The Caw: Football? Yes. Softball? No.

The full scouting report on who was good, decent and outright bad at softball.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Monday, June 4th, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink, The Caw

Here’s my new blog, The Caw. It’ll often be light-hearted and offbeat. It’ll introduce you to a different side of the players. Every now and then it’ll have an entertainment twist. And sometimes you’ll get my opinion on football stuff too.

You’ll always find it on our blogs landing page, and occasionally on the homepage too. Let me know what you think and enjoy!

I’ve finally found a sport that I’m better at than Ravens players.

Slow pitch softball.

I drove up to the 3rd Annual Lardarius Webb Charity Softball Game in Aberdeen, Md., on Sunday to cover the philanthropic event and check in on running back Ray Rice.

But I was personally interested in getting a full Ravens softball scouting report.

What I found out was that most of these NFL athletes could probably be beaten by those of us who tweak a hamstring every weekend in our local softball league.

The best player – by far – was quarterback Joe Flacco, who played shortstop. He summed up his teammates best:

“Guys on our team are terrible,” Flacco said after just watching batting practice. “We don’t have a single good player on our team. I would get used to [seeing] a lot of infield hits.”

I’ll sort through all the guys who played:

Guys I’d take on my softball team: Flacco, WR Torrey Smith, CB Lardarius Webb, C/G Gino Gradkowski, TE Ed Dickson

Guys who I’d take to fill out the roster: OT Michael Oher, WR LaQuan Williams, DB Danny Gorrer, LS Morgan Cox, RB Anthony Allen, G/T Kelechi Osemele, WR Dorian Graham

Guys I’m sending to the wrong field: RB Damien Berry, OT Ramon Harewood, RB Ray Rice, TE Davon Drew, DT Terrence Cody, CB Chykie Brown, DT Ryan McBean, S Christian Thompson, LB Jameel McClain, LB Dannell Ellerbe, DT Bryan Hall, LB Josh Bynes

Who was the worst? The consensus among players and myself was running back Damien Berry.

He’s a hilarious sideline reporter, but when it came to hitting, Berry whiffed on seven straight pitches in batting practice. I’ll give him credit, he did make contact both times in the game.

“Damien Berry might be one of those guys on [ESPN’s] Not Top 10,” Cody said.

The teams were split up into offense vs. defense, and the offense was far superior. While there was some scoreboard shenanigans to make sure the event’s host won, the real score (yes, I kept a box) was 13-8 in favor of Team Flacco over Team Webb.



3rd Annual Lardarius Webb Charity Softball Game

Nobody hit a home run even though the fence was pulled way in and the best hit was a two-RBI double to left-center by Flacco.

It makes sense that Flacco’s the best, considering he has a high school baseball background and his younger brother, Michael, is a first baseman for the Baltimore Orioles’ Class-A Advanced affiliate, the Frederick Keys.

“I’m not the baseball player he is,” Flacco said. “If I wasn’t playing football, then maybe so. But I’m a football player and he’s the baseball player.”

The rest of the players had trouble catching routine infield pop-ups. They couldn’t make a throw to first base to save their life. They had no concept of a force out versus needing to apply a tag. They let dribbling ground balls get by them. I lost count of the errors.

They weren’t much better at the plate. Some hands were two inches apart on the bat. They hacked at pitches well over their head.

Their only saving grace was that a lot of them are fast, so if, by the grace of God, they made contact (yes, we did have a couple strikeouts), they could often beat the throw to first.

By the end, players on the defensive side were so desperate to get on base that they started stepping into pitches. Yes, they were actually taking first base after getting plunked.

“Dannell Ellerbe got hit by the pitch twice in softball,” Webb said. “That sucks.”

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