Bo Jackson is in White Sox camp today. Adam Dunn is quite the admirer of Bo’s. So much so that he broke his lifelong streak of literacy avoidance in order to learn more about the guy: Adam Dunn said the only book he has ever read is “Bo Knows Bo.” — Dan Hayes (@DanHayesCSN) March…
Apparently, it will take more for Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan to impress Hall of Fame defensive lineman Warren Sapp.
Jernigan has changed his number this year from 97 to 99 in tribute to Sapp, who wore that number. But when the Ravens tweeted about it last night, Sapp replied in objection.
“I always grew up watching Warren Sapp,” Jernigan told reporters Thursday after OTA practice (but before Sapp's retort). “I definitely wanted to model my game after him.”
Maybe it’s a rivalry thing for the older player. Sapp went to the University of Miami, while Jernigan went to Florida St.
Whatever the case, Jernigan feels ready to make a major leap in his game. His body looked more chiseled than last year Thursday, the result of weight lifting and running stadium steps in the hot Florida sun at Columbia High School in Lake City, Fla., Jernigan’s hometown.
“I’ve been doing a lot of stuff that kind of got me here,” Jernigan said. “This offseason I started doing a little bit more power cleans, the Olympic lifts, and getting back to running stadiums and stuff like that when I go home in that 100 degree Florida weather. I like to get out there when it’s hotter than hot so days like this don’t really bother me.”
Jernigan has shown flashes of the big-play ability he had in college, with four sacks in each of his first two seasons with the Ravens, after being a second-round pick in 2014. But for Jernigan to reach another level, he will have to show more consistency, durability, and stamina.
Making the Pro Bowl is one of Jernigan’s goals. But a bigger goal is helping the Ravens return to the playoffs.
“Every day we walk through those doors we’re thinking about, ‘Man, we went 5-11 last year,’’’ Jernigan said. “When I want to take a break, that’s what I think about. It’s not acceptable. The players don’t accept it. The coaches don’t accept it. Nobody in this organization does, so it’s definitely on our mind every day.”
Jernigan believes this is the year for his game to break out.
“Just have to become that force that I was drafted to be,” Jernigan said.
That is Jernigan’s mindset. Regardless of what Sapp thinks.
Now that the World Championships are over and Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov and Andre Burakovsky have returned to their offseason homes, Capitals players will refrain from playing meaningful hockey until mid-September when the 2016 World Cup of Hockey gets under way in Toronto.
Just before the tournament, Verizon Center will host a pair of exhibition games featuring four of the World Cup teams. Tickets went on sale Thursday and are available as a two-event package featuring Team USA vs. Team Finland on Tuesday, Sept. 13, and Team Sweden vs. Team Europe on Wednesday, Sept. 14. Both games will begin at 7 p.m.
The four teams will also practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington from Sept. 12-15. Tickets for the games are available online only on WashingtonCaps.com and Ticketmaster.com.
Nicklas Backstrom (Sweden), T.J. Oshie, John Carlson (USA), Braden Holtby (Canada), Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Orlov (Russia) were selected in the preliminary round to represent their countries in the World Cup. Other Capitals, like defensemen Karl Alzner and Matt Niskanen, could be added to rosters. Capitals head coach Barry Trotz will also serve as an assistant coach for Team Canada.
The World Cup features teams from Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Team Europe, Team North America and the United States and runs from Sept. 17 through Oct. 1.
Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said he’s already had “a couple discussions” with his coaching staff about how the team would like to integrate their stars into training camp and the preseason.
“We’ve got a lot of guys there that will be playing some intense hockey at a high level early,” MacLellan told NHL Radio Network. “How we incorporate them into the season and get them some rest and get them mentally focused for the start of the regular season might be difficult.
“It depends on how the tournament plays itself out and how intense and emotional it ends up being. We’re trying to figure out ways we can give these guys rest and get them best prepared for the season.”
Because of the World Cup, all 30 NHL teams will have a five-day bye-week built into their 2016-17 schedules. The bye weeks will be scheduled sometime during the months of January or February and players will not have to report for practice until after 4 p.m. on the fifth day of that break (if they have a game on the sixth day). If the players don't have a game on the sixth day, they would have the entire fifth day off.
Astros 4, Orioles 2
Winner: McCullers (1-1)
Loser: Gausman (0-2)
Save: Giles (1)
WHAT WENT WRONG: Kevin Gausman equaled his career high by allowing three home runs, two to George Springer and a two-run shot by Luis Valbuena.
The last time he allowed three homers was on May 28, 2013, his second major league start, against the Nationals.
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Rookie Ashur Tolliver, who had been in the Orioles minor league system since 2009, made his major league debut with 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
STREAKING THE WRONG WAY: The Orioles have lost four straight games for the first time this season.
LATE OFFENSE: The Orioles had just two hits came in the first eight innings, a home run by Mark Trumbo in the second, and Hyun Soo Kim’s single in the sixth.
In the ninth, Kim singled and came home on a long single by Manny Machado.
STRIKING OUT, STRIKING OUT: The Orioles struck out 15 times, enabling Houston pitchers to set a major league record with 52 in the three-game series.
LEAVING THEM ON: Lance McCullers walked the bases loaded in the fifth, but Matt Wieters struck out to end the inning.
OOPS: Machado made his third error in two games.
GOODBYE VALBUENA: The Orioles will be happy to say goodbye to Luis Valbuena, who homered in all three games against the Orioles. He has seven lifetime home runs (against Baltimore.
UP NEXT: Mike Wright (2-3, 4.97) faces Trevor Bauer (3-2, 4.31) as the Orioles begin a three-game series in Cleveland on Friday night.