Tag Archive | "peter"

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

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

Posted on 30 March 2014 by Nestor Aparicio

2. A Tyrant Is Born

 

“Our fan support is beyond words. If we had enough seats, we’d surpass every other club. Our expenditures were long overdue in light of the fan support and rather meager compared to the expenditures of other clubs over the years. We felt we had some catching up to do, that the previous ownership had not done all it could to repay the fans, to give them what they deserve. We’re going to operate major league baseball in Maryland in a different way. We’re committed to making the club as competitive as possible, and that’s what we’re doing.”

–  Peter G. Angelos, as told to Ross Newhan of The Los Angeles Times, March 27, 1994

 

IN THE SPRING OF 1994, on the eve of a work stoppage that would cancel the World Series for the first time in the history of Major League Baseball, a book was published that became a handbook for anyone who wanted to see behind the greasy curtains of the business of baseball. This “tell all” for those who could think beyond what was on the back of a bubble gum card wasn’t penned by legendary Major League Baseball Players’ Association head Marvin Miller, but it certainly came from the somewhat sympathetic perspective of the plight of the players vs. the owners in the annals of the sport’s history in America.

The only problem with any “bias” in it was rooted, much like this Peter Principles series, in nothing but facts. Cold hard facts – all well sourced – that reflect the reality of the business of baseball. It told of the institution of institutionalized racism, classism, elitism, intimidation, coercion and lies amongst a world of wealthy all-white males doing business with an anti-trust exemption in the 21st century.

The 1994 book is called Lords Of The Realm and if you take no other advice from this manifesto about the Baltimore Orioles history under Peter Angelos, pick it up and give it a read. It’s impossible to sum up 75 years of baseball history in a few sentences here but to discuss the history and business of Major League Baseball over the last century would require a bar of soap, some disinfectant, warm water and a towel. Drugs, scandals, cheats, louses, greedy and/or crazy owners, racism, violence, civic shakedowns, and lack of government oversight have plagued baseball through the years. But the marketing machines insist on red, white and blue, the American flag, “God Bless America,” hot dogs and virtuous intentions for your children to idolize from crib to grave. Go watch the Ken Burns PBS series, Baseball, and you’ll see that there’s nothing more important in the universe than the sanctity of baseball history, records, heroes and civic connection to Americana.

According to some people, anyway.

Baseball owners have tried to control their public message for a hundred years and then journalists have come forward to expose all of the dirty laundry of the sport over the century.

By any measure of history, Peter G. Angelos fits right into the old boys club of Major League Baseball owners. Now, more than 20 years into his residency, it’s easy to measure his role in the pantheon of tyrannical, egotistical and iconoclastic baseball owners right up against George Steinbrenner, Charlie Finley, Bill Veeck, Auggie Busch or any of the other “Lords” as John Helyar put it in his book 20 years ago this month.

Peter Angelos bought the best and most valuable franchise in Major League Baseball in August 1993. It was the most expensive franchise in North America. Previous Orioles owner Eli Jacobs had hosted the Queen of England and the President of The United States in his shoddy, mezzanine hut on 33rd Street at Memorial Stadium and he had only controlled the team for less than four years. Owning a Major League Baseball allowed him the opportunity to sit with not only the rich but also the famous, infamous and influential. Angelos was a blue-collar attorney from East Baltimore who hit the legal lottery with an asbestos case that made him wealthy almost overnight. So, if his background portended a man who wanted to not only be rich but also desired to be famous and highly influential in the political space, then Angelos got his eternal wish with the purchase of the Baltimore Orioles.

In 1993, no one had ever heard of Peter Angelos outside of East Baltimore. By early 1994, he made sure that everyone who had ever heard of the Baltimore Orioles had heard his name and saw his image.

It started the day that he bought the team and returned to Baltimore a reigning hero and clearly in charge of the new Orioles ownership group. There were more questions than answers that day with so many prominent names involved and such civic interest in every facet of Angelos’ intentions. Angelos only won one election but this was akin to him giving a victory speech and outlining his platform for the future of the pride and joy of Baltimore – its baseball team.

“I’ll have ultimate authority in all matters, from the smallest things to the major things,” said Angelos, who said his title would be managing partner of the Orioles. “But I don’t brandish that as some kind of club, and I would hope it would never have to be used. I don’t think it will be.”

On August 4, 1993, The Sun reported this:

The baseball side of the Orioles isn’t likely to change dramatically with Mr. Angelos in charge. He said he generally supports the team’s current plan of grooming young players, rather than resorting to signing more expensive free-agent players. And he said that his goal as owner would be to give the fans a competitive team that occasionally brings home the biggest prize.

Winning a World Series “should be the goal for every team,” he said. “But that is not the sole

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My Dinner With Peter G. Angelos (Part I)

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My Dinner With Peter G. Angelos (Part I)

Posted on 22 January 2014 by Nestor Aparicio

As I continue to gather more information and write the legacy of the Baltimore Orioles under the ownership of Peter G. Angelos, I’m stumbling onto all sorts of information, quotes and basic truths.

My book on the first 20 years of Angelos’ ownership, The Peter Principles, is coming to WNST.net in March.

I’ve only met Peter Angelos three times in my life. This was the first time in March 1997. When this video starts, I had literally just shaken hands with him less than two minutes earlier.

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Orioles Magic and 666: The Number of The East

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Orioles Magic and 666: The Number of The East

Posted on 27 September 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s been six years and six days since we launched the “Free The Birds” campaign to speak out about the awfulness that the Baltimore Orioles had become under the stewardship of Peter G. Angelos. Coincidentally, today the Orioles “magic number” to clinch a playoff berth in the American League is 6.

It’s absolutely astonishing that we’re going to the Ravens’ fourth game of the season tonight and the Baltimore Orioles are playing meaningful baseball games every night. It’s almost awkward and overwhelming, the energy we’re all feeling for sports in our community.

So as 70,000 gather downtown and bring the purple love for the 2-1 Baltimore Ravens on national television, has all been forgiven and “fixed” according to the customers of the Baltimore Orioles?

If you’re counting the tens of thousands of empty seats this “Orioles Magic” show has played for over the last month you’ll see that the franchise and the 2012 Orioles still have a long way to go to undo the untold damage to the psyche of its own fan base. Even worse, there are many potential baseball fans who are unaware – or uninterested – in coming back to the ballpark and soaking in the love of Birdland, which right now is just about the happiest place on earth.

Fill in any reason you’d like: price, distance, inconvenience, HDTV, love of Jim Hunter, blah, blah, blah.

Bottom line: it ain’t a tough ticket.

I’ve never stopped going to Orioles games. I’ve been to eight games a year every year since 2003 when they proved to be awful business partners and 2006 when they took away my press pass (I’m the only person in history of Baltimore media to be “banned” from Orioles games). People give me free tickets and I use them.

I’ve flown to Sarasota twice to see them play in spring training. I’ve seen the Orioles play in New York three times a year every year for 8 years. I’ve seen them play in Boston, New York, Cleveland, Tampa, Philadelphia.

I’ve been going back to the ballpark this month and I’ve reached into my wallet to do it.

I purchased two tickets for the Cal Ripken Statue Thursday night extravaganza. I bought four tickets for this Monday’s DH for $4 each. I checked the credit card receipts. I spent $18.80. Because of the scarcity of the Ripken tickets, it cost us $47.80 for a pair of standing rooms that we turned into sitting rooms in the back row of Sec. 380.

My total investment in the Orioles so far in 2012? That’s right: $66.60.

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter or @WNST on Twitter, you know that I’m at the ballpark because I’m sending up pictures, observations, analysis and some dark humor.

I turned down offers for free tickets the past two nights because I had other obligations for work.

I woke up early on Saturday morning and chased down a pair of tickets to every postseason game the Orioles could play this October. And then I realized that I’ll be in Kansas City for the Ravens’ game next weekend.

And I have to ask myself the same question many Baltimore sports fans are asking themselves – am I a bigger fan of the Orioles or the Ravens? And if I had to pick just one…???? Hmmm…

I’m asking Baltimore sports fans these questions all month here in our GREAT BALTIMORE MEDIA SURVEY. Take it for a chance to win a trip to Cleveland in November!

For me choosing between the Orioles and the Ravens is like picking between whether you love your

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Moose memories and “Welcome Home” for wise deserter of Birdland

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Moose memories and “Welcome Home” for wise deserter of Birdland

Posted on 23 August 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

As Mike Mussina makes his triumphant return to Baltimore this weekend for the Orioles Hall of Fame activities it’s certainly a thought-provoking time to be a long-time observer and fan of the franchise.

Sure, the Orioles are once again relevant — playing meaningful and exciting games every night — which harkens to the days of 1996 & 1997 when “Moose” was an integral part of the magic of being an Orioles fan every fifth day during the zenith of Camden Yards’ passion and Inner Harbor energy.

Mussina has been gone from Baltimore – except for three visits a year in New York Yankees pinstripes – for 12 years now. So long ago that time has seemingly dimmed the glory of his deeds and his departure serves as a truly seminal moment in the awfulness of the Orioles franchise under the stewardship of Peter Angelos since 1993.

In the 1970’s it was routine for the Orioles to lose players to owners, markets and franchises that had more wealth, population and revenue. Many members of the franchise “Hall of Fame” and “Oriole Way” stalwarts left like Mayflowers in the middle of the night for greener pastures including Don Baylor, Bobby Grich, Reggie Jackson, Wayne Garland and Doug DeCinces and later Eddie Murray, Mike Boddicker, Mike Flanagan, B.J. Surhoff and Mike Bordick were all dealt away to save cash and get younger players.

But in the 1980’s and 1990’s, replete with a fan base from six states that pumped unprecedented money into the franchise and reached into the state’s funds to build Camden Yards and turn Baltimore into a spigot for Major League Baseball profitability, the Orioles never lost a player they wanted to keep.

Not until they lost the best player and pitcher of his generation of Baltimore baseball when Mike Mussina wore the “turncoat” label and bolted for the New York Yankees.

After the 2000 season, tired of three years of losing and Angelos’ low-balling and obvious meddling and mismanagement, Mussina simply took the advice of his agent Arn Tellem and played out his option and walked. On Dec. 7, 2001 after years of eschewing the notion of playing in big, bad New York he signed a six-year, $88.5 million deal to play for the Evil Empire.

I’ll share my many personal memories and my friendship with Mussina later in this blog but I can remember the surreal nature of watching that press conference from The Bronx from Chicago’s Sporting News Radio studios with my jaw open. It was the definitive signal that quality Major League Baseball players simply didn’t want to be in Baltimore anymore and it had little to do with crab cakes or the American League East.

Mussina was thought to be “irreplaceable” at the time and 11 years later time has borne out that diagnosis.

Mussina left the Baltimore Orioles because the owner stunk. He knew it and everyone in baseball knew it.

So, Mussina will finally return and don Orioles colors this weekend for the final time and he’ll find a few fresh statues on the veranda, a team in the midst of its first pennant run in 15 years and a seemingly soulless shell of a former love affair for baseball in Baltimore.

There’ll be plenty of empty seats and shoulder shrugs at his mostly sweet and sour induction into the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame this weekend. Certainly a worthy candidate if there ever were one, Mussina’s time as a starter for the Birds is only eclipsed by the deeds of Jim Palmer, who as I’ve said many times is the greatest (and most underappreciated) Oriole of all time by any measurement.

Palmer let loose with a haughty pronouncement on a MASN broadcast earlier this week in promoting this weekend’s festivities. “The Moose is going to Cooperstown – at least I hope. He’s got 270 wins,” said Palmer, who went on to proclaim that in the steroid era to win all of those games and Gold Gloves and remain a “clean figure” in the needle witch hunt of the Mitchell Report should get him a Hall of Fame ballot punched in 2014.

For “real” Orioles fans, he’ll always be known as the Benedict Arnold of the modern generation for leaving the

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Here’s what your local “sports media personality” needs to know in 2012

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Here’s what your local “sports media personality” needs to know in 2012

Posted on 15 June 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

It was so much easier when I was growing up, this sports media thing. First, you learned how to write and then you went to some journalism or “communications” college or university, you did an internship and then sent resumes out and you got your dream job and lived happily ever after.

And maybe you got a gold watch if you hung around at the newspaper or TV station for 25 years or more?

Here at WNST.net this summer, we’re extending an open offer to any Baltimore sports fan who wants to be the next Baltimore Sports Media Superstar via our competition. All of the info is here…

The harsh reality of media and new media in 2012 is that it’s an all-encompassing commitment of time, experience and continuing education that makes a local personality or entity relevant as breaking news, information, analysis and the games themselves fly by in real time with your mobile device with you at all times.

And that’s just the content side.

Here’s a speech I gave to a Loyola Sports Marketing class in May 2012. This is Part 1 in a series about my current thoughts on the state of Baltimore sports media and the industry as a whole:

If you can’t sell your own personal brand – by bringing in audience, engaging them, adding value to their life experience and adding expertise or analysis that people care about – you will NOT be successful in the new media world.

If no cares to be your audience – or in this era that would be “opt in” or “follow” or “subscribe” — then no one will be available to stimulate the commerce necessary that ultimately will pay your salary via local sponsorship dollars..

In the old days it was easy – there were three TV channels, a few radio stations and a newspaper or two. Whoever the local program director or editor hired was all that the public got and all that you’d ever get from the “inside” of a sports team. The competition for those scarce jobs and the outstanding pay via expensive local television news ads fueled by automotive dealers and local advertisers was all coveted. And the public in Baltimore essentially had three choices for the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news – WBAL, WMAR and WJZ. There were two newspapers – The Sun and The News American. And sports radio didn’t exist except for Charley Eckman screaming bloody murder about some local issue on the Johnny Walker show on WFBR.

That was the entire world of Baltimore sports media in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

And the only ones who really did it the “new world” way were Coach Eckman and Tom Davis, who bought and sold their own “in-show” advertising and made far more money than most radio “talking heads” did and certainly more than the folks at The Sun or The News American.

All of the TV and newspaper people were part of a larger ensemble and staff. The radio sports talk guys needed to fight for audience and those radio stations needed hosts who garnered real traffic and real new business for local sponsors and advertisers.

This is the world I lived in on local AM radio from 1992 until 2006, when tens of thousands of you crashed my webpage and my email with traffic from all over the world after the initial “Free The Birds” walkout and showed me a new world of WNST.net on the internet.

In the new media world, if you can’t sell your own brand as a sports media expert then how can a local sponsor or business owner trust that you can help them sell pizza or cars or beer?

The reality is that I’m in college every day at WNST.net. The college of life, emerging media and business in 2012 and how it relates to the changing ways of sports fans’ consumption of information via mobile devices in real time.

It’s taken two decades but I’ve finally figured out why I went to college back in the 1980’s. All of those beers at Jay’s off campus at the University of Baltimore and all of those evening classes about Marshall McLuhan — it’s all finally paid off. All those classes with Julie Simon and discovering the roots of communication and theory of how the “medium is the message” and emerging “global village” has changed the world in the last decade since the internet has extended our FCC towers at what was formerly a “little AM radio station” at WNST-AM 1570 and brought video and words and statistics and instant feedback into the realm of the palm of our hands via mobile via WNST.net.

I’ve finally figured out the value of my University of Baltimore education and Corporation Communications degree – it just took me 20 years!

While I’m not going to be donating to UB anytime soon – or anytime that the name of Peter G. Angelos

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In case you’re wondering how many Phillies fans are in Baltimore…

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In case you’re wondering how many Phillies fans are in Baltimore…

Posted on 09 June 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

We decided to video the evidence of the Philadelphia Phillies and their takeover of Camden Yards today as a 2012 tribute to Peter Angelos and “winning” Baltimore Orioles baseball.

If you’re from Philly, you’ll definitely enjoy it…

If you’re from Baltimore, you’ll be thoroughly revolted…but at least the song is good and Peter Angelos made a lot of money for himself, downtown hotels and restaurants!

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Top 10 Stupid Things “Real Baltimore Orioles Fans” Say To Defend Angelos

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Top 10 Stupid Things “Real Baltimore Orioles Fans” Say To Defend Angelos

Posted on 01 April 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

TOP 10 STUPID THINGS ORIOLES FANS IN BALTIMORE SAY TO DEFEND PETER G. ANGELOS:

10. “Hey Nestor, if you don’t pipe down and start encouraging more people to buy Orioles tickets, Peter Angelos will get his feelings hurt and move the team…”

This was addressed here at WNST.net at length and is only No. 10 because there are nine more stupid things I’ve heard because this one is a virtual “never going to happen” scenario. Anyone who thinks the Orioles are leaving Baltimore because the stadium is empty is simply an idiot.

9. “Look at the attendance. They’re losing money. There’s no way he can make money with an empty stadium.”

This is exactly what Angelos hopes you believe and you take pity on him. I swear for the few remaining Orioles apologists there’s a Stockholm Syndrome at work. The worse he treats the community the more some defend him.

8. “I’ll care about them when they start winning…”

Over the next few days we’ll show you that winning isn’t even a part of the financial equation. Trying to win would actually be a far greater financial risk of tens of millions of dollars and we’ll explain it all. But we’ll address “Excuse No. 8” plenty.


7. “We’re rebuilding the farm system via the draft…”

This is a joke when the Orioles continually chose “slot players” and spent a decade ignoring every Scott Boras client or anyone who wanted legitimate “free market” money.

6. “I don’t give Angelos any of my money…”

YES, you do. See the $38 per year on your cable bill if you’re in Maryland.

5. “Give them a chance! They just hired Dan Duquette…”

On a personal level, I’m looking forward to Duquette shooting some morbid videos at his desk (like the ones MacFail made famous) on the tail-end of the many losing streaks the 2012 Orioles will undoubtedly endure. If you see the Saturday Night Live skit quality of his interviews and laughs (I always see a Dan Aykroyd awkwardness…)

4. “It’s disrespectful to Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters and Brian Roberts to complain. The players are trying hard. You’re not a REAL fan if you complain…”

Just so you know, the club has lied to all three of these guys repeatedly as well about trying to improve the team. They always say they’re going to be active in free agency. They always talk about adding to the farm base. Grow the arms, buy the bats? Remember that? The truth is the players who have talent on the team deserve better than to wake up the day after the Super Bowl and see Jeremy Guthrie traded away for a bag of baseballs.

3. “Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy are coming soon…”

The kids on the farm? When has this organization EVER consistently produced talent from the farm system? It’s like these clowns have no clue. This is the Orioles’ broadcast team’s favorite crutch – telling us to go to Delmarva to watch the next phenom.

2. “Look, the Orioles were losing LONG before Angelos came to town. So don’t blame Peter. They didn’t win under Jacobs and EBW’s money didn’t help them after 1983…”

Angelos inherited crowds of 3.6 million per year, Cal Ripken and a beautiful stadium that was the toast of baseball. Any references to the team before 1993 is just a stupid, meaningless argument. But I still hear people make this one…

And the No. 1, Stupid Things Orioles Fans Say is…

 1. “New York and Boston spend too much money…”

The Orioles play in the “always tough” American League East. It was Andy MacFail’s favorite crutch and “go to” line. We can’t compete with the Yankees and the Red Sox. They generate too much revenue. We need a television network.

When I approached Andy MacFail at the University of Baltimore appearance last year, it was the one question that would level the playing field for his favorite excuse.

Here’s how the cowardly former V.P. chose to answer it and speak to the fans and a very legitimate question:

Angelos spoke at length in 2006 with Pressbox and guaranteed the fans that when the MASN money came, it would be spent to improve the team.

This team has become an annuity for Angelos and his heirs…to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars of siphoned revenues from your pockets.

Either you think that’s unfair or you don’t.

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USA Today says MacPhail to resign at end of season

Posted on 30 August 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

Although this shouldn’t come as a shocker to anyone who has examined the Orioles’ management situation following another last place finish, the USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported tonight that Orioles general manager Andy MacPhail is expected to resign at season’s end.

His quote to Nightengale was typical slippery MacPhail: “Let’s just get to the end of the year and see what unfolds,” he said. “We’ll see. We’ll see.”

Nightengale’s full piece is available HERE.

This is what the USA Today reported tonight:

MacPhail, according to two high-ranking Orioles officials, is expected to resign from his general manager’s position. The officials are not authorized to discuss the decision publicly because it is not official.

Of course from my perspective, it’ll be interesting to see if Buck Showalter senses that there’s any reason to hang around but as Andy says: “We’ll see. We’ll see.”

Comments are welcomed below…

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New York Daily News says Angelos family jerked around Flanagan before suicide

Posted on 27 August 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

As I said during my fill-in shift yesterday on WNST-AM 1570, there will be an appropriate time later for more observations regarding why Mike Flanagan took his own life Wednesday with a gun to his head. But with the New York Yankees coming to town and so many of Flanny’s old teammates searching for answers, it hasn’t taken long for the national media to start getting to the heart of the truth of this tragedy that many in the local media are too cowardly to report.

Friday’s editions of the New York Daily News contained a well-sourced story by respected, long-time MLB writer Bill Madden, who spent time with Yes broadcaster and longtime Orioles teammate Ken Singleton and former Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli discussing Flanagan’s recent path.

Madden is getting the same information many in the Baltimore media are getting regarding the typical treatment that Peter Angelos affords his employees and long-time Orioles legends:

“Among the other distressing stories going around Thursday was that Flanagan never got over being jerked around by Angelos and the owner’s son, John, over his broadcasting contract – one that apparently never was consummated – last year. That, too, conceivably contributed to the financial distress his friends say he was dealing with.”

You can read the whole story in the New York Daily News.

More stories continue to unfold as many of us who loved Mike Flanagan are searching for more clues in his tragic death.

But, again, don’t expect any of the “bought off” media in Baltimore to report the facts. The facts about Peter Angelos and the Orioles never seem to make the headlines in Baltimore, where about 90% of all reporters in town are frightened about losing their press credentials or getting pulled up by their bosses, who want to sell advertising to the Orioles and Angelos’ lawfirm.

You might have to rely on Gerry Sandusky and WNST to get the truth at this point given what I’ve seen in the local media.

You haven’t heard the end of this story.

Far from it…

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Ch-ch-ch-changes at WNST for football season and Ravens coverage

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!

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