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

January 08, 2014 | Drew Forrester

Today in Owings Mills, we’re reminded why the Ravens are beloved in this town and why the Orioles are trusted as much as a fox guarding a hen house.

The Orioles not only don’t have a pre-season or post-season “open” gathering like the one the Ravens are having, the Orioles wouldn’t even think about opening themselves to that kind of scrutiny and overview.  In fact, just me writing this today and reminding everyone of how afraid they are of the media will go in my “file” over there and serve as another point on my record with them.

Don’t think they behave like that?  Wait until the press credentials get distributed in March and see who doesn’t get one.

For those of you who don’t think it’s a big deal that the Orioles don’t allow for open media give-and-take — “Ahhh, there they go again at ‘NST, taking a leak on the Orioles” — just ask yourself to answer this question honestly:

“Shouldn’t the Orioles allow the Baltimore media to ask them questions about the decisions they make in running the organization that is funded nearly entirely by the community itself?”

If you’re a neanderthal who doesn’t understand the concept of accountability, you’ll come up with some flimsy excuse to support the notion that “the Orioles are a private business, they can do whatever they want.”

If you understand how the real world works — and, more importantly, the role of a sports team in the community — you’ll simply say, “You’re damn right the media should be allowed to ask the Orioles questions…on MY behalf.”

It’s the natural checks-and-balances that comes with making a profit off of the community.  Steve Bisciotti gets it.  The Ravens understand it.  That’s why John Harbaugh faces the media three times a week during the season.  That’s why Ozzie sits down today to review their season with everyone and that’s why he’ll do the same thing prior to the draft in May and give folks the chance to ask their questions.  Bisciotti certainly doesn’t NEED to do this today.  He could playing golf at his place in Florida this afternoon.  But he also understands it comes with the territory of owning the team.

The Ravens have always been accountable.

The only way the Orioles would embrace accountability would be if it hit .232, was coming off a shoulder injury, and would sign for $600,000 a season.

One more time for emphasis, remember this fact:  Dan Duquette hasn’t once had an open press conference – in a room – where all of the media members in Baltimore can gather to ask him questions about the baseball organization he runs.  Not once.

That, by the way, may not be Duquette’s fault, in the same way it’s not Showalter’s fault he doesn’t have open sit-downs with the media.

The Orioles higher-ups are afraid to let the media question them, and they simply pass that fear on to the folks who work in the Warehouse.

The Ravens, though, aren’t afraid.

They’re accountable.

Always have been.

Always will be.

If only the baseball team had the same guts.

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 .

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