Another September with the disappearing orange baseball…

September 11, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

I looked through all of the WNST blogs over the past couple days and there has been a one glaring omission: the Orioles are nowhere to be found.

Playing out the string for the 11th consecutive September – the franchise hasn’t hosted a meaningful game since October 1997 – the worst-run and meanest and most paranoid franchise in professional sports has now put together another pathetic crawl to the finish line with a 3-17 record since the middle of August.

It’s been the quietest “slump” in the history of Baltimore baseball. No one is saying anything. No one is calling. And, apparently, no one is even watching.

Every night this week, I’ve seen downtown almost completely empty while I’ve watched Fenway Park on NESN packed with fans watching the Tampa Bay Rays come to Beantown as upstart first-place winners. I’m watching baseball this week. I’m just not watching the pathetic Orioles.

Maybe one day it’ll be our turn to win at baseball again in Baltimore. Maybe one day we’ll all feel like the Orioles are “our” team. But we’re getting up on the two-year anniversary of FREE THE BIRDS and the Orioles are 16 games under .500, 23 games behind Tampa Bay and are assured a last place finish in the AL East.

I’m sure Andy McPhail will hold a press conference at some point before spring training to talk about all of the “progress” the organization made in 2008. And they’ll invite all of their employees like Roch Kubatko and Tom Davis and Jim Hunter and Amber Theoharis to the press conference to ask questions.

But it’s just sad and I wish I had more to say about the Orioles and their recent losses. But the truth? I haven’t been watching them either.

Why would I?

They don’t want me to be a fan and they’ve basically pissed on anyone who listens to WNST or is associated with WNST time and time again. They refused to let us BUY tickets to their game back on August 8th when we were holding our 10th Anniversary of serving Baltimore sports fans with something that they sorely lack: honesty and integrity.

Like you (and most of the city), I’m caught up in “Flaccomania” and drinking the 1-0 purple Kool Aid. I’m just hoping the storm doesn’t crush Texas over the next 48 hours but the forecast looks ominous. I have a flight to Houston on Sunday. I have no idea when, where or if the game will be played at this point.

I have a feeling we’ll find out more today.

But I just wanted to invoke the word “Orioles” today and see if any of you are still watching or what might be said at this point about the franchise or where it’s headed under Dave Trembley next season.

Where’s Peter Angelos now to comment on this year’s effort? Has he entered the witness protection program along with his franchise?

And Andy McPhail – who turns out to be a company man/coward – has yet again declined to take my phone calls and emails so I could interview him about his plans for the offseason. He has been a colossal professional disappointment to me, telling me a few weeks ago when I met him: “I just do what I’m told, Nestor.” King Peter and Prince Greg have told him he shouldn’t “associate” with WNST.

What a leader he is, huh?

Other than selling a few orange T-shirts this year using Bill Hagy’s name and marketing a few kids named Scott and Jones, it’s been “business as usual” at The Warehouse.

And business as usual means lousy, dreadful baseball played in front of friends and families at Oriole Park at Camden Yards the nanosecond the word “training camp” is uttered. And MASN brings us some of the worst broadcasts in the history of baseball on the nights when Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer aren’t around.

(Have no fear: MASN will be firing up Hawaiian League baseball and no doubt be broadcasting the Mike Devereaux home run game from 1989 on some frigid night in December.)

We’ll see how the Orioles treat their offseason marketing efforts. I wonder what they’ll do to further make their FanFast lousy. And I wonder when they’ll announce the price increase for tickets. And I wonder when they’re going to start using some of the tens of millions of dollars they’re making with that Wayne’s World cable network.

Don’t worry. Once I get this website launched, we’ll be on red alert for their offseason comings and goings. We’ll be covering the Orioles in a major way in the new online world.

Just because most of you have long since stopped caring about the Orioles doesn’t mean that we’re not watching.

I care A LOT about the Orioles and I want them back. And I want to go to games and feel good about it. None of that has changed since FREE THE BIRDS. My love for the Orioles is sincere and lifelong.

I’m still watching them, just not their lousy meaningless games at this point. And I’m still hoping and praying for a better tomorrow for Baltimore baseball.

But now that the team has bought off virtually every media outlet in the community besides us, I don’t think you’ll be reading the proper criticism of a franchise that has turned its back on the community. That is everywhere except at WNST.net, where you’ll continue to get the truth.

They’ll have to do more than “BALTIMORE” on the road jerseys next year to get the city galvanized again.

But we’ll have our eyes open.

Let’s see what they do…

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