Tag Archive | "peter"

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

Posted on 01 April 2012 by Nestor Aparicio


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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Here’s what I think about Derrek Lee

Posted on 31 December 2010 by Nestor Aparicio

The signing today of Derrek Lee is a classic Orioles move.

End of the year. Low dollars. Low risk.

It gives the team an aging, qualified first baseman, who will be a nice fit on a potential 4th-place, 75-win team. He’s another Kevin Millar at this point in his career.

Lee will hit .254 with 18 HR and 65 RBI. Big freaking deal.

Peter Angelos just put $10 million back in his pocket that he didn’t give to Adam Dunn. Once again: Angelos wins in the pocket and the fans have a lousy baseball team and the city sits empty all summer. I’ve seen it for too long.

Happy New Year, Orioles fans. Buck Showalter now once again has the worst first basemen in the AL East to try to win with.

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State of Baltimore Sports Media Fall 2010 Update: WNST.net continues to grow beyond radio and into web dominance

Posted on 25 October 2010 by Nestor Aparicio

One of the few joyful benefits of being the “independent” voice in Baltimore sports is that we never have to kiss anyone’s derriere or ask for permission to speak the truth or make our point. We’re afforded the rarest commodity in American media today – “free speech” – and most days that ain’t even close to being free. And now that our newest product, “The WNST Morning Newspaper” powered by Blue Sky Factory and presented by Toyota, is reaching nearly 15,000 of you every morning I thought I’d take a little time during the bye week to update everyone who cares about us here at WNST.net with a “state of the local media” report.

With another successful Ravens season reaching the halfway point – and I stand on the side of the room that is delighted with 5-2 for Halloween — it’s always a good time to take stock in where we are as a company and where we’re heading in the future as Baltimore’s measurable sports media leader on the web and in mobile at WNST.net.

We’re not doing a lengthy survey this time around with a “State of Baltimore Sports Media” update, but I do want to thank all of you who participated in February. Of the 1,850 who took our poll, more than 91% of you essentially told me that you “wanted a new newspaper” in our survey.

Daily Newspaper question

And lo and behold in May we started in a beta form a daily e-newspaper that we send to your inbox free of charge every morning. It’s had its hiccups and bumps, like any new product, but we’re now getting it consistently out and the boom to our web traffic has been significant.

There can now be no logical dispute that WNST.net is the fastest growing new media site in Maryland. Google Analytics says our traffic is up more than 48% over the last year

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Peter King gives a Football 101 Tweetup at Amicci’s

Posted on 18 August 2010 by Nestor Aparicio

A big thank you to all of the local football zealots who braved the raindrops and joined us at Amicci’s in Little Italy tonight for our first-ever, official “Tweetup.” Our gracious host Peter King of SI.com held court for two hours of banter, beer drinking, football chatter, storytelling and laughs.

Oh, and it’s Amicci’s — so you know the food didn’t suck!

Too much to tell you about but here’s a brief video clip of the beginning of what was an illuminating and entertaining session of NFL insider information:

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Three on the 4th: What do Peter Angelos, Al Davis & George Steinbrenner have in common?

Posted on 04 July 2010 by Nestor Aparicio

Well, since I’ve gotten your attention on the hot, sticky holiday here’s an amazing statistic that I think I sorta kinda knew, but could only be reminded of on the 4th of July.

On July 4, 1929 BOTH Al Davis and Peter Angelos were born. Yes, same day, same year!

And, just 365 days later, on July 4, 1930, Yankees tyrant George Steinbrenner was born.

Three of the biggest jerks of their respective eras. Three sports owners. Three wealthy men. Three widely unpopular men. And currently, all three are in various states of illusion, disillusionment and/or failure in their communities to some degree.

Of course, we could say that Steinbrenner — only after being banned and disgraced by his fellow owners — came out of the “dark ages” of the pinstripes with championships galore over the past 15 years. And, apparently his mental health is failing so we’ll try to be as tasteful as we can be about a guy who volumes of books were written about his eccentricities and temper over the years.

But this is some “club” huh, these three wack jobs…

Well just thought it was worth noting — other than comical efforts at public relations at various points in their lives and probably more lawsuits filed than any other three people on Earth — the mighty trio all share a birthday with the United States of America.

And in the land of freedom of speech, all three of these man have tried for decades to suppress free speech and all have at various points banned and attempted to intimidate members of the press and media.

Some fantastic representatives of America in this lot, folks…


Or just dumb luck?

They will all have one thing in common into eternity on their tombstones: “Born on the 4th of July”…

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My last day on air at AM 1570: Goodbye to radio, hello to the brave world of the web!

Posted on 29 January 2010 by Nestor Aparicio

As you probably know, beginning on Monday, we’re going to begin a week-long series on the state of Baltimore sports journalism. And where this is all going? And how this radio, print, television & “new media thing” really works. “A WNST Expose’ on Sports Journalism in Baltimore: Is this Medium Well Done?” will be an eye-opening look at the inner-workings of sports media here in the town that I’ve loved since 1968 told by a true insider – me!


It’s more of a mini-series than a blog. It’s designed to separate facts from fiction of media past, present and future. It’s taken me about 26 years of living it and now that WNST.net is the No. 1 most-visited sports website in the region, I think it’s time that I’ve said a few things that need to be said about the state of this business and how much “times have changed.”

It’ll be the true story of life in the 2010 world of Baltimore sports media that Ray Frager — a former boss and media “critic” of mine at The Baltimore Sun who publicly hated, doubted and discarded my show and my brand and my expertise, information and business for more than a decade with his witticisms and a keen “out of town” perspective about Baltimore sports media – never got around to telling you about because he never took the time to understand the business, politics and measurement of local sports media.

He didn’t even understand what the Arbitron ratings represented but he knew how to parrot out the statistics, which we’ll prove next week are not even remotely accurate if not outright lies! But we all know that once the lie gets told once, it gets repeated a thousand times.

If you’re one of those who keeps up with local business (in other words, one of the “smart” ones), this will be an eye-opening look at what’s happened to the integrity in the Baltimore sports media over the last 25 years since the passing of the likes of Jim McKay, Chris Thomas, Charley Eckman and John Steadman – and the “moving on” of Frank DeFord and dozens of other writers and broadcasters to a national position from Dan Shaughnessy to Nick Charles from Ken Rosenthal to Tim Kurkjian to Buster Olney to John Saunders and on and on — who were the pioneers over the last 30 years and who left legacies that I still chase every day of my life.

If you’re one of those who doesn’t understand “the business of media” and you can’t possibly comprehend how happy the Orioles’ ownership is to be making $40 million in profit while the stadium and downtown sits empty and they lose 98 games every year – all while OWNING the pockets and voices of most of the traditional media in Baltimore, well, honestly – this is all going to go a little over your head. You might want to skip it for fear of actually learning something that resembles the truth.

(It’s kinda like the Rodney Dangerfield scene in “Back To School” where he teaches the “real” way business is conducted not the way they teach it formally in college! You either get it, or you don’t. And if you do want to “get it” and be educated, I’m here to give you a Master’s dissertation at 41 and after living this reality of Baltimore sports media over the last 26 years.)

If you’re one of those who can somehow defend the actions, business practices and stewardship of Peter Angelos and the Orioles over the last 13 years, then you’ll probably find a way to refute the facts of the next week in regard to statistical data bearing out that WNST.net is fastest-growing media company in the state of Maryland. You might even be foolish enough to not realize that all of the employees of MASN, CBS Radio, WJZ-TV and Pressbox ostensibly work for him.

But as Forrest Gump so boldly put it: “Stupid is as Stupid does…”

I can only state the facts and back them up with evidence and empirical data – just like Steadman and my father taught me. After that it’s up to you…and we even let you write and encourage you to write what YOU think here on WNST.net. The only thing we ask is that you spell your name correctly and take accountability for your thoughts and words.

Thus is the beauty of the internet and my intoxication with it: free speech in an open and shareable platform in a world that embraces individuality and excellence. It’s a great, magical time to be alive for a guy like me with a brand like WNST.net and the walls of corporate media domination rapidly falling in every corner of the world.

Hence, I’m hosting my final week of radio next week in Miami after hosting my final “in studio” show as a daily host today. After taking a four-year hiatus from daily hosting, I’ve been back on the air for the past 55 weeks for a variety of reasons and I’m delighted to be once again returning to my very happy life “behind the scenes” building the business of WNST in 2010 and beyond.

If anything, over the past year the internet has allowed me to be MUCH closer to my audience and Baltimore sports fans and I don’t look at “leaving radio” as anything more than “moving mediums” to the internet, where I can be in your ear as much as you want me. And WNST is in your pocket everywhere you go if you have a mobile device.

Don’t worry: I’ll never stop talking Baltimore sports.

I’ll be more accessible than ever — blogging, doing commercials, selling advertising, making videos, doing roadtrips, having fun in writing a book this year, gabbing in social media, hosting parties and doing the most important work of all – the business development of WNST.net as we grow into the new decade as the unquestioned market leader in Baltimore sports information in the only medium that matters moving forward – the internet.

And it’s my solemn vow to use what I know to educate our fans from this point forward in all aspects of Baltimore sports, including the business of local sports of which I’m an expert in the field of local marketing, journalism and the media business. No one in Baltimore can match up with the way we cover sports on the web.

In the “old world” that I was raised in here in Baltimore, it was the radio, television and newspaper. Now — instead in the Jetsons world of 2010 — I’ll be using the audio, video and blog components of WNST.net to give a reality-based look at life in Baltimore sports.

As such, next week each day we’ll present, discuss and opine about the whole gamut of Baltimore media:

Part 1 – “Baltimore’s sports media lineup” — We’ll identify the frauds in the media & some feelings will be hurt here…

Part 2 – Alexa – “Who is She?” The little retold lie about WNST having 10 listeners…

Part 3 – Content & Distribution – “Where do you get your Baltimore sports news & info and why?”

Part 4 – “Who are the biggest corporate whores in Baltimore sports media?” In other words: “Who is for sale, and who can you trust?”

Part 5 – “What is the future of Baltimore sports media?” What is catching your eyes & ears these days?

You might be shocked by some of this information. You’ll certainly be surprised at how a lot of this local sports media business works and how dramatically it’s changed. And you won’t be shocked to find out how unpopular it is amongst our competitors that “little WNST” is crushing the
“traditional big boys” in the new world of new media and social media, which makes them hate me even more.

That’s why they take away my press pass at Orioles games and none of my other “colleagues” even acknowledge how wrong it is. That’s why they keep telling the lies about signal strength and Arbitron numbers and lack of distribution. And that’s why they keep refusing to acknowledge any of our events, charitable work in the community or impact on the reporting of breaking sports news in Baltimore.

But that’s OK. I’ve been breaking news stories in Baltimore for 26 years and for 18 years on the radio and I’ve never, ever ONCE seen The Sun write “As first reported by WNST.net”…

And at this point, I don’t really want that to change. I kind of get a kick out of it!

But if I tweeted every time we send out a text on a story that ISN’T on the website of The Sun or MASN or any other local web entity, I’d seem like a bragging ass. But isn’t that what they all do at the alphabet-soup world of corporate media?

“As first reported by ESPN…blah-blah-blah…”

(And if you’re one of the 5,200 on our Text Service, then you know how good it is without me telling you about it. And if you’re NOT on the service and JOIN OUR TEXT SERVICE NOW, you won’t be disappointed. It’s the best thing we do at WNST!)

So this purposely self-indulgent yet informative piece of journalistic truth and analysis will be an ode to Ray Frager, who was the King of Arbitron ratings without ever writing the truth about the “fictional data mining” that they’ve been doing a for a few decades. I’ll expose that and “People Meters” next Tuesday.

So, in Frager’s honor and honor of his blog – “Medium Well” — I’m dubbing this weeklong, “investigative” look as “Medium Well Done?”

Along with my long-windedness, arrogance and accusations, that’s really the question I’m asking you:

Is Baltimore media well done?

For the record, I don’t think so. And that’s why I love WNST.net so much! Because I think we’re the best! And we wake up and work our asses off all day, every day to make it that way. And it’s finally being realized in the real data, numbers, volume of real people who interact with the WNST brand every day in Baltimore.

Some people are going to get their feelings hurt, but I’m writing a Master’s thesis in how this all works – the business of local sports media in Baltimore circa 2010. Where’s it’s been, where it’s “at” and where it’s going…

I’ve dedicated my entire life – ask anyone who’s ever really known me — to building Baltimore’s ultimate sports information company every day of my life since Jan. 23, 1984 when I was “hired” as an intern for “SportsFirst,” a daily train-wreck of a business model newspaper housed by the Hearst Corporation. Honestly, it’s been a strange kind of destiny over the past 26 years since I walked into The News American as a 15-year old intern from Dundalk who couldn’t type, with a pregnant girlfriend, that the world has opened up on the internet to give a guy like me a chance to go toe-to-toe and now surpass “the big boys” and corporate whores who’ve for so long dominated and stilted the way we consume our information about sports in Baltimore.

The internet and the phone that is in your hand or pocket is the ultimate equalizer. EVERYONE has access to WNST.net from anywhere in the world where there is cellphone service. Every day more people find us — on Twitter, Facebook, Google, You Tube, etc. And our website is clearly the best in the market for technology, distribution of the sponsors who keep us in business and the timely distribution of content.

There’s no more having a “small signal” or the inability to instantly transmit information or need for a printing press, an FCC license or a TV antenna to break news or give analysis or to move people to action. And in our sphere here at WNST.net, the engine is powered by the people who care enough to be involved daily – the real Baltimore sports fans who power these teams and their financial ability to be sustained.

All the walls have fallen in traditional media. It’s only the old, white people on the country club golf courses who haven’t caught up. Sadly, that encompasses much of the local sports media world.

My inspiration to ignite Free The Birds in 2006 was the Berlin Wall and that wall fell, too. And just like one day the Orioles will be owned by someone who help them win again and they will be revered in the community instead of a source of annual civic shame and embarrassment, the walls of information and media around the local sports scene have fallen dramatically and the joke is on the establishment that doesn’t recognize that they can no longer control the information, spin the truth or mask the lies.

And some in the establishment are still playing the Marxist “We’ll control all state information” role like Baghdad Bob with the Orioles. That’s just stupid and will never work in a free society with tools like the internet and social media.

Over the next week I’ll be presenting an in-depth look at the current “status” of local media and the measurement systems that in the new world of new media will evaluate the size of an entity, the reach of an entity and the influence of an entity.

We’ll ask you who YOU trust with your news, information and where you get it and why you get it from them. I hope you share it with your friends because I’d love to hear from all sorts of Baltimore sports fans because we want to make WNST.net the best – period!

Three years ago, this would’ve been impossible – this website launch and the power and reach and immediacy of social media. But, now through the power of what until recently was referred to as your “phone” – now a PDA, Blackberry, Iphone, Palm or Droid – you have WNST.net with you everywhere you go and available anytime and anyplace you want it.

So much for “how far does your signal go at little WNST-AM?”

Well, it goes AROUND THE WORLD in the PALM OF YOUR HAND now!

How’s that for “power” or “reach”? It doesn’t sound like 5,000 watts anymore, does it?

So much for the days of people saying: “Hey Nasty, I love your radio station but I can’t get it at night.” Now, I just say: “Are you on our text service?” or “Facebook friend me” or “Follow us on Twitter” or drop me an email at nasty@wnst.net and we’ll rock your world with what we’re doing on the web at WNST.net.

In Indianapolis two weeks ago where we threw the biggest party in town and took four busloads of Ravens Maniacs to Irsayland, the biggest music to my ears was having people say: “Hey Nestor, I’m your Facebook friend or I subscribe to your text service or I read your blogs every day on my phone.”

Over the next week I will prove to you – beyond the shadow of a doubt – that we are the fastest growing media entity in the city of Baltimore or anywhere in the region.

Actually, we’re the ONLY “growing” entity in the marketplace across all of the terrestrial (or is it dinosaur?) media: print, television and radio.

And I’ll also show you why we STILL aren’t being acknowledged as the market leader in the one place it counts – the cash register. And that’s mainly because the dinosaurs who run the local ad agencies and the local teams still don’t fully comprehend or acknowledge the power of the internet, which is astonishing when you consider how much of everyone’s day in our world is consumed with information, email, text and social media on a video screen of some kind.

(And unless you’re my 90-year old mother, you’re involved in several or all of the aforementioned! How do I know? Well, you’re READING THIS ON THE INTERNET!!!)

And I didn’t need a TV signal, a sweetheart cable deal or a printing press to get it to you. I own an FCC license, but I probably didn’t even use that to find you!

WNST.net is building a local social media firestorm and creating a new kind of company in a new kind of space on the internet. Like any other new company in a completely new era of marketing, we’ll continue to feel our way through the process, doing some things well and others not so well.

And that’s where our WNST Baltimore Sports Media Survey comes in…

Unlike the Orioles of Peter Angelos, we’re accountable here at WNST.net. I own the place. I’m out in front. I’ll take your questions. I’ll take your criticisms and try to improve what we do. I LOVE the pressure of the accountability of being great and being measured. I live for it! (Ask anybody who knows me…)

We don’t just think our product is the best in the marketplace, we think you think so too!

Beginning Monday, we’re distributing an extensive survey to all of our WNST.net users (new and old). It’ll be available all during the month of February. We’re giving away a 50” Big Screen TV to one lucky person who fills out the questionnaire in the hopes that you and all of your friends will take a few minutes to fill it out and tell us how we can make WNST.net better in 2010.

We’re very serious about trying to make our company the best in the market. We really ARE the company that will take your advice because we’re building this web community for the people of Baltimore who love sports.

But, more than any of the other corporate whores who will be getting “outed” next week for their brazen lies, partnerships and duplicity – WNST.net will continue to be a place for an honest exchange of information.

We don’t ban free speech. We’re accessible and accountable for the news and information we dispense. We’re rooted in the community – rooted so deeply that 5% of all of our profits into perpetuity go back to the Living Classrooms Foundation thanks to Brian Billick’s involvement in ownership of WNST.net.

Here’s our mission statement, in case you missed it at the bottom of the site:


To fully realize the potential of the vast audience our brand has acquired in Maryland over the past 18 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 “21st Century-oriented” approach to build a bridge between sports and its fans through our website, broadcasts and community activism.

Integrity in reporting and accuracy will be our calling card.

We will:

Educate fans

Serve our community

Promote Baltimore

Promote sports and how it shapes young people’s lives

Promote and support charitable endeavors

Help others make their businesses stronger via integrity-based marketing which will strengthen our community

Show Baltimore that we care as much about our hometown and our local sports as much as they do

Recognize that profitability is the key to survival for our partners, employees and sponsors

We’re not only “sports media” people here at WNST.net. We’re also fans — BIG fans.

If you’ve ever tuned in you know that WNST hosts are the “real deal.” Every host I have at WNST was a fan of Tom Davis and Vince Bagli and John Steadman and Charley Eckman before they got involved in the media side. We all had hosts, writers, commentators that we liked and disliked back in the 1970s and 1980s.

If WNST was originally dubbed, “The Station With Balls,” next week we’ll prove for sure that many of the other “trusted” sources in the marketplace are truly the old world/boys network media who are “ball-less” except for the fact that they carry the play-by-play of the ballclubs – or own the actual network — that no one listens to anymore and none of these media companies can figure out how to make money off of these broadcasts while they allow their “editorial” privilege to go down the drain like a useless infomercial of Baghdad Bob rhetoric and faux-sophistication.

You could say they give up their “balls” to buy other ones…

Sharpen up your Facebook statuses and your Twitter conversations and your sharing tabs because my insights are coming. And I hope to hear yours. Speak out! Tell us how we could be better!

If we suck, tell us! And tell us how to fix it!

Complain about our competitors! (Lord knows, I think most them suck, too!)

You don’t have to worry about any of them reading our site or survey because no one cares what little WNST has to say, right?

“They’ve only got 10 listeners.”

“Their radio signal is too weak.”

“They won’t attract the top-notch talent.”

“Two tin cans and a string.”

These were all direct quotes from The Sun – the dinosaur printed edition — over the years about WNST. Not on a message board. This was allegedly “responsible” journalism by staff writers from The Sun, who only seemed to call me for a quote when some idiot accused me of doing something inappropriate on some internet, toilet message board.

Potty talk about me on message boards are commonplace but assessments like the aforementioned in the biggest daily newspaper are very damaging to a small business but through the loyalty of our sponsors, listeners and now – users to our website – we have thrived amidst economic storm and a rapidly changing medium where the paradigms have been forever altered and no one in the “old boys club” is acknowledging it or recognizing it.

And it’s 2010 and now we’re the market leader because we’ve utilized this tool called the internet by delivering reliable, accurate, instant news, information and expertise in the palm of your hand whenever you want it. We’ve evolved far past being an AM radio station.

And we believe in free speech, not the blatant censorship for profit that our competitors have embraced and think you’re too stupid to recognize.

And we don’t plan on changing that at all!

Because if WNST.net is to be a true voice of the people – and it has always been a community-based company — quite frankly, our content and integrity and authority will speak for itself.

Your graduate class begins on Monday…see you bright and early!

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Nils Lofgren Nestor Aparicio Super Bowl Springsteen E Street Band

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My life with Bruce Springsteen and Friday’s miracle show in Baltimore

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Let me get this out of the way: Springsteen is the only Boss I listen to …

At 8:50 this Friday evening when Bruce Springsteen breaks out his harmonica and begins to tell the Baltimore audience about his 1975 opus, “Born To Run” – the album, not the song – some musical magic will enrapture the First Mariner Arena in a way that hasn’t been seen much lately this side of Bono or Mick Jagger taking the stage that Elvis Presley and The Beatles graced in the 1960s and Led Zeppelin and The Who lit up in the 1970s.

This is Springsteen’s first foray into the Baltimore Street institution since 1973, when legend has it that he apparently opened for the band Chicago. In 1977, Bruce rocked the then-shiny-new Towson Center on the “Darkness On The Edge of Town” tour. But over the last 32 years – as long as I’ve been going to concerts — Springsteen has never, ever come near playing Baltimore in any way.

In his heyday, the Capital Centre hosted all of Bruce’s legendary shows and week-long runs from 1978’s success of “The River” and beyond. And then, of course, he wound up playing R.F.K. Stadium and then Fed Ex Field. (Let’s just be glad Peter Angelos didn’t try to screw him on a contract like he did Jimmy Buffett and Van Halen a few summers ago …)

For the initiated Springsteen lover, we in Baltimore will be seeing the second-to-last show of what has been an ongoing decade-long reunion with the fabled E Street Band of all-star musicians, most whom were in the studio with Springsteen in 1975 when he wrote and recorded “Born To Run,” which catapulted him into the mainstream music audience where his music has become legendary to blue collar people around the world.

Many of you know I have a major, major Sprinsgteen fandom issue. By my count, I’ve seen Springsteen 43 times, with and without The E Street Band. And this appears to be the end of a long road with this particular group of musicians, who are now mostly in the 60-plus range and are slowing down.

I’ve seen Bruce play so many times and in so many places that’s it’s hard to recall every one of them.

I’ve seen Bruce on a stunningly gorgeous night under the stars in Madrid, Spain and in a driving rainstorm getting soaked in Zaragoza.

I’ve seen him on college campuses in Austin, Texas and in stadiums in New Jersey and in theatres in Ohio.

My favorite show was at Fed Ex Field on “The Rising” tour when he opened with Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line” on the day when the Man in Black died.

I have never met Bruce Springsteen but I’ve had interviews, handshakes, pictures and great conversations with virtually every member of the E Street Band. I’ll talk about Nils Lofgren a little later in the blog, but I met Clarence Clemons at Hammerjacks 20 years ago. Met Little Steven several times as well as Garry W. Tallent. And at the Super Bowl this year, I would up talking about Europe and the band with the “mighty” Max Weinberg at a cocktail party. (He was a sensational guy!)

It’d be cool to take a picture with Bruce but my real fantasy interview would be spending two hours with Springsteen and just asking him questions about his songs and the world. Other than sitting with Bono or Peter Angelos, it’d be my dream “career topper” scenario.

But this year, I’ve had two amazing experiences with Bruce that I’ve managed to capture on film:

I have a video of me in the orchestra pit in Cleveland last Tuesday night, where I actually touched his foot and captured it on film for posterity. I’m not sharing that one. It’s borderline disgracefully embarrassing. But it was fun as hell!

And here’s a shareable press conference scene from the Super Bowl in Tampa when I got to ask Bruce a question on live TV, which was later captured in his documentary about the making of the NFL Network’s superbadass halftime show documentary. In this video, Bruce calls me a “dummy.” Only Fred G. Sanford could’ve called me a dummy in a more loving fashion!

I make a living opining about sports and have since 1992. But in my former life, I was a music critic for nearly a decade in the 1980s and early 1990s at The Evening Sun and The News American. Bruce Springsteen’s music was unavoidable growing up in Dundalk in the late 1970s and everyone had heard “Hungry Heart” or “Born To Run” at least once a week but I didn’t truly fall for the catalog until the triple live CD was released when I was a music critic on Calvert Street.

Then, with the release of “Tunnel of Love” – still my favorite album in the world – Springsteen won me at the age of 19 (a full 13 years after the release of the seminal “Born To Run”) and has kept me for life.

He does E Street tours. He does solo tours. He’s even known to take a barnstorming jug band all over the world playing folk songs and ripping down the roof. He’s a serial performer. It’s like oxygen for him.

And its sheer passion, energy and the great songs with great words and great melodies and great deeper meaning all strike a chord with me at the age of 41. I’m a complete sucker for Springsteen. Always have been, always will be …

Like I said, he’s he only BOSS I’ve ever listened to … LOL!

So why go through all of this effort and money and travel to spend time on the road with The Boss?

Well, Springsteen has become a live source of inspiration for me not just because of the words in his songs and the energy of his legendary live shows but it’s pretty clear that he loves what he does and he’s never going to stop touring and trying to be great.

His political work – whether you agree or disagree – is pretty admirable. He wants to make the world a better place. He always does charity food bank statements and really tries to give back to the world.

The money has never changed that. The fame has never changed that. The fans and their demands have never changed that.

Oh, and Bruce never, ever plays the same show twice. NEVER.

If you were to ask me what songs he’ll play on Friday night, I can only assure you that he’ll be doing the “Born To Run” album in its entirety about four songs into the show.

The rest? Completely random and up for grabs. Every single night he mixes up setlists so thoroughly that it becomes part of a poker hand between him, his band and the fans who bring signs with song requests that Springsteen honors every single night. (And sometimes, as Nils Lofgren will tell me in the videos below, the band doesn’t even know the songs and fakes it through. It’s part of the challenge and authenticity of being in The E Street Band.)

Here’s Lofgren talking about this aspect of Bruce and the E Street Band:

My fandom of all things Springsteen has led me to a fun friendship with guitarist Nils Lofgren, who I first met in 1987 at Shriver Hall on Johns Hopkins campus when I was a newspaper music critic. I next saw him saunter into the Convention Center in New Orleans on the eve of the Super Bowl in January 2002 and asked him on the show. An hour later, he was telling me European road stories and a friendship was born.

Nils Lofgren Nestor Aparicio Super Bowl Springsteen E Street Band

Lofgren, as you may know, had a big band in the 1970s called Grin, and made a life in Silver Spring for many years and is an unabashed Redskins fan (although we forgive him for this mortal sin.)

Because I talk about Springsteen on the show a lot, I thought this would be an appropriate time to write an “all things Bruce” blog on the eve of one of the biggest nights of the year in Baltimore.

You’ll be seeing us around the Arena on Friday night. Perhaps we can even cajole The Boss into a rousing rendition of “Hungry Heart,” where the songs protagonist sang:

“I’ve got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack…”

Below is a fun little scrapbook of my video interviews with Lofgren where we discuss life as a rock star and being in one of the greatest bands in the world and traveling the planet with one of the most enigmatic and private talents of our generation.

I love Bruce. He’s added great color and richness to my life. And I’m really looking forward to a special night in “My Hometown” on Friday night.

Maybe he’ll even play “My Hometown,” who knows?

I’m a major fan.

Our very own Drew Forrester has taken to doing a Top 50 Springsteen song countdown this week. So, I decided to put my “favorite” Bruce songs list together, just for my own sake.

I’ll work on that and maybe post it later, but for now I hope you enjoy this series of videos and interviews and my own little personal “scrapbook” of Bruce memories:

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