends” Ray Lewis was with, purchased a Knife two days before the incident.
        – While the altercation verbally started inside the club, it didn’t turn physical until outside the Club.
        – The action that turned the altercation from verbal to physical, was the throwing of a Moët bottle by the “Victims” party towards the Ray Lewis party.

        My Sister, who I previously mentioned, works for the NBA for over twenty years. I’ve had the privilege of “hanging” with MANY a player behind the velvet ropes. I’ve seen how the public acts around them, and quite frankly it disgusting! I’ve seen gorgeous Women, in beautiful evening gowns, in the Mens bathroom doing things I don’t need to repeat. I’ve seen way too many “tough guys” challenge athletes for whatever reason!

        I’m not looking to change anyone’s mind! Nor am I going to defend Ray Lewis the Man. I have my opinion about what probably went on that night. I’ve worked with MANY Famous people/Athletes, and make it a habit to not bad mouth people. I will say Ray Lewis was a gentleman.

        Ya boy,


    • DannyBax

      Colin K is no backup. He was just being groomed. The 49ers will now probably get a #1 pick for Alex Smith, who is better than half the teams qbs.

    • J Rox, my view on Ray Lewis isn’t a popular one either. I wouldn’t give up my friends facing a murder rap. No way in hell! He certainly has learned life lessons the same way he plays the game–the hard way. Lewis is a valuable resource to rookies and younger players as that needed voice who can get into their conscience. (I just hate the way Roger Goodell hugs him all the time.) Ray has matured, found G-d, and appears far removed from that night in question. I’ve come full-circle on this one as a guy who despised Lewis out of “The U”, to the crime, and shortly thereafter. I actually like the guy.

      • Johnny Rox

        Why am I not surprised that you “get it”???

        I’m not defending the Man’s character, or lack there of. I respect the work that goes into “trying” to be the best athlete you can! Say what you want about Ray Lewis the Man, but the Dude COMES TO PLAY!!! That’s who I want on MY Team!

        One day I’m gonna buy you that drink I owe you!
        Mark my words!!!


        • And I’ll let you!

          • Meet The Matts does not condone or encourage the promise of alcoholic beverages on the Internet. Thank you.

  • Grote2Dmax

    Is that Don Stanhouse enjoying a beverage with Earl?

    • AngryWard

      It certainly looks like him. Let’s not forget, Stanhouse is in my baseball hair hall of fame. Nothing like a smoke and a nice beer after the game.

    • I’m gonna take John Lowenstein as a close second.

  • The Ravs also won for OJ and Prop Joe, Prof!!

  • Ugh. That’s all we can say after you come up with another gem on your Retirement Tour. We think you and Earl retired too early – had he stayed longer and then retired, he’d have had a higher percentage… But enough about our sorrow. Let’s talk about our disgust… We could easily start with Brothers Grim – which is a softer way of saying Brothers Douche, we’re even more disgusted with one of the coaches in yesterday’s games: Mike Smith. This guy should have gotten fired before the 4th quarter started. Awful coaching. He blew a 20-0 lead last week and 17-0 lead this week – AT HOME! Retire this guy to the broadcast booth now… And don’t get us started on the Rangers. Oy vey.

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