I’m WNST’s new O’s Ballpark Reporter

March 27, 2009 | Drew Forrester

There’s a chance this might not work out well in the end.

Just call it a hunch on my part.

I’m certainly not predicting it’s going to turn out bad.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

That said, I’m the new “ballpark reporter” for WNST and my initial goal is to make sure it DOESN’T turn out bad.

If the Orioles have the same goal — to make sure I’m treated just like all the other beat-writers/reporters who cover the team on a daily basis – – then maybe, just maybe, we can have a productive working relationship in ’09.

With the recent reshuffling of staff duties at the radio station, someone had to draw the (short) straw, I suppose, and step forward as the everyday communicator of all-things-Orioles for our listeners and readers at WNST.net.  In case you were wondering, the “sign-up sheet” at WNST didn’t have a whole lot of names on it. 

Obviously, based mainly on the fact that the club locked me out of spring training by refusing to credential me, there could be some awkward moments on April 6 when I officially begin my new duties at OPACY.  But — I’m going to forge ahead without even a stray thought about the “credential-issue” from Fort Lauderdale.  After all, hope springs eternal, right?

I honestly don’t know what to expect in terms of how I’ll be treated, but I’ve been to the stadium enough over the last few years to have a pretty firm grasp on how it all works.  You get there at 3:30 or so (assuming it’s a 7:05 start) and wander around the locker room to see if any of the players are holding court.  If they are, you get your mic in there and pick up sound if you can. Eventually, around 4:15, Dave Trembley will make his way to the O’s dugout and field questions for 10 minutes until he gets tired of answering the same thing he answered the day before.  It’s pretty much a frat-party without beer, girls and rock-n-roll. Everyone stands around and talks about sports or movies or whatever the topic of the day might be.  Around 4:45 the lineups go up and I’ll start making phone calls into Nestor’s show to give him “who’s in” and “who’s not”.  

In the old days, back when the O’s valued the media and enjoyed the game-day promotional efforts of the local press corps, the team would allow a player or two on the air with WNST before the game.  Those days, like the 8-track, are a thing of the past. The only way you can talk to a player live on the radio now is if you pay the team a fee.  The times — they are a changin’.

So, I’m adding another bullet-point to my WNST resume.  

“Orioles Beat Reporter”, 2009 — Covered the Orioles on a daily basis throughout the season, attending all home games and providing the station and web-site with up-to-the-minute O’s news and information.  

I know, I know.  I’m sort of shaking my head too.

Drew — “Orioles Beat Reporter”.

It does look weird, I’ll admit.

Then again, I’ve always loved the team and I semi-volunteered for the gig, so it makes sense to dive in and give it 110%.  And I’m not afraid to go over there everyday and “work the game” with the others in town like Roch Kubatko, Jeff Zrebiec, Dave Ginsburg, Jerry Coleman, Anita Marks, etc.  As long as I’m treated the same as those folks, this thing just might work out pretty well after all.

See you on April 6.

I’ll be the guy with the bulls-eye on his back.