1. Hyun-soo Kim is a perfect fit for the Orioles.
There’s a new hon in town, and he also happens to be an Iron Man. The Orioles on Wednesday reportedly agreed to a two-year, $7-million contract with South Korean outfielder Hyun-soo Kim. The O’s hope the soon-to-be 28-year-old’s statistics from the Korea Baseball Organization —Kim is a career .318 hitter and had 28 home runs and 128 RBIs last year—translate to the major leagues. Projected as a leftfielder, he also played in 141 of the Doosan Bears’ 144 games a season ago, and has earned a Cal Ripken-like reputation for durability in a decade of pro ball. Some have even called him the Korean Iron Man. As first impressions go, this is pretty good.
Meanwhile, the object of much attention, slugger Chris Davis, remains on the free agent market, although Jimmy’s Famous Seafood pulled out all the stops to see that he re-joins the O’s sooner rather than later. The restaurant offered Crush, his kids (he has one daughter), and potential grandchildren free crab cakes for life as a reported seven-year, $150-million deal from the O’s was on the table as well. Where do we sign?
Dear @CrushD19, Please come back to the @Orioles. If you do, free #crabcakes for life. And ur kids. And their kids. pic.twitter.com/XHLr8Swa35
— Jimmy's Seafood (@JimmysSeafood) December 10, 2015
2. The Ravens QB carousel continues.
After the Ravens first blowout loss of the year, a 35-6 defeat to Seattle at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, John Harbaugh mentioned “next year” in his post-game press conference. By Monday, he told reporters some younger players would get more chances in the final three weeks of the season. With a 4-9 record, things are basically over. And on Tuesday, the team made a move with an eye to the future, signing free agent quarterback Ryan Mallett to a contract through the 2016 season.
Mallett, a one-time starter in Houston, was famously cut by the Texans earlier this season after missing a team charter flight to Miami. He had to fly commercial, and he also overslept for a team meeting previously. “The best thing probably was for me to be cut,” Mallett said Wednesday. “It was a piece of humble pie, but it digested real quickly.” Whether the 6-foot-6, 245-pounder learns the offense in time to play for the Ravens this season remains to be seen. Joe Flacco’s first backup, Matt Schaub, is slowly recovering from a chest injury and the Ravens seem to have settled on Jimmy Clausen for the rest of the way if needed.
Perhaps this is a good time to pause and appreciate Flacco some more. Maybe his durability alone in his first seven NFL seasons, and 10 games of his eighth, was worth the big contract. Hurry back.
Navy football supporters were a bit uneasy in Annapolis last week and early this week, as coach Ken Niumatalolo flirted with overtures from Brigham Young University about its open head coach position. Rumors of mutual interest between the sides percolated ahead of Saturday’s Army-Navy game. The Midshipmen took care of business against their rival, winning 21-17 in Philadelphia, to beat Army for the 14th straight time and improve to 10-2 this season. But Niumatalolo soon headed to Utah to meet with BYU officials, calling the opportunity “just different.” The winningest coach in Navy football history and a national coach of the year candidate is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns and operates Brigham Young. His son, Va’a, is a sophomore linebacker there, and his other son, Ali’i, would likely join him there if dad took the job.
But he didn’t. Navy announced Wednesday that night Niumatalolo was staying. “It was a long and agonizing two days, probably the hardest two days of my life, but the Naval Academy has been my life for the last 18 years and I love it here,” he said.
This will go down as one of the greatest videos of all time. Thank you for everything, Coach! @NAVYCoachKen pic.twitter.com/829qQ39cxL
— Connor Stalions (@CStalionsUofM) December 13, 2015
4. Steve Smith wants “healthy Achilles’” under the tree.
All I want for Christmas is a healthy Achilles’, a healthy Achilles’, a healthy Achilles’. So says injured Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, who flew in from Charlotte to join several Ravens at an 11th annual charity shopping spree on Monday night at a local Target store. He sure sounds like a guy who wants to come back and play next season. That would be a gift in itself.
5. Donald Trump gets a Ravens wig.
We hate to give the controversial presidential candidate any more attention, but a meme that attacks his hair and points out some of his terrible business decisions? We're on board. Yesterday, writer David Rappoccio at Uproxx redesigned every NFL logo to include Trump's likeness—or, in some cases, his bullish attitude. We have to say that the Ravens logo might be among the most accurate. He basically sports a bird atop his head anyway.