Posted on 19 January 2013 by Nestor Aparicio
Posted on 01 May 2012 by WNST Staff
The Orioles today announced that the Brooks Robinson sculpture unveiling originally scheduled for Saturday, May 12 has been postponed until Saturday, September 29.
Robinson’s sculpture will be unveiled as part of the Orioles Legends Celebration Series, in which the six greatest Orioles of all time will have a larger-than-life bronze sculpture dedicated in the newly designed centerfield picnic grove.
“I am sorry I am unable to be there for the originally scheduled unveiling of the Brooks Robinson statue,” Robinson said. “My wife, family and I have looked forward to this day for a long time. Due to health issues, I am unable to participate at this time. We are grateful that the Orioles have offered to reschedule the unveiling and we look forward to celebrating with you in September.”
The May 12 game vs. Tampa Bay at 7:05 p.m. will be played as originally scheduled. Fans no longer wishing to attend the May 12 game may exchange their tickets for the September 29 game, or any non-prime game this season, at no additional charge. The Brooks Robinson replica sculptures will be given to all fans in attendance only at the September 29 game. Tickets must be exchanged prior to June 30, 2012.
Fans who wish to exchange their tickets may do so at the Orioles Box Office or send their tickets to Baltimore Orioles, ATTN: May 12 Exchange, 333 W. Camden St., Baltimore, MD 21201. Please allow 2-4 weeks for processing of mail exchanges.
The AT&T Fans’ Choice Bobblehead, scheduled for September 29, will now be given to the first 20,000 fans 15 and over at the Sunday, September 30 game.
Tickets for the September 29 game or any other game in the Orioles Legends Celebration Series, as well as a special five-game package, are available for purchase at www.orioles.com/legends. The list of remaining dates is below.
Saturday, June 30 – EARL WEAVER
Saturday, July 14 – JIM PALMER
Saturday, August 11 – EDDIE MURRAY
Thursday, September 6 – CAL RIPKEN JR.
Saturday, September 29 – BROOKS ROBINSON
Posted on 14 March 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
(Originally published as a prelude to the “Free The Birds” walkout in Sept. 2006, this is Part 10 of a 19 Chapter Series on How Baseball and the Orioles berthed WNST.net. This is an unedited version of the original post without updates regarding Mike Flanagan’s suicide.)
Mike Flanagan is as close to an Orioles’ kindred spirit as I have in the world. Maybe Jim Palmer and Elrod Hendricks and Jimmy Tyler could be thrown in there as well, because they’ve seemed as omnipresent as my fandom of the Orioles.
But, Flanagan is really ” The One,” because in real terms, he’s been with the Orioles as long as I’ve been with the Orioles. And no one else I know, other than my Mom, has stayed in my life all of these years and still keeps popping up.
He came up in 1975, and I really started regularly going to games around that time, when I was 6.
I remember when he first came up, the expectations, the rotation — with Jim Palmer, Scott McGregor and Dennis Martinez, every night was trouble for some AL team — and I probably spent 80 nights of my life inside Memorial Stadium watching Mike Flanagan pitch.
From 1977 to 1984 he never had a sub-par season, only many very good ones and a couple of great ones. He left the Orioles just once — for two-plus years, pitching for the Blue Jays after a trade deadline deal in 1987.
In 1979, he won 23 games and led that magical team every time Earl Weaver threw him out there. It was his best year in baseball. It was mine too!
In 1992, he began his broadcasting career. That’s the same year I left The Evening Sun and went on the radio.
In 2003, he became part of “management”. In early 2005, I did the same thing.
But, even though we’ve gotten to know each other over the years — with him at one point walking up to me (when I didn’t even know he knew I existed) in the late 1990′s and admitting that he was a fan of MINE and addicted to “Nasty Nationwide” and listened every day with his daughter — on that last game at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 6, 1991, Mike Flanagan was just a childhood hero to me. He was, in some ways, larger than life because when I was 10 years old, he took the hill every couple of nights for the centerpiece of my life, the Baltimore Orioles.
Mike Flanagan was one of MY guys! My mood hung on every pitch he threw!
So on that sad-yet-uplifting and chilly October afternoon in 1991 — surrounded by a disgusting Redskins fan actually watching a football game on her laptop TV in Sect. 34 — it was me, Mike Flanagan, my memories of my youth and my best friend Kevin Eck (he keeps popping up doesn’t he!), along with 54,000 others just like us gathering for one of the biggest public tearjerkers in the history of this city.
If you didn’t spend your childhood at Memorial Stadium, you can probably stop reading or listening right around now.
Because you just won’t understand it. You couldn’t possibly think it is anything beyond silly.
It is truly a “Ball’mer thing.”
But EVERYONE who has ever loved the Orioles remembers
Posted on 07 March 2012 by Luke Jones
It’s never easy saying goodbye.
You sometimes see it coming — whether you want to admit it or not — as the fans of Indianapolis did before iconic quarterback Peyton Manning finally took the podium on Wednesday afternoon.
Other times, it comes out of nowhere to hit you like a Mack truck, with no possible way of preparing yourself.
Either way, you’re never truly ready when the moment comes.
Putting aside our city’s well-chronicled feelings toward Indianapolis and the quarterback that twice eliminated the Ravens from the playoffs, you couldn’t help but feel a lump in your throat watching a teary-eyed Manning bid farewell to the city and organization he called home for 14 years. In that moment, an option bonus, the No. 1 pick in the draft, and potential free-agent destinations took a backseat to raw emotion.
And it reminded us that day is coming all too quickly for Ray Lewis in Baltimore.
Of course, the circumstances are different. It appears — but I can’t stress enough that it’s far from a certainty — Lewis will have the opportunity to ride off into the sunset as a member of the same organization that drafted him out of the University of Miami in 1996. There is no $28 million albatross standing in the way over the final four years of Lewis’ current contract, but his cap number will grow annually (he will reportedly make just under $5 million in base salary and have a $6.85 million cap number in 2012) if Lewis holds on longer than expected and forces the organization to make a difficult decision.
But any way you slice it, the scene that played out in Indianapolis on Wednesday will be replicated with Lewis and the Ravens in some shape or form. And it will be difficult to accept.
Sports icons such as Manning and Lewis are a dying breed as time goes on, with fewer athletes sticking around for more than a handful of years in a given city. Their significance goes far beyond simple performance on the field. The former Indianapolis quarterback gave his city a real football identity detached from the stolen heritage of the Baltimore Colts while the Ravens have never played a snap of football without Lewis as a member of the organization.
That’s why it’s so silly to hear discussion of Stanford’s Andrew Luck “replacing” Manning in Indianapolis or the Ravens looking for the “heir apparent” to Lewis at inside linebacker. New players will assume their abandoned positions, but their presence remains in an almost spiritual sense in fans’ minds and hearts.
Make no mistake, the sun will rise in the morning as Indianapolis begins the first full day of the post-Manning era, and the Ravens will continue playing football in Baltimore long after No. 52 ceases dancing out of the tunnel and inflicting fear in the hearts of opposing offenses.
Posted on 27 January 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
This blog was originally published two years ago. We’ll be revisiting this with a three-part series and updating these thoughts with a new WNST “State of Baltimore Sports Media” survey next week while we broadcast live from Indianapolis all week. This is Part 1 of 5: The State of Baltimore Sports Media (circa 2010).
The world has changed a lot since I was born in 1968 and when I first starting reading The Sun in 1972. I was one of those kids who read early and have vivid memories of reading the sports section scores to the class in kindergarten in 1973. I learned to read by reading the newspaper every day. News, information and current events were a huge part of my household in Colgate. And sports was part gospel.
Every day at my house in Dundalk, The Sun came in the morning and The News American came at night. (Even though both of my parents insisted on calling it “The News Post” – its earlier name from the 1950s.) I read the sports section, the news section, TV listings, played Wishing Well and read the goofy horoscope. I was — and still am at heart — a newspaper freak. I clipped mastheads when my family traveled in 1978 to Myrtle Beach, S.C. from every newspaper at every rest stop. They were easy-to-get 10-cent souvenirs at every Stuckey’s along the way!
My Pop subscribed to the Baseball Digest (we’d always get the almanac and stats books at the end of every year, which were like bibles in my house) and The Sporting News.
As a kid in the 1970’s, we were under almost communistic rule in regard to the flow of real information to the public in regard to sports or the business of sports. If the baseball owners – who were the kings of American sports, in that they owned the most valuable & well-marketed sports properties – didn’t want players to have free agency for 50 years, do you think they were interested in sports writers having free speech? (Just think about it…lol)
My flow of information was relegated to a few annual digests, The Sporting News and bubble gum cards. (One day I’ll write a book solely devoted to baseball cards, which have been a lifelong passion for me.)
Back to the basics: when you’re a kid from Dundalk in the 1970s you think “I read it in the newspaper – it MUST be true!” Or at least that’s what I thought before I had given any thought to the business aspects of the sports media world.
I’ve later come to realize that until Howard Cosell came along during my childhood and began to expose all of the nonsense in the sports world and the backrubs that the alleged “media” were giving the “jockocracy,” it was a world of marketing, hero-worship and ticket selling with very little regard for the facts about athletes or how the world works. It was pretty much like the World Wide Wrestling Federation – a land of make believe. You make up a story in the public relations department, get the writers to write about it, make your broadcasters talk about it during the games – and voila, Fruit Loops becomes part of the Mickey Tettleton legend!
I’m now 41 and I’ve spent every moment since I was 15 years old learning about, living in and adjusting to the world of Baltimore sports media. And with all of the knowledge and school-of-hard-knocks life lessons I’ve been taught, I’ve never read anyone who was more on-point, accurate and candid than Cosell.
To me, he’s the greatest sports journalist there ever was – and his credo of “telling it like it is” always resonates with me and while in some colleague circles it hasn’t made me popular, it has brought me the eternal gift of respect from those who know that I don’t need to sugarcoat the reality of a circumstance.
In Dundalk parlance, they know I’m not “bulls%^&*g” them…
If I’ve said it or written it over the years, it’s the truth. Like it or not, you’re getting what I really think and the background of facts and observations that justify my stance.
But, then again, I’m the only media member in the marketplace who doesn’t have a boss. I don’t answer to anybody and I don’t work for anybody else. No one can “fire” me. So, in many ways, I’m the only one who CAN tell you the truth. Sad, but true.
If you’re giving me the time to read this piece – or have ever tuned into any of my work since 1984 – I feel I owe you what I really think not just what “someone told me I should say.” And besides, it’s got my name on it. And the building and radio station and website all have WNST.net on them. So this week upon my departure from radio and into the fulltime world of social media and entrepreneurship, I’m going to set the record straight.
Since the 1980’s, I’ve gone on to work for all three daily newspapers as a kid, learning every nuance of the news, journalism, reporting, editing and protocol of the industry from the greatest cast of experts you could possibly imagine: John Steadman, Richard Justice, Ken Rosenthal, Tim Kurkjian, Buster Olney, plus dozens (if not hundreds) of other mentors, co-workers, colleagues and sports media personalities and business executives. I’ve been a sponge to all of their unending information, knowledge and advice. Much of this I’ll be using when I begin researching and writing my third book all this year on the history of Baltimore sports coaches and leadership and wisdom. I am hoping it will be the best piece of work I’ve ever done. I will pour my heart into it and hope that you buy it and share it. I’m hoping to have it available by Labor Day.
In the 1990’s I created a successful sports radio show that begat WNST-AM
Posted on 08 November 2011 by Luke Jones
Dan Duquette did as well as you could reasonably expect in his introductory press conference after the public-relations disaster that was the Orioles’ general manager search over the last few weeks.
The new vice president of baseball operations — a Massachusetts native — recalled his days of imitating Brooks Robinson and the 1966 Orioles in his backyard as a child. In fact, the Hall of Fame third baseman was the first major league player Duquette met many years ago during a trip to Fenway Park.
In laying out his vision for returning the Orioles to the glory days, he referenced the philosophy of Harry Dalton, who served as general manager during Baltimore’s most prosperous time from 1966 through 1971.
“Aggressive scouting will build you a winning ball club; aggressive international scouting, I believe, will build you a championship ball club. You weave that in with a sound player development operation.”
It sounded heartwarming — even a little romantic — before the familiar warning signals that we’ve heard time and time again from others who’ve tried and failed in turning around an organization stuck in baseball purgatory for the last 14 years.
Duquette stopped short of repeating the infamous “grow the arms, buy the bats” mantra of former front office head Andy MacPhail, but the former Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox general manager made it clear the development of pitching would remain the organization’s top priority. It’s a fair and prudent strategy, but much like his predecessor, Duquette couldn’t resist referencing the “behemoths” of the American League East in what’s become a tired excuse for those wanting reasons to believe in the Orioles again.
Denouncing the inflated payrolls of your divisional opponents might be tolerable if you were being left at the altar every season with 85 to 90 wins, but it smells of excuse-making when you’re not even allowed in the church after failing to approach the 80-win mark in seven years.
But that critique aside, Duquette’s stated commitment to improve scouting and player development is a much-needed strategy for an organization poor in both areas. Despite what many will tell you, finding and developing your own talent and spending money at the major league level do not have to be mutually exclusive. The latter, of course, is dependent on majority owner Peter Angelos, which won’t instill much faith in anyone with ties to the Orioles.
“When you don’t have the resources that the top two clubs have, you have to work harder and you have to work smarter,” Duquette said. “You have to do a better job in scouting and you have to do a better job in player development. If you can build up the inventory of your farm system and you’ve got core players coming to your major league team, you’ve got something to talk about. The team that has the best farm system is the team that competes, year in and year out.”
Working harder and smarter than the competition sounds great, but how much can the organization really improve with holdovers such as John and Dave Stockstill entrenched in the front office with no track record to support it?
And that’s overlooking the fact that Duquette hasn’t worked in a major league front office in nearly a decade. Though claiming he’s maintained contacts throughout the game, how “wired in” will he be to the everyday happenings of baseball circa 2011?
With the ever-increasing dependence on statistically-based talent evaluation — more commonly referred to as sabermetrics — how far has the Orioles’ head man fallen behind during his absence from Major League Baseball since 2002?
“Your [former] manager here, Earl Weaver, knew the value of on-base percentage way ahead of the sabermetricians,” said Duquette, who added that Weaver’s book on baseball strategy will be required reading throughout the organization. “In fact, I would call that the groundwork for today’s stats. [Weaver] knew the value of scoring a run. He knew the value of how precious each out is, and he was able to impart that on his ball club.”
For Duquette, there’s little time to get acclimated to his new surroundings as he must balance finding a scouting director and a minor league pitching instructor with a thin free-agent market that opened for business last week. It’s not exactly an easy task for a man who’s just now moving into his office at the Warehouse.
Posted on 24 October 2011 by Drew Forrester
We at WNST should just walk around with red flags in our back pockets.
They’d be used for “community challenges”.
It seems we’re the only ones who use them, but I guess that’s what we’re here for…Lord knows very few others in town are willing to challenge anyone.
The latest case for red-flag use came this weekend when the Brooks Robinson statue was unveiled across the street from the baseball stadium, in front of Pickles, a popular pre-game destination for Yankees and Red Sox fans when their teams are in town.
By now I’m sure you know the basic details. Baltimore businessman Henry Rosenberg was the mastermind of the idea and he oversaw the financing and the hiring of the sculptor and all that jazz. Rosenberg told members of the media over the weekend that the Orioles “weren’t overly enthusiastic” about the idea.
Because it wasn’t THEIR idea.
We all know how that goes.
But then, something interesting happened.
Some people around town started reporting that it actually WAS the Orioles who put together the great ceremony on Saturday. That’s an easy mistake to make, frankly, since you would have to assume – if you were the person putting together the story for a local TV station or writing the headine at the newspaper – the Orioles WERE involved. After all, it’s Brooks Robinson. The Orioles wouldn’t miss out on a chance to honor him, right? Especially after someone like Rosenberg – who was a longtime financial contributor to Orioles baseball in the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s as part of his duties with Crown Petroleum – went to such great lengths to get this project started and completed.
But the Orioles weren’t involved.
No one from the team was there. No Buck Showalter. No member of the Angelos family. Not even Jim Palmer or longtime broadcaster and close friend Tom Davis. That would have been a great time to hand out some old bobbleheads or t-shirts or any other kind of team related merchandise. Just a “thanks for coming” from the club, basically.
But the whole “Orioles didn’t help out” story isn’t really what aggravated me.
What bothered me more than anything is that no one else in town seems to care they weren’t involved. Stan Charles actually took a shot at them…I will recognize him for that. But other than WNST and Stan Charles, no one seemed overly concerned with this colossal snub of the greatest 3rd baseman to ever play the game.
No one at The Sun blasted the Orioles for the lack of participation.
None of the TV folks jabbed them.
The folks over at 105.7 wouldn’t DARE crack the whip, for fear they might lose their “FM partner” status and not be allowed to have players on the air during the season.
There’s absolutely no chance WBAL will question them on it. There’s a better chance of the Orioles making the playoffs next year then to have one of the folks at the flagship station go off on them for their lack of participation in the ceremony.
Jerry Coleman probably would have beat them up had he not been summarily dismissed at The Fan two weeks ago.
There’s no one around to call the Orioles out. Just us, at WNST.
And that’s why they do what they do.
And — that’s why I’ll throw yet another challenge flag at these imposters in town who are afraid to challenge the Orioles and their management.
Until The Sun says, “Please tell us why you weren’t there today so we can write an article grilling you for it”, they’ll just continue to ignore their obligations. Until the folks at WBAL and The Fan decide to man-up and challenge them, they’ll just do whatever they want.
The Sun did have a quote from an Orioles representative who chimed in about how much the club loves Brooks and they’ll never be able to repay him for all that he did and a bunch of other word-smithy stuff that made it appear as if the Orioles DID care about Saturday’s event. I guess that’s why no one from team management was there. And maybe that’s why Jim Palmer was on the golf course in Florida somewhere instead of speaking to the folks who gathered for the unveiling. And Buck Showalter wasn’t there, either. He manages the team, in case you no longer follow the club.
This lack of challenge is precisely what’s wrong with our entire country these days, let alone this situation in town involving the Orioles. Our country is dilapidated right now because no one can challenge the system. We’re just now – 15 years after big business started to ruin the nation – starting to challenge the status quo with grass roots efforts like Occupy Wall Street and other forms of protest and even those efforts are met with cries of “sit down and shut up, you don’t know what you’re talking about!” If you’re a Democrat, you hate anything the Republicans stand for, even if it’s right. And if you’re a Republican, you hate anything the Democrats stand for, even if it’s right. I love when someone poses a legitimate question to our state government and you hear this: ”Maryland is a democratic state — you’re never going to change that.” Right, because the Democrats are doing a real bang-up job in the “Free State”.
So everywhere we turn, people are afraid to challenge anyone. If you challenge our government, you’re told, “Be thankful for what you have” even though, in nearly every single case, none of us “have anything” remotely close to what the politicians have. They have better-everything than we do. If you challenge our politicans, they respond with “you voted me in” (which is why I haven’t voted in 20 years…because I find them all to be charlatans).
And no one can challenge the Orioles.
Or, at the very least, they’re just afraid to challenge them.
It’s the worst kept secret in town. The Orioles just do whatever they want and nearly everyone turns a blind eye.
FACT: The Orioles were NOT involved in the Brooks Robinson statue ceremony on Saturday.
FACT: That’s a damn shame.
FACT: The statue was NOT erected at Camden Yards. No, no, no. There are four lanes of roads that separate the statue from the stadium property. To say it was erected AT Camden Yards would be indicating that it sits on the property of the baseball stadium. That’s a factual inaccuracy. It’s NOT erected at Camden Yards because the Orioles didn’t approve of it being situated there.
FACT: Very few people in town cared to question the Orioles on the whole thing.
OPINION: That’s one of the reasons why the team and the organization is in the shape it’s in.
FACT AND OPINION: We have some lame people in this town.
Posted on 24 October 2011 by Glenn Clark
You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.
(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)
15 Positive Observations…
There was no 4th & 29 miracle this time around, just a good old fashioned butt kicking of William & Mary for Terrence West and the Tigers…
And now Towson has an undefeated record in the CAA (they’re tied with Maine for first place) and returns home to face the Blue Hens Saturday night.
I might go as Rob Ambrose for Halloween this year. He’s created more magic than Harry Potter.
I mean, I get it. Tim Tebow leads comebacks in consecutive games, so the late moments of games involving Tebow will now be known as “Tebow Time”…
I’m trying to figure out 67 more ways to put the word “Tebow” in this entry.
Yes, the Denver Broncos were TERRIBLE for most of their win over the lifeless Miami Dolphins. Who cares? Tebow was a winner, so America has a week to repeat his name over and over and over and over and over and over.
Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow.
Demaryius Thomas was so excited about Tebow’s performance he decided to plant one on his quarterback…
That’s just plain beautiful.
At least things were interesting enough that you get the feeling the Packers MIGHT somehow be vulnerable. Maybe.
Brian Robison did something to TJ Lang during the game that made everyone in America uncomfortable…
We should start by saying “thank God the replay officials in East Lansing got this one right”…
Doug Flutie and Gerard Phelan still have the greatest “Hail Mary” of all time (and I’ll assume Kordell Stewart and Michael Westbrook are still second on the list), but this was pretty awesome.
We can also all agree that if Russell Wilson and the Badgers had seen the ball again they would have won, right?
I’m certainly convinced of it.
I’m not sure if you stayed up late enough (the game ended at about 1:30am) to watch all of Texas Tech-Oklahoma, but it turned out to be a really good game…
Apparently the Red Raiders didn’t get the memo that no one EVER beats the Sooners in Norman.
While OU is likely done (as far as the BCS Championship picture is concerned), their “Bedlam” date with Oklahoma State still looms large in the title picture after the Cowboys got another brilliant performance from QB Brandon Weeden in a win over Missouri.
By the way, Brandon Weeden is my age. Does that mean I still have a future in football?
The Bears went to London and beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who never really looked in sync. This is why I never want to see the Ravens play across the pond…
The game involved a Matt Forte run that was so brutal it made two Bucs players run into each other…
The Detroit Lions have now lost back to back home games after falling to the Falcons Sunday at Ford Field…
The Lions have serious rushing issues, but still have Calvin Johnson. That should mean they’ll be okay. Miraculously for the Falcons, Matt Ryan survived a brutal hit in this one and came back to finish the game. That should mean they’ll be okay as well.
Also in this game, Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez passed Marvin Harrison for the 2nd most receptions in history, only behind Jerry Rice.
That’s actually really amazing.
I like to think I appreciate a level of refreshing honesty from a head coach, but for some reason Rex just tends to come off as more of a horses’s ass than anything…
Plaxico Burress is 6’5″. It must be nice for the New York Jets to have a capable receiver that size. There isn’t one of those in Baltimore, and the Ravens still have to face the San Diego Chargers later in the season themselves.
Posted on 21 October 2011 by Tom Federline
Tomorrow, Saturday October 22 at noon, there will be an unveiling of statue down at the Camden Yards Complex. A statue dedicated to Brooks Robinson has been sculptured and is planned to have a home in a small plaza in the median between Pickles Pub and the non-utilized NW Russell Street left field entrance to Camden Yards. Finally, someone made a sensible baseball/City of Baltimore decesion to erect a statue of a Baltimore Oriole at Camden Yards. In contrast to the blockheads who chose to erect a statue of the Red Sox/Yankee icon, Babe Ruth. It only took the Orioles and the City almost 20 years to figure that one out. Yet another display of the ineptitude of the Baltimore Orioles organization. Wonders never cease, the brainstorm to recognize a Baltimore Oriole Legend actually at the Baltimore Orioles home field.
Brooks Robinson was and will always be “Mr. Oriole”. The “Human Vacuum”, finally getting recognition. A name synonymous with the Baltimore Orioles and Greatest Third Baseman to ever play the game. Hopefully they didn’t hire the same numbnut that sculptured that misplaced Yankee statue out at the North Eutaw Street plaza. If so, Brooks may be fielding with a left handers mitt. For those of you who may not know, the statue of the Babe has him holding a right handers catchers mitt. Yeah, they done blown that one. Babe was a left handed pitcher/outfielder/first baseman. They try to save face by saying, the sculpture represents the Babe at St. Marys School. No, ya done blown it.
I have not seen previews of the Brooks statue, but I sure would like to see the statue of Brooks poised in his classic fielding position.
Does a statue of Brooks belong at the Camden Yards Complex? Absolutely. Brooks is in declining health and it is fitting this honor comes while he is still on this earth. He deserves to experience this. I like the location. It would be more fitting if they would relocate that Red Sox/Yankee statue at least over to the Babes namesake museum on Emory Street and get it off Baltimore Oriole territory! I say keep the north Eutaw Street entrance for the retired numbers deal only or potential site for the statue of future owner and Baltimore Iron Man icon - Cal Ripken.
Let’s “Lay It On the Line” here – (Triumph). What is a statue of Babe Ruth doing at the home of the Baltimore Orioles? Answer – he was born here. So what? As a child he lived in a house/bar on the grounds of the baseball field. So what? Was the great Bambino ever associated with the Baltimore Orioles? Answer – Yes, he played 3 months for the minor league Baltimore Orioles and then was traded to the Boston Red Sox. What numbnut decided to put that statue at one of the main entrances to the ballpark in the first place? What group of numbnuts decided that it was appropriate to put a statue up of a man who is clearly identified with the New York Yankees? Old Yankee Stadium was commonly referred to as – “The House that Ruth Built”. I am a fan of Babe Ruth. I have seen the movies. I have read the books. The statue belongs in New York or over at Emory Street.
Statue of Cal? To early? Has he obtain that status? Cal breaking Lou Gehrigs consecutive game record at Camden Yards will always be etched in the minds of all Oriole fans. Could you call Cal, the second Mr. Oriole? In my book - yes. Brooks and Cal - one team for their entire career while representing the organization with class. If Cal would buy out Angelos and turn this organization around……….I’ll sculpture the statue of Cal. Well maybe not, I may end up putting Rafael Plameiro and Brady Anderson in there, sneaking up behind him and injecting Cal with HGH. Whoops, let’s not go there with this blog.
Finally a statue worth checking out prior to going to the ball game, Brooks Robinson – now your talking. For goodness sakes relocate that Yankee Saltan of Swat and just get it off the Baltimore Oriole grounds. Make room for the new sheriff. Congratulations Brooks. Congratulations Orioles organization – you may actually have done something right. We’ll see tomorrow.
Posted on 07 September 2011 by Keith Melchior
to one of the Orioles fam il eee…. B R I A N M….A T U S Zeeeeee. (Sung to the tune of the Mickey Mouse club closing song)
Sad but true…
Brian Matusz, one of those fabled young arms that was going to lead the Orioles to the promised land in the 2010-2020 era, needs to be sent packing. Plain and simple. Thanks, but no thanks, clean out your locker, pack your bags, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. Your time here is done, kid. We can’t afford to throw you out there every 5th day and watch you get lit up like a roman candle on the 4th of July. Go fix yourself and if you can hook up with another team, best of luck to you.
The numbers speak for themselves. The pitcher, who led the charge of Buck Showalter’s 34-23 finish to 2010 and gave the team and fans so much promise to finally get over the top in 2011, got himself hurt in spring training and lost it, all of it. He had 1 decent outing when he returned against a weak hitting Oakland A’s team. If you can call 5 1/3 innings, with 95 pitches decent. It seems like none of the Oriole starters can get into the 7th inning on a consistent basis, so 5 1/3 on this team is a quality start. Since then, Matusz has gone something like 0-8 with an ERA close to the cost of a beer at M&T Bank Stadium.
But he’s not the only one who needs a change of scenery….
Vladimir Guerrero - Had the Orioles gotten him 8 years ago, they may have been able to make a few playoff runs. But that was when Vlad was a feared hitter and RBI machine. Now, he’s at the very end of his career and just hanging on for a paycheck. His lack of production proves it.
Jeremy Guthrie – Yeah, the guy pitches his ass off. Yeah, he’s been on bad teams. Yeah, he’s not a true #1 starter. BUT he cannot win baseball games in Baltimore. Jim Palmer was saying last night Guthrie will probably get to the 200 inning plateau within 4 more starts. That’s great Jim, but he is not even going to win 10 games this season. So, he eats up innings, so did Russ Ortiz (Ortiz probably ate BETWEEN innings) but Guthrie’s not a winner. Don’t pass around that BS about lack of run support. He’s hurt this team early and often on numerous occasions and has given up an average of 29 HR per season. In 2011 he’s won 1 game a month. For the 2nd time in 3 years, he leads the league is losses (17 in 2009, 17 thus far in 2011) He’s 32 years old has a career record of 44-65. He has averaged barely 9 wins per season over his 5 years in Baltimore. He’s NOT going to get better. Thanks, but no thanks. Time to go. Catch on to another team and win 20 games and a Cy Young award. Best wishes.
Mark Reynolds - This guy is the classic Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde type player. Reynolds as a 3rd baseman STINKS. He has an .897 fielding % to go along with his 26 errors and is the worst for 3rd basemen in team history. He is so bad at 3rd base he makes Craig Worthington, Rick Schu, and Wayne Gross look like they were reincarnations of Brooks Robinson. Now, Reynolds the 1st baseman is totally refreshing with no errors in 26 games and has made quite a few spectacular plays. The team really needs to make a decision on whether Reynolds is going to be their future 1st baseman. He is a major liability at 3rd. His HR production doesn’t offset the multi-strikeout games and the cast iron in his glove. First base or bust.
Luke Scott – a selfish baseball player if I ever saw one. Scott is nothing but a streaky hitter which means he is inconsistent at best. He felt the curse of being the Oriole MVP in 2010 by having issues with the labrum in his right arm/shoulder area. He stupidly tried to play through the pain and shame on the organization for even allowing it. His lack of production hurt a team fighting for mediocrity. It came at a time where they really needed to win baseball games to help build the confidence of their young pitching staff. Losing became contagious and Scott ends up on the DL. Luke Scott is a liability in left field anyway, and was taking at-bats away from guys like Felix Pie (who never got it going, then was sent packing) and Nolan Reimold (who has produced more with less chances) Scott should have been traded after last year’s success when he had value. Now they are stuck with him. Unless he is going to be the full time DH, there isn’t a spot for him on the team.
Kevin Gregg – Closers are a dime a dozen. Just ask Mike Gonzalez and Koji Uehara. They both did it and look what happened to them. If you pitch well and are any good , you might get traded to a team that can use your talents for a playoff run. If you aren’t any good, you become the Orioles’ closer.
Brian Roberts – The Orioles dumped Jerry Hairston Jr because he was “injury prone” Brian Roberts happened to be the guy who replaced Hairston. Look what has happened to Roberts over the last 2 seasons… You’d like to see him return next season and repeat his 2008/2009 seasons. But wasn’t that about the time he admitted taking a PHD? Hmmmm…I think it’s time to start grooming a new 2nd baseman and quickly.
Andy MacPhail - It was reported that MacPhail wouldn’t be returning as the Orioles GM or whatever lame title they gave him. I was not a MacPhail fan before and he surely hasn’t done anything with this club to make me a fan now. Why people gave him a pass is beyond me. He was the GM in Minnesota from 1985-1994 and the Twins won the World Series in 1987 and again 1991 under his watch. He joined the Cubs as CEO/President in 1995 and was with them until 2006. He also served as the GM from 2000-2002. The Cubs did nothing under MacPhail the GM, but they did win the division in 2003 after he returned to his full time duties as President and CEO. With MacPhail in control, his teams went to the playoffs a total of 4 times in 21 years with 2 World Series titles. So, please help me understand why this guy is supposed to walk on water? He came to Baltimore with his BS rebuilding plan in 2007 and here it is 4 1/2 seasons later and the organization has gotten progressively worse averaging about 94 losses the last 5 seasons. Whether his hands have been tied by the owner or not, I say good riddance.
Last but not least…..
Two other guys who need to be sent packing as well;
Joe Angel and Fred Manfra – These two have to be the worst team of announcers in any sport, period. Angel constantly using his phony accent trying to pronounce a Latin player’s name as well as his ending statement “the Orioles are in the ____ column” and Manfra saying a player’s name over and over and over and over and over again during a single at-bat makes for a pretty BAD radio broadcast. Angel has always been a Jon Miller wannabe. Manfra is a “I wish I was.” These two have had to endure the stretch of losing seasons and it shows in their play by play. Their shtick is as old and crusty as they are and it’s time for them to retire. As much as I love the Orioles, I really hate listening to them on the radio while in the car. It’s just plain bad.