Tag Archive | "nationals"

Bud Peter

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The Peter Principles (Ch. 13): Mi$ter Angelo$ & $on$ Network change$ everything for two citie$

Posted on 18 December 2015 by Nestor Aparicio

This is Chapter 13 of the upcoming book, “The Peter Principles.” This lengthy excerpt is a prelude to a WNST report on ten years of MASN money and how Washington baseball has affected Baltimore baseball over the past decade. The first three chapters of the book are available here:

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

The Peter Principles (Ch. 2): The error of tyranny at Camden Yards

The Peter Principles (Ch. 3): How close did Angelos come to owning Baltimore’s NFL team?

The Peter Principles (Ch. 12): Selig vs. Angelos – trust, antitrust and billions of dollars

 

 

“The most important part of the deal is the equity in MASN over the long term. In a few years that equity stake in the network will be worth far more than any rights fee that a Comcast or a Fox SportsNet could pay (the Washington Nationals). So they will in time have a 33 percent stake in MASN without one penny of investment. We pay all production costs, overhead, the staffing and program fees. The new Nationals get all the benefits without the risk. My goal, and I am sure it is the same for the Washington owners, is to have two very successful franchises that work together on a number of projects while being friendly rivals on the field.”

Peter G. Angelos

The Examiner

April 7, 2006

 

 

AS PETER G. ANGELOS WATCHED THE Boston Red Sox win the 2004 World Series, he was still a state of shock that his Major League Baseball partners and commissioner Bud Selig had actually done the unthinkable – placing a rival National League team into Washington, D.C. to compete with the Orioles, forever dividing the marketplace.

Insiders said they’d never seen Angelos so angry, so agitated, so betrayed and hell bent on making them pay for this decision to double cross a partner. Selig had been contrite in their conversations and vowed to somehow find a way to keep Angelos whole on the deal and the burgeoning business of television networks had become the next generation way of getting money from the masses to fund baseball growth. In the 1980s, MLB discovered sponsorships and a higher-end clientele. In the 1990s, MLB discovered leveraging municipalities for new stadia, skyboxes, club seats and premium sponsorships. Now, in the new century, it was going to be television rights and revenues derived from cable purchasers who are bundled into larger all-but-invisible packages where the “regional sports network” would garner a few dollars per month, per subscriber.

This was a way to collect automatic, “unseen” money from virtually every home in their region. They would be getting tens of millions of dollars from folks who wouldn’t even know they were funding Major League Baseball. The Lords would be getting money from people who didn’t even know what baseball was ­– or where to find it on the multi-channel cable dial.

Angelos had already become wise to the reality of the changing media marketplace. He didn’t really understand but it ­– but knew it had tangible and growth value in the future.

It was no accident that the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox had more far revenue to spend on better baseball players, which exponentially aided their ability to win and keep the money machine well oiled with local interest and new-age marketing. The Yes Network was a product of a 1999 merger between the Yankees and New Jersey Nets for the express purpose of marketing a cable television channel in the New York region that would cut out the middleman – the sports cable television networks. The war in New York with Cablevision was legendary and it was big money. In 2001, the New England Sports Network (NESN), which enjoyed a near monopoly status in the region for television sports, went to the basic tier of cable, meaning far greater distribution and more money that would be used to fund the new and improved Boston Red Sox.

The same Red Sox that Angelos just watched win the World Series, who were led in part by Larry Lucchino – the former Orioles president and investor, who was the visionary for the modern franchise and building of Camden Yards, and the first employee whom Angelos unceremoniously partnered with and then ousted a month later in 1993 after his Orioles acquisition from Eli Jacobs in a New York auction.

Angelos knew all of his options, demands and “asks” in regard to what he’d be trying to retain and obtain if Selig and his MLB partners ever crossed the line and did the unthinkable – putting the Expos just 38 miles away in his backyard.

But, make no mistake about it, Angelos would’ve far preferred to have never seen the Washington Nationals born at any cost or any profit.

He abhorred the concept of D.C. baseball.

Washington baseball was truly his worst nightmare as the owner of the Baltimore Orioles. He was absolutely convinced there was no financial way to make him “whole” – and worse, he truly believed that it would drastically affect not only his team, but that the Washington team would fare no better in a market that Angelos and most everyone else remembered as a two-time baseball loser in the 1960s and early 1970s. But a lot had changed since the Senators left for Arlington, Texas in 1971 to become the Rangers.

The Northern Virginia suburbs had grown exponentially over the nearly four decades and the biggest enclave of per capita earnings in the United States fell throughout what Angelos felt was hard-earned Orioles country. Angelos valued the Washington, D.C. community for the same reasons Selig and the other MLB owners did – they smelled the size, money and disposable income. Angelos claimed that 30% of his audience came from those homes and wallets. The Orioles and Major League Baseball were a television brand that his baseball brand had cultivated over 30 years and he and his partners paid top dollar for in 1993.

Angelos felt absolutely deceived, absolutely blindsided by their lack of concern …

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BirdsPic

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The Peter Principles (Ch. 12): Selig vs. Angelos – trust, antitrust and billions of dollars

Posted on 17 December 2015 by Nestor Aparicio

This is Chapter 12 of the upcoming book, “The Peter Principles.” This lengthy excerpt is a prelude to a WNST report on ten years of MASN money and how Washington baseball has affected Baltimore baseball over the past decade. The first three chapters of the book are available here:

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

The Peter Principles (Ch. 2): The error of tyranny at Camden Yards

The Peter Principles (Ch. 3): How close did Angelos come to owning Baltimore’s NFL team?

 

 

The Peter Principles

Chapter 12

The Washington Nationals were the greatest thing to ever happen to Peter G. Angelos

 

“We’re going to be watching very carefully to see what’s going to happen with some of the efforts to put a baseball franchise in Washington or in Northern Virginia. And I’m gonna tell ya straight up: we don’t think there should be a baseball franchise in Northern Virginia or in Washington. Because you would have a repetition of what you have in Oakland and San Francisco. In Oakland and San Francisco you have the same kind of population mix that you have between Baltimore and Washington. And those two teams kill each other off. Both of those teams drew, last year, less than two million fans. Together, they drew 3 million fans. But because they’re so close to each other and they’re both part of one metropolitan area – mega metropolitan area – they are literally killing themselves at the gate. We have argued, I think to this point, successfully, that there should not be another Major League Baseball franchise 30 to 40 miles away from Baltimore. It isn’t that we would deny the people that live in those areas the recreational pursuit of baseball. We think baseball is a great game for everybody. But when we look at the experience of Boston, Philadelphia, Oakland, San Francisco – Boston and Philadelphia and St. Louis had two ballclubs. The history of baseball dictates that you can’t put two teams that close together. We are opposing that. We think Orioles baseball is plenty good enough for us as well as the people in the Washington suburbs and we thank them for that support and we want to retain that support.”

Peter G. Angelos

The Barn, March 1997

 

 

WITH THE BIG MONEY SPLURGE OVER the winter, Peter G. Angelos believed he’d solved most of his 2004 problems on the field with the Orioles. But, truly, the team on the field or how it performed in the spring was the least of his big-picture problems with the franchise. Angelos was far more focused on its future viability in Baltimore if his Major League Baseball partners were going to acquiesce to mounting civic pressure from Washington, D.C. and move the fledgling, all-but-homeless Montreal Expos to the capital of the free world to openly compete in a marketplace that had solely been the territory of the Orioles since the early 1970s.

Once again, a decade into his ownership of the Orioles, Angelos found himself knee-deep into circumstances that went far beyond the boundaries of the normal business of simply running a baseball team and trying to win and turn a profit. For the first time in modern baseball history – the last team that moved was the Washington Senators to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 1972 – a MLB team was going to being uprooted and potentially moved directly into the territory of an existing franchise.

While he picked many of battles over years with political figures, media members, Orioles players, agents, partners, insurance companies and big businesses, this was certainly a battle that found Angelos. He was a natural fighter. But this was not a fight he ever wanted.

When Camden Yards was flooded with fans in his early days he always maintained that there was no way two teams could survive and thrive in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. He was always adamant – if not even enthusiastic and animated – in his protests of anything related to Washington having a Major League Baseball team.

Washington baseball was his worst nightmare.

And he saw the clouds were forming very clearly heading into 2004.

Angelos saw where this might be going, and despite his work on an amicable relationship and pro bono efforts during the 2002 labor negotiations on behalf of Major League Basbeall, he still truly believed that commissioner Bug Selig would never cross him and his daily struggle to keep another MLB team out of the nation’s capital. He called Selig “a friend” at one point and indicated his staunch belief that Washington baseball would never happen.

“Washington has a baseball team,” Angelos would say. “They’re called the Orioles.”

You can hear him discuss this topic at length here from March 1997:

If anything had been proven over the years it was that Peter G. Angelos loved a good fight. He was now more than $150 million upside down in his ownership of the Orioles – reports would say at this time that the team was worth $325 million, which would’ve more than cleared up his losses. But, having lost money every year for 10 years and reaching into his personal vast fortune annually to financially support the team was an unnerving reality. But, given his reputation and track record, it was his own doing by chasing away large chunks of revenue streams with a myriad of poor decisions and poor civic form.

Now, as a mostly unpopular figure through both cities’ baseball fan bases, he was bunkering …

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Todd Dybas

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Todd Dybas discusses the disaster of a week for the Nationals

Posted on 04 November 2015 by WNST Staff

Todd Dybas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chelsea Janes

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Chelsea Janes thoughts on the Nationals hiring Dusty Baker

Posted on 04 November 2015 by WNST Staff

Chelsea Janes

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dave Sheinin

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Dave Sheinin talks the disappointing season for the Nats and O’s

Posted on 15 September 2015 by WNST Staff

Dave Sheinin

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sure, it's a short drive from Baltimore to Washington for a National League but why in the world would you bother?

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MLB #GiveASpit Ballpark Ranking: No. 27 Washington Nationals

Posted on 15 August 2015 by Nestor Aparicio

Let me start by saying, “Screw the Washington Nationals.” Hands down, the worst people I dealt with in Major League Baseball. And the stadium isn’t much better. It’s a Philadelphia knockoff and that’s really not saying much. The neighborhood around the place isn’t getting any better as a destination for games. Most Nats fans thought the good news was that the team was going to be decent with a clear commitment to winning. But, then July happened to them in the NL East standings. But the stadium has a plastic feel and kinda makes me want to snooze off. The vibe is reminiscent of everything that went wrong when the Orioles moved from 33rd Street and recruited the wine and cheesers and readers of The Washington Post back in the 1992. Major League Baseball left Washington twice during the decade of my birth and the only thing that brought it back was the ineptitude of ownership in Montreal, combined with the despair and greed of the MLB owners. And a decade later, all of the money is in the pockets of Peter G. Angelos in Baltimore. Mr. Angelos has made $2 billion off MASN and the Orioles since the birth of the Nationals. And the stadium is nothing special, not a place anyone would say you need to see in your lifetime. The only time I’ll enter that place is when the people who mistreated me are fired or gone – or maybe when Bruce Springsteen puts the band back together again and decides to play this place that made Peter Angelos even wealthier. Or maybe if Billy Joel or the Caps come back to play a game. But, the Washington Nationals are dead to me. Looks like they’ll be golfing in October, too. And that won’t hurt my feelings. Hey, I’ve had no problem disliking the Washington Redskins over the past three decades, right? Oh, and their stadium sucks, too…

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On Sept. 8-9-10, I will be releasing an extensive essay documenting my 30-30 MLB #GiveASpit journey of 2015. You can read it and all of my work here: http://wnst.net/author/nestoraparicio/

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Nationals select Ryan Ripken in 15th round of MLB Draft

Posted on 07 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Nationals conclude 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft

The Washington Nationals concluded the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Saturday afternoon, selecting 30 players to round out this year’s draft class.

Over the course of the three-day draft, the Nationals selected 21 pitchers (seven left-handed pitchers, 14 right-handed), four catchers, 10 outfielders and five infielders.

Among the players the Nats selected Saturday was first baseman Ryan Ripken (Gilman) out of Indian River State College in Florida.

Ripken is the son of former Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame SS Cal Ripken. The younger Ripken was drafted by the Birds in the 20th round of the 2012 Draft before passing on the opportunity to accept a scholarship to play baseball at South Carolina.

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fans pt. 2

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Angelos Was Right…About DC Baseball Fans

Posted on 23 April 2014 by Robert Canady

I fear Peter Angelos may have been correct.  About ten years ago when he was trying to block Washington, DC from getting a Major League Baseball team, he was quoted as saying, “There are no real baseball fans in D.C.”

I remember thinking at the time, what an out of touch old coot he must be.  I lived in the District for a while and worked there for many years.   I was a baseball fan, admitting like a lot of people in the greater Washington, DC area I had grown up elsewhere and found myself here due to my career path.  I still followed my hometown Cincinnati Reds, and became a regular at Camden Yards.

However after attending a game recently between the Washington Nationals and St Louis Cardinals, I might have seen a glimpse of what Angelos was talking about.   The day had everything a real baseball fan could hope for, one of the first warm Saturday’s of the year, both teams contending for first place early in the season and the promise of a successful season laid out ahead.

 

Walking into the stadium it seemed like I was going to be in for a real day to remember.  We made the obligatory walk around the concourse and saw the multitudes of food options, browsed the Clubhouse store and pondered a couple Nationals apparel items.

One thing that struck me was the huge number of fans in St. Louis caps and jerseys.  Now anyone that’s been to a professional game in DC, knows it’s not unusual to the see the opposing teams colors and logos, after all DC is one of the more transient cities in America.  And the Nationals in the past have even taken to marketing to the opposing teams fan base.  But the number of Cardinals fans seemed unusually high.

However, the real shock came once we were settled in our $40 seats on the field level.  I was surprised and bit taken aback to see the people directly in front of us holding an infant that couldn’t have been more than three to six months old.  The couple spent the majority of the game with one of them attending to the baby in one way or another, and I don’t think mom or dad were in their seats together for more than one inning of the entire game.

In addition it appeared grandma and grandpa came along to experience the site of baby fan witnessing her (I’m guessing by the pink towel) first Nationals game.   Grandpa actually appeared to be trying to watch the game. Grandma must have set a Nationals Park record for IPhone photos taken and uploaded to Facebook.

During the game, we were fortunate to witness, several bouts of crying, knee bobbing, burping, and of course the time honored 5th inning tradition of breast feeding, seriously!!

Now, I’m making an example of the couple that happened to be right in front of us, and may be nice of people.  But in our section we saw no less than four other parents with babies that were young enough that they needed to be carried in either a carrier or strap on baby pack, or whatever those contraptions are called.

Why would anyone think bringing a baby that young to a three hour long, outdoor activity packed with 40,000 people is cute? It’s not, it’s selfish and self-centered.   Nationals Park apparently has a doggie zone where you can bring your dog and several times throughout the game fans along with their pups are featured on the video board.   I guess we were in the baby zone but missed the sign.

Now before I get labeled a baby-hater which I’m really not, some of the adults weren’t much more tuned into the game.   Two young 30-something guys that sat right behind us, spent the majority of the game talking about problems at their office and how they seemingly had all the answers.  Well not all the answers, one of them asked how the Cardinals had scored their last run?  Which is somewhat understandable, we were about 300 feet from home plate after all.

All around us it was a constant swarm of non-baseball watching activity, such as groups getting up to “go for a walk.”  Countless trips in and out of the rows to check out a different concession item, well I can’t put too much blame there.

It just seems that nobody sits in their seats anymore, and I didn’t notice one single person around me keeping score with the complimentary scorecard that is still given out.

When the Nationals threatened to tie or win the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, most fans paid little more than obligatory attention.  It took a few guys in the front row to turn around and shout and motion for people to stand up and get excited.

I know I’m from a different era.  My fandom began over 40 years ago. I grew up outside of Cincinnati, Ohio in the late 60’s and stayed into the 80’s.    My formative years of baseball were following the Big Red Machine that would lose to the Orioles and the Athletics in the 1970 and 1972 World Series respectively.   Before winning back to back titles in the 1976 and 1977 against the Red Sox and Yankees—column interruption for Oriole fans to cheer—as I became old enough to drive myself to games, the defining moment of many baseball addicted youths at the time.

After college I moved to cities with no baseball teams first Tampa then Raleigh, yes there actually was a time when Devil Ray…excuse me Rays didn’t exist.   Tampa was the spring training home of the Reds at the time, and I eagerly awaited every late February when pitchers and catchers would show up followed shortly by the full squad. By this time in the 80’s , Johnny Bench, Pete Rose and Manager Sparky Anderson had been replaced with the likes of Dan Billardelo, Ron Oester and Russ Nixon, and the Reds regularly finished in last place of the National League West, behind among others the Los Angeles Dodgers their hated rival at the time.

After the teams left Florida, I took out a mail order subscription to the Dayton Daily News which would arrive in a timely fashion three to four days later and I would devour the box scores and latest—well as latest as they could be—stats.  It’s now with all the details that are available on MLB.Com, bsaeballreference.com and other sites, a through baseball geek can find out what his favorite player is batting on Tuesday nights, against left handers after having chicken-cordon bleu for a pre-game meal.  Back in 1984, I was happy to find out three days later that Dave Concepcion had gone 2-4!!

So enough of convincing that I grew up a baseball fan and remain a baseball fan.   I arrived in Washington the same year that Camden Park opened and made the drive up from Georgetown for several weeknight and weekend games those first couple years.  Hmmmh…I was in DC and I was a baseball fan.  But this is when Angelos was still relying on ticket buyers from what he now considers enemy territory.

The game against the Cardinals was a sellout crowd of 44,000.   Drawing over 2 million fans to Nationals Park each year as they have, the number may say there are enough fans to support the team in DC.  But after what I experienced this past week, I have to wonder if Angelos had a valid point.

 

 

 

 

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MASN eliminating combined broadcast for Orioles-Nats games this season

Posted on 26 February 2014 by WNST Staff

What had become a yearly complaint among many Orioles and Nationals fans has finally been addressed.

Since its first full year of operation in 2007, MASN had used a combined broadcast team for interleague games between Baltimore and Washington that was largely met with disdain and criticism from fans who preferred a team-specific telecast. However, the network announced Wednesday that the Orioles and Nationals will each broadcast separately when the teams meet at Nationals Park on July 7 and 8 and at Oriole Park at Camden Yards July 9 and 10.

Gary Thorne and Mike Bordick will call the action on the Orioles broadcast while Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo will handle broadcasting duties for the Nationals edition. The home team’s broadcast will be found on MASN while the visiting team edition will be shown on MASN2 for each of the four games.

With both clubs contending over the last two years, criticism of the combined format had increased as fans felt the outcomes of games were too important to give off such a feeling of camaraderie. Others pointed to the continuing dispute between the Nationals and MASN over the television rights fees that has stretched over the last couple years as an argument to not present such a jovial front between the two teams.

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Chen making slow progress on road back from oblique injury

Posted on 28 May 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

WASHINGTON — As rookie right-hander Kevin Gausman was making his second major league start on Tuesday night, the Orioles continue to wait patiently on the recovery of left-hander Wei-Yin Chen.

Chen was eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, but the Taiwanese southpaw has yet to pick up a baseball as he rehabs a strained right oblique injury in Sarasota. The 27-year-old exited his start in Minnesota on May 12 after throwing five shutout innings and was officially placed on the disabled list two days later.

Oblique injuries are problematic with a high rate of setbacks because it’s difficult for training staffs to determine whether the muscle has truly healed until the player begins throwing again. Manager Buck Showalter and Chen both expressed the need to be cautious to make sure the lefty is healthy for the duration of the season.

“There’s a little progress, but not anything big,” Showalter said. “Little by little. It’s so hard to handicap that, but he’s doing OK.”

Chen is 3-3 with a 3.04 earned run average in eight starts covering 47 1/3 innings this season and had been the club’s most consistent starter at the time of the injury.

In other injury-related news, second baseman Brian Roberts has begun hitting off a tee and is on schedule for the projected six-week recovery laid out after he underwent surgery on his right hamstring nearly three weeks ago.

“He’s on schedule,” Showalter said. “He started increasing his baseball activities, his tee work, and soft toss, and he felt fine. I know him, he wants it to happen tomorrow, but I don’t think it’s ‘if,’ it’s ‘when’ with Brian.”

Infielder Wilson Betemit has finally begun some baseball-related activity as he is now playing catch and could continue to increase his level of activity. He has been sidelined since March with a Grade 2/3 PCL tear in his right knee and originally expressed hope that he would return in eight weeks.

With the Orioles struggling to find production at the designated hitter spot for much of the season, Betemit would be an ideal option against right-handed pitching after batting .302 and posting an .859 on-base plus slugging percentage against right-handed hurlers last season.

“Wilson’s a little bit of a forgotten guy in this [lineup],” Showalter said. “He did a lot of good things for us last year and we’re looking forward to getting him back.”

Backup catcher Taylor Teagarden (left thumb) caught five innings in an extended spring game on Monday and could be ready to go on a minor-league rehab assignment within the next few days. He will catch once again on Wednesday after serving as the DH in Tuesday’s extended spring training contest.

Infield prospect Jonathan Schoop will get a second opinion on his lower back in California on Wednesday after executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette revealed last week that the 21-year-old is dealing with a stress fracture in his back. That type of injury would likely keep Schoop sidelined until after the All-Star break, according to the initial prognosis.

 

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