Orioles suspended

March 13, 2008 | Drew Forrester

There’s a great scene from the movie “A Bronx Tale” in which Chazz Palminteri confronts a dozen unruly bikers in his Bronx bar.  Here’s the scene (language/violence warning)…check it out, because it applies to my current situation with the Orioles.


As most of you know, over the last 9 months I have attempted to create a better working relationship with the Orioles baseball team.  Despite their previous and on-going unprofessional approach with me, I was willing to overlook that and embark on a new frontier with them – which, essentially, started in the middle of last June when Andy MacPhail was hired.  Since that time, I have gone out of my way to try and establish a legitimate, productive relationship with the organization.  My efforts have gone unreturned by the club, primarily by the team’s Director of Communications and members of his PR/Media Relations staff.


Throughout the last six weeks, specifically, I have made numerous attempts to have players, executives, coaches, etc. appear on The Comcast Morning Show in an effort to promote the team’s 2008 baseball season.  After over a dozen requests for cooperation, and NO returned phone calls or communication inquiries, I’m forced to implement a serious change in policy as it relates solely to my show on WNST Radio.


Effective immediately, I am suspending all members of the Orioles organization from appearing on my show through December 31, 2008.


This suspension includes all front office personnel, coaches, players and broadcast personnel employed by the Orioles.


Andy MacPhail can call tomorrow at 7:30 am.  He can’t come on the show.


Kevin Millar can walk in to the studio on the morning of March 31 at 7:00 am and he can’t come on the show.


They can win 20 games in a row and be the talk of the baseball world in June and no one from the organization is allowed on the show.


Adam Loewen can win the Cy Young award in 2008 and he can’t come on the show.


They’re all banned from my show, period, regardless of the circumstances.


Until, at a minimum, January 1, 2009.


Honestly, and VERY personally, I’ve been wracking my brain over the last six weeks trying to figure out how to stop fighting with the team.  I’ve bent over backwards trying to make peace with them.  I’ve offered them so many olive branches my skin has turned green. I offered to do my show live from their spring training stadium for three days.  I’ve asked time and time again to have players on the show from Ft. Lauderdale to help promote the start of the ’08 season.  Nothing has worked.  I’ve remained persistent in my efforts to help promote their team and they’ve remained unprofessional.


I keep wondering how to stop this battle that THEY initiated (by the way) with me last year. 


I’ve finally figured out how to stop fighting with them.


They can’t be part of the show for the rest of the 2008 calendar year.


Now, I have no reason to send Greg Bader an e-mail and ask to have Andy MacPhail on the show.  I have no reason to send Bill Stetka a text message tomorrow night and ask him if I can have a player on the show with me Monday morning.  I have no reason to reach out to Monica Pence when she sends me a Brian Roberts fund-raiser press release and ask her to organize a B-Rob appearance on my show to help promote his event (which, of course, I did last year and never heard back from her).


And, finally, I won’t be frustrated when they don’t have the guts, the courage or the professionalism to respond to me in the same fashion they’d respond to someone from The Sun, WJFK Radio, MASN or one of the TV stations in town. 


I won’t get frustrated because they aren’t allowed on the show until January 1, 2009 at the earliest.


I have no reason to reach out to them now.  I can’t reach out to them now.  They’re suspended.


Understand this:  I’m not going to ignore the Orioles on the air.  Far from it.  We’ll talk about the players, the games, the decisions by Dave Trembley, the wins, the losses, the losses, the losses, the losses and the losses.  Baseball has been – and will continue to be -alive and well on the show, but it will not include anyone from the Orioles organization for the next 8-plus months.


I’ll go to games at OPACY this season, I’ll take baby Ethan to his first-ever baseball game (it’s always been a dream of mine to take my son to a baseball game) and I’ll probably watch and/or listen to about 80% of the team’s games. 


But the time has come for the organization to pay the price for being unprofessional with me. And the price they’ll pay is banishment from the show from now until December 31.


“Now yuse guys can’t come on the show.”


A special thank you goes out to all of you who either called, e-mailed or responded to one of my blogs and said, “Drew, you really need to stop fighting with the team.”


It took a while, but I can honestly say I’ve finally figured out a way to heed your advice.


Chazz Palminteri deserves some of the credit as well.


I feel better already.


And I didn’t even need a bunch of mafia guys with baseball bats to help me.