The Ravens' season hasn't even begun and Baltimore sports fans are having quite a time following their teams, facilities and a local hero.
Let's start with the Orioles, who have had consecutive American League Player of the Week award winners in shortstop Tim Beckham and third baseman Manny Machado.
Beckham has sparked the Orioles with 50 hits during August. His productive month lifted his batting average from the mid-.250s to nearly .300.
Machado, who also won the AL Player of the Month Award for August, has produced amazing numbers. Machado batted .341 (43-for-126) with 23 runs scored, six doubles, a triple, 12 home runs, 35 RBIs and three stolen bases over 29 games to claim his second career AL Player of the Month Award. The last time he won the award was April 2016.
Lightweight boxing champion Gervonta Davis had a pretty disastrous time in the limelight of Las Vegas, where the West Baltimore boxer competed in the chief undercard fight of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor boxing spectacle Aug. 26. Davis had hoped to defend his 130-pound International Boxing Federation championship belt. That was until he missed his weight by 2 full pounds. While still allowed to fight, Davis was stripped of the title and was unable to win it back -- even though he was victorious against his undermanned opponent, Francisco Fonseca.
That was bad enough, but then came Davis' entrance to the ring. He was wearing a -- as politely as I can describe it -- garish outfit, with a blue fur hoodie top to his robe. Once he removed the robe, he showed the same blue fur on his trunks.
Davis' performance was as close to disinterested as one could get. Ultimately, he won on a TKO, but it was hard to see that win as a feather in his robe with the blue fur hoodie.
Back home, the Baltimore Blast, who defeated Sonora to win the MASL championship in April, reached an agreement with Towson University to play their home games at SECU Arena.
The move on one level is curious, because capacity for the Blast's home games just went from around 14,000 per game to about 5,200 per game. While the Blast announced their average attendance per game was just more than 6,000, there probably is a bit of wiggle room with complimentary tickets.
This will now tickets to a Blast game one of the toughest in town and will immensely improve the game experience for their fans. This is not a knock on Royal Farms Arena or Frank Remesch, who runs the Arena and somehow, fiscally, always comes up roses.
Rather, this should serve as a final wake-up call that the current level of indoor facility Baltimore has is as bad as it gets. It would be nice to see Mayor Catherine Pugh somehow be able to have some creative discussions with Gov. Larry Hogan and top business leaders in our state to figure out how Baltimore can finally do what it seems all similar-size cities have figured out -- get one modernized facility to host sports and entertainment in a comfortable and artistically attractive environment.
For the past month, Morgan State University and Towson University have been trumpeting the renewal of their football rivalry. I know it's never going to be Michigan vs. Ohio State, but there is no reason the Battle for Greater Baltimore between the two Division 1A schools can't be a signature football game in Charm City. At the very least, it can match what City and Poly have been doing at the high school level for decades.
Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate with the ambitions of this rivalry renewal. More than 6,000 fans and the two team's bands sat in soggy, monsoon-like conditions to watch a passionate, defensive struggle, which Towson won, 10-0. The spirit was there to be tapped, if not for Mother Nature.
In the category of something I was sure wouldn't happen, head coach DJ Durkin took his 18.5-point underdog Maryland Terps down to Austin, Texas, and came away with a 51-41 win that may just be the momentum the perpetually optimistic Durkin needs to sell his program and turn Maryland football into something fans value
Did I mention the Ravens kick off their season Sept. 10? All in all, a pretty fascinating couple weeks in Baltimore.
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox