Posted on 28 April 2012 by WNSTV
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Posted on 28 April 2012 by WNSTV
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Posted on 02 January 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
As many of you know, I love to write. It’s my life’s passion — writing, opining and structuring prose. Lately, however, time has been short with my never-ending quest to move WNST.net from the radio world to the internet world and harnessing the power of social media and your involvement in Baltimore sports as fans — just like us — as the Baltimore Ravens go on their quest for a Super Bowl championships that would end in a very delicious turn of irony if (or when?) we march the Lombardi Trophy down Maryland Street in downtown Indianapolis.
So, here it is, I’m saying it and I’m not running from it.
I believe the Baltimore Ravens are going to the Super Bowl in two weeks.
And this is coming from a guy who was the only media member in the state who picked the Ravens to win on Sunday.
And, you might have a hard time believing this but you can look it up: I picked the EXACT score when I wrote, Tweeted, opined and Facebooked the Ravens’ 24-16 win. I hope my name — as well as my Flacco Fu — goes down as Joe Namath-esque. I’m not guaranteeing a victory — but I believe they’re going to win the Super Bowl next month and I see the parade coming down Pratt Street as clearly as I see the Fu on the face of Joe Flacco.
And I’ve got a little challenge for you below. Instead of writing how I feel, I’ve summed it all up in this video exchange with Glenn Clark and Luke Jones.
If you liked vintage “Nasty Nestor” you’ll enjoy this video from last night at Monday Night Live at High Topps.
Get some popcorn buttered and hear my message:
And feel free to opine below and share with your friends. Here’s the REAL question:
DO YOU BELIEVE, BALTIMORE?
Posted on 18 October 2011 by WNST Staff
We always like surprises and had already announced that Ray Lewis would be our special guest for Brendon Ayanbadejo’s Monday Night Live at High Topps with WNST.net after the Ravens’ big 29-14 win over the Houston Texans. As expected, Timonium filled with fans of No. 52 but just after he disappeared for the evening even the WNST staff — and we think even Ayanbadejo — was shocked to see Ray Rice walk onto the set and give all of the loyal purple contingent a real treat last night as Luke Jones and Glenn Clark chatted with the star of Sunday’s victory.
As you know, WNST was the originator of Monday Night Live back in 1996 with “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio at The Barn in Parkville, and with so many radio shows now being done around the city on any given weeknight sometimes the shows don’t feel as urgent or as “special” as they felt back in the pre-Super Bowl days.
But last night will be a legendary night for those who attended and we always appreciate your attendance at our live events and parties.
Facebook and Twitter were flooded with pics and some live video segments by the time Lewis exited and Rice walked into High Topps Backstage Grille around 7:40 p.m.
You can enjoy the entire audio of last night’s show with one click in our BuyAToyota audio vault or tune into WNST-AM 1570 over the next few days to hear the amazing conversation.
Monday Night Live is held every Monday night at 7 p.m at High Topps Backstage Grille in Timonium with Brendon Ayanbadejo “and friends.”
And clearly, he has friends in high places…
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Posted on 29 August 2011 by Nestor Aparicio
Tick tock, tick tock…as time slips through the hourglass so goes Jennifer Royle’s 15 minutes of fame in Baltimore.
She’s now been here about 18 months and today figures to be the last time she gets a headline in the Charm City. Her lawsuit against me, WNST and my employees Drew Forrester and Glenn Clark, was completely without merit.
This costly and damaging witch hunt and blatant attempt to injure my company and a reputation that I’ve spent 27 years of my life erecting here in my hometown of Baltimore as a “tell it like it is” journalist in the style of my heroes John Steadman and Howard Cosell – is now complete.
Time and facts have proven that WNST never did anything inappropriate.
Ms. Royle dropped the case after our lawyers filed a motion asking a judge to order her to answer a series of questions that she didn’t want to answer.
Instead of responding to our motions, she took her marbles and went home.
As we stated all along, we did nothing wrong at WNST.net. Her allegations were a public affront to me, and an attack on my personal integrity and the value of everything we’ve built this 21st century local media company to stand for publicly over the past two decades.
My company and my personal reputation have been greatly damaged over the last six months with this black cloud of nonsense, gossip and bogus lawsuit, and I’m glad to publicly tell you today that we prevailed, but what we’ve received lacks justice for me, my employees, and our families.
Despite all of the havoc she’s wreaked inside of my company and the damage to my reputation in the community with her allegations, in the end Jennifer Royle got nothing, zero, zilch – not one penny of WNST money, which was her motivation from the outset. So, I suppose she “lost” this battle although I’m not sure it cost her any money at all to create this media firestorm so perhaps she’s a winner. Doesn’t seem quite fair, does it?
Many of you had never heard of her before her face graced the front pages of local periodicals as a “rising star,” while suing the one local media company that has the audacity to tell it like it is regarding bad journalism, media competition and the “hush hush” politics surrounding the Baltimore Orioles and Peter Angelos.
And as much as my company can claim some sort of public “victory” today, I know I’m not a “winner,” that’s for sure. This was a game of legal chess and a complete waste of time and energy that no one in my company ever signed on to play.
Outside the hundreds of wasted hours of nonsense, grief, rumors and lies, it’s certainly been a life-altering, educational experience.
And, really, quite personally disheartening for a kid from Dundalk who grew up with next-to-nothing and has worked diligently, legally, ethically and with great passion and energy to make a great, authentic local company like WNST.net that lives and breathes to serve this community and make the internet, mobile devices and radio work against all odds and against the biggest giants of the media industry in the marketplace.
The garbage we’ve endured in this case was unimaginable until I realized how the incredible red tape of these lawsuits work.
But even after voluntarily offering to drop all of her charges last week via her attorney, she gave me her “concession speech” while wearing a press pass in the Ravens media lounge.
Two weeks ago before the Chiefs game, just hours after it became official that Royle was giving up her case, she approached me at a table with other reporters standing nearby and gave me her “post-litigation” quote while wearing a Ravens credential:
“What the f**k are you looking at? I did you a f**king favor. ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT! ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT!”
By the way, these were the first uninitiated words she’s ever spoken to me, and the first time she’s ever engaged me in any conversation.
You want the truth about Royle v. WNST?
You might not be able to handle the truth…but it’s a click away right HERE.
I’m told that I’m finally free at last to speak my mind and tell my side of the story. So, while I was anxiously awaiting the trial next June and taking my seat in the courtroom and having the facts told in great detail because we have nothing to hide, instead I’ll take the stand here at WNST.net and tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
That, by the way, is all that I’ve done for the past 27 years. I’ve enjoyed a lifetime of writing, editing, reporting, critiquing, praising and evaluating the Baltimore sports scene in the media. I wrote 1,500 stories for The News American and The Baltimore Sun before I was 23 and began my radio career on Dec. 13, 1991. I’m three months short of 20 years as a radio host and local entrepreneur whose been traveling the world and living in and loving this city and its sports scene.
I report facts. I opine and analyze on Baltimore sports and just about anything else that I feel compelled and authentically interested in espousing my feelings about regarding topics I feel I’m qualified to opine. We live in America. I have First Amendment rights and free speech.
But today I’m here to tell you that “free” speech isn’t free.
Jennifer Royle is a competitor in sports media who we think is inferior as a journalist, and we really don’t care who knows it. She’s a public figure. She goes on the radio and the internet and her Twitter page and opines on all sorts of things that we believe she’s unqualified to evaluate as a professional Baltimore sports expert. Here’s my opinion: her opinion on Baltimore sports is so insignificant as to not be ever mentioned again by me or anyone at WNST.net.
And other than a few occasions in the past when we pointed out how off base she was in some commentary or a blog, we really gave Miss Royle very little attention in her first year in Baltimore. Honestly, other than as an occasional punch line -– which is all she is as a “source” or “insider” in our sports universe of legitimate experts — it wasn’t worth the effort.
And after this blog her name will never roll off my lips again. I have no interest in Jennifer Royle, nor have I ever had any interest in any aspect of her life before getting sued by her and being subjected to reading the daily drama of her existence on Twitter and all over social media. The biggest “favor” she did me was dropping the lawsuit so I no longer had to monitor her mindless web ramblings, which most certainly robbed me of my time as much as the lawsuit robbed me of sponsors and some dignity that I’ll never recover in some segments of the community who convict those in the court of public opinion and on the 5 o’clock news.
Now, let’s address this crazy lawsuit, which countless numbers of you have asked me about since it led the evening news back in March, and then we’re done with it.
And here’s another link. It’s almost 300 pages long. As you can imagine, it’s an arduous read but it contains everything you need to know about what Jennifer Royle alleged in Royle v. WNST (Aparicio, Forrester & Clark).
All I need to say will be said here: WNST will not be taking phone calls or posting any “he said/she said” commentary after we speak our peace (or is it piece?) this week. We are through with this chapter of sick, pointless litigation. And we are most certainly through with Miss Royle and her drama.
We have families to feed, sports news and commentary to get to in football season and a community to serve in Baltimore.
For those of you coming here to read because you:
A) Love me
B) Hate me
C) Know me
D) Care about me
E) or you’re just a curiosity news-seeker
I will say this: I appreciate that you care enough to read on and care to know my side of the story. And I have a feeling the company she works for won’t be featuring this on the evening news the way they did when their employee was the plaintiff — but only time will tell. And I have a feeling that The Baltimore Sun won’t make the dismissal of this case a front page story the way they did when I was the defendant. And even though the story leaked last week during the awful tragedy regarding Mike Flanagan’s suicide, no one has reached to me to get my side of the story the way they all called me unprovoked before I had even been served papers back in March.
So, here’s how I really feel: This was the most despicable act purported on me in my lifetime by anyone I’ve never even met.
The amount of hours, explanations and mind space I’ve had to spend on a woman who I’ve never even had a conversation with or have given a nanosecond of my time or energy to since her self-aggrandized arrival 18 months ago and someone I’m not remotely interested in knowing anything personal about is mind-boggling.
What a country we live in! That’s all I can say.
This country and our legal system and tort law is very, very, very f**ked up – that much I’ve learned in the last six months since her threats began with a letter from her lawyer Brian Goodman of the law firm of Hodes, Pessin & Katz advising that they intended to sue my company, which would clearly harm my company and help Royle’s company, CBS Radio, have a competitive advantage over WNST.
But there was no way WNST was ever going to admit guilt where none existed. Sure, it would’ve been easier, but anyone in my life who even thought of recommending that cowardly behavior was dismissed and you can only imagine my anger at the notion of doing anything that impugns my integrity as an honest journalist.
I’d rather die.
And anyone who knows me will tell you that.
And Miss Royle wound up getting exactly what she deserved in the end: nothing.
As I wrote four months ago when this fiasco began, I have nothing to hide. There is no smoking gun. We’re by far the most read, commented, followed, text-based, Tweeting, blogging, content machines at WNST.net and all of it is purposely designed to be public.
My company immediately and eagerly produced droves -– if not tomes — of unedited, unaltered information and contents of all kinds for Goodman, Hodes and Royle. We have tweeted over 50,000 times. We have Facebooked vigorously for three years – tens of thousands of threads, comments, entries and pictures. We do 12 hours of very visible, downloaded audio and radio every day. I have personally sent and received more than 100,000 emails in the last year.
Not a speck of actionable material about Jennifer Royle was anywhere in our evidence.
Same with Drew Forrester.
Same with Glenn Clark.
We have hundreds of Tweets, posts, replies and evidence that would say that Jennifer Royle has had a rocky road with Baltimore sports fans and their public (and warranted in our opinion) criticism of her work and credentials as a local sports expert. She burst into Baltimore on the tail end of the Anita Marks era at 105.7 and CBS Radio and was quickly put into the Orioles clubhouse with a MASN/CBS credential.
And aside from any tangible evidence regarding this case, to publicly allege as she did in her lawsuit that we gossiped about her personal life or her sex life, based on blogs and tweets in which we said absolutely no such thing, is just preposterous and an affront to everything we stand for at WNST.net in reporting the facts about sports in Baltimore.
The shocker to me was that a respected firm like Hodes, Pessin & Katz — a group of people I considered long-time friends and who were involved in ownership and housing WLG-AM 1360 when I wrote more than $250,000 in checks to their company back in the 1990’s brokering airtime for my afternoon “Sports Forum” radio show — would take a case like this against me and think they’d win.
The original charging documents tried to plead that Royle is NOT a public figure, which I don’t think I needed to enter the Peter G. Angelos Law Center at my old University of Baltimore alma mater to research.
And I can’t imagine that anyone on her side of the fence ever realized that large portions of her personal life and relationships are an absolute open book on her Twitter page where she loudly and proudly interacts with the many famous friends she has in sports and openly denigrates fans and co-workers every day quite publicly. She openly Tweets with athletes, celebrities and media people on a daily basis about her physical attributes, her dog, her nephew, etc.
But the amount of absolute gibberish in their charging documents would’ve been laughable had it not been a blatant attempt to wreak havoc on my life and company and shake me down for money.
They actually spelled my name wrong when they sent the court papers and did so many times throughout the documentation.
They were demanding $800,000 and they didn’t know how to spell my name?
They served me papers three different times, so much so that I felt like I knew the poor retired police officer (and WNST fan) that chased me around town for two weeks in March. They even sued the wrong company at the wrong address in the beginning.
Quite frankly, I don’t need to opine too much about the specifics in the case.
They’re all RIGHT HERE for you to peruse.
But, in general, it seems Miss Royle can take anything we say on the radio or the web and somehow believe it has some link to her.
She somehow managed to complain in the lawsuit about a Tweet I sent regarding a half-price discount for one of our sponsors and think it was about her.
Go through pages 156 through 181 of her allegations in the lawsuit and see for yourself some of her charges.
She also complained that we nominated her for “Orioles Apologist Of The Month.” She and her legal team thought they could sue us for this? And win?
Her legal papers also allege that a caller made a reference to “Jen Midol” on WNST. It might not be too polite but it’s certainly not grounds for a lawsuit against me.
She even reached to Orioles poohbah Greg Bader, hardly a fan of mine or WNST, and attempted to involve him on Page 178.
But, thankfully, this circus is over.
And let’s make no mistake about it — WNST is NOT a winner. We lost. We lost big time. But Jennifer Royle didn’t get a penny from WNST.net.
I suppose that’s my “victory.”
But I’ve been victimized. When someone calls me or my team rumormongers and even whispers that anyone at WNST made comments that they never actually made is personally bothersome to me.
All told, I think this whole experience was despicable.
Not that this does me any good or helps me recoup damages to my name that might last the rest of my life in the public forum.
I have sponsors who dropped us. I have others who declined to do business with us or take an appointment with us. I heard whispers around every corner about WNST and me and perceived guilt. I had jealous rivals and unappreciative ex-employees cackle and desperately hope that WNST.net was guilty and going belly up.
Can you imagine my lack of humor when someone who identifies themselves as a WNST fan comes up at an Orioles game and asks if my station is going to be renamed W-Jen-ST once she wins the lawsuit.
This was no joke to anyone at WNST and isn’t a good conversation starter for me or Forrester or Clark.
The worst part has been being around the Ravens organization and having media members and members of the organization look at Drew, Glenn and me as pariahs or seeing us “guilty before judgment.” And the gender-based claims in this suit clearly imply that we’re somehow misogynists, when our wives, girlfriends and mothers are aghast that their loved ones could be accused of this kind of “social crime.”
But, in the end, this was exactly what my local attorney Steve Miles called it four months ago: a shakedown.
And my legal team was world class. If you have people making outrageous claims on you in the media space, you want Chuck Tobin and Drew Shenkman of Holland & Knight on your team. Those guys are the REAL heroes in this case. They’re two of the smartest, best dudes I’ve met anywhere in my travels. Rock stars and First Amendment Americans!
I owe a debt of gratitude to every one of you who said a kind word or dropped me a line with support and love. Thank you, Baltimore!
I run a company full of good people who are all honorable, work hard and want to be great. We love Baltimore sports as much as you love Baltimore sports and that’s why we’re here. And at this point, if you doubt those words you’re just a hater.
But, if you are a WNST hater who has read this missive this far, I’ll just assume you’re a hater who cares.
And I wouldn’t wish this sort of character assassination on even my most hated competitor.
This affected my 55-year old general manager Paul Kopelke and his family. This affected parents and wives and small children in the case of Drew Forrester. My wife, my mother and son all went through this with me and Drew and Glenn and our families and loved ones as well as all of my employees and supporters.
For me, it’s about integrity. It’s about right and wrong.
I can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that this was the most evil, heinous act ever performed upon me so Miss Royle should at the very least take a bow for scraping the bottom of the barrel in my 43 years on the planet.
When my 92-year old mother in Dundalk saw my face on the evening news looking like a criminal getting sued by a female journalist with hurt feelings and I look guilty on TV and in the newspapers when we’re perfectly innocent — well, that’s a little hard for me to take without both anger and sadness.
We were the No. 1 most viewed news story at The Baltimore Sun for almost two days when the lawsuit was filed, so I know the local media paparazzi and my competitors were waiting outside of the courthouse door for a “guilty” verdict on WNST that was never coming.
We’re moving on, but I’ll never forget this or forgive the people at corporate monoliths and competitors CBS Radio and MASN for bringing this out-of-town troublemaker into Baltimore to wage war on loyal local sports fans and on my company in the press, on the internet, and with contacts in local organizations via a baseless lawsuit that lacked any merit at all but landed her above the fold in newspapers all over town.
Where is she today to answer questions? She was the one throwing around dozens of crazy accusations?
Where’s her credibility now?
And what did she ever do or say to earn anyone’s trust in this community as a legitimate voice of Baltimore sports expertise?
I’ll leave that up to you to decide now and in the future.
Who do you trust for your news? And what is their agenda?
Our agenda at WNST.net has always been crystal clear:
To fully realize the potential of the vast audience our brand has acquired in Maryland over the past 17 years, WNST.net will be the dominant, honest voice in Maryland media by providing the “real” content of what’s happening in sports in our area.
We will deal with all of our listeners and sponsors with charity, benevolence, dignity and in the effort to educate and help sports fans in Baltimore better understand the big picture of sports so they can enjoy it even more.
We will be an advocate of all things Baltimore and Baltimore sports while keeping a keen “21stCentury-oriented” approach to build a bridge between sports and its fans through our website, broadcasts and community activism.
Integrity and accuracy will be our calling card.
And I want to stress again: we never did anything wrong, unethical or nefarious. Through all of these dramatic accusations, Miss Royle forgot to bring the one thing into the legal arena with her – a real case with any evidence to back up her heinous allegations.
And just as I wrote four months ago when this fiasco began, none of this will change how little she knows about Baltimore sports or how much Baltimore will “embrace” her greatness now that this sham and attack on my life and the lives of everyone connected to me and WNST is apparently complete.
Justice will never be served on my side of the ledger but WNST will forge ahead and not look back.
We will always be the real place you turn for Baltimore sports news and information that you can trust.
And Jennifer Royle will always be remembered as the female sports reporter who sued WNST on the front page of the newspaper and didn’t win. Period.
It’s football season. The Ravens are on the field and we’ll now go back to doing what we do best – bringing you the best sourced information, the most reliable news and analysis in Baltimore sports media.
We hope you enjoy what we do at WNST.net. And if there’s something we can do to get better, please drop me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And it goes without saying, we’re always looking for local businesses to partner with and market to Baltimore sports fans just like you and me.
Thanks for supporting WNST.net and all of our families and friends. We appreciate you and look forward to continuing our growth and greatness with our new lineup in the fall.
FOR OBVIOUS LEGAL REASONS WE ARE NOT POSTING COMMENTS TO THIS BLOG OR REGARDING THIS SUBJECT MATTER. WE CONSIDER THE CASE OF ROYLE v. WNST CLOSED. THANKS FOR UNDERSTANDING…
Comments Off on I’m free at last to “take the stand” in Jennifer Royle (ex-MASN employee & current CBS Radio employee) v. WNST.net
Posted on 18 August 2011 by Nestor Aparicio
It’s a momentous day here at WNST.net in many ways. Some great news will be divulged here today and other tidbits and updates will be best savored on another day. But make no mistake about it: today is a very proud day for me at WNST.net.
We’ve quietly made some changes in our format and I’m really blessed to loudly and proudly announce the addition of Luke Jones to our WNSTeam as Drew Forrester’s new co-host, producer and whipping boy on The Morning Reaction and the promotion of Glenn Clark to afternoon drive show host from 2-to-6 on weekdays replacing Rex Snider, who submitted his resignation last week.
I enjoyed Rex Snider’s passion and I really wish him well in the future. He was one of many folks who I was fortunate to meet and afford an opportunity to live the dream of doing a daily radio show at WNST and I hope this will launch him to greater things. He’s a man of integrity and I enjoyed watching his brand (and his hair) grow.
On a personal note, I can’t appropriately express my bursting pride in Glenn Clark’s progress as a host, writer, journalist and learner of all things Baltimore sports and he’s more than earned this “promotion” but he’s too humble to even show he’s really all that jazzed. It’s just his style – grinding and doing it more than talking about doing it.
Clark, strangely enough, was my son’s best pal growing up whom I never paid attention to in Perry Hall. If there’s some perverse justice in all of this for him, well, I’m stuck driving around town now listening to HIS show in MY former time slot. And now HE gets all the attention from the chicks…
Life is strange…
It’s always funny when folks in the community mention how many of my former “discoveries” have wound up on the air at my competitors (both still in business and out of business) and how I’ve been somehow forced to watch them take their brands elsewhere this is rich with irony. It was CBS Radio and their brain trust who chased Glenn to Arizona where he learned enough to come back and kick their asses every afternoon at WNST.net as our program director and media “bootcamp” coach. Those “experts” over at CBS Radio lost the best talent in the marketplace in Glenn Clark and they had him under their roof and instead hired the likes of Anita Marks and Jennifer Royle.
In our @Twitter parlance, I’d call that #winning for @WNST.
Glenn Clark has forgotten more about Baltimore sports than most anyone I know knows. And he’s not even 30! Beginning today, Glenn Clark will have Baltimore’s best afternoon drive radio show. Just watch it grow!
I’m so delighted to have Luke and Glenn in their new roles and I know you will be too if you’re a faithful WNST user, listener, lover or Baltimore sports fan.
Luke Jones will be a steadying force for Drew’s early-morning crankiness. Oh, and Luke has ALSO forgotten more about Baltimore sports than most anyone I know.
These guys are REAL experts, REAL sources within the locker rooms of the Ravens and Orioles and Terps. They are the best in the marketplace already and will only help WNST.net grow even more with their multi-talented skill set to write and create and contribute in cogent, historically relevant conversations about Baltimore sports.
I’ve forgotten more about Baltimore sports than almost anyone I know and I learn things from Luke and Glenn every day. They’re cool dudes!
So now please allow me to drone on and on about my sports media “man crush” on Luke Jones, who is by far the coolest discovery I’ve ever made in Baltimore sports media.
He went to Syracuse University wanting to do this with his life – become a sportswriter and journalist covering his favorite three teams (Ravens, Orioles, Terps – although I’m not really sure it’s in that order?).
Instead, Luke wound up becoming a school teacher in Shrewsbury, Pa. and recently made a difficult decision to give up a wonderful life and a career in education that he’s as equally passionate about to join our WNST Team.
I can say this: I’m TRULY honored to have Luke on our team.
I can say this for SURE: Luke Jones is as fine of a man as I’ve ever had knock on my door looking for a job. And he won a freaking contest two years ago!
Mark my words: Luke Jones will be the best journalist in Baltimore over the next 10 years and I’m going to hold us both accountable to hold up those words and watch them stick.
Luke will be our daily Ravens beat writer being assisted by Glenn Clark, Drew Forrester, Ryan Chell and Peter DiLutis. I will be providing live UStream video from the road on Saturdays and Sundays and we’ll be platforming plenty of roadtrip fun on our YouTube channel as well. If you own a local business, my rock star sales crew will be knocking on your door for sponsorship of our new programming.
Glenn Clark and I will re-institute “The Friday Football Frenzy” and we’ll have a bevy of rock star guests every Friday afternoon as we go deep into the purple fall and beyond. Thyrl Nelson will continue in his role as the ruler of the Mobtown Sports Beat from 10 a.m til 2 p.m. when Glenn takes over. Ryan Chell will remain in his role as producer of both shows while keeping his eye out on the news of the day.
WNST also has big plans ahead for a powerful mobile app for Droid and we already have heavy traffic to our IPhone site, where traffic is up over 300% this year.
And as much as we are saddened to see another talented WNST personality leave our nest, it’s also a wonderful thing to be able to give more new people with a dream a chance to make a living doing this in Baltimore radio and media. I love my role as a leader of people these days and I’m surrounded by youthful energy and exuberance that really gets my juices going as an entrepreneur and lover of great sports media.
Many of my former employees have moved into different spots in the industry and I’m very proud of having a reputation for being a “star maker” in Baltimore sports media. And these are the two brightest, young stars we’ve ever had at WNST.net.
Even Drew Forrester thinks these kids are good!
If you read or listen to their work, you’ll agree. And no one is a tougher critic of WNST or holds our brand to a higher standard than I do.
WNST.net will be bringing you Baltimore’s best football coverage all fall and Baltimore’s best radio, blogs, news and information all day, every.
We Never Stop Talking Baltimore sports.
Now, more than ever!
Comments Off on Ch-ch-ch-changes at WNST for football season and Ravens coverage
Posted on 28 December 2009 by Ed Frankovic
After reporting to the rink and hearing that their team captain, Chris Clark, and defenseman Milan Jurcina had been traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets in return for left wing Jason Chimera, the Caps promptly came out and collectively laid an egg in the first period, falling behind 3-0 en route to a 6-3 loss at once again sold out Verizon Center to Carolina. This was the Capitals first loss to a Southeast Division opponent in 2009-10, they are now 8-1 within the division this year, and they fall overall to 24-9-6. Their division lead is still at an insurmountable 14 points though as a result of a Thrashers 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils tonight (NJ re-takes 1st place in the Eastern Conference).
Washington actually didn’t play a bad first couple of minutes but as soon as Nicklas Backstrom took a careless four minute high sticking penalty on Jussi Jokinen the last place Hurricanes would dominate the remainder of the period. Adding to the uncalled for high stick, Mike Green was caught out of position while shorthanded at the Caps blue line and he hooked Jokinen as he split the defense and that set up a 1:59 five on three advantage for Carolina. The Caps would almost kill it off but Tuumo Ruutu would score just before #52 was due to come out of the box. The goal deflated the Caps and the Canes would add two more goals in the period.
But the Caps did not quit and they came out and scored early in the second on a power play, Green’s 9th tally of the season, but then Jose Theodore gave up a bad rebound off of a face-off to allow the Canes an easy tap-in with John Erskine out of position to make it 4-1. Once again, Washington would not go away and they clawed back to 4-3 early in the third period after an Alexander Ovechkin power play tally just 1:22 in. But Theodore (20 saves), who struggled with his rebound control all night, gave up a bad second chance goal with Brendan Morrison just 7 seconds out of the box (in sin bin for a lazy slash) to make it 5-3 with 10 minutes left and take any life away from a Caps comeback. Eric Staal’s empty net goal late capped off his second career five point game (2 goals, 3 assists) and he was very good against the Capitals, once again.
Here is the post game analysis and quotes:
The Caps have been the best team in the league in the first period, but not tonight. They gave up three goals and were outshot 10-4. It all started with the bad penalties and from there the Canes got life. Did it have anything to do with the trade? Ovechkin and Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau talked about it afterwards.
“To me, if I say it was, then I am just looking at an excuse. I don’t know if it did or if it didn’t. Usually we’re a lot better in the first period, but I think Carolina played really well in the first period today. I think our lowest shot total of the year at home was in the first period, as well. So, I don’t want to use it as an excuse, even though I have been in that situation. I know it can bother some people, but I don’t know if it bothered our guys.” said the 2007-08 Jack Adams Award winner.
“It’s a hard situation for us because we lost our captain and a great guy. They’re both good players but it’s a business and you can do nothing about it,” said the two time defending NHL MVP, who if I had my druthers, would be wearing the C going forward.
As for the goaltending situation, this was Theodore’s first start in 10 days and after his terse comments on Saturday about not starting (“I just work here”) one would have thought he would come out and stone the opposition to prove a point. But #60 didn’t get much help early on from his team and he didn’t make the big save either in the first period. Then he totally blew any hope of a comeback with his terrible rebound control and the fourth and fifth goals were the result of second chance opportunities after Theodore miscues on clear shots. The last Carolina tally was just pitiful as Theo gave up a rebound on a bad angled shot and then flopped to the ice like a fish as Sergei Samsonov put in the follow up from the bottom of the left circle. Bottom line, when the Caps woke up and made a game of it they needed their goalie to make some big stops and #60 couldn’t do it. One has to think that Boudreau and GM George McPhee might be running out of patience with the veteran goalie. He just is not consistent and from what I’ve seen this year from Semyon Varlamov and then Michael Neuvirth recently, I put Theodore as 3rd on the depth chart. Boudreau pointed out that he thought Theo “was fighting the puck and struggled with rebound control” on Monday night. I exchanged texts with a Western Conference scout after the game to get his take on the idea of Washington going with the young goalies and he responded with the following:
“[Theodore] always did [have problems with rebounds], since he was 15. The Caps should forget about goaltending and play run and gun!”
Clearly a run and gun game fits this team with Boudreau’s aggressive forecheck style but you need a goalie who can make the big save after the team gives up a few odd man rushes or falls behind, like Grant Fuhr used to do for the Edmonton Oilers. Clearly Varlamov is the netminder who best fits that mold due to his athleticism, if he can stay healthy. As for Theodore, it is time for him to go when Neuvirth comes up and shows he can handle big time shots in a more “Velcro-like” fashion than the 12 year NHL veteran. I’m not sure how many more chances #60 is going to get, at this point.
Now having said all of that you can’t hang this one totally on the goalie, he was not good at all but others struggled too, especially in the first 25 minutes of this one. Let’s start with the Erskine-Karl Alzner pairing. #4 probably had his worst game of the season and he was out of position on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th goals. Alzner struggled too but he was supposed to be a scratch, until the trade, and as a result he took extra work this morning and looked tired. On the 3rd goal, Erskine was caught up too high, Tomas Fleischmann couldn’t control the puck in his own zone, and Morrison and Mike Knuble were out past the blue line so when Flash turned it over #27 was helpless in front of his net against several Hurricanes. The defensemen did not get much help from the forwards all night in their own zone.
On special teams, the Caps gave up the one Canes power play tally in four attempts, although the Samsonov goal came just seven seconds after the slashing call expired on #9 (and I hang that goal totally on Theodore). The Washington power play (2 for 5) was Jeckyl and Hyde looking great on the first attempt, brutal on the second (no shots on net) and third before scoring on Ovechkin’s 26th tally of the season just after their five on three advantage expired. That Great #8 goal tied him with Marian Gaborik of the New York Rangers for the league lead.
So given the chaotic nature of the day, Washington should take some solace in their comeback, despite losing the contest. But at the end of the day, it is a 0 point night (as the Peerless Prognisticator might say).
Now back to the trade. I did exchange more texts with the NHL Western Conference scout referenced above as well as a former NHL front office executive on the deal and its implications.
The former front office executive gave the edge to Columbus on the deal (“Good trade for Columbus”) based strictly on the personnel involved and he was not a fan of Chimera, at all. He was a big Clark supporter.
The Western Conference scout felt that it was a pretty “insignificant deal” except for the gained salary cap room for Washington. He called it “a salary cap deal” and pointed out that McPhee was “getting salary cap relief to make another deal to upgrade his defense.”
When I brought up the fact that Clark was good in the locker room he made the following good point:
“Like Scotty Bowman says, if they are good in the room, keep him in the room,” meaning results on the ice are really what matters and Clark did only have 4 goals in 38 games, nowhere near the 30 he scored in 2006-07 when he received the big contract from McPhee.
When I brought up the subject of who the next captain will be, the Western Conference scout had another good, but pertinent line:
“Ovie’s the captain, no matter who wears the C.”
The Caps head to the west coast now and will play the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday at 10pm and the Los Angeles Kings at 4pm on Saturday. Their next home game is Tuesday, January 5th against the Canadiens.
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Posted on 28 December 2009 by Ed Frankovic
The Washington Capitals have traded Captain Chris Clark and defenseman Milan Jurcina to the Columbus Blue Jackets in return for forward Jason Chimera. The deal has been confirmed by the Caps outstanding Media Relations Department and here is some information on the new Capital:
Chimera (chih-MAIR-uh), 30, is an 11-year pro who has played 461 NHL games between Columbus and Edmonton. He has recorded eight goals and nine assists (17 points) while playing all 39 games this season. A 6’2”, 216-pound left-hand shot, he stood tied for sixth on the Blue Jackets in goals and tied for eighth in points.
In his career Chimera has scored at least 14 goals four times, posted at least 30 points three times and topped 90 penalty minutes three times. He has played all but 36 games since the start of the 2005-06 season. A native of Edmonton, Alberta, he was drafted by the Oilers in the fifth round of the 1997 NHL Draft and joined the Blue Jackets via trade from Phoenix (which held his rights during the 2004-05 work stoppage). He will wear No. 25 in Washington, as he did in Columbus.
COMMENT: The Caps need to appoint a new team captain and it could be Alexander Ovechkin. The only other seemingly viable option would be Brooks Laich but it appears the Great #8’s time has come, in my opinion. This moves sheds Clark’s $2.633M salary cap hit, frees up some room on an already very crowded Caps blue line (they had nine defenseman before this move), and adds some toughness in Chimera, who is a physical player. Remember it was Chimera who initiated the altercation back on November 1 that led to Ovechkin injuring his shoulder in a scrum.
Jurcina was making $1.375M this season but is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. Chimera is signed at $1.875M per season through 2011-12.
UPDATED ADDITIONAL INFO: According to a tweet from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post, Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau says the team will not name a new captain until after their upcoming two game road trip to San Jose and Los Angeles. Brian McNally, of the DC Examiner, just tweeted the following quotes on the trade and the captaincy from Coach Bruce Boudreau’s pre-game press conference:
“Needed a guy who is a little more physical and a really good skater. Down the road it will help us out.”
“It’s a tough deal. Chris has been a great captain, leader. You don’t just slap a “C” on somebody else…out of respect for him.”
“Some people – even though they’re great leaders – don’t want to accept the burden of [being captain].”
Here are quotes from GM George McPhee’s press conference from this evening at the Verizon Center:
“We felt like we could move a defensemen…we feel like the move today makes us better, so you have to do it. We talked about [a trade back in September], it was a hole we wanted to fill on the left side.”
“[Chimera] plays hard, brings speed, he is good for 15 goals a year, he scores well at even strength so he doesn’t need the power play to score goals.”
“[The trade] wasn’t necessarily about cap space, it was about the players, but it is nice that we got extra cap space out of it, but it wasn’t the focus of the deal.”
“Out of respect for Chris [Clark], we’ll take our time and do what’s best. We will address [the Captaincy] in the near future when the time is right.”
MORE COMMENTS: Overall, I think this is a good trade for the Caps, first for the salary cap implications and second because Chimera is a left wing and he brings a physical presence, something this team needs. Washington can now be major players at the deadline, if they wish to be.
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Posted on 20 December 2009 by WNST Staff
Once again, we are opening our special WNST Purple Haze chat room for today’s game. Our traffic has been enormous when we’ve done these during the games and with so many folks glued to their couches today and the 21 inches of snow on the ground in the area, we hope you pull the old laptop out and watch the Ravens-Bears game with us.
Drew Forrester and Glenn Clark will be monitoring the action from the press box and Nestor Aparicio will be in Sect. 513 Tweeting, blogging and getting you all of the latest from M&T Bank Stadium.
Come back at 4 p.m. and join us in the WNST LIVE CHAT…
We’ll watch the game together!
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Posted on 18 December 2009 by Ed Frankovic
The Caps were in Vancouver on Friday night to take on the Canucks but their power play let them down and Vancouver capitalized on some Washington mistakes to win 3-2.
Below is the live blog followed by the end of game analysis:
Based on all of tweets coming from the Caps personnel and media out there, it appears that Alexander Ovechkin is immensely popular in British Columbia and has been the story since the team arrived on Wednesday. In fact, Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post just tweeted that the Great #8 received an ovation as he left the ice after warmups. This should be a great game with the Caps offense going up against one of the best goalies in the NHL in Roberto Luongo. Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau is using the same line-up from Tuesday night in Colorado, so that means Jose Theodore in net and Mike Green and Shaone Morrisonn will go despite being banged up in the Mile High city by David Koci.
10:03 – Hershey Bears update, courtesy of Tim Leone and John Walton blogs and tweets: Hershey 3, Rochester 1. Jay Beagle with a goal and an assist, John Carlson with an assist and plus one. Braden Holtby stops 26 of 27 shots. Bears were 1 for 1 with the man advantage while they killed off all 5 Rochester power plays, including two 5 on 3’s (29 and 38 seconds). According to Walton, this was Holtby’s fourth win in six appearances.
10:09 – Sedin twins and Alex Burrows pressure Theodore early. I thought 22 got away with a hold on Alexander Semin.
10:11 – Ovechkin with great set up to Nicklas Backstrom in front but #19 taps puck wide. Great chance there.
10:14 – Caps going to net hard so far. They will need to keep that trend up in order to beat Luongo.
10:17 – Pretty clear that the Canucks are trying the long stretch pass to try and beat the Caps aggressive forecheck. It will be important for the third forward to support the Washington defense tonight to prevent Vancouver odd man rushes.
10:19 – Ryan Kesler scores on a delayed penalty on a fluke bounce off of Jeff Schultz after a save by Theodore. Bad bounce for Washington but they need to tighten up their defense. The gap between #55 and #52 was too wide giving Kesler a lane on a 1 on 2. Brutal.
10:23 – Brooks Laich takes the hit, and he ended up in the Canucks bench, to make the pass and that allows Alexander Semin to fire a screened shot by Luongo to tie this one up at a goal a piece. I tweeted earlier in the week that I would re-sign #28 long term. Plays like that just cement that view.
10:25 – Corey Masisak tweeting that Brendan Morrison and Burrows have been nose to nose a couple of times already. #14 for Vancouver is one of the biggest pests in the NHL.
10:29 – After a rough shift by Karl Alzner and John Erskine, the official calls #4 for holding. That looked like the same type of thing he let one of the Sedins get away with in the first minute on Semin. Once again, no consistency from the referees. But given the lack of consistency from the league office shouldn’t we expect this? Maddening.
10:33 – Caps kill the penalty and Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Mike Knuble put on good pressure but just miss on connecting. Better shift for Alzner there. Perhaps he is a little nervous playing in front of friends and family?
10:38 – Penalty on Rick Rypien for roughing. Washington on their first power play of the evening.
10:40 – Caps PP doesn’t connect but Tom Poti made some good plays at the point on the second unit to set up some chances.
10:42 – Hard working shift results in Chris Clark shooting from the slot, which the Canucks d-man blocked, but it got Luongo down and the Caps captain picked up the puck and snapped it by the Canucks cage minder. 2-1 Caps with 1:34 left in opening period.
10:46 – End of Period One Analysis: The Caps lead 2-1 and had an 11-7 shots advantage. Washington carried the play with only a small number of under par shifts and one of them led to the fluky Canucks goal off of Schultz. Semin was my star of the period and he was all over the ice. The Caps are getting good efforts from a lot of players and the 8-19-22 line nearly connected several times. Boudreau’s crew is firing the puck on net and going for rebounds, which is the best strategy against one of the best goalies in the NHL. They will need to continue to implement that game plan in order to win this one.
10:52 – Think people in Vancouver like hockey? They have 280 straight sellouts for the Canucks. But guess what? Capitals fever is catching on in this area too. According to Caps Media Relations Director, Nate Ewell, Washington has 22 straight regular season sellouts and the streak is up to 30 games if you count last spring’s playoffs. This is a club record and I see that number continuing to grow as the Verizon Center is a hot place to be these days when the Caps take the ice.
11:02 – Period two underway and once again the Sedin line goes right down the ice. A brutal Poti giveaway leads to a scoring chance but goal by #22 waved off because the net was off its mooring. That is two straight periods in which the Sedins went right down the ice on the opening shift and nearly scored.
11:08 – Boudreau switches up defensive pairs after 1st period. Green and Schultz still together but Alzner now with Morrisonn and Erskine and Poti are paired up. The 2007-08 Jack Adams award winning coach is typically spot on with his in game changes.
11:11 – Perhaps there was shift overlap there but the 1st period pairs: 52-55, 26-3, and 27-4 are all back together now.
11:13 – Sedins cycle the puck for a good bit in the Washington end but a nice poke check by Sarge allows Green to break the puck out quickly. A streaking Tomas Fleischmann just fires wide on Luongo from the left wing circle.
11:16 – Erskine tripped by Ryan Johnson at point. Caps power play on the ice.
11:19 – Well that power play was terrible. Backstrom had the puck at the point in one instance and Ovechkin and Green took off down low leaving #19 with no options and the Canucks forced him out of the zone.
11:20 – Washington gets their third power play of the night as Dave Steckel draws a Kevin Bieska hook.
11:24 – Another dud Caps power play as they get no shots on net. The Canucks did a great job of getting to the loose pucks and not letting Washington set up. 0 for 3 on man advantage for Capitals.
11:29 – Lots of end to end action but both teams doing a good job of limiting shots on net. Still 2-1 late in 2nd period.
11:33 – After being very disciplined in the second period Washington has a major breakdown as Green jumps in the play and his shot is knocked to the corner after hitting Luongo. Flash, instead of covering for #52, jumps up on the right wing boards and that allows Mason Raymond to score on a 2 on 1 break against Morrisonn. Fleischmann needs to make a better decision there. He had to see Green ahead of him. 2-2 game, 1:15 left.
11:38 – End of 2nd Period Analysis: Well the Caps had a chance to extend their lead with two straight power plays but the Canucks did not allow Washington to get set up and they got some easy kills. The play was very tight in period two but late in the stanza Washington’s Green jumped up in the play and the third forward (Flash) made a bad decision and that led to a 2 on 1 on Morrisonn for an easy goal. Morrisonn needs to play that 2 on 1 better as well, brutal overall sequence on that second goal. The overall play was fairly even but Vancouver did not give the Caps the room they had in the first period. Shots were 8-6 Caps in that period. Vancouver is the 2nd highest third period scoring team in the league so Washington will have their hands full against a good skating team that gets the last line change.
11:55 – Morrison with nice drop pass to Semin and his snapper just goes high and wide glove side of Luongo.
11:57 – Ovechkin telegraphs a cross ice pass to Green and Raymond, who is having a good game, steals it and races down the rink and fires on Theodore but #60 makes the save. Bad giveaway there.
11:59 – Semin with another nice chance in the slot but Luongo comes up big. #28 seems to have that first period jump back.
12:01 – Craig Laughlin and Joe Beninati saying that Boyd Gordon is doing well and could be headed to Hershey for a conditioning stint. Gordo is a great penalty killer. Quintin Laing apparently close to returning too and is finally eating solid foods (recovering from broken jaw).
12:07 – Caps going on their 4th power play of the evening.
12:10 – Perhaps the Caps should decline these power play’s because the Canucks seem to win every loose puck battle when shorthanded??!! Vancouver had better chances to score there and had Christian Ehroff not fumbled the puck at one point the Canucks were going to have an odd man rush. Brutal power play, now 0 for 4, could end up being the difference between winning and losing tonight.
12:16 – Poti called for borderline cross check but Vancouver had the arrow. Caps shorthanded with 7:20 remaining in regulation.
12:19 – Poti argues with referees and gets two more minutes. Stupid move by a 10+ year veteran who should know to be more composed in a tight contest. The Canucks score on a Raymond rebound goal off of a Kesler shot.
12:21 – Semin then breaks in shorthanded and is pulled down. The referees amazingly give him a penalty shot. No joy as Luongo stops him and Caps still have 90 plus seconds to kill off the rest of Poti’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. I thought that should not have been a penalty shot, and if I am Boudreau, I would have rather had the minor call, not a penalty shot.
12:25 – Caps kill off second Poti minor but only 4 minutes left. Ovechkin time?
12:28 – Poti’s bad night continues as he gives the puck away and the Canucks almost close this one out but Theo saves him. Semin has been moved up to play with Ovechkin and Backstrom with Caps down a goal.
12: 32 – Washington furiously attempts to tie this one up but fall short and Canucks win 3-2.
End of Game Analysis:
The puck really did not bounce the Caps way tonight but the primary reason they lost was their pathetic Friday night power play. Washington was 0 for 4 and barely put any pressure on Luongo and the Canucks. The Canucks were able to score once on the man advantage and they capitalized on the few Caps mistakes. That was a game the Caps deserved a point in but didn’t get it against a speedy, hard working, and talented team.
At the end of the game Boudreau put Morrison on defense to try and tie the game up using four forwards. As a result the total ice times for some of the defensemen were lower than normal: Erskine (16:08), Morrisonn (15:o9) and Alzner (15:17).
Ovechkin in 24:23 of ice time, was a -1 and only had 3 shots on goal and 2 hits.
Now things get even tougher on Washington as they head to Edmonton for the second half of back to back games. Washington has lost the last three times they have had to travel for a Saturday contest after playing on Friday night. The Caps fall to 21-8-6 overall and no longer lead the Eastern Conference or the National Hockey League in points (Pittsburgh and New Jersey have 49 points and lead the Caps by one).
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