These are the words of Leo Mazzone, regarding his two-year prison sentence in Baltimore. Lemme start this blog by saying that I know Leo Mazzone and I got to know him a bit back when he was the Braves pitching coach and I was a baseball zealot in the 1990′s. I always traveled to do my show and because the Braves were always good, I was almost always around the Braves. And the Braves were loaded with Maryland talent — at one point having Arundel’s Denny Neagle and fellow Dundalkian Mike Bielecki on the same staff in the World Series. I’m still quite friendly with those guys and they had the kind of dispositions that made them just like me — they were pretty normal, regular Baltimore boys. John Scheurholz, another Baltimorean who got away, was always around and was fun to trade Baltimore stories with. And Mazzone was a Marylander and a huge football fan as well as the mentor to Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux.
Mazzone was the EXACT guy inside the game that the Orioles love to say they still appeal to with their “brand.” He loved the old Orioles Way and is one of the few guys who actually remembers when the Orioles exuded greatness and were admired throughout the sport for their professionalism, community pride and excellence. They bragged on it often, via the pipes of Chuck Thompson, but much of it was indeed warranted. (Just like those feelings we gave the purple team last night in Pittsburgh!)
But maybe Mark Teixeira dropped a dime on Mr. Mazzone, another fellow Marylander who wanted to come home for all of the right reasons?
“The lack of organization. The lack of discipline. The lack of overall professionalism. I was shocked, and I couldn’t believe it,” are the words Mazzone told Terence Moore of the AJC. Hell, can you imagine what he tells his friends and people NOT in the media?
Maybe I should give him a call…LOL!
Well, maybe he should’ve just asked me or anyone else who spends any time around the team before he packed up his bags in Atlanta to join Sam Perlozzo, another great person who like my pal Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati, is trying to fix an unfixable mess with ownership that never changes with anything other than a new owner or an owner who truly is willing to change. (One day soon Andy McPhail will probably come to the same conclusion and bail, perhaps to be the next MLB commissioner. In the meantime he’s “doing what he’s told” like he told me back on Aug. 8th at the Orioles Hall of Fame lunceon.)
I go back on the radio “full time” tomorrow. Their reason for rescinding my press pass two years ago was that I “didn’t have a daily sports talk radio show anymore.” Well, that’s about to change.
Let’s see what their excuse is now for being an unprofessional organizational and denying me press credentials when every other sports organization in the free world credentials me including the NFL at the Super Bowl next week for the 14th consecutive year.
I’m back on the air at 2 p.m Tuesday…
A new president…a new nation…a new sports talk show…