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The day that David Bowie and I talked about spirituality, God and Ziggy Stardust

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The day that David Bowie and I talked about spirituality, God and Ziggy Stardust

Posted on 12 January 2016 by Nestor Aparicio

I had just turned 23 years old and David Bowie was calling on my home phone.

He called “collect.”

It was November 1991 – about six weeks before I began my sports radio career.

Many of you don’t know about my previous “Almost Famous” life where I spent lots of time with rock and roll musicians at The Baltimore Sun. Here’s some evidence. I have more than 125 of these Cameron Crowe-esque gems in my personal vault that I’ll be unveiling in summer of 2016. I’ll list them below the audio so you can send along some requests.

The Thin White Duke and I discussed spirituality, god and Ziggy Stardust. His band, Tin Machine, was doing the heaviest music of his career.

Strangely enough, I call him “nasty” ten minutes into it.

Bowie was happy, playful and this thing was a joy to listen to a quarter of a century later. My interviewing style was far too jumpy and green, so please pardon my inexperience (and red-faced embarrassment) in presenting this #Nestalgia25 moment.

At one point, David Bowie called me a journalist.

He was being very, very kind…

 

Listen here:

 

Coming this July:

Steve Whiteman (Kix)

Billy Joel

Daryl Hall

Beat Farmers & Billy Squier

Bodeans, T.G. Brown, John Anderson (Yes)

ZZ Top & Aimee Mann

Randy Travis, Social Distortion & Michael Murphey

Child’s Play

Kyf Brewer E Fish & Red Hot Chili Peppers

Gregg Allman, Scatterbrain & kevn Kinney (Drivin N Cryin)

Mighty Lemon Drops, Diving For Pearls & Enuff Znuff

Wasserman & Billy Squier (Part 2)

Paul Stanley (Kiss) & Heart (Mark Andes)

Ace Frehley & Heaven’s Edge

Fresh Prince (Will Smith), Tommy Shaw & Kevn Kinney, Karl Wallenberg, The Connells

Violent Femmes (Gordon Gado) & Aldo Nova

XYZ, Engelbert Humperdinck & Mike Mesaros (Smithereens)

Faith No More & Lou Gramm

Cinderella & Replacements, Divinyls, Megadeath

Pat Benatar & John Denver

David Bowie

Mick Jones (Big Audio Dynamite), Extreme & Gerardo, Jani Lane (Warrant)

Reeves Gabrels

Pat Dinizio (Smithereens) & Ocean Blue

Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & Heartbreakers) & Brad Delp (Boston, Return To Zero)

David Cassidy & White Trash

Geoff Tate (Queensryche) & Dan Fogelberg

Sonic Youth, Colin James & Phil Johnstone (Robert Plant)

Roger McGuinn (The Byrds), Enuff Znuff & The Fixx

Edie Brickell & Jonathan Cain (Journey)

Black Crowes & Britney Fox

L.A. Guns & Michael Damien

Richard Barone, Kid Creole & Smithereens

Jim Kerr (Simple Minds), White Lion, Manhattan Transfer & Dave Koz, Fifth Dimension

Steve Vai & Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden)

Paddy Maloney (Chieftains), Kix & Indigo Girls

Jon Butler, Ratt & Judas Priest, Every Mother’s Nightmare

Howard Hewett

The Rembrandts & Dennis DeYoung (Styx)

Slaughter & Great White, Tragically Hip, Steelheart

Joan Jett & McAuley Schenker Group & Jack Bruce (Cream)

Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Belinda Carlisle

Jon Bon Jovi

Chris Whitley & Marc Cohn

Modern English, Justin Hayward (Moody Blues) & Aerosmith (Joe Perry), Sleez Beaz

Peter Buck (R.E.M.)

Oingo Boingo, Fabulous T-Birds, Earth, Roman & Harry Connick Jr., The Church

George Thorogood, Mick Ronson & Alvin Lee, Debbie Harry (Blondie)

Sandy Saraya, The Hooters & Karla Bonoff

Daniel Lanois & Soundgarden, D.A.D.

Kurt Newmann (Bodeans) & Dennis DeYoung (Styx)

Jason Bonham, Tommy Conwell & Clarence Clemons, The Cult

Psychedelic Furs, Pretty Boy Floyd & Mike Peters (The Alarm)

 

 

 

 

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MASN Money For Dummies (Part 2): Understanding MASN, Orioles history and big money for Chris Davis

Posted on 07 January 2016 by Nestor Aparicio

“When we bought this team we paid $173 million for it and we owe approximately $75 or $80 million on it. In other words, we put up about $90 million in cash and the rest of it was mortgaged – like you get a mortgage on a business or a home or property you might own. We have to pay roughly $9 or $10 million a year in principal and interest on this franchise. And that hasn’t stopped us from being one of the top-spending clubs in the American League or for that matter Major League Baseball. The reason we are is because, basically, it’s the support of the fans that come to see the Orioles. Now in a way, it’s self-perpetuating. If you give the fans, particularly Orioles fans, a winning team, a team that’s competitive you’re going to get supported completely. I believe in that. Along with that ballpark that’s the gem of all ballparks, I believe that if we put a potential winner on that field every year, which is what we intend to do, we will be successful. And eventually we’ll make some money, and also we’ll pay off the mortgage which is also an important proposition.”

Peter G. Angelos

The Barn

March 1997

 

 

SOMETIMES, THE MISINFORMATION AND PROPAGANDA that Peter G. Angelos and his minions at the Baltimore Orioles spin regarding money, affordability and profit seems inconceivable to anyone who has been paying attention for almost a quarter of a century and doing the math.

It’s been a generation of mostly awful baseball and an extremely poor commitment to a winning product on the field for the fans of the Orioles.

Meanwhile, it’s been an absolute goldmine of riches for the Angelos family.

The results, the actions, the promises, the facts, the lies – it all speaks for itself.

The team’s record on the field since 1994 is 1665-1829. That’s four playoff appearances in 22 seasons. The team spent the first decade of the century finishing more than 20 games out of first place in the AL East race every season – and more than 30 games back in five of those 10.

Peter G. Angelos contributed $29 million toward the purchase of the Baltimore Orioles in the summer of 1993. Now, almost 23 years later, the empire has totaled up nearly $3 billion in total value – recent earnings totaling nearly $1 billion plus the current value of the properties.

But it’s almost like following the Donald Trump campaign with a fact checker. For many with a clear view, the “truths” are self-evident. But in the local media, no amount of promises or lies is ever held to accountability. The sports journalism done here is softer than the bottom of the current Orioles 2016 rotation – or maybe even the batting order, for that matter.

In this six-part series, “MASN Money For Dummies,” I’m here to fact check for Orioles and Nationals fans. This is Chapter 2 outlining the history of the local television network and its purpose and links to creating revenue for the local baseball franchises.

Chapter 1 outlines the goal of the series and is available here.

Last month at the team’s Fan Fest, former 50-home run king and current high-ranking Orioles executive Brady Anderson continued to spread the fallacy through the local media that the franchise is a “small to mid-market” team.

That is – very simply – a lie. It’s a myth from another era.

All of the numbers and profits will bear that out.

And if you judge the history of spending, winning, litigating and profiteering – it’s very clear the owner isn’t sincerely committed to winning and competing with other Major League Baseball teams for the best talent available and putting the best players possible into an Orioles uniform each spring.

And why should Angelos spend money or raise the payroll when the real money arrives via the MASN television network long before any commitment to winning is necessary?

In the old days, MLB teams needed to sell tickets and put asses in the seats to make money. Winning and having star players doing it was the formula to making money – or at least the prayer of turning an annual profit on a baseball team.

Angelos is now making between $75 and $100 million in profit per year with the current system of a low baseball payroll for the Orioles and a quiet, widely misunderstood cable television annuity that last year grossed MASN – and Angelos currently owns 83% of that entity – over $200 million from your living room according to SNL Kagan.

It guarantees this to be – by far – the most profitable investment in local sports franchise history.

I’ve done the math. Per Forbes, the Orioles made $197 million in profit between 2005 and 2014. The Angelos portion of MASN has made $397 million in profit since 2009. There was another undocumented chunk between 2005 and 2008 that was at least $100 million in total profit plus the $75 million in cash that MLB gifted him in two payments at the start of the deal.

His initial $29 million personal investment in the Orioles during the summer of …

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The Peter Principles (Ch. 1): So, just how did Angelos become ‘King’ of Baltimore baseball?

Posted on 19 March 2014 by Nestor Aparicio

(Author note: This is Chapter 1 of future book “The Peter Principles” that I was working to finish in March 2014 when my wife was diagnosed with leukemia. I have released the first three chapters of the book, which chronicles the history of Peter G. Angelos and his ownership of the Baltimore Orioles. I think you’ll find much of this already-reported information to be illuminating.)

Chapter 2 is available here.

Chapter 3 is available here.

Chapter 12 is available here.

 

 

IT WAS HOT AS HADES in that lower Manhattan federal courtroom. Jam-packed with bidders, curiosity seekers and baseball fans, the Baltimore Orioles franchise was up for grabs on August 2, 1993, and the bidding was as steamy as the air in the room once the price began to rapidly accelerate into the stratosphere.

The fact that there was any bidding at all was somewhat surprising to Peter G. Angelos, a Baltimore attorney who had begun a power play five months earlier to purchase the Major League Baseball franchise that was being sold off via an auction nearly 200 miles away from its home on the Chesapeake Bay. In the hours leading up to the auction, Angelos managed to turn his sole competitor from a previous suspended bid for the team during June into a partner. William DeWitt Jr., a Cincinnati native whose father once owned the St. Louis Browns in the 1940s and a minority investor in the Texas Rangers, joined Angelos’ celebrity-led local group from Maryland just hours before the bidding was to begin in the sweltering Custom House. DeWitt was promised a role in the operations and management of the club.

It was an amazing coup for Angelos to pull DeWitt from being a worthy, legitimate competitor into a teammate that morning, after convincing him that he’d be involved and an influential part of the eventual winning group. It was shocking that DeWitt had pulled out because several times over the previous eight months, he was convinced that he was already the winning bidder and new owner of the Orioles.

In February 1993, after six months of lengthy, arduous negotiations on a fair price, DeWitt had entered into a deal with Orioles majority owner Eli Jacobs to buy the team for $141.3 million. Jacobs, who was in his final days of semi-liquidity and quietly on the verge of bankruptcy, didn’t have the legal authority to close the deal with DeWitt once the banks seized his assets in March. Instead, the Orioles wound up at auction five months later and suddenly Angelos – with DeWitt now shockingly a member of his ownership team – believed he would emerge victorious without breaking a sweat in the summer heat of The Big Apple.

But that afternoon, after entering the courtroom in what he believed would be a rubber-stamped win, instead he found himself embroiled in a bidding war with a stranger he never strongly considered to being a worthy foil in the fray.

Jeffrey Loria, a New York art dealer and Triple-A baseball team owner, wanted badly to be a Major League Baseball owner. Baltimore native and former NFL player Jean Fugett represented a group led by TLC Beatrice, which featured a rare minority bid for an MLB franchise on that day in New York. One bidder, Doug Jemal of Nobody Beats The Wiz electronics stores, had early interest but bowed out before the steamy auction.

That August day, the bidding began at $151.25 million, which included a “stalking fee” of $1.7 million which was originally awarded to DeWitt’s team because of his vast due diligence and legal work done months earlier when he thought he had won a deal to secure the Orioles in the spring.

George Stamas, who represented Angelos’ group during the bidding process, opened the bidding at $153 million, which was seen as a good faith gesture from the combined bid with DeWitt, which could’ve been perceived as artificially deflating the sale price by judge Cornelius Blackshear. Loria, who was a stranger to the Angelos group, immediately raised it by $100,000. Stamas barked out, “One million more – $154.1!”

And for the next 30 minutes, the bids drew north from the $150 millions into the $160s. With every bid, Loria would raise by $100,000. Stamas, on behalf of Angelos, raised it by $1 million at a time. After 13 rounds of back and forth money, Angelos had the leading bid $170 million. Fugett, who had been completely silent during the auction, asked the judge for a recess.

The request was granted and the judge headed to his chambers.

And, suddenly, it got even hotter in a blazing courtroom on a sweltering day in The Big

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The Sun gets the treatment I said they’d get from The Orioles

Posted on 06 December 2013 by Drew Forrester

If my Thursday edition of Drew’s Morning Dish here at WNST.net was a post-touchdown-celebration, this is what you’d be hearing from the referee.

“There are two penalties on the play, both occurring after the touchdown.  There’s a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration AND a 15-yard penalty for taunting.”

Did I call that one, or what?

As you can read RIGHT HERE, I opined on Thursday that the Orioles would reach out to Peter Schmuck of The Sun by nightfall to chastise him for his Wednesday column in which he wrote, essentially, that the Jim Johnson trade on Monday night “had the fingerprints of ownership all over it.”

Reach out they did.  They had the owner AND the general manager get a hold of Schmuck to “straighten him out”.  In fact, they straightened him out TWICE on Thursday.  His Thursday piece at The Sun was edited twice yesterday (and the headline changed, too) when Peter Angelos and Dan Duquette both contacted him to make sure he got their story right.

I’m a Peter Schmuck fan, by the way.  I think he’s very well sourced in town.  Actually, I know he’s very well sourced.  And, I think Peter knows sports and knows the way things work in this city when it comes to matters of the Orioles.

I also know – with all due respect to Brett Hollander who is doing a fine job as the host at WBAL – that Schmuck would be hosting a lot of WBAL’s nightly local sports coverage if the Orioles approved it a few years ago when the opening first existed.

Yesterday, though, was so “Orioles-ish” it’s remarkable.

I’ve certainly experienced it ten-fold over the years.  Greg Bader once told me in the Camden Yards press box “only one person listens to you”, but whenever they wanted my access restricted (twice, now, in the last six years) they simply took my media credential away and said, “You can’t come in and cover the team…”

Schmuck got different treatment yesterday.  Once he posted his piece on the The Sun website, the Orioles THEN reacted to it.

They’re as easy to read as a copy of Playboy in the men’s bathroom at your local athletic club.

You try to reach out to the Orioles to get some sort of comment from them on any matter and they don’t return your calls or your emails because…well, because they just don’t feel like wasting their time with you.

Until you write or say something they don’t like.

Then, suddenly, their phone or email works.

It’s reprehensible, really, that a “professional” organization operates in such a fashion, but the Orioles have showed over the years an amazing ability to do things completely on the other side of Planet Professional.

This, by the way, is just beginning.

What I mean by “this” is an uprising of sorts from a fan base that is starting to put pressure on the baseball team to step up to the next level and operate their franchise at a level commensurate with the revenue they’re generating from the community.

It’s not that different than what’s going on in the country these days with regard to President and the government in general.  Folks have grown tired of this charade that’s been going for five years and are starting to demand real answers and real accountability.

We, here, at WNST have been demanding answers and accountability from the baseball franchise for about seven years now.

Throughout that time, we were the subject of scorn from “real” baseball fans in town — those at Orioles Hangout, season ticket holders and die-hards alike — who criticized us for our supposed “agenda”.

Now, the worm has turned.

Orioles Hangout looks like it’s been set on fire with a huge number of their sheep having discovered what WNST knew and communicated all along.  There’s outrage over there as they now – in 2014, almost – are starting to hold the owner’s feet to the fire for the on-field product.

Peter Schmuck held the Orioles accountable this week and look what it got him.

Phone calls, revisions and, in general, an orange finger wagged in his face that said, “Don’t you be writing those things…”

I love it, personally.

If the Orioles were more honest from jump street – with the media, the fans and themselves – this sort of stuff wouldn’t happen.

But, they’re not.

And, so it now begins.

The Orioles vs. everyone else.

Only this time, there’s a lot more of “everyone else” than there has been in the past.

Weird how that works, huh?

 

 

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Pimlico press box renamed to honor Kelly

Posted on 21 April 2013 by WNST Staff

PIMLICO PRESS BOX RENAMED SUNDAY AFTERNOON

 

BALTIMORE, 04-21-13—Before Sunday’s first race, the Pimlico Race Course press box was renamed to include Joe Kelly, who covered horse racing for nearly 70 years prior to his passing in November at the age of 94. The Red Smith-Joe Kelly Press Box will be at full capacity next month for the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes.

 

Kelly began his career at the Baltimore Sun in the 1940s then moved to the Washington Star in 1955 where he spent the next 26 years. After retiring, he became the publicity director for the Maryland Million and was Pimlico Race Course’s historical consultant until his death.

“Nobody spent more time in the Pimlico press box,” said Mike Gathagan, Pimlico’s vice president of communications. “We felt it was important to honor Mr. Kelly, so the next generations of turf writers know what he meant to this place. He was a tremendous resource and positive influence. We just finished our third week of the spring meet and it is weird not to see him in his office or in the chair where he sat while wagering each afternoon.”

On October 30, 1947 Kelly was part of Baltimore’s first live remote television broadcast on WMAR-TV, when he called the fifth and sixth races at Pimlico with his then colleague Jim McKay. He is also the only two-time winner of the Old Hilltop Award for excellence in horse racing coverage, winning in 1979 and 2000.

Twenty-members of the Kelly family, including five of his six children and four of his five grandchildren attended the dedication.

 

“This truly is a great honor for him,” said Kelly’s son Jacques. “He spent 69 years in this press box and adored Pimlico. For him Pimlico was a very personal place. Joe had a fabulous memory and always had stories to tell about it. Just when you thought you heard them all, you heard one more. This is also where my parents courted. Not only did they court here but they also brought all their friends. This is very emotional for me. I hate to say it but it is the truth, more so than the funeral or other honors (since his passing) because this is his home turf.”

 

Smith covered the Preakness Stakes for more than 40 years, first with the New York Herald Tribune and then for the New York Times. In 1976, Smith was one of the initial winners of Pimlico Race Course’s Old Hilltop Award for covering Thoroughbred Racing with excellence and distinction. The Pimlico press box was named in his honor on May 14, 1982, four months after his death.

ORTIZ INJURED IN SUNDAY SPILL

Apprentice rider Yomar Ortiz was injured when he fell from his mount during the stretch run in today’s fifth race at Pimlico. Ortiz was riding Badon when his mount broke down closing in on the finish in the five furlong turf race for $35,000 claimers. Ortiz was on the ground when he was struck by Gator Gone Wild, a trailing horse. The 21-year old was taken to nearby Sinai Hospital for x-rays near the hip and femur areas on his left leg, according to Pimlico medical director Dr. Harry Harris.

 

Ortiz leads the rider standings after three weeks of the spring meeting with 13 trips to the winners’ circle, after capturing the Laurel Park winter meet title earlier this year.

 

Badon suffered a right ankle injury and was humanely euthanized, according to Maryland Racing Commission veterinarian Dr. David Zipf.

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Your Monday Reality Check: Shame Sun bungled “Marylander of the Year”

Posted on 31 December 2012 by Glenn Clark

I shared this Saturday night on both Facebook and Twitter (via Sulia, which I will admit I’ve NEVER used before).

This is going to be a quick thought from me before New Year’s Eve. It’s the last thing I want to say in calendar 2012. I’ll have plenty to say about the Baltimore Ravens during the course of the next fews days. It’s (once again) Indianapolis Colts week and a lot of people are going to have a lot of opinions.

I’ll save the majority of mine for January 2, 2012. In the meantime, this is it for me in 2012. I hope this final thought will strike you. It was the only thing I could think about after I learned Buck Showalter had been named the Baltimore Sun’s “Marylander of the Year” for 2012.

It’s really important to me.

This is genuine. 

What Buck Showalter accomplished in 2012 was nothing short of amazing. There’s a reason why we named him WNST.net’s “Local Sports Person of the Year”. 

That being said, it’s unconscionable that The Baltimore Sun create an honor called “Marylander of the Year” and screw it up so much. 

There was ONE answer to this question this year. ONE. 

I feel so strongly about this that I would prefer to wait until my show Monday to really discuss it, but because I only have two hours on Monday’s show I’ll do it here. 

Perry Hall High School’s Jesse Wasmer was the only person that should have even been CONSIDERED for this award, more or less named a winner. I understand The Sun made this an open vote, but that’s their own mistake. 

The title of “Marylander of The Year” is far too significant for a popularity contest. A hero who protected our young people and risked his own life/safety in the process should have made this a no-brainer. 

I know Jesse doesn’t want the recognition, but as whatever form of public figure I am, I can’t let it go. 

Perhaps when it comes time for “Marylander of the Decade” it will be made right.

(If you don’t remember, Jesse Wasmer was the guidance counselor and Perry Hall High School alum who confronted a gunman on the first day of school at PHHS this year after he wounded student Daniel Borowy. Wasmer was hailed as protecting perhaps many lives that day while placing his own life at risk. He was aided by fellow faculty members Richard Rosenthal and Kathleen Watkins. If you need your memory jogged, please go ahead. I shared some of my own emotions that day too.)

I add the disclosure that I am a Perry Hall alum myself and still involved with the school for multiple events every year. I add another disclosure that I know Jesse, having attended Perry Hall at the same time. His brother and I were classmates. Jesse was always the typed you looked up to because of how cool and collected he was. I never knew as a young man that composure would turn into completely legitimate heroism.

I’m not exactly impartial when it comes to my feelings here. I hardly believe that matters in this case.

As I reminded someone who told me “Whoever they picked, there would be controversy” Saturday night, there is absolutely ZERO debate about a real hero who risked his own safety to save the lives of area children. None.

Thank you Jesse Wasmer. You’re my hero. You deserve so much more than just “Marylander of the Year” for what you’ve done. It’s just a shame they couldn’t even figure that much out.

I promise I’ll ramp up some Indy angst and purple passion in the coming days. I just wanted to leave you with this final thought and image in 2012 as the tragedies of Aurora and New Town have dominated year-end recaps. I’m so grateful this doesn’t have to be remembered the same way, but I hope we recognize that as the year closes.

Happy New Year, Charm City.

-G

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Part 3: Which Baltimore sports media entities suck? Here’s my report card…

Posted on 23 October 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s been nearly three years since I started publicly examining the “State of Baltimore Sports Media” at WNST.net. As I predicted, the way you get your local sports news, information and analysis has seamlessly changed and now sits in the palm of your hands.

Three years ago when I wrote this in depth look at where the Baltimore sports media universe was heading, Twitter was truly at the dawn of its existence. The ability of mobile devices was far more limited and far less distributed. And the access to the genie of instant information in the palms of our hands that we’ve quickly become accustomed to will never go backward into the narrow bottle of the limited access of newspapers, television and radio waves.

Today, I will examine the current state of the Baltimore sports media experience and as much as many local journalists like to give “report cards” on the Ravens every Sunday night and Monday morning, I’m sure some folks will get their feelings hurt today.

I’ll tell you what I think about our competitors and the intentions of their bosses and their corporate, money-making media machines. Honesty. Candidly. Openly. As usual…

And, we’d love to hear what you think here in our “2012 State Of Baltimore Sports Media Survey” here.

One lucky survey entrant will win a trip next weekend to Cleveland on our Miller Lite Orange Roadtrip powered by Jiffy Lube.

As I’ve said over the past month, we’re trying to make WNST.net better every minute of every day so that we can be your primary source of Baltimore sports news and information on your mobile device.

Examining the Baltimore sports media business is the most important thing I do on a daily basis and while I rarely write about this stuff, it’s been my life’s mission to improve your experience as a local sports fan.

I find it almost hilarious and/or pathetic that anyone would listen to the radio station that calls itself  “The Fan” when the entire concept was drawn up in a board room in New York and never factors the actual “fans” into the equation when they assembled their corporate radio station team.

But competition is good. It sets the bar. At WNST.net, we’ve never ducked the obvious or taken Baltimore sports fans for granted – we know you’re judging us and comparing us every day because you utilize more than one outlet for your sports media consumption on a daily basis in 2012.

But we’re always striving to the be the FIRST place you go to get Baltimore sports information on your IPhone, Droid or mobile device.

In an effort to encourage you to give your feedback on the local Baltimore sports media scene, it’s only fair that I file my own report card.

So, who are the competitors and players on the local scene and where do you turn when breaking news happens in Baltimore?

My general overview of this is candidly clear: Baltimore is a lazy market on the new media end. I know how hard we work at WNST.net and I know what our resources are. I know the strengths and weaknesses of all of our competitors in the marketplace and many of the assembled group of “journalists” in the market have either been on my team, interviewed to be on my team or have cross-pollinated in something I’ve touched because I’ve been doing Baltimore sports media longer than virtually anyone in the marketplace.

My journey began almost 29 years ago in January 1984 at age 15 when Baltimore had three newspapers, three TV stations and a handful of AM radio stations that did local sports of any kind.

In 2012, there has been a mass fracturing in the way and convenience in which we consume media so many of the entities have “loose ends” in their coverage or holes in the strategy. Some of their portals to garner attention, feedback and building a trusted community of information are very old world and “lazy” for my tastes.

And before I begin defecating on all of our competitors – and that will be prevalent below – no less than two of these fossilized radio stations have the arrogance to call themselves “the only station that matters.”

It’s hilarious. And the truth is that WNST.net is kicking all of their asses in the only place that really matters – the internet and on your mobile device via instant access.

Here’s a report card from two weeks ago via Twitter:

Some will get their feelings hurt, but if you click to Page 2 you’ll see what I think of our “competition” at WNST.net…

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Your Monday Reality Check-A mountain of misinformation

Posted on 17 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

I honestly still can’t believe some of the things I read/heard/saw last week about Baltimore Ravens OT Bryant McKinnie.

If you missed it, McKinnie was not on the fall last week in Owings Mills during mandatory minicamp at the Under Armour Performance Center. When asked why McKinnie was not practicing, head coach John Harbaugh said “Bryant McKinnie is a guy that we held out just for conditioning purposes. We’re going to probably continue to do that and continue to try and get him in good shape. I think practice-wise, he’s just as well doing the conditioning part of it.”

Let me start this post by saying I fully understand a few things. One is that Harbaugh has never felt the need to share more information than necessary about any of his players. Another is that the information was new to reporters, so asking follow up questions might not have seemed pertinent. I wasn’t present at minicamp (media availability was scheduled during my radio show “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net each day) and was unable to fully grasp exactly what was going on.

With no media availability scheduled before the start of Training Camp, reporters felt it necessary to question Harbaugh later in the week for more information about McKinnie’s status. Unfortunately the coach was again vague, offering “we will leave that between us. That’s something that is an in-house type of thing right now. Bryant has done a good job, he’s worked hard. It’s not as simple as some of you guys want to make it. It’s just a situation where we are going to do what is best for the team, what is best for Bryant. We want him here; there’s no reason he wouldn’t be here. He has worked hard, so you try to do what’s most beneficial for every guy in every situation, and it’s always individualized.”

Now’s the part where I offer some examples of various stories I’ve read about Bryant McKinnie.

Here’s this from SI.com…

“Cut last season by the Vikings, Bryant McKinnie, who sat out Thursday’s practice, may be on the verge of extending an ignominious streak. Here is a player who has a history of being overweight and struggled with the same problem last season. He also reportedly has financial problems, yet can’t get into good enough shape to participate in minicamp. You have to question his commitment and when a team starts signing veteran offensive linemen and McKinnie gets held out of minicamp, it could be a sign of things to come.”

And this from SB Nation…

“The Baltimore Ravens gave veteran left tackle Bryant McKinnie a $500,000 roster bonus earlier this spring, but now might be regretting the outlay of cash. McKinnie came to Baltimore after the Minnesota Vikings cut him last summer for reporting to camp overweight. The Ravens rounded him into shape and he had a pretty solid year, allowing the team to shift Michael Oher over to right tackle and solidify that side of the offensive line.

McKinnie reportedly was on his way to getting in good shape earlier this year, but the most recent news was that the team held him out of the mini-camp this past week for “conditioning reasons.” This does not bode well for either the Ravens nor McKinnie.

Bryant is on the short end of a legal case where he defaulted on a $4 million loan he took out during the NFL Lockout last year and seriously needs a full season paycheck to pay it back. If he does not report to the Ravens Training Camp in six weeks in excellent shape, there is a very good chance that the team may decide to cut ties with him and let him go.”

Allow me to be fair again for a second. The SI.com blurb was a clear re-write with no author attached. While SB Nation does have a handful of experienced journalists and columnists, their sites are still largely made up of part-time writers/editors with no actual experience truly covering a team.

So perhaps CSNBaltimore.com’s veteran writer Ray Frager would be a better source.

“Offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie’s conditioning issues have been a big part of the Ravens chatter over this week. There is speculation he is around that 400-pound summit that caused him to lose his job in Minnesota.”

Maybe even the Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston would be a better option.

“The entire McKinnie episode is strange and you wonder if he is going to be around when training camp opens. Here is a player who has a history of being overweight and struggled with the same problem last season.

He also reportedly has financial problems, yet can’t get into good enough shape to participate in minicamp. You have to question his commitment and when a team starts signing veteran offensive linemen and McKinnie gets held out of minicamp, it could be a sign of things to come.”

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Maryland makes Aronhalt transfer official

Posted on 22 May 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Logan Aronhalt, a 6-foot-3 guard who has graduated from the University of Albany, has signed a financial-aid agreement and will transfer to play his final season at the University of Maryland, Terps head coach Mark Turgeon announced Tuesday.

Aronhalt, a native of Zanesville, Ohio, averaged 13.8 points per game during the 2011-12 season. He scored 13 points and had six rebounds when the Great Danes lost at Maryland, 83-72, on Dec. 28, 2011.

The guard said the matchup in Comcast Center was memorable for him.

“From a basketball standpoint, [there’s] no one with more tradition than Maryland,” Aronhalt told The Baltimore Sun. “The facilities are incredibly amazing. The opportunity to play up there on a national stage and playing against the best competition in the country, just about every single night, is something that’s really great about the university.”

Aronhalt started 74 consecutive games in his three seasons at Albany, finishing with 1,091 career points. He has hit 169 3-pointers, shooting 35 percent from 3-point range and 83 percent from the free-throw line. He was a third team All-America East Conference pick in 2011.

“We are thrilled to add Logan to our basketball family,” said Turgeon. “Logan’s values are closely aligned with the expectations we have in our program. I’m impressed with his high level of success in the classroom while being an all-league player in the American East. We have a world-class kinesiology graduate program, and he really wanted to be a part of that.

“I am impressed with Logan’s toughness, leadership, and basketball IQ. He’s a coach’s son and his game reflects that. Logan had a great career at Albany scoring almost 1,100 points in three years. His experience and ability will really be helpful on a team that will feature so many underclassmen.”

Aronholt missed all but two minutes of the 2008-09 season with a series of foot injuries, but recovered to play in 94 games over the next three years.

He was Albany’s team captain twice and was a second-team selection in the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America program. He graduated summa cum laude from Albany.

Aronhalt will have one season of eligibility remaining at Maryland.

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Your Monday Reality Check-Horse Racing, Orioles in similar spot for three weeks

Posted on 21 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

I’ve attempted to put events I’ve attended into words for years.

Baltimore Ravens football games, University of Maryland football and basketball games, a multitude of local hoops and lacrosse games and even a press conference or twenty have quickly turned into 600-1400 words worth of type off my fingers.

Almost every time I’ve written something, even the columns I’ve been particularly pleased with, I’ve looked somewhere else on the web and thought to myself “damn, that person can WRITE” after reading what they had to say about the same event.

Such was the case again this weekend. I had already decided my Monday morning column would be related to the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes, but I hadn’t exactly decided what angle I was going to take. It only took me a trip to my friend Kevin Van Valkenburg (of ESPN The Magazine/Hug It Out Radio fame and late Baltimore Sun)’s Facebook page for me to once again utter the phrase.

It wasn’t because of something KVV had written this time though. It was one of his colleagues’ stories he had linked, and it made me say “damn, Jeff MacGregor can WRITE.”

MacGregor scribed this exceptional postscript to an incredible victory from Kentucky Derby champ I’ll Have Another, celebrating the excitement of an underdog champ at the coming buildup to a Triple Crown chance in the context of a fledgling sport.

Many commenters on ESPN.com and throughout social media however were turned off by the nature of MacGregor’s tone, most notably this line…

“None of which matters, because horse racing is dead.”

MacGregor didn’t really say anything we haven’t already accepted as fact, we’ve just been more apt to use a kinder term like “struggling” or “suffering” instead of flat out placing the industry in a black bag and shipping it to the morgue.

Horse racing HAS been troubled for some time. The depth of the fall has been particularly evident in the state of Maryland, where “the sport of kings” has been all but nonexistent for years. Sure, the industry shines for a few days each spring at Pimlico and each fall at Laurel Park, but even on the brightest day the problems in the industry are obvious.

Unlike some, I have no interest in fighting with MacGregor. I think he’s absolutely right. I just feel as though the potentially monumental turn for horse racing in the next month can be celebrated whether or not the sport is staring into the face of imminent doom.

I’ll Have Another’s charge to the wire Saturday was breathtaking. 14 days earlier we had no way to know that an unknown trainer (Doug O’Neill) and jockey (Mario Gutierrez) had a longshot in position to track down the exceptional favorite (Bodemeister) trained by the Hall of Famer (Bob Baffert) and ridden by a Hall of Famer (Mike Smith) as well. On Saturday we knew it was possible but found it no less amazing.

“There’s no way this can happen again.”

You definitely heard me make the argument for Bodemeister throughout the week. “There’s no speed horse to take Bodemeister out to a dangerous speed this time. The race is 1/16 of a mile shorter. There are nine fewer horses to crowd things at the front and push the favorite too much early. There’s just no way things can shape up for I’ll Have Another as perfectly as they did in Louisville.”

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