Maryland workers and officials are bracing for a potentially debilitating federal government shutdown that could have an outsize impact here because of the state’s proximity to Washington, D.C.As much as 160,000 federal workers based in Maryland are at risk of furlough or working without pay starting Sunday if members of Congress fail to reach a full or partial spending agreement in the coming days.AdvertisementThough a bipartisan plan was advancing in the Senate, House Republicans were continuing Friday to split over disagreements around budget cuts, funding for Ukraine and border security funding, increasing the likelihood of a shutdown.“I pray that everyone gets through this shutdown, or that it just won’t happen,” said Leslie Clark, a Landover resident who works a contracting job cleaning the FBI field office in Washington.AdvertisementClark, 53, said she supports her two adult children and already struggles to pay her mortgage, food costs and Type 2 diabetes medications. Days before a shutdown would go into effect, she said she had no idea if she might be asked to stop going into work or continue to work without pay.“I’m trying to keep my head above water,” she said.According to Maryland Comptroller Brooke Lierman’s office, which handles tax collection, about 352,000 households in the state directly benefited from either wages or pension income from the federal government in the 2021 tax year. That represented $31 billion in income, or 10.5% of all income earned in Maryland.The 152,000 federal jobs in Maryland during that year represented 4.1% of all jobs — about three times more than the national average, and more than the 3.5% in neighboring Virginia, the comptroller’s office said. As of last month, the estimate for those jobs in Maryland had grown to 160,000, representing more than 5% of all jobs, according to seasonally adjusted employment statistics through the Maryland Department of Labor.Thousands of additional workers are contractors who do not work directly for the government but who could be impacted by a full or partial shutdown. Those workers are not guaranteed back-pay after a deal is reached, unlike direct employees who would be slated to receive delayed payments because of a law passed following the 35-day government shutdown that ended in January 2019.Jaime Contreras, executive vice president of the SEIU 32BJ, said his union represents 2,400 federally contracted janitors and security officers who wouldn’t be able to count on back-pay during a shutdown that at this point appears inevitable.He said more than 1,000 of the union’s members were impacted in the 2018-19 shutdown and that number is likely to include more, if not all, workers this time because more agencies have not been funded.“Denying pay to these workers who already live paycheck to paycheck during a government shutdown, it’s just catastrophic, even life threatening for people who are sole providers in their families,” Contreras said. “In the pandemic they were treated as essential workers and we should treat them as such during the shutdown.”AdvertisementDepending on the agency and the funding sources, it varies by department whether workers will continue unaffected with pay, if they will be furloughed or asked to work without pay. Contingency plans for each executive agency have been prepared and published.Services like Social Security and the Postal Service are deemed essential and will continue while others like national parks will shutter. Air travel could also include delays as air traffic controllers and transportation security officers would not be paid, which led to staffing shortages during the last shutdown.“They keep these programs going, like Social Security, so the public doesn’t notice, but the human toll — there’s no measure,” said Anita Autrey, who leads the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1923 that represents roughly 30,000 federal employees in the region.Members include employees at the Social Security Administration headquarters in Woodlawn and at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services headquarters in Baltimore, where Autrey recently retired from a 41-year career.She said workers “could be facing hardship immediately next week” and she’s been involved in Baltimore-area discussions about providing employees with alternate options for food or transportation in the event of a short-term or extended shutdown.“It’s just a terrible time. It’s emotional,” she said, expressing frustration at congressional leaders who “want to destroy the federal government” and hold employees hostage in the process.AdvertisementDuring the 2018-19 shutdown — the longest in history, spurred by arguments over whether to fund President Donald Trump’s border wall plan — thousands of Marylanders sought unemployment insurance benefits, pop-up food pantries were hosted by county governments and unions, and state officials reported a marked decline in MARC rail service to from Washington to Baltimore.The comptroller’s office estimated at the time that 172,000 Marylanders were affected, including direct federal employees and contractors, who were collectively paid $778 million in salary every two weeks and responsible for $57.5 million in state and local income taxes in those pay periods.Comptroller Brooke Lierman, who took office earlier this year, said state officials “will be prepared to lend assistance where it is most needed to help alleviate the impact.”Senior officials in Gov. Wes Moore’s administration said Thursday the state is prepared to bridge the gap by using around $1 billion of the state’s $5 billion cash balance to cover state-run services and state employee salaries that are funded by the federal government. About 11,700 state positions are fully or partially supported by federal funds, the governor’s office said.That plan is contingent on getting reimbursed once funding is approved in Washington. If the shutdown stretches several weeks, state officials would begin prioritizing resources.Maryland officials are also working on a loan-assistance program specifically for workers affected by the shutdown. Those loans would have to be paid back after the shutdown, along with any unemployment insurance workers receive.AdvertisementImpacts could come in the form of benefits paid through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP.About 670,000 Marylanders in 365,00 households participate in SNAP, which helps those with low incomes purchase food. And about 123,100 women, infants and children in Maryland receive nutritional and education resources through WIC.White House officials said SNAP, previously known as food stamps, would be funded through October in the case of a longer shutdown. WIC recipients may face more immediate reductions to benefits.Maryland Policy & PoliticsWeeklyKeep up to date with Maryland politics, elections and important decisions made by federal, state and local government officials.According to the White House, “states could soon be forced to institute waiting lists for WIC, causing mothers and children to lose access to the vital nutrition assistance.”Maryland’s WIC program is expected to have enough funds to operate at least through October, according to the governor’s office. The Maryland Department of Health is also “actively planning and mapping out scenarios based on potential federal funding levels for WIC,” department spokesman Chase Cook said.U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Baltimore County Democrat, highlighted the WIC program in a statement in which he called it “unconscionable to hurt working families and cause irreparable damage to our economy to appease a small number of extreme conservatives who have an agenda unpopular with most Americans.”Advertisement“A continuing resolution is not ideal, but it will keep the lights on while we finish the job we were elected to do,” Ruppersberger said. “Republicans must be willing to compromise — everyone gives a little and gets a little — for the good of the country and its historic economic recovery.”A so-called continuing resolution would keep the government funded at current levels until lawmakers reach a larger deal. House Republicans have opposed that short-term fix, and if the clock ticks past midnight Saturday night without any progress, it’s not clear how long this shutdown could last.As Autrey, the union leader, put it: “It’s really the emotional yo-yo you experience ... Everybody’s on pins and needles.”Originally Published: Sep 28, 2023 at 11:46 am
A man died in a West Baltimore shooting Thursday, according to police.At about 9:37 p.m., Western District officers responded to the 2300 block of West Lafayette Avenue in the Bridgeview/Greenlawn neighborhood to investigate a shooting, according to Baltimore Police release.Advertisement[ Off-duty Howard County officer shot and killed in Federal Hill bar, police say ]Once there, officers found a 20-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds to the body. The victim was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead by hospital staff.Anyone with information can contact Baltimore Police Department Homicide detectives at 410-396-2100. Those who wish to remain anonymous can utilize the Metro Crime Stoppers tip line at 1-866-7LOCK-UP. Citizens also can anonymously text a tip by visiting the MCS of Maryland website.
Here’s a roundup of high school varsity action on Thursday, Sept. 28.Perryville 3, Harford Tech 0: Ryleigh Racine put down 10 kills to lead the Panthers over the Cobras. Taylor McGuirk had 17 assists to go with a pair of kills and two aces. Presley Givens had 11 digs defensively.AdvertisementEdgewood 3, North East 0: The Rams’ defense was tough to get ball down on, as Peyton Parise picked up 28 digs and Aryella Cullum had 18 in the 25-11, 25-18, 25-23 win. Parise also had six aces. Bella Haden chipped in 10 digs and four kills.Fallston 3, North Harford 0: The Cougars totaled 18 aces as a team in the 25-10, 25-10, 25-10 win. Jadin Woods had nine aces to lead the win. Grace Pfaff had four aces and Emma Chase had three. Kyra Douglass put down nine kills and Chase handed out 18 assists. Alex Manzari had 14 digs for the Hawks.AdvertisementPatterson Mill 3, Bohemia Manor 0: The Huskies swept, 25-17, 25-19, 25-20. Grace Bonhoff put down 10 kills to go with seven digs. Zoe Valan tossed up 24 assists while also getting seven digs in addition to four kills. Ave Shores had 26 digs and two aces, and Julia Shrewsberry had five blocks and two kills.C. Milton Wright 3, Bel Air 1: Bel Air took the first set, but the Mustangs stormed back to win 22-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-17. For Bel Air, Anna Kan had 16 assists, six kills and four aces. Tia Pegler had 11 assists and Brooke Hopkins had eight kills.South Carroll 3, Francis Scott Key 0: The Cavaliers (5-2, 5-1) won 25-8, 25-16, 25-14. Pia White served seven aces while adding 16 assists. Elaina Murphy had nine kills, while Rylee Taylor and Kaelyn Bowyer added eight each.Tuscarora 3, Manchester Valley 2: The Mavericks went five grueling sets but came out on the wrong end of things in the nonconference game, 19-25, 25-16, 28-26, 21-25, 15-8. Emily McElwaine had seven kills, Emma Shaffer six and Kaylynne Wright five. Shaffer, Wright and Kamryn Troy each had 11 digs.Annapolis 3, Chesapeake-AA 1: McHale Hughes had four aces and 34 assists to lead the visiting Panthers over the Cougars. Annapolis won, 25-22, 23-25, 25-23, 25-18.Broadneck 3, Glen Burnie 0: Brin Chesnut had 23 service points, three aces, seven kills and 10 digs to lead the host Bruins over the Gophers. Broadneck won, 25-8, 25-12, 25-7.Meade 3, Southern-AA 2: Meade rallied for the win, 25-14, 19-25, 21-25, 25-13, 15-12. For Southern, Maddison Sutherland and Lexi Forbes each had eight kills and Kaelyn Page had six. Macy Mavilla picked up 11 digs and Huntyr Marks had 21 assists.Dulaney 3, Carver A&T 0: The Lions earned the sweep, 25-17, 25-15, 25-18.AdvertisementRiver Hill 3, Atholton 1: The Hawks (6-0) came back after dropping the first set to win 25-27, 25-12, 25-13, 25-17. Grace Leska led the way with 14 kills, while Kristin Amdiegwu added 12 kills. Both Mia Parks and Sofija Semendic had seven kills, while Claire Liu and Mackenzie Calhoun each had four aces. Calhoun added nine digs, six kills and 39 assists.Mount Hebron 3, Reservoir 2: The Vikings (6-1) defeated the Gators in a five-set thriller, 25-20, 16-25, 25-16, 14-25, 15-12. Lauren Roselle led the offense with 18 kills, also adding 15 digs and three aces. Emerson Rose had 17 assists and 14 digs, while Caroline Zheng anchored the defense with 24 digs. Rithika Chotukuri and Mackenzie Wilhelm were also key contributors defensively with 14 and 12 digs, respectively.Oakland Mills 3, Hammond 0: Kathryn Rogan had seven aces and 21 assists to lead the host Scorpions over the Bears. Oakland Mills won, 25-11, 25-16, 25-22.Glenelg 3, Marriotts Ridge 0: The Gladiators (6-0) defeated the Mustangs 25-16, 25-10, 25-14. Isard Bernades finished with a team-high 12 kills, while Ilyssa Newman (11) and Julia Preston (10) also finished with double-digit kills. Livy McDonough and Lily Bae anchored the defense with 15 and 11 digs, respectively. Lindsay Kelley facilitated the offense with 37 assists.Catonsville 2, Sparrows Point 1: Lindsay Taylor scored with six minutes left in the game to break a tie and give the Comets the win.John Carroll 3, Severn 0: The Patriots defense picked up the shutout, while Kamryn Plotts led the offense with two goals. Annie Mignolio also scored, while Annie Bennett and Margo Smith had assists.AdvertisementNorth Harford 2, Bel Air 1: The Hawks won the game after an overtime shootout. Grace Conklin and Korynn Sims had goals in the win, while Sarah Reifsnyder stopped 13 Bel Air shots to power her team. Amelia Mason scored for Bel Air and Mackenzie Leeson made six saves.Manchester Valley 3, Westminster 2: The Mavericks shut out last season’s county champions behind five saves from Makayla Shoaf. The offense got two goals from Amanda Herrold and one from Taylor Fique. Allie Largent and Sophie Baer had assists. Andi Hull led the Owls defense with six saves.Century 2, Francis Scott Key 1: FSK had the 1-0 halftime lead, but Century came back with two unanswered goals in the second half to pick up the win. Isabella Garcia scored one goal and assisted on the other, scored by Abby Kristian. Julia Bornyek also had an assist. Meghan Houldson made three saves in goal.Liberty 3, Winters Mill 0: Sara Gardner made 15 saves in the Falcons’ loss.Glen Burnie 7, Meade 0: Sophomore Melany Tello had four goals to lead the win, while senior Violet Dyer had two goals and an assist. Tiara Lemon had also scored and keeper Abbey Hanson had two saves in the shutout.Crofton 7, Southern 0: Charlotte DeForest had three goals and Olivia Feeley had a goal and two assists to lead the visiting Cardinals over the Bulldogs.AdvertisementBroadneck 10, Arundel 0: Abbie Morris had three goals and Raleigh Kerst had a goal and two assists to lead the host Bruins over the Wildcats.South River 4, Annapolis 1: Elsa Turner scored twice to lead the host Seahawks over the Panthers.Chesapeake-AA 7, Old Mill 0: Ava Hoyer scored twice and Hannah Haberkorn had a goal and an assist to lead the host Cougars over the Patriots.Marriotts Ridge 1, River Hill 0: Macie Globerman scored the game-winner to lift the host Mustangs over the Hawks.Glenelg 12, Howard 0: AJ Eyre had four goals and four assists to lead the visiting Gladiators over the Lions.Bryn Mawr 4, Severna Park 3, 2OT: Addie Polakoff had two goals, including the game-winner, to lead the visiting Mawrtians (4-0) in a come-from-behind victory over the Falcons. Severna Park took a 3-0 lead prior to the Bryn Mawr rally. Zoe Herkalo made 11 saves for the Mawrtians.AdvertisementCatonsville 1, Perry Hall 1: After the Gators struck first in the first half, Catonsville answered back with a goal from Sydney Mah in the second half to tie the game. Perryville 1, Fallston 0: The last time the Panthers and Cougars met, Fallston knocked off its UCBAC rival in a 1A semifinal on its way to a state championship. The Panthers got a measure of revenge Thursday when Sarah Murrell took a pass from Hailey Myers and scored the game-winning goal in overtime. Sarah Cantrell made eight saves to earn the shutout.Bel Air 1, C. Milton Wright 0: It took until just over four minutes remained, but Gianna Dawson scored the game’s only goal, converting a Delaney Burrows pass. Alix Bramble (7) and Kayla Norstrand (5) combined for 12 saves.Patterson Mill 2, North Harford 1: Hayden Price scored the first Huskies goal on a penalty kick. Kendall Brown added a goal off an assist from Addison Harmel. South River 4, Annapolis 1: Shannon Creswell, Colleen Creswell and Kat Budowski each had one goal and one assist. Heidi Tine had a goal and Sierra Lear-Wecht had an assist in the win.Severna Park 3, Glen Burnie 0: Despite the loss, Pela Saunders made 12 saves for the Gophers.AdvertisementRiver Hill 1, Marriotts Ridge 0: The Hawks (7-1, 6-0 Howard County) continued a strong start to the season, Lauren Virmani scored the lone goal, while Maddie Berge delivered the assist. Camille Nesmith made four saves.Long Reach 9, Hammond 1: The Lightning (4-1-1) scored a season-high in goals. Alaina Norton and Caitlin Ruddy each scored twice. Alicia Bauer, Kendall Madison, Naomi Islam, Bella Mooney and Lucy Paulhamus added goals. Shyann Hansen made four saves.Glenelg 2, Howard 0: The visiting Gladiators used a balanced offense to score a goal per half and beat the Lions. Stephanie Lathrop and Isabelle Brought each scored for Glenelg.Century 2, Francis Scott Key 0: The Knights got a pair of first half goals, Mia Savage and Harli Hamlett getting the honors, and the goalie tandem of Audrey Peterson and Megan Taltavull made them hold up in the shutout. Megan Rusk had an assist in the win. FSK goalie Adeline Kraics made 15 saves.Liberty 5, Winters Mill 1: Bryce Sarver converted two corner kicks from Hannah DeVincent into goals, and then later scored another goal off a DeVincent assist to complete the hat trick. DeVincent also scored one herself and Rose Larner also scored. Alyssa Golombeck and Aver Asom handed out assists.Westminster 7, Manchester Valley 2: The Owls had an offensive eruption highlighted by Emmerson Hill’s four-goal night, the most in a single game by a county player this season. Jennifer Vasquez had two goals and Kate LoPiccolo had one. Anna Erb had two assists and Stella Schoberg, Olivia Skozilas and Vasquez also had helpers.AdvertisementSouth Carroll 3, Brunswick 0: Marissa Ossinger scored two second half goals to lead the Cavaliers past Brunswick. Kendra Wotchuin led off the scoring for South Carroll with a first half goal. Mia Talley, Mary Chambers and Sophie Kebede had assists.John Carroll 3, Concordia Prep 1: CJ Supan had a goal and as assist as the Patriots beat the Saints, a month after the teams played to a 1-1 tie. Josh Petty had two assists, while Austin Hoffman and Ian Wagner also hit the back of the net in the win. Joao Oliveria scored for Concordia.Howard 4, Glenelg 0: The Lions (6-0) extended their undefeated start to the year, building on a 1-0 halftime lead. Remy Valiente led the way with a pair of goals, while Will Marsden and Zayden Greivis also scored. Isaiah Omole excelled as a facilitator with two assists, as Manny Velasquez Diaz and Luke Penn also had assists.Winters Mill 2, Liberty 1: The Falcons rallied to top the Lions. Reed Postlethwait had a hand in both Winters Mill goals, scoring one and assisting on another. Deacon Cassidy knocked in the other goal, his first varsity tally. Maddox Shuman had an assist and Drew Jenkins made two saves.Century 4, Francis Scott Key 1: Nick McGhin scored twice, while Tyler Ruch and Justin Asiedu also hit the back of the net in the Knights’ win. Mason Lee had a pair of assists for Century. Chesapeake-AA 3, Old Mill 0: Caleb Adams had two goals and an assist to lead the visiting Cougars over the Patriots.AdvertisementVarsity HighlightsWeeklyGet the latest high school sports stories, photos and video from around the region.Broadneck 3, Arundel 1: Wilson Banwell, Patrick Robillard, Tanner Boone each scored to lead the visiting Bruins over the Wildcats.South River 5, Annapolis 0: Donovan Green scored twice to lead the visiting Seahawks (6-2) over the Panthers. South River led 3-0 in the first half.Rising Sun 216, Patterson Mill 224: The Tigers edged the Huskies in the match at Ruggles. Despite the loss, Patterson Mill’s Charlie Topping shared medalist honors with Rising Sun’s Ben Adams, each shooting 40. The Huskies also got a 42 from Cory Gibson, 44 from Ryan Malenfant, 47 from Toby Dunkleberger and 51 from Nathan Haywood. Aberdeen also competed and Maya Cantella had the low female score with a 52. Phillip Kim also added a 50.South Carroll 149, Manchester Valley 171, Francis Scott Key 198: Four South Carroll golfers broke 40 as the Cavaliers cruised to a win in the tri-meet. Patrick Carl carded a 36 to lead the barrage. Michael Valerio was right behind him with a 37, while Josh Vendemia and Jack Laur each posted 38s. Matt Slivosky led the Mavericks with a 40, with Adam Slivosky and Jackson Streett shooting 43s. For FSK, Gavin Reid had a 45, McKenna Lanza shot a 46 and Frankie Ramirez shot a 47.Long Reach boys 77, Howard 76: Elliott Austraw led the way for the Lightning in a narrow win with 21 points as both Amir Patel and Russell Calkins added 19 points. For Howard, Dev Sheth had 26 points, while Sean Dawes added 21.Howard girls 19, Long Reach 14: Andie Chung led Howard with 11 points, while Emma Koech had a match-best 14 for Long Reach.AdvertisementTo submit scores and stats, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a full box score, including first and last names of the players.Originally Published: Sep 28, 2023 at 7:05 pm
An off-duty Howard County sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot in a bar in Federal Hill early Friday morning, according to authorities.Baltimore Police said officers responded to the 1100 block of South Charles Street around 12:14 a.m. and found 23-year-old Ryan Demby with multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center where he was pronounced deceased.AdvertisementBaltimore Police said a preliminary investigation indicates that a verbal altercation occurred prior to the shooting.“Deputy Ryan Demby was in a bar around midnight when a verbal argument broke out between other patrons. During the altercation, shots were fired and Deputy Demby was struck,” the Howard County Sheriff’s Office said in a social media post.Advertisement“Our hearts are broken for the Demby family, Ryan’s friends and colleagues, and our entire sheriff’s office family. We will continue to keep our community updated and are grateful for your support during this difficult time.”
Nobody should be surprised by the tragic history police say led to Pava LaPere’s murder | GUEST COMMENTARY
Pava LaPere was a vibrant and accomplished thought leader in Baltimore. She spent every moment in her adopted city trying to find ways to give, to improve opportunity and to innovate. The man arrested for her murder spent those very same years taking, destroying and hurting, according to police.If you are surprised by the horrific history and details that police say led to this tragic crime, you shouldn’t be. We’ve been here before. Baltimore has a crime problem. So why do we continue to let these guys walk our streets?AdvertisementWhen I heard of Pava’s murder, it felt personal, not only because I met her but because, as a justice advocate for women, I’ve heard these tragedies before. All are life-changing, some end in murder, and every one includes a serial offender.Justice was long in coming in my case: 19 years passed before a detective in Baltimore City, Bernie Holthaus, agreed to investigate it. “This was not his first time,” I said, hoping to make an argument bigger than me to justify investigating.AdvertisementThe suspect, Alphonso Hill, was quickly identified. My biggest surprise — Hill had a rap sheet of at least a dozen offenses.The list of crimes showed an escalation of boldness and bravado as the years ticked by — peeping tom, assault, sexual assault, violation of probation, knife possession, gun possession. How many of these were plea deals?On Sept. 30, 2002, I nervously sat in a downtown courthouse, scared but ready to testify, when I was called into the hallway and asked if I would agree to a plea deal. Twenty years, with five years suspended, plus, five years probation. “What does that mean,” I asked. “Is that a 15-year sentence?”The very first thing Hill requested in his plea deal was to remove the gun charges, and the rape charge was moved from 1st degree to 2nd degree. He also requested a move to a different correctional facility. He understands the system. If I didn’t accept the deal, there was the risk he would go free. I accepted the deal.Alphonso Hill told the police this was his only time. In the courtroom, he turned to the judge and then to me and said, “I’m sorry. I hope you can forgive me.”Just three years into his sentence, and after admitting on national television (”48 Hours”) that he raped me at gunpoint, Hill requested a new hearing. He wanted to argue ineffective counsel. He wasn’t sorry.In August 2007, five years after pleading guilty in my case, the “48 Hours” interview was a key link in Hill being charged in six more cases, this time in Baltimore County. While waiting for those cases to go to trial, I received a letter from the Department of Public Safety and Corrections on Dec. 3, 2007, stating that Hill would be up for parole in five months.A month later, in January 2008, I received notice that the hearing was cancelled, but a new date was set for parole in June 2009. If Hill hadn’t been convicted in those six additional cases, he’d likely be out walking the streets.AdvertisementWhat will it take to understand serial offenders aren’t going to stop? The solution is not letting them prey among us. We must consider policy that keeps serial offenders, especially rapists, behind bars.Hill recently confessed to raping and murdering Alicia Carter two months before he broke into my apartment. She was 21-years-old and had the rest of her life in front of her.Laura Neuman (facebook.com/laura.neuman.maryland) is an entrepreneur, former Anne Arundel County executive and a survivor of sexual assault.
Survivors, experts offer advice on how to process the Baltimore Catholic Church abuse reportReading the long-awaited report detailing 80 years of child sexual abuse throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, as well as the impending news cycle, can bring mixed, complex feelings to victims reliving their trauma. But with preparation, the catharsis can outweigh the pain, victims’ advocates and survivors say.April 5, 2023
Unforgettable moment: Brooks Robinson’s Oct. 14, 1970, World Series home run shook Memorial Stadium | GUEST COMMENTARY
It is the rarest of moments that can produce a collective lump in the throats of an entire city, but that is what we in Baltimore experienced en masse on a bright fall day in 1970.On that Oct. 14, Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, with the open end of its horseshoe shape offering a view of trees full of autumn color, was the site of World Series Game Four. An ovation began building throughout the packed stands as Brooks Robinson approached the plate to lead off the bottom of the second inning. The Orioles led the Cincinnati Reds three games to none, principally because the player, whom local fans referred to simply as Brooks, had turned the series into a personal showcase like few players before or since, having punctuated a sterling offensive performance with some of the most remarkable defensive plays the Fall Classic had ever witnessed.Advertisement[ The readers have spoken: Brooks Robinson’s fielding clinic in 1970 is Orioles’ top postseason moment ]The continuing applause was a sincere and grateful acknowledgement of a player who had put his athletic greatness, something that locals had come to expect, on full display before a worldwide audience. And, as if on cue, he responded to fans’ show of appreciation by turning a 2-2 pitch from Red’s starter, Gary Nolan, into a booming home run. As the ball disappeared among the spectators above the tall green left field wall, Brooks Robinson was in the process of ascending to the pinnacle of his profession by delivering a magical performance on the game’s biggest stage.As he rounded the bases at that moment of supreme personal accomplishment, he displayed little sign of exultation or triumph. Instead, the shoe black above his cheeks framed the eyes of someone clearly humbled by the magnitude of what he was in the midst of accomplishing. As he allowed himself a brief hand clap while touching home plate, the choked up Baltimore fans were at once teary-eyed with joy for the player they had come to regard as part of their family.AdvertisementBrook Robinson was the hometown hero with whom most of us had grown up. Signing with the Orioles as an 18-year-old out of Little Rock not long after the team’s arrival from St. Louis, his charming Arkansas drawl became a familiar part of the local vernacular, and his meticulous defense and clutch hitting grew to become part of baseball legend. He was the personification of the young team that built itself into a champion while endearing itself to the city with an irresistible persona — consistent and fundamentally sound on the field, gracious and self-effacing in public.The Orioles emergence as perennial contenders coincided with Brooks Robinson’s growth into the Hall-of-Famer he would become. But his story is not merely that of a player who summoned all of his ability to perform at the highest level. Brooks Robinson was admired for his greatness at the plate and at third base, but he also came to be revered for the person he was off the field. No one could ever be more genuinely interested in and mindful of others.Growing up, so many of us wanted to be the Brooks Robinson in whose glove would-be doubles went to die, and who came through time after time with the timeliest of hits. But time and Brooks Robinson’s enduring connection to the community prompted the evolution of another aspiration in many of us — to be like Brooks. To be someone whose inherent kindness and unending courtesy was as well-known and admired as much as any professional accomplishment. In fact, it was that he was so professionally accomplished (18 All Star appearances, 16 Gold Gloves, Most Valuable Player of the American League, World Series and All Star Game) that his humility and common touch shined all the more remarkably. Despite our best intentions, few of us have come close to Brooks when it comes to leaving people feeling better than when you found them. But if enough of us continue to try to emulate his virtues, it will surely make for a better world.It is fitting that the 2023 Orioles are a young team advancing to their first postseason and demonstrating the promise of perennial excellence. They have much in common with the youthful Orioles with whom Brooks Robinson rose to the top of the baseball world. Perhaps there is a player among the current roster who will achieve baseball immortality and acclaim. But I doubt that there could ever be another player so universally loved and admired as No. 5.Raymond Daniel Burke, a Baltimore native, is a shareholder in a local law firm. His email is email@example.com.
Baylee DeSmit grew up with ‘no fear’ around 4 brothers. It’s why she’s leading Loyola Maryland women’s soccer.
The past year has been a joyride for Baylee DeSmit.Last fall, the Loyola Maryland midfielder led the Patriot League in points with 19. This past summer, she earned the USLW’s Golden Boot honor for scoring a league-record 22 goals.AdvertisementThis season, DeSmit picked up where she left off. She leads the conference in goals (six) and points (18) and is tied for first in assists (six).“Having the summer that I did when I broke the [USLW] League record for goals, I was coming off a high in the summer,” the 21-year-old Towson resident and McDonogh graduate said. “Coming in, I knew the ability of this team for this year, and I did expect something of this sort. I’m just glad it has happened.”AdvertisementDeSmit’s individual success has powered the Greyhounds to their first 3-0 start in the Patriot League since joining the conference in 2013 and their first 8-2 overall record since the 1999 squad opened with the same mark. The team’s six-game winning streak is the program’s longest since the 2011 squad strung together nine in a row and is tied for the fourth-longest streak in school history.No one is discussing what would be a first Patriot League championship just yet, but coach Joe Mallia acknowledged that the current group of players headed by DeSmit is one of his strongest in recent memory.“I think the combination of the players we have within our program and Baylee at the level that we are trying to achieve success, they give us the opportunity to compete in any and every game, and that’s a valuable thing,” he said. “In any team sport, no one person can get it done by herself. But she absolutely, in conjunction with her teammates, gives us the opportunity to have success in any game.”DeSmit’s prowess at soccer can be traced to her upbringing as the youngest child — and only daughter — of five for Debbie and Doug DeSmit. Debbie has run three marathons in Baltimore, and Doug was an NCAA Division III All-America soccer player at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he still ranks second in program history in career goals (70) and points (171).After Debbie bore Raymond (now 33), Ryan (32), Riley (29) and Daniel (26), Doug said Baylee was “a wonderful surprise.” Ryan said he was happiest for his mother because she finally got a girl after four boys, who slept in two sets of bunk beds in one bedroom to make space for Baylee.Despite a significant age difference, Baylee played basketball, lacrosse and soccer in the front yard of the family’s home with her older brothers, who treated her as they treated each other. The only concession was they could not block her shot in basketball. Everything else was fair game.“They were always roughhousing me and having fun with me, and I didn’t know anything else,” she said, adding they competed in Monopoly, the FIFA video game and the card game Euchre. “I didn’t know how to be babied or protected in that way of sports and athletics. They wanted to challenge me and knew I could do things that if they babied, I would never have known how to do. It’s worked my whole life.”Baylee DeSmit's prowess at soccer can be traced to her upbringing as the youngest child — and only daughter — of five. (Larry French/Loyola Maryland Athletics) (Courtesy of Loyola Maryland Athletics)Ryan, who played lacrosse at Towson and is a site director for Education, Sports & Fun Summer Camp at Gilman, said he and his brothers sought to toughen Baylee.Advertisement“Sports are played with a scoreboard, and even in front yard or backyard soccer, there’s a pursuit of excellence for any high-level athlete,” he said. “We saw her at the stage that she was and understood that there’s always a bigger fish, there’s always a tougher game, there’s always a triple-team headed your way. … She learned how to be resilient in those front yard battles.”Overseeing it all were Debbie and Doug DeSmit, the latter of whom said Baylee at an early age had already absorbed many of the lessons that her brothers had learned.“I don’t think we saw anybody as male or female, just athletes,” he said. “Athletes need a certain kind of training ground, and it’s not one that makes allowances or gives an easy way out.”Baylee was often the goalkeeper in lacrosse and soccer games played by her brothers, but it was a role for which she volunteered.“I had no fear when I was playing sports with them,” she said. “I wanted my biggest and oldest brother to guard, I wanted to be shot on. We had lacrosse pads, and I would say, ‘Hey, I’ll be in goal for you,’ and they would shoot pinky balls and tennis balls, and I would try to save them.”Those games with her brothers have shaped DeSmit throughout her life. Mallia, the Loyola Maryland coach, said DeSmit worked diligently in training to increase the coaches’ confidence in her conditioning. She also has a competitive streak that has its benefits and deficiencies.Advertisement“They say the best goal scorers in the world have the ability to forget the chances they’ve missed or the poor moments they’ve had in a game so that they can perform when they get their next moment or they can create more moments,” Mallia said. “We’ve had those conversations with her, and she has grown in that area tremendously.”Baylee said her parents attend every Greyhounds game and usually bring her grandparents. Ryan and Daniel, an engineer in Ellicott City, join them as often as they can, while Raymond, a teacher in Pennsylvania, and Riley, a former Johns Hopkins lacrosse player who is a teacher in Georgia, watch via streaming. Ryan said Baylee’s games are family events.“We circle these family moments around sports for all of our siblings, and for her being the last one, it’s kind of come full circle and brings us a whole bunch of joy,” he said.Baylee said she doesn’t miss having sisters because she is very close to three of her brothers’ wives. She said she has no regrets about growing up as the only girl with her four brothers.“I think I could have a similar life right now, but I don’t think I would be where I am,” she said. “I think some things clicked where I don’t know if they would if I was in any other situation.”Colgate at Loyola MarylandAdvertisementSaturday, 3 p.m.Stream: ESPN+
Here’s how The Baltimore Sun sports staff views the outcome of Sunday’s Week 4 game between the Ravens (2-1) and the Browns (2-1) at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland.Ravens 20, Browns 17: If the Ravens have center Tyler Linderbuam, left tackle Ronnie Stanley and receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman back, their chances increase dramatically. Still, the Browns have perhaps the NFL’s best defense both up front and in the secondary. It’s been an uneven start for Lamar Jackson, but having a more complete complement of players around him will help the offense have, as coordinator Todd Monken likes to say, less “drag.” Jackson is also 6-3 against the Browns, which includes a 3-2 mark in Cleveland. No matter what, this will be close, as usual.Advertisement[ Ravens vs. Browns scouting report for Week 4: Who has the edge? ]Ravens 20, Browns 14: I just can’t buy into the Browns yet. They have the best defense in the NFL right now and a strong offensive line, but their running back situation is as suspect as the Ravens’. It will come down to which quarterback makes the most mistakes, Deshaun Watson or Lamar Jackson?Browns 20, Ravens 16: This is a tough ask for the Ravens, who looked lost on offense for much of their overtime loss to the Colts. Cleveland plays defense as well as any team in the NFL does anything. Deshaun Watson is more fallible and will give the Ravens chances to hang close, but you don’t want to go against Myles Garrett and company with a wounded offensive line.Advertisement[ Staff picks for Week 4 of 2023 NFL season: Dolphins vs. Bills, Bengals vs. Titans, Patriots vs. Cowboys and more ]Ravens 19, Browns 16: In this Jekyll and Hyde season, don’t count out another strong road performance against a division rival. The Ravens will be healthier and motivated to prove last week’s loss was an aberration. Can’t you see Justin Tucker nailing the game-winning field goal this time around? Like Mike, I don’t trust the Browns yet, at least not on offense with Deshaun Watson still looking mediocre and Nick Chubb lost for the season. Give me the better quarterback and a Ravens defense that deserves to be in the conversation as the league’s best.Ravens 17, Browns 13: Are we really ready to take the Browns seriously? I’m not ready to do that just yet. Yes, their defense has been lights-out, but look who they’ve beaten. The Bengals were hobbled with an immobile Joe Burrow, who was ice cold after barely stepping on the field in the preseason with a calf injury. The Steelers are not world-beaters on offense and they still beat Cleveland (thanks to their defense). And the Titans? They might have one of the league’s worst offenses by the season’s end. I’m not convinced Cleveland is better than the Ravens. But seemingly like all games Baltimore plays, expect it to be close and decided late.
For much of the past half decade, sparse crowds greeted Orioles baseball as the team weathered a rebuild. Several sections in the left field upper deck at Camden Yards were usually closed to fans and entirely vacant — a green eyesore bereft of orange-clad supporters.Only the very committed regularly attended: In 2018, 2019 and then again in 2021, the team set low marks for attendance at a single open-admission game at Oriole Park. But the crowds have returned this year as the Orioles are in the midst of their best season in years and, by some measures, decades. Soon, fans will fill those upper deck seats — and everywhere else in the ballpark — as Baltimore hosts in early October its first postseason MLB game in seven years.AdvertisementSome Baltimore-area residents who have tuned the ballclub out during a long, but productive, rebuild, might need an introduction to these newly crowned American League East champions. Let slugging, switch-hitting outfielder Anthony Santander provide one.“I would say we are very competitive and we just never give up,” Santander said through team interpreter Brandon Quinones. “We don’t pay attention to the outside noise. All we care about is each other and the people in this clubhouse.”AdvertisementThe Orioles bench, including right fielder Anthony Santander, top right, celebrates a drive hit onto the flag court by Gunnar Henderson for a two-run home run against the Colorado Rockies on Aug. 25 at Camden Yards. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)After several dismal years, the Orioles had a surprisingly strong 2022 campaign, but most projections expected them to regress in 2023, not improve. Sportsbooks predicted they’d win about 77 games — a mark they ended up reaching Aug. 20, six weeks before the season’s end.Baltimore, 100-59 through Thursday night, now has the second-best record in MLB, trailing only the 2021 World Series champion Atlanta Braves, and the best mark in the American League. The Orioles have a winning record against the AL East, the AL Central, the AL West and the National League as a whole. They have a winning record at home, a winning record on the road, a winning record in extra-inning games, in one-run games, and in just about any other possible breakdown.[ Orioles reach 30-year lease agreement to keep team at Camden Yards per in-game announcement ]When the season began, the Orioles’ odds to be crowned MLB champions were +3500, according to BetMGM. Those odds have now shrunk to +600. Several sportsbooks consider them now to be the team third-most likely to win the World Series.The team’s rise and sustained success this year has been built not on massive winning streaks, but more so on avoiding losing skids. The Orioles have not been swept all season and, in fact, have not been swept in 91 series dating back to last year. That’s the longest MLB streak in more than 75 years.“Just the resilience of this team,” backup catcher James McCann said when asked what casual fans should know about these Orioles. “Guys don’t give up, it doesn’t matter the score of the game, it doesn’t matter who we’re facing, it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is, you’re going to get the same effort, the same team each and every night.”There has not been a single player who has spurred Baltimore to success this year. In fact, of the top 25 hitters in MLB, based upon on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS), none are Orioles.But the team’s depth and propensity to win close games has propelled it to the playoffs.They’re led mostly by young players. The team’s top two picks in the 2019 MLB draft — second-year catcher Adley Rutschman and rookie Gunnar Henderson — have become the faces of the team and the cornerstones for at least the next few years.AdvertisementRutschman, the No. 1 overall pick as the Orioles began their rebuild, has lived up to expectations and this year wowed in the Home Run Derby by displaying his power from both sides of the plate.Despite a slow start, Henderson has been the team’s top hitter statistically. The 22-year-old is expected to become the first Oriole since 1989 to win American League Rookie of the Year honors. Other young players, like 2020 draft picks Heston Kjerstad and Jordan Westburg, have debuted and impressed this season.Baltimore’s best pitcher this year has been Kyle Bradish, a player acquired by the Orioles in a 2019 trade who has blossomed into an ace. Dean Kremer, another pitcher the Orioles acquired in exchange for a veteran player during the rebuilding years, has also been key, as has flame-throwing rookie Grayson Rodriguez. Although he struggled early this year, Rodriguez, 23, figures to be integral to the postseason rotation.Orioles manager Brandon Hyde on winning 100 games and becoming the American League East Division Champs. (Baltimore Sun)Anchoring the team are players who have been with the Orioles for years, including starting outfielders Santander, Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays. Those three, plus first baseman Ryan Mountcastle, have been in the organization since 2017 and formed the core of the rebuild. Now, they’re enjoying the fruits of their labor.Then, there are the veterans who have been brought in on short-term deals. Former New York Yankee Aaron Hicks has been a productive pickup, Adam Frazier has provided clutch hits, Ryan O’Hearn is having the best year of his career and 35-year-old starting pitcher Kyle Gibson — the highest-paid Oriole at $10 million a year — leads the team in innings pitched.Asked recently what a bandwagon fan might need to know about this Orioles team, Baltimore’s elder statesman thought back on the club’s history.Advertisement“Obviously, the Orioles have a lot of history with just really good teams and really good players and hard-nosed, grinding, grit-it-out players,” Gibson said. “And I think this is a nice tribute to those old-school teams. I think we have a well-rounded team. We steal bases, we play really good defense, we have a really good bullpen and we have really consistent starting pitching.”If a baseball fan tunes in to the Orioles now, “they’re gonna like how we play,” Gibson said.“They’re gonna see clean baseball and they’re going to see a lot of young guys out there playing hard,” he said.There remain question marks, of course. The bulk of the roster has never played in a playoff game and the Orioles will need to continue their consistent dominance into October, a challenging task.John Means, an All-Star for the Orioles in 2019 and the team’s best pitcher for the bulk of the rebuild, missed most of the 2022 and 2023 seasons as he recovered from Tommy John elbow reconstruction. But his return in early September could be key as the pitching staff prepares for the playoffs.[ The readers have spoken: Brooks Robinson’s fielding clinic in 1970 is Orioles’ top postseason moment ]Baltimore Orioles InsiderWeeklyWant to be an Orioles Insider? The Sun has you covered. Don't miss any Orioles news, notes and info all baseball season and beyond.Means’ return has been extra timely, given that the team’s biggest midseason acquisition, starting pitcher Jack Flaherty, has disappointed since he arrived in early August. He’s been relocated to the bullpen, which has been without one of the Orioles’ most valuable players: Closer Félix Bautista has been sidelined with an elbow injury since late August.AdvertisementYennier Canó, a reliever acquired last year who, like Bautista, made this year’s All-Star team, has been a suitable substitute for Bautista in the bullpen. But should Bautista be able to pitch in the playoffs, it would provide substance — he’s one of MLB’s best relievers — and spectacle: When the 6-foot-8 Bautista enters games, Oriole Park displays a light show as “Omar’s whistle,” from the TV show “The Wire,” blares.Mr. Splash sprays fans in the "Bird Bath Splash Zone" during the fifth inning of a game between the Orioles and the Texas Rangers on May 26 at Camden Yards. Water has been the theme of Orioles' celebrations this year. (Julio Cortez/AP)The home run chains and pies-in-the-face of yesteryear have been replaced with water celebrations.When an Oriole hits a single, he mimes turning on a faucet; when a double is hit, the player does a “sprinkler” dance while those in the dugout squirt water out of their mouths onto the field; when a player hits a home run, he drinks from a “homer hose” — the same vessel that players chugged beers out of after they clinched a playoff spot.Fans also participate. The “Bird Bath” section in left field gets sprayed with water after especially exciting Orioles plays. This year, Orioles legend Adam Jones and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore have participated in the festivities.Pitcher Cole Irvin, who has spent much of this season with the Orioles but was recently sent to Triple-A Norfolk, was one of the masterminds behind the splashy celebrations.“I think for the casual fan that might not know what we do, there’s a lot of waterworks going on,” he said. “So water celebrations, you can expect, just us having a good time and being kids in the dugout with their best friends.”From left, the Orioles' Adley Rutschman, Jorge Mateo and Ramón Urías (29) celebrate by spraying water over batter Adam Frazier, whose grounder scored Ryan Mountcastle during the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Detroit Tigers, 2-1, at Camden Yards. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)