How are the Ravens and Orioles different? You’ll see today at 10:00 am

January 08, 2014 | Drew Forrester

Of all the days that separate the two professional sports teams in Baltimore, today is the one that stands out the most.

No games get played.

No one wins.  No one loses.

No players signed.  No money spent.

Today is the day that tells you everything you need to know about the Ravens — and at the same time, reminds you of what you already knew about the Orioles.

Some might also consider that today shows why one of the teams is a perennial winner and the other isn’t.

This morning at 10:00 am, the football team will hold its annual “State of the Ravens” press conference at their facility in Owings Mills.  They don’t do this occasionally.  They don’t do it only after a successful season.  Since Steve Bisciotti assumed full control of the team, they’ve hosted this event every year a week or two after the season concludes.

It’s called, in a word, “accountability”.

The Ravens ooze it.

The Orioles need a transfusion of it.

The only person who faces the media regularly for the Orioles is Buck Showalter, and that’s typically only in pre-game or post-game form.  Buck hasn’t had any sort of pre-season en-masse sitdown with the Baltimore media since he took the job and, likewise, hasn’t had a post-season presser for the media in town to pepper him with questions about the season.  That said, I bet you anything you want that Showalter would gladly sit down with the media if presented the option of doing so without the natural interference provided by the stuffed suits at OPACY.

Dan Duquette hasn’t had a press conference – other than when he was hired – in…well…ummm…forever.

Hilarious, right?

Repeat this to yourself at least once to completely absorb the amazing lack of responsibility on behalf of Orioles management: Dan Duquette is entering his third season with the Orioles and he’s never, once, faced the Baltimore press corps for a “bring it on” press conference where we’re all allowed to ask questions about the way the baseball franchise is run.

Go ahead, read that again.  Unreal.  Right?

This, of course, is in direct contrast to the Ravens, who will welcome any and all media members into their house today and allow questions to be thrown at Bisciotti, Team President Dick Cass, General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Head Coach John Harbaugh.

None of the questions will be dodged, unless some goof in the room says something like, “Yeah, this is for Ozzie.  Are you guys interested in trading for Justin Blackmon of the Jaguars?  He’s really good you know.”  Ozzie, of course, can’t answer any question about a player currently under contract with another team.  But he’ll answer any other REAL questions thrown his way today.

There’s no list of “off-limits-topics” distributed beforehand.  And, unlike the Orioles, who specialize in not allowing their critics to question them, the Ravens don’t “hand-pick” who is allowed in the room and who asks questions and who doesn’t.

The Orioles are so afraid of their critics they take away their press credentials and display a picture of the suspect at the main entrance behind home plate the same way the FBI posts pictures of their Most Wanted List in post offices.

The Ravens say, “Come on in, everyone, and ask whatever you want.”

The Orioles say, “You — you, right there.  You can come in.  You, though, you can’t come in.”

Accountability.  It’s what fuels today’s “State of the Ravens” gathering.

As long time Ravens P.R. Vice President Kevin Byrne said to me once, “We like this sort of review.  We appreciate the questions and the challenges.  We constantly evaluate ourselves.  We’re not worried about having people ask us why we do what we do.”

After the press conference, all four of the men will routinely hang around for some “off-the-record” discussions in the event you wanted to press an issue that was touched upon during the “open” portion of the event.

Yes, it’s true.  Steve Bisciotti simply stands in the corner and you ask him whatever you want.  One year, I asked him, simply, “How much money did the team make this past season?”  And, he stood right there and answered it.

Can you imagine asking Peter Angelos that question?

Wait — can you imagine Peter making himself AVAILABLE, first of all?  Then, what if that question got posed to him?  You can only imagine the result.

(Please see next page)

15 Comments For This Post

  1. Chuck Says:

    A pre-packaged, glossy, press conference in which the participants are all on very strict, tight talking points not answering any real questions to create, to a gullible media and fanbase, the phony impression of “accountability” fully accomplishes the goal of the organization. The accountability that will be revealed today is tantamount to the accountability of a presidential press conference.

    Have a good day.

    (DF: You can’t possibly be serious? If you are, you have no idea what you’re talking about.)

  2. OVER40DON Says:

    A tired subject for sure but SPOT ON!

  3. Rich Says:

    There’s a reason the Ravens do this and the Orioles don’t. The Ravens have nothing to hide because they are legitimitely trying to win where the O’s are trying to make as much $$ as possible. They know the questions that would be asked of them and do everything possible to stop them from being asked.

  4. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    GUTS & ACCOUNTABILTY are not in the Orioles vocabulary & never will be !!! They only worry about the bottom line & could give 2 craps what the fans want !!!

  5. lakerboy Says:

    Rich…You, and Drew, are entirely correct about your assessments concerning our two Jekyll and Hyde major league franchises. Philosophically, the Ravens spend their time looking for ways to put a competitive, winning product on the field. Mostly, they meet, and often times exceed expectations. The Raven fan base is smart, and the team regularly sells out its games. Ravens management is astute because they realize that if they continue to put a competitive product on the field, their fans will continue to support the franchise. The other team in town, wearing orange and black, largely spends it’s time looking for ways to minimize its expenses while maximizing its profits. With the Orioles, winning is nice, but it is not necessarily the primary objective. They run their business “on the cheap”. They do not handle criticism well, and they are not accountable. If the Orioles and the Ravens were a book they would be “A Tale of Two Cities”. What will transpire this morning at the Ravens annual press conference just reinforces why (as Baltmore sports fans) we should thank our lucky stars Art Modell felt trapped in Cleveland, ultimately deciding moving to Baltimore was his only option. How sad would it be contemplating, since October whether the Orioles would acquire any notable free agent during the off season??? (which never happens).

  6. The Armchair QB Says:

    The biggest difference is in the FACT that the Ravens’ owner is also a FAN! As a result, he has empathy for the fans and is committed to winning! On the other hand, Peter Angel….”loser” is committed to making money, which he does consistently whether the O’s win or lose. It is often said that, “behavior is reality”, so pay MORE attention to actions than to…..words!

  7. unitastoberry Says:

    Ask why the special run coach couldn’t generate a run game? Is his name Castanza or Castillo?

  8. Jason Manelli Says:

    I think Drew is making a very specific point here about accountability that is lost on some of the commentators here. Specifically the role of the press in making a team like Ravens or the O’s accountable to the community. I believe, like Drew, that the O’s refusal to take questions from media that are not ‘bought and paid for’ has had a negative effect on their on field performance. The front office gets to exist in a bubble and group think prevails.

  9. tsnamm Says:

    @Chuck…whether or not you believe the press conference is “contrived”, the fact of the matter is they actually have one. The difference in the operating philosophies of the 2 franchises couldn’t be any more marked. The Orioles would “outsource” the team to save money if they could. The Ravens realize that winning is the fundamental reason to have a sports franchise, but success on the field also makes that franchise profitable. Considering that the most successful sports franchises use the Raven template (Celtics, Yankees etc.) of winning first, rather than the “make the pizza cheaper” method the Orioles use should tell you all you need to understand.

  10. Chris, Bel Air Says:

    Let’s not also forget access to players. How many Ravens spend a week night, during the season, at some sort of local establishment hanging with the public for a radio show? While it’s more difficult for the Orioles to do the same (they are playing a game virtually every night) but couldn’t they do a 1200 lunch somewhere? Maybe even once a month? More importantly, the Orioles would never think of allowing such an activity from the players.

  11. BmoreB Says:

    Drew… There’s on other fact that should be pointed out, Chuck’s an idiot.

  12. RJ Says:

    DF, you, like Nestor, take every opportunity to ‘bash’ the Orioles at every opportunity! I certainly would appreciate your perspective if you (and NST) were less obvious. Having said that, the Orioles definitely should provide access to public questioning, NO excuse for that – they should be ashamed of their lack of accountability! They certainly don’t overlook any opportunity to coat their pockets at the expense of the fans; how about giving us some Ravens-like embrace?! (DF: For a guy beating me up for “bashing” the Orioles, you certainly didn’t mind doing it yourself in your reply. Typical…)

  13. Dan Says:

    I sometimes wonder how this all started ,, This fued ..
    ( Nestor , Drew , and the O’s ..
    They used to be such pals , , 😉

  14. Dan Says:

    A Lesson , -First off , Peter A is a self proclaimed “Liberal Demacrat ” and proud of it ‘ As told to a TV reporter some time back. If you know that then you should know that Mr. A Has no intrest in what you or the Fans ( the little people ” think, or want to know . They- ( Liberal Demacrats ) are smarter then you and know what is best for you and their bottom line . That is why they are in charge . Get over it .

  15. Dan Says:

    PS , I would wager that Mr. Bisciotti is NOT a Liberl Demacrat .

Leave a Reply