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Remembering Cal Ripken and China…

Posted on 07 May 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s been more than 18 months since I traveled halfway across the planet with Cal Ripken and his crew for the Beijing baseball mission. With the release of “A Shortstop in China,” it’s given me a chance to “relive” some of the fun I had in the Far East as well.

I’ve heard spectacular reports about the movie, created locally by the Renegade guys who were our constant companions in Beijing. They were fun and they are widely featured in my “movies” from China.

Below are my memoirs from the fun of traveling to a different culture and seeing the world. Of all of the videos I’ve shot for wnsTV over the two years of WNST.net, these are by far my favorite films. Sure, they’re all about 10 minutes long, but if you wanted to know what it was like to see China and be with Cal Ripken for several days, I hope these paint a vivid picture of what was truly a trip of a lifetime for me.

I enjoyed living them and I enjoyed making them. Honestly, what good is going to China if you can’t share the experience with others?

I hope you check them out if you didn’t 18 months ago. I think they’re pretty good. And they present some “re-Cal-ity” television…as well as some laughs and some of the “behind the scenes” stuff only wnsTV can show you.

One day, I’ll actually mix and platform my videos from Tokyo, which were even better. (I loved Japan. Maybe that’s our next trip with Cal Ripken, who knows? Although I hear India could be the next stop…)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gILySBQqedo[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q19-L368Ug0&feature=related[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ywhvfy81nVI&feature=related[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfIi8vxrpWM&feature=related[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__NCV-v1_PA&feature=related[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAxY0VUGZQo&feature=related[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5oJv1RQB_U&feature=related[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIIZIA7fCC4&feature=related[/youtube]

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Preakness News: Mine That Bird still deciding on Baltimore

Posted on 03 May 2009 by Ed Frankovic

WNST just received this press release from Maryland Racing:

The eyes of the racing world shift from Churchill Downs to Pimlico Race Course as the Triple Crown players set their sights on Baltimore for the 134th running of the Preakness® Stakes on May 16.

This morning trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr. informed a Maryland Jockey Club official that a decision on Mine That Bird, the stunning 50-1 winner of yesterday’s Kentucky Derby, will be made in a day or two.

“The Preakness was not on our radar leading up to the Derby but we are absolutely going to look at it,” Woolley said. “We are still trying to grasp what happened yesterday. First time in the Derby and to win it at 50-1, it is a humbling experience.”

The last time the Derby winner skipped the Preakness was 1996 when Grindstone was injured in-between the two big races and retired. Prior to that Spend a Buck opted for the Jersey Derby in 1985. The Kentucky Derby winner has reached the finish line first at historic Old Hilltop seven times in the last 12 runnings.

Trainer Gary Stute announced this morning that Papa Clem, who finished fourth at Churchill Downs, is a definite Preakness starter. The son of Smart Strike, who won the Arkansas Derby in his previous start, is scheduled to arrive at the Pimlico stakes barn next Wednesday, May 13.

“I looked at the charts this morning and I was only beaten a nose and a head for second,” Stute said. “To be honest Baffert’s horse (Pioneerofthe Nile) came over and bumped me. If it were a normal race there might have been an inquiry. With any luck we could have been second.”

Stute’s father, Mel trained 1986 Preakness winner Snow Chief, who finished 11th in the Derby as the 2-1 favorite.

“Preakness day was the happiest day of my life,” added Stute. “Snow Chief ran so badly in the Kentucky Derby and we could never figure out why. The Preakness provided a little bit of redemption. It was a special day.”

Other possible Preakness starters out of yesterday’s “Run for the Roses” include runner-up Pioneerofthe Nile, third place finisher Musket Man, Join in the Dance (7th), General Quarters (10th) and betting favorite Friesan Fire (18th).

Four potential new shooters are Big Drama (Delta Jackpot winner); Mr. Fantasy (Withers winner); Take the Points (fourth, Santa Anita Derby) and Miner’s Escape (Tesio winner).

The Preakness is limited to 14 starters. Fourteen of the last 17 years have seen double-digit starters.

COMMENT: I sure hope Mine That Bird comes to Baltimore. The 50-1 #8 horse at the Derby looked like he was shot out of a cannon in that final turn. Was it a fluke? Hopefully we’ll find out if he comes here to Maryland. Anybody have any money on this horse? Given that he was wearing #8 and has the name Bird and there was a certain Hall of Fame baseball player who wore #8 and played for the Birds I would think some people in this town likely bet him?? And seeing that the best hockey player in the NHL, who plays just down the road, is wearing #8 (Alex Ovechkin) and helped knock off the Penguins in game 1 yesterday on NBC I figure perhaps some Caps fans wagered on him too? Sadly, I didn’t have money on the colt but I did manage to come out ahead as I had Bob Baffert’s horse bet across the board. I sure hope Baffert, who loves Baltimore and the Preakness, comes to town with Pioneerofthe Nile.

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Orioles are 6-2: Jones 2-run blast, big 10th inning lifts Birds to 7-5 win over Texas

Posted on 14 April 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Another exciting game. Another tight win. Another night where the bullpen was used and abused but this time — other than George Sherrill — the entire unit delivered in a 7-5 win in 10 innings in Arlington to push their record to 6-2. Alfredo Simon got hurt early. Homers were flying early. And the Orioles hung on.

Blow by blow below…

11:29 p.m. — Dennis Sarfate admitted to having an inner-ear infection and basically said he was “really relaxed” during his effort and was “on cloud nine” after he got medicated from the staff during the game. Sarfate said he told Aubrey Huff, “Is that all you’ve got?” after Huff freight-trained him on a foul ball. Palmer said, “Whatever he’s on I want to be on!”

It’s amazing they let Palmer keep his job. It really is. He’s priceless. I love it!

11:24 p.m. — Jim Palmer says it all. Don Stanhouse. Whole pack. “Mr Excitement”? Whatever you want to call him, fine. Let’s just give him the save and make the team 6-2 in the standings with their third series victory to start the season. Now Rick Dempsey is talking about Stanhouse. I have no idea how many listeners/readers know about Stanhouse but I do. And it’s dead on.

11:20 p.m. — Hank Blalock just sent a rocket to the wall and another five feet and this would’ve been an Orioles “tragic” loss. A true heartbreaker. Instead, George Sherrill still needs to get one more out. And you know what Yogi Berra said?

11:15 p.m. — George Sherrill has certainly made this interesting. Four batters, four baserunners, one run scored and Ian Kinsler continues to be such an impressive player. The Rangers’ formidable top of the order is going to have a chance to extend this game. The bases are loaded and no one is out. T-R-O-U-B-L-E…

11:01 p.m. — It’s almost like Ron Washington has conceded. Guardado keeps digging deeper with each pitch, walking Ty Wigginton after allowing Nick Markakis aboard. The Rangers’ bullpen issues mirrors the Orioles’ overused group. Luke Scott just drove one into the left centerfield gap, scoring them both. It’s now a 7-3 game. Geez, they’re gonna be 6-2 in about 10 minutes with any luck. Bye, bye Eddie…

10:56 p.m. — Eddie Guardado just gave up a mammoth two-run homer to Adam Jones who crushed it after Brian Roberts got on. Again, the top of the order have been hellions for the first week of the season.

P.S. Mike Maddux has the best pornstache I’ve ever seen on a former big leaguer with a brother who was one of the greatest ever.

10:47 p.m. — Seeing Nolan Ryan being omnipresent with the Rangers just reminds me that Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken are NOT involved here in Baltimore. A shame…

And I say it all the time: that’s all you need to know…

10:40 p.m. –This one has been pretty good. Good defense. Some big home runs early, some great pitching late. And someone is going to be a hero. Frank Francisco was dealing again tonight. Gonna be interesting to see how Dave Trembley uses the bullpen in this situation as the game potentially goes into extra innings. We’re already seven innings and four pitchers into the bullpen. And the bullpen has been the story of the evening with Jim Johnson still on the hill in the 9th. But how many innings do they have and who winds up in the game if it goes 11 or 12 innings?

9:59 p.m. –The bullpens are dealing all of a sudden. It’s games like these when having Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer help glue you to the action. It’s a very high-level broadcast when these guys are doing it. AND THE GAME IS IN HD…and it’s INTERESTING…and they’re 5-2. A few big hits here and they could be on their way to 6-2. On a night when their starter didn’t make it out of the 2nd inning.

9:34 p.m. — Nick Markakis stole one last night. Tonight, he was robbed by David Murphy on a very similar play. We’re in the sixth but I still feel like some major offense is going to break out at any point. Just not when the bottom of these lineups roll around. I don’t think this one will end 4-3.

9:25 p.m. — We were talking about “long last names” on the backs of baseball jerseys the other day and Arnie Portocarrero was deemed the longest Oriole. We were actually talking about Mark Hendrickson. Now, here comes Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Makes me want to get him on the O’s so I can get a shirt with that many letters.

9:17 p.m. — Felix Pie might be the new Jeff Stone. (For you youngsters, there’s no way his baseballreference.com stats will convey his baserunning prowess.) That was an inexcusable pick-off. And not great situational hitting by Cesar Izturis, who might be the new Mario Mendoza. It’s amazing how hot the top of the order is and how horribly cold the bottom of the order looks right now.

9:13 p.m. — Luke Scott has continued the comeback with a homer. And there might be good news on Rich Hill. More pitching never hurts.

8:56 p.m. — What a weird inning? After the Adam Jones-to-Brian Roberts-to-Gregg Zaun bang-bang play at the plate was made possible by Michael Young’s aversion to contact at the dish, Aubrey Huff threw a forearm shiver into Dennis Sarfate, who had no business being anywhere near where he was. Sarfate is now shaken up and has no one to blame but himself. Geez, sometimes they even play like the cats from “Major League.” That was brutal communication. They’re laughing about it now, but it was touch-and-go there for a few minutes.

8:45 p.m. — Gotta love a two-out run. This top of the lineup comtinues to mash the ball and nullify inefficient starting pitching. I have a feeling we’re in a for a long night. The beginning of a LOT of long nights with this pitching.

8:34 p.m. — On cometh Dennis Sarfate…I hope he’s got three or four innings in him. The O’s are already losing 3-1. Matt Albers is already coming up tomorrow. Can David Pauley or Brad Bergeson be on the way?

8:30 p.m. — Alfredo Simon just gave up yet another homer to Chris Davis. After a visit from Brian Ebel, he’s coming off the hill. As Hockey Meg just said: “That’s NOT going to help our crappy bullpen!” (Although, she really said S***ty!)

Looks like seven plus of relief will be necessary tonight unless it rains. And it doesn’t look like rain in Arlington…

8:27 p.m. — Can’t say I know a lot about Nelson Cruz. But I know Alfredo Simon should never throw that pitch to him again. So far: four outs, two gopher balls. Not a good ratio…

8:19 p.m. — High breaking ball to Aubrey Huff and he belted it. Everyone I talk to about Huff says “he’ll regress this year” and I don’t feel that way. He was always a masher and I think last year helped his game. Hell, at one point, he even SAID the “Bubba The Love Sponge” stupidity actually helped him come to his senses and changed his game for 2008. I think he’s good for 30 bombs this year.

But, the comment about Baltimore was below-the-belt. And stupid. And I know he meant it and it’s how he really feels. The ownership and management obviously didn’t care and put him back on the field. But they’ve been proven to be shameless for over a decade.

I don’t have to deal with these guys anymore so what do I care? If Aubrey Huff hits 35 homers, so be it. He just hit one. He tied the game. That’s what he’s paid to do.

8:16 p.m. — Michael Young’s homer came and went quickly. I’m reserving all judgment on Alfredo Simon until the 6th inning. The bullpen needs all the help it can get. Six innings out of a starter isn’t too much to ask…

8:09 p.m. — Been an interesting evening. Honestly, I feel like working while I watch the game and it’s a LOT more fun just writing this stuff while I surf, watch the O’s and think about the Ravens schedule.

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 19 February 2009 by Glenn Clark

There are a couple sides to the Brian Roberts situation.

One-The Orioles basically had no option but to extend Brian’s contract. He had little to no trade value; and might not have had much more at the deadline with teams knowing that he was about to become a free agent. The Orioles basically realized he was more valuable WITH them than without them; and had no choice but to make the move.

Two-This move does NOT signify that Brian Roberts buys into Andy MacPhail’s plan; nor does he buy into the idea that the Orioles are going to become a contender. Roberts DOES buy into familiarity; and he DOES buy into the fact that in a year, he will be even less likely to get a 4 year, $40 million deal on the open market. He might also hope that things are moving in the right direction for the organization; but he’s certainly not counting on winning a World Series ring in the next 5 years.

Three-The Orioles MIGHT regret signing Brian to such an extension; but they don’t really have other options. Their minor league system has some pitching prospects and decent power hitters; but they don’t have a middle infielder with speed and defensive range on the horizon. They also don’t have the right chips to trade for such a prospect. This buys them 5 more years to try to solve that problem.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say….

Best of Wednesday’s WNST Blogs:

Drew Forrester says not signing early could end up ‘costing’ 52

Drew Forrester says Roberts ‘rewarded’ for sticking through losing years

Rex Snider wonders if Roberts worth 4 years, $40 million

Alex Thomas thinks Roberts extension ‘right thing to do’

Drew Forrester imagines what Day 3 in Ft. Lauderdale would be like

Casey Willett wonders who of Lewis, Scott, Suggs, Brown, Leonhard fans would be most willing to see go

Glenn Clark scouts Ravens prospects at NFL Combine

Chris Bonetti says Maryland’s Mt. Rushmore (Phelps, Unitas, B. Robinson, Ripken) ‘fearsome foursome’

Ed Frankovic says Caps get exciting shootout victory over Canadiens

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ravens’ secondary without McAlister won’t ‘necessarily’ be bad

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ravens officially tag Suggs; still want to sign long term deal

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Suggs found franchise tag as ‘news’

The Sun’s Ken Murray says DeCosta ‘excited’ about new role

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens’ biggest needs at WR, CB, TE

Examiner Steve DeClue says Ravens retain right to trade Suggs

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens now can’t use tag on Brown, Lewis, or Scott

The AP says Suggs tag will cost Ravens $10.2 million against cap

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Suggs won’t be ‘happy’ until he receives long-term deal

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Ravens walking ‘fine line’ with Suggs, 52

SI’s Ross Tucker says Ravens better to let 52 walk than overpay him

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco mocks Heyward-Bey to Ravens

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Roberts, Birds on verge of signing 4 year extension

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says veteran Freel’s versatility will make him ‘valuable’

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Huff hoping to repeat big numbers from ‘08

MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez says MLB.com replaying O’s-Angels ’94 slugfest today

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Roberts’ 4 year deal will be worth $40 million

The Sun’s Dan Connolly thinks Roberts 4th best 2B in all of baseball

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec and Peter Schmuck say Huff ‘did very little’ in offseason hoping to recreate ’08 success

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says extending Roberts helps Orioles on many levels

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says former Orioles Kurt Birkins, Winston Abreu find new jobs

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Roberts will actually be under contract for next 5 seasons

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Montanez excited for chance to ‘compete’ for roster spot

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Uehara showed ‘good command’, ‘sharp-breaking forkball’ in bullpen session

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Sherrill has ‘mild hamstring strain’

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Ray’s arm ‘felt good’ day after throwing

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Wigginton ‘stalking’ Huff

Examiner Steve DeClue says Birds wouldn’t have gotten much back by trading Roberts at this point

Examiner Jay Trucker says Roberts will be 35 when extension ends

Examiner Jay Trucker says single game Opening Day tickets available now via Ticketmaster

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says after Roberts deal, Birds will have spent over $100 million on extensions this offseason

Fox Sports’ Aram Tolegian puts Orioles 24th in initial power rankings

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Terps need ‘excitement’ back

The Sun’s Jeff Barker thinks Terps more likely to beat Duke than North Carolina or Wake

Examiner Tony Wisniewski says Terrapins ‘(aren’t) very good’

The Diamondback’s Mark Selig says Terps face ‘major obstacles’ in hopes of NCAA Tournament bid

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Terps struggled to finish transition plays vs. Clemson

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Gary met with DC Assault coach Curtis Malone

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Neal had ‘solid’ first half at Clemson

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Terps’ ‘morale vanished’ when Tigers got put-back jam from Booker

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Tigers’ inside-outside game ‘eventually wore’ on Terps

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Burney showed ‘athleticism’ in return to action Tuesday

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps have suffered worst ever losses to Duke, Clemson this season

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps were “best” with Jin Soo Kim on floor Tuesday

CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm says Terps ‘on the fence’

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter checks in with prospect Will Regan (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter says Terps have new PG target for ’10 (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:

The Official Site previews tonight’s ESPNU trip to Georgia Tech

The Sun’s Matt Bracken says PG recruit Dara Taylor named McDonald’s All-American

The Diamondback’s Aaron Kraut says Terps have steadily improved on road

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says Terps still ‘in mix’ for top seed in ACC Tournament

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Richmond’s Charles Bankins hired to coach Tight Ends, Special Teams

Ravens Official Site’s Geoff Peckham says DHB highlights local players at Combine

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Hey-Bey will be under ‘microscope’ in Indianapolis

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Bankins should be ‘familiar’ with area for recruiting

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Maryland will be first FBS job for Bankins

Turtle Sports Report’s Mike Rubin profiles again available Good Counsel prospect Louis Young (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh updates recruitment of OLB prospect Javarie Johnson (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS LACROSSE:

The Diamondback’s Michael Katz says Jason Carter, Brian Phipps ready to split time in cage again

TOWSON BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Tigers fall to 9-19 (4-12 CAA) after loss to William & Mary

The Sun says Hairston, Thornton each score 13 in loss

TOWSON LACROSSE:

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Rosensweig, Randall Cooper thinking about life after football

MORGAN BASKETBALL:

Howard Official Site says Bears get 21 from Holmes in win over Bison

The Sun says Bears get 7th straight win by topping Howard

NAVY BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Holy Cross rallies from 12 point 2nd half deficit past Mids

The AP says Teague, Harris each score 17 in loss

NAVY FOOTBALL:

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner offers photo of Bo Snelson signing

Go Mids’ Adam Nettina previews Outside Linebackers heading into Spring (must subscribe)

HOPKINS LACROSSE:

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Pietramala hopes Jays will be more ‘balanced’

UMBC LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Retrievers’ home games will be streamed online

MT. ST. MARY’S BASKETBALL:

Carroll County Times’ Bob Blubaugh says Eers most successful during ‘crucial stretches’ of games

MT. ST. MARY’S LACROSSE:

The Sun’s John Weaver says Eers coach Gravante knows team younger

MCDANIEL BASKETBALL:

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Terror ‘still in hunt’

HORSE RACING:

Thoroughbred Times says Jonathan Joyce rides 5 winners yesterday at Laurel Park

SWIMMING:

Examiner Steve DeClue thinks Phelps would have rather just paid fine than go through such intense ‘scrutiny’

Examiner Tony Wisniewski says A-Rod pulling a “Phelps” in bashfully apologizing but admitting little

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Congratulations to SunTrust Athlete of the Morning Ryan Burghauser. Burghauser was a “machine” inside for the North Harford Hawks in their 56-44 win over Patterson Mill last night.

-That was a BAD loss for Towson last night. Towson’s decision to move to the CAA from the America East was a CLEAR step up in terms of talent; and the Tigers just haven’t proved to be ready to play at that level. Towson MIGHT compete with Morgan on Saturday; because Morgan’s conference is at a lower level. But if the Tigers want to succeed in the CAA, they HAVE to invest more.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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Another bad news day for Orioles as Alomar & Tejada are front and center

Posted on 11 February 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

There’s no doubt that “Roberto Alomar” and “AIDS” will be among the most googled phrases on the internet today, as these outlandish and crazy rumors start flying now that the N.Y. Post has outed a story of an ex-lover who has made allegations galore about the former Oriole All Star and potential future Hall of Famer, Roberto Alomar. Among them, the $15 million suit by his ex-girlfriend Ilya Dall alleges that Alomar had AIDS and had unprotected sex with her after being raped by two Mexican men. (Like I said, it’s a racy one!)

There are links everywhere and no doubt this will be a bloggers’ paradise today on the world wide web. While you are reading about Alomar on the New York Post, be sure to click on the insert piece about Darryl Strawberry’s sex life, circa 1986 and a preview of his upcoming book, “Straw: Finding My Way.”

Here’s a sample paragraph: Strawberry writes the goal on the road was to “tear up your best bars and nightclubs and take your finest women . . . The only hard part for us was choosing which hottie to take back to your hotel room. Lots of times you . . . picked two or three.”

It’s been a nice start to the baseball season, huh?

Let’s not forget that the two biggest stories of today involve two players — Miguel Tejada and Roberto Alomar — who the Baltimore Orioles and Orioles’ fans contributed millions of local dollars to their vast personal wealth. It’s another dark chapter of the Orioles’ dark recent history. And this is on the backside of the ARod saga, which no doubt will reach a crescendo at Camden Yards on Opening Day when 25,000 New York Yankees fans invade the stadium to see Baltimorean Mark Teixeira’s first game as a pinstriper.

Sick isn’t it? But back to Alomar and Tejada…

Alomar was the most skilled player I’ve ever seen play the game, probably the most raw talent of this generation because of his five-tool abilities. I was a big fan of Roberto Alomar. And he was a champion in Toronto and a class act there. Here in Baltimore his reputation was sullied by the spitting incident involving John Hirshbeck, when owner Peter Angelos came to Alomar’s defense and was an outspoken supporter of his second baseman. It was the contribution of Alomar’s spitting fine to Davey Johnson’s wife’s charity that wound up creating friction between King Peter and then-manager Johnson in 1997. Angelos used it publicly as a justification for firing Johnson. (Or, ahem, was it a “forced” resignation?)

Tejada, who is expected to plead guilty today in federal court in Washington, D.C. to perjury and potentially could go to prison, was the next most-talented player the Orioles have had in this generation, another five-tool superstar with MVP-like numbers consistently. He signed the richest deal in franchise history in 2003. He also made a bunch of bizarre, childish mistakes during all of the steroid investigations with stories about vitamins and B-12 shots and his “no speakie English” testamonies didn’t hold up. He was — just like Alomar — a wonderful player to watch play baseball. They were both a “reason” to go the ballpark. They were great, great, iconic baseball players who both get a Hall of Fame “yes” from me if the ballot ever came my way, if we’re only counting what happened between the lines.

But two of the team’s most productive players since the opening of Camden Yards have now been publicly indicted since the sun came up this morning, and Rafael Palmeiro and David Segui and Jason Grimsley and Albert Belle and Sidney Ponson aren’t even among the indicted.

Where have you gone Cal Ripken? And Brooks Robinson?

Like I said, this is what Orioles baseball has come to in 2009. Stories of the character of “heros of Birdland” coming out pretty filthy years later, after they’ve taken more than $100 million of local money out of town.

Not a low blow. Just a fact…

And reporting on these stories with facts like these above give the Orioles “justification” to ban the free speech of the local media and eliminate access from legitimate media.

Just think about it…

Baseball season is around the corner and we’re going to continue to write and speak the truth and the facts.

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Cal Ripken Jr. has nothing to prove

Posted on 10 February 2009 by Drew Forrester

“Hey Cal, Gehrig called, he wants his record back!”  That came in yesterday via the “comments” portion of my A-Rod blog. 

Granted, because the author of that “gem” is a daily moaner at WNST.net, I’m not entirely sure he was actually trying to make a legitimate contribution or just seeking to wind up Baltimore sports fans with another one of his baseless entries. 

Either way, I thought it was interesting.  Actually, I thought it was “stupid” moreso than interesting, but hey, spring’s around the corner and I’m working my “Mr. Positive” mojo these days.  Let’s just stick with “interesting”.

Oddly enough, there were others who either e-mailed me or called the show and threw Cal Ripken Jr.’s name into the ring of Steroids.

I had someone go as far as to write: “Cal should prove he didn’t use steroids.”

Huh?

I know a lot of things have changed in our country over the last 25 years.  Some for the good, some for the bad.  Recently, our 8-time Gold Medal Olympic swimmer smoked marijuana in public.  That’s one of “the bad”. 

I’m still certain, though, that a foundation of our society and, as importantly, our judicial system, is “innocent until proven guilty”.

Cal Ripken Jr. is now forever linked to an era where a huge portion of the players in the late stages of his career were using performance enhancing drugs. 

Unfortunately, there will be people out there who say, “Gotta look at Cal too…look at all those games in a row he played.”

I doubt Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire are on Cal’s Christmas Card list.  Neither are Raffy, Canseco or A-Rod.  All those bums have done is tainted any legacy of greatness that the true “great ones” attained.

So, based on the logic that Cal broke Gehrig’s record during the steroids era, are we to also assume that Greg Maddux used steroids since he had one more win (355) than a confirmed steroids user in Roger Clemens?

No, we shouldn’t assume that at all.

Cal Ripken Jr. doesn’t have to “prove” anything to anyone about steroid use.

Just because he played with a bunch of miscreants doesn’t make him one.

What a game baseball has become.  It’s been filled with so many toxic human beings – on the field and off the field – that even the good guys get scarlet letters on their jersey.

By the way, nowhere here have I written that Cal Ripken Jr. didn’t use steroids.  The only person who knows that is, of course, Cal Ripken Jr.

That said, it’s silly and irresponsible for anyone to say, “make Cal prove he DIDN’T use them…or, Hey Cal, Gehrig called, he wants his record back.”

Then again, silly and irresponsible is what our society has become.

Silly and irresponsible sums up baseball too.

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A holiday message to Peter Angelos and the Orioles

Posted on 24 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

The Baltimore Orioles can try to silence their critics today and attempt to ban the free speech of all of their many disgruntled customers and fans from posting angry diatribes on message boards like WNST on the internet, but there’s no getting around it if you’re Peter Angelos today. If you are from Baltimore and love Baltimore sports and you are celebrating any religious holiday from Christmas to Hanukkah to Kwanza to Festivus over the next 48 hours and anywhere from Highlandtown to Hong Kong, inevitably amongst so many family and friends with food and drink and cheer, you’ll be talking about two things:

1.    How much the Orioles suck and once again what a disgrace it is to be an Orioles fan (and/or a MLB fan in general) after this whole Mark Teixeira fiasco

And …

2.    How much fun the Ravens have given us this year and whether they can win this Sunday against Jacksonville and whether they’ll go far into the playoffs and give us the thrill of a Super Bowl again

Clear advantage: Ravens

“WNST” has no control over any of your holiday conversations. There is no “WNST stance” at your dinner table. There are just facts and opinions. Yours and mine. My opinions are listed right here, under the heading “Nestor Aparicio’s blog.” Yours are listed below in the comments and as long as you don’t write like a complete jackass and you’re staying on the topic – which is Mark Teixeira and the Orioles and the Yankees and free agency and baseball or the Ravens and the Jaguars and the NFL playoffs – your unabridged words get YOUR name on it just like mine do. And agreeing with me – or disagreeing with me — is not even remotely part of the equation. Just say what’s on your mind. Write what’s on your mind. And have some sensible, logical argument loaded with facts and documentation to back it up. And as the Ravens would say: “Don’t be a jerk!”

And there’s nothing Peter Angelos can do to ban you from speaking your mind on the internet. (Although I’m not really sure he knows the internet exists based on the Stalinist manners in which the team is positioned publicly by not answering legitimate questions from legitimate journalists about the issues of the team and the economic strife it causes the downtown business community.)

That’s what WNST.net is all about: free speech. And people have really been speaking up on this Teixeira situation. Not just here, but all across the internet and on our Facebook page as well.

The informed and “smart” people are pissed that the Orioles continue to print money with a Wayne’s World television network that we are all funding publicly via our cable bill and then refuse to reinvest our money back into the community via putting a quality product on the field that resembles Major League Baseball. The uninformed (or those who continue to get their “state-run news” from places like MASN, The Examiner, The Sun, Pressbox and CBS Radio, who all are directly funded and thereby controlled by Peter Angelos) will say that Mark Teixeira is a “traitor” and his filthy agent Scott Boras is a rat and did the Orioles dirty all because they refused to take a measly $40 million dollars less to come and try to salvage this disgraceful franchise from itself.

People ask me all the time about the Orioles and Angelos and MASN and being “banned” from asking any legitimate questions about the franchise to anyone inside the franchise. You know, the way I did for 20 years to make a living and feed my family. You know, like a real journalist, which I’ve been since 1984 through both big city newspapers and a variety of radio stations here and across America.

And my answer is always the same: it’s not what I think that’s important. I’m just one voice and in the old world before the breakdown of a “closed” media in America and before the internet, mine was one of a dozen significant voices in Baltimore that could be heard by the masses – four guys via television, four or five sports talk radio hosts and the handful of sports columnists from The Sun.

But over the last few years – let’s say since Miguel Tejada signed here – it’s changed greatly because of the internet and the ability for the “common fan” to speak out on more than just sports radio. And it’s their ability to put their real name and their real pictures with their thoughts. Are you on Facebook? If you are, you know what I mean. (As an aside, if you’d like to blog here at WNST.net, just drop me a note and I’ll do my best to get you started. We’re looking for people who love local sports as much as we do!)

And over the next two days anyone who is from Baltimore and is having a ham or a turkey or an egg nog or some cookies with their holiday cheer will be talking about the Orioles and Ravens. That’s always been a fact, sports and conversations with family during the holidays. But those conversations are now open for the public to view via the internet. Social media is a bitch, like that. There’s nowhere to hide anymore…

It’s not just “that loudmouth from Dundalk” screaming on the radio.

It’s the thousands of people from Owings Mills to Oakland, from Aberdeen to Arbutus, from Hunt Valley to the ‘hood, who feel the same way I do saying the same things I’ve been saying since the firing of Jon Miller and Davey Johnson. Try as they might to make Andy McPhail the “fall” guy on this one, the truth is pretty clear to anyone with a brain: nothing has truly changed in this franchise except for the Baltimore script on the road, gray sweaters.

Because I have created a public forum here on WNST.net I don’t have to speak for the many, many people who are disgruntled. Most of them are like me — disguised summer night after night as empty forest green seats that used to be filled with people from our community who felt aligned with the team and felt a part of a civic bond that brought our parents and grandparents joy in being Baltimoreans and being Orioles fans. It meant something. It meant a LOT. It made grown men by the thousands openly sob when Memorial Stadium was abandoned for Camden Yards over 17 years ago (God, has it really been that long?).

(If you doubt that the “feeling” exists, think about how the Ravens made you feel around 11 p.m. on Saturday night on TV from Dallas or how you’ll feel at 4:15 this Sunday, with your heart pounding and your pride on red alert…that’s what I’m talking about it. When you can feel that way about the Orioles again, you’ll know and recognize it as one and the same.)

Through the comments section of this website and many others (including Facebook, which is amazing), the “little people” get to say what’s on their minds now and it ain’t pretty for Angelos, McPhail and the Orioles. It’s impossible to be an Orioles fan or a fan of MLB without the obvious “truths” slapping you on the skull like a Daniel Cabrera or Armando Benitez floater: THE GAME OF BASEBALL IS BROKEN and has been broken for YEARS! And the Orioles are just terrible at “playing the game” of modern baseball. Whether it’s drafting or signing players or marketing or being good community partners and treating fans, customers, employees and the media with any dignity or respect with truth and honesty, this franchise finds ways of alienating just about everyone consistently.

The community is comfortably numb and has been for years. People are “ho hum” about the Orioles’ inability to get out of the cellar.

This inability to come even remotely close to getting a local boy the stature of Mark Teixeira into a Baltimore jersey – and then blaming it on the agent or the player’s heart or saying “too much money” when the truth is that their efforts to land him were predictably insulting and lame – is Standard Operating Procedure. From Syd Thrift to Mike Flanagan, from Jim Beattie to Andy McFail — you could see this coming a mile away if you are a student of the “Oriole Way” under Angelos’ tenure.

Did you really believe that Angelos and McPhail would find a way to land Teixeira? C’mon…really? I’ll put this in a language Angelos would understand: What precedent would have predicted a victory on this one?

It’s really rather uncanny that they seem to screw up everything all the time, even when they have the money to make a “tipping point” change in the direction of the franchise. Being known as the “anti-Pete” here in Baltimore (again I’m just an educated guy with a voice…most people I meet feel the way I feel), I almost never have to worry about “eating crow” or them ever getting any good anytime soon because when they hit the “Y” in the road of decision – during those pivotal times in the growth of the franchise — they allow occasions like this Teixeira situation to happen over and over again.

(And for the record: I’d LOVE to “eat crow” and watch the Orioles win 92 games next year like the Rays did. Nothing would be better for our city than to have the Orioles win…)

This Teixeira fiasco is what makes them perennially losers, on and off the field, inside and outside the stadium and The Warehouse.

For them to blame it on “money” is just ludicrous. It’s a sick joke, really, that they put $22 million more back into their pockets yesterday all while pointing to the Yankees and MLB and Boras as the “evil villain.” This franchise and the Angelos family and investment group is simply awash in millions of dollars from MASN and the entire premise of the public financing the betterment of the franchise via our cable bills was their civic promise to get better and to compete. On — and off — the field!

And if they can’t compete with the Yankees on the only player of this generation who would actually consider coming to play for the Orioles in the prime of his career and change things for the better and change the public sentiment about whether Angelos really cares about seeing a World Championship in Baltimore before he dies – then why are they even in business? Are they playing for third place in AL East?

Why doesn’t this miserable group just sell the team already and let the healing begin for the city and the franchise? Ya know, FREE THE BIRDS already…

Here’s the real question for Teixeira: if the money had been equal, would he have really signed in Baltimore knowing what he knows about Angelos, this franchise and how unhappy all of its players have been for a decade? Only he will know the answer to that question but – sure — I have my doubts…

(I bet if Cal Ripken owned the team, Teixeira would be an Oriole. But, who wants to take that bet or play that game?)

No doubt about it: the way the Yankees sign players is an outright embarrassment to the game and the fact that their payroll is over $200 million and the Orioles will be $65 million creates a competitive imbalance that is almost impossible to overcome. And that’s with or without a luxury tax. And that’s with or without Teixeira in orange and black. (And you can fill in your Tampa Bay or Marlins feel-good story here, but that’s an anomaly over the course of the past 12 years.)

The real story is this: the Orioles have PLENTY of money. They have been stealing money from the cable companies for almost three years now. MILLIONS of dollars have been lining their pockets simply because the Washington Nationals exist. As much as Angelos fought to keep the Nationals out of the nation’s capital, it’s by far been the biggest financial windfall of his awful stewardship of our civic treasure that’s been so sordidly tainted that it’s almost unrecognizable as Orioles baseball. The franchise has gone from being worth $172 million in 1993 to more than $750 million because of the cashflow of MASN and the undercurrent of cash that the Nationals pay King Peter.

So just what do the Baltimore Orioles stand for in 2009? What is their mission statement?

Are they in business to bilk the public out of tens of millions of dollars via their Mickey Mouse TV network or are they trying to fix the team on the field, bring back enthusiasm for their core product – Major League Baseball – and help the city get stronger on summer nights with a full ballpark and a bustling downtown business community? Are they committed to making their fans proud to put those “Baltimore” sweaters back on or are they presenting lip service by signing Cesar Izturis and saying Teixeira “cost too much”?

I’m honestly not sure what they’re trying to do, other than “save face” when another big ticket ballplayer spurns their “Confederate” money to go to New York and play for the Yankees. And they’re even doing a lousy job of covering up what happened over the past few weeks.

The truth is this: they didn’t really want Mark Teixeira.

Sure, you can harbor all of the anger and resentment you like in the direction of Mark Teixeira. It’s not his mercy mission in life to come and play for the dreadful Orioles who refuse to offer him a market rate salary and then expect him to come here and play for 20% less money and also expect him to be a miracle cure for all that ails this woeful, woebegone franchise. He’s a baseball player, not a martyr. And quite frankly, why should he take LESS money to play for the Orioles, especially when Angelos and the franchise actually had the money to pay him?

Ask yourself – and ask honestly – if you were Mark Teixeira, why would you take $40 million LESS to come play for Peter Angelos when you could go to New York and play in front of the biggest crowds in the best environment and with the best chance to be successful and have fun?

If you were Mark Teixeira, you would’ve done the same thing he did yesterday. You’d be wearing pinstripes just like him.

You really would…

And the Orioles have no one to blame but themselves for allowing this to happen. Peter Angelos had a chance in the last negotiation to attempt to get a salary cap for baseball. Instead, Don Fehr bent him and his buddy Bud Selig and the MLB owners over for another decade of days like yesterday when the best players in the game (ARod, Jeter, Sabathia and Teixeira are the four highest-paid players in the business) opt not only to wear pinstripes, but also to get the most amount of money while they’re doing it.

Instead, six years ago, Angelos fought for social welfare with his own customer base by taking Comcast to court and winning nearly $3 per month from every household in the state. He’s getting paid well over $100 million a year just for having that lightweight television network. He’s been getting drilled in the public forum for years for doing the “wrong thing” with the baseball team and the community. He had a chance to step up and change that yesterday. He could’ve “bought” himself a few years of peace by stroking a check and stepping up and saying, “I’m trying hard and it’s as important to me as it is to you!”

But once again, he’s the fool with the deep pockets. Instead, King Peter “passed” on Mark Teixeira. And he put the money back into his own pocket. That’s just a fact.

And I’m just one voice in a cacophony of people screaming “FREE THE BIRDS” over their holiday meals this week.

And of course, “GO RAVENS” as well.

Merry Christmas. Happy Hannukah. Cheerful Kwanza.

Festivus, of course, doesn’t begin until Sunday at 7…

At least we hope…
P.S. Tell your family you love them this week!

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Christmas deadline for Teixeira? Not really…

Posted on 20 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

Want the craziest true story I’ve heard in Dallas in my first 24 hours? Apparently, I missed running into Mark Teixeira and Scott Boras in the lobby of the Ravens team hotel here in “Big D” by 15 hours. As much as we’re following this Teixeira situation at WNST as a major Baltimore news story – it has been the most followed, camped-out  Baltimore media popcorn trail since Jayne Miller chased Jobie Palczynski through my old Dundalk stomping grounds of Berkshire (the neighborhood I played little league, in no less) back in 2000 – I never though I’d almost cross paths with the pair of them at their “Texas” hideaway when I boarded the plane.

(I’m even getting people angered by giving them what I feel are “breaking news” stories on the Teixeira trail. Hey folks, news is news and we’re doing our best to be honorable as well. But who knows where the honor is amongst these baseball people who all lie as their lips move in these negotiations that involve crazy millions of dollars.)

Here’s the worst part: I’m a lifelong reporter and journalist and had I bumped into “Tex” I don’t know if I would’ve even recognized him and I have no idea what I’d even say or ask. Or whether I’d believe anything any of these cats would tell me.

Would I say, “Hey dude, how bad do you really want to play for the Orioles?” Or, “Why in the world would you not sign in Anaheim or Boston knowing what you know about this seemingly eternal mess?” And most viscerally, “Why did you hire Scott Boras as your agent?” But after thinking about it, I’d probably simply say this: “Do you care about Baltimore and Baltimore baseball and if you do what will it take to get you to be an Oriole and want to fix this for your hometown?”

(And that’s assuming that I’d actually be given the opportunity to ask questions in order to get lied to by them. The Orioles deny legitimate journalists from asking questions like these. And they resent me pointing out when they lie. But they DO lie. So do the agents. So do the general managers. So do the other owners, like John Henry.)

Maybe Tex would actually look at me with tears in his eyes – the way Mike Flanagan once did – and say, “I’m coming to Baltimore because things need to be changed and I’m the guy to do it!” Now of course, if Teixeira DID say that, I’d be the first guy buying a season ticket and singing the praises of Peter G. Angelos as making a significant change in the direction of the ballclub.

This thing has gone from the ridiculous to sublime for me. All of the effort I put into Free The Birds and my efforts to shed legitimate light on whether this ownership group really cares about Baltimore and baseball in Baltimore comes down to “tipping points” in their stewardship of the franchise like this one right here, right now.

As Third Eye Blind would ask: “How’s it gonna be…?” Are you going to step up and make this franchise real again and make people like ME  — and there are thousands of people like me…more who feel the way I do than don’t that’s for damned sure based on the empty seats alone and the empty city on all of those summer nights – want to come back to the ballpark consistently and live, eat, breath, sleep and DIE Orioles baseball?

Honestly, there were 60,000 of us who sat in 15-degree windchills to watch the purple football team play two weeks ago. The city is on “buzz alert” on a holiday Saturday night with purple fever.

When’s it gonna be like that for the Orioles again? When can we be proud to be Orioles fans again and have some civic pride instead of the mournful and deep shame and anger and “numbness” so many of us sadly feel and desperately want to change.

Signing Tex would say two things:

1.    It would tell me the Orioles are serious about competing for a championship just for stepping up and winning the first competition — the offseason. There is no “second place” here for the Orioles. If they can’t get a kid who played his high school games in the shadow of the lights of Camden Yards in a glorious era to want to come home and wear a gray sweater at Yankee Stadium that says “BALTIMORE” across the crest, then who the hell will they EVER get to take their “Confederate” money? More than anything, whatever he’s worth to Boston or Anaheim or Washington, he’s worth at LEAST 25% more to this franchise right now. Especially considering all the money they have from their TV deal at MASN. And the way they’ve slashed payroll waiting for a “tipping point” player. Teixeira is a game changer (in perception anyway) for them because it’s their ONE chance to win back the fans. Their money would be well-spent for the buzz factor alone. This hot stove conversation during the holidays and Ravens playoff drive is GREAT for them. People want to “buy in” to Orioles baseball. I want to “buy in” to Andy McPhail and the new regime. But I need to see changes. This is the Orioles franchise saying: “Come back! We’re all in!”
2.    From the player side, it would say that Teixeira really IS in Baltimore to “fix things.” Teixeira — unlike Kevin Millar or Jay Payton or Omar Daal or Aubrey Huff or Adam Jones or Luke Scott or Matt Wieters – has a choice in where he’ll play for the rest of his career. Picking Boston or Anaheim (or even Washington if the dough were right) would be what virtually every free agent in MLB would do. The only one who didn’t choose elsewhere in the past decade was Miguel Tejada, and the Orioles overpaid by at least $12 million to get him and there’s no doubt that Miggy has second-guessed his decision because he told me as much himself. Make no mistake about it: if the Orioles snag Teixeira it’ll say as much about HIM as it will about them. They don’t deserve him, really, no matter what they pay. But maybe he is that special guy who will be teary-eyed about Baltimore and wanting to return the Orioles to glory. That alone will brand him as a “Ripkenesque” figure (and then the heavy lifting will begin civic-ly for him). Honestly, his first phone call should be to Ripken and reach out by aligning himself as closely as possible with Cal. (As an aside, I DID get some inside “community” information on Teixeira. He’s a major donor to his alma mater, Mt. St. Joe, donating a “seven-figure” number to the school over his first six years in the bigs. ANOTHER reason to think Teixeira would be a “right guy” as Eckman would say about his commitment to Baltimore via being an “Oriole for life.”

So here’s the Teixeira and Baltimore “passing in the night” story for you:

Several Ravens staffers and fans, in town early to sharpen their golf skills, checked into Dallas a day early. Word is Teixeira and Boras stood in the lobby of  what has become the Ravens’ team hotel in Las Colinas and looked up at the ESPN scroll on the bar TV and Teixeira said something to the effect of: “Well, they found out about this pretty quickly in Boston!”

No doubt Boras “leaked” the “covert” meeting. But that’s the game. Stir up the masses and use the media as a weapon.

The plotline thickens daily. But I’m not convinced Teixeira needs to sign anything before next week or any self-imposed “Christmas deadline.” Because Boras’ words and deadlines slip. And Red Sox owner John Henry’s media negotiating tactics sharpen. And all the “Peters” twist in the wind, writing blogs and quoting unnamed sources who openly lie to everybody about everything. It’s so bad that John Schuerholz (as fine a guy as I know and an old-schooler who John Steadman so admired) has taken to name calling.

(And by “Peters” I meant: Peter Schmuck, Peter Gammons, Peter King and Peter Pascarelli. Feel free to insert your Dick jokes here.)

I don’t think there’s any deadline. I think Boras has this thing right where he wants it. The media is trailing, fueling the fire. The fans are into it. It’s the ONLY game Baltimore fans have had to play in years. It’s like a pennant race that money CAN buy! The Baltimore fans are killing the Orioles to drive up the price. John Henry is playing poker. Arte Moreno is laying low because he’s got a pretty damned good offer as well. And the Nationals are an outsider with a big need and a big offer.

The only thing better than having four suitors is having five. Who knows if the Yankees will want to play?

Boras has negotiated Mark Teixeira into the stratosphere with this salary drive pitting four cities and four fan bases and four ownership groups into “crisis” mode. It’s a true hot stove bonanza amidst financial crisis in the “real” world. Kudos to Boras! It’s gonna make Teixeira plenty rich but it’s not gonna make him a “right guy.”

Only he can decide what that means and where his “heart” lies. Or his wallet. And why he’ll choose wherever he chooses.

If he doesn’t come to Baltimore and play for Peter Angelos’ Orioles in 2008, I really can’t blame him. But god help him and the Orioles if they can’t work this out because they’ll both get crushed by the fans. And Teixeira will have three cities where he’ll get lustily booed next season.

Pass the popcorn…

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What does having Scott Boras as an agent say about Mark Texeira?

Posted on 12 December 2008 by Jason Jubb

Ask yourself this question. If you were a major league baseball player who would you want as your agent?

 

For me, I can say with 100% certainty that it would not be Scott Boras. An agent is someone who represents you and I just can’t see how I would be a match with someone so manipulative that they would possibly encourage outrageous behavior by a client in order to avoid getting an option year picked up.

 

Does he get top dollar for his clients? Yes. There is no question that Boras continually gets top dollar for the majority of his players, but if it were me I wouldn’t be too concerned between $100 million and $120 million dollars. My integrity and principles are more important than the extra millions.

 

Boras represents Mark Texeira; as usual he is working the system and major markets to create an inflated price which will make Texeira one of the games highest paid players. But what does this say about Texeira and his character?

 

You have to answer this yourself, but all I know is that Boras would not be a match for me and my beliefs. If I was going to get an agent I would look at the players I believe had integrity and great character, players such as Tony Gwynn or Cal Ripken and follow their lead. Neither one of them are hurting for money even though they were never part of a free agent bidding war. Somehow they each managed to “get by” with local lawyers negotiating their contracts and in the process became legends that will be associated with their respective cities for decades. (Note: Ron Shapiro was Ripken’s lawyer who also represented Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson and Kirby Puckett)

 

Texeira mentions Ripken as his boyhood hero but maybe he should look a litter deeper at how Ripken handled his business off the field, because right now Tex is portraying himself as just another greedy player who is destined for the highest bidder. For me, this isn’t the way to go about it and this isn’t the type of player I want here in Baltimore.

 

Have fun with you money Mark, but just remember that your agent is a reflection on you.

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Teixeira to the Orioles for $180 million?

Posted on 10 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

UPDATED! It’s the Baseball Winter Meetings. It’s not hard to find anglers, liars, crooks and agents. Oh, and there are some wheelers and dealers amongst the general manager and front office types as well. And the reporters are like lions looking for fresh meat.
Here’s the best one we’ve heard so far today: The esteemed Los Angeles Times has a reporter named Mike DiGiovanna who has inked this story reporting that the Orioles have bandied a 9-year, $180 million deal in front of Maryland’s prime catch this week, Mt. St. Joe grad Mark Teixeira. But get this: he also reports that the Washington Nationals have offered him TEN years and $200 million. (Either way, it’s you and me footing the $3 a month bill to MASN to give Peter Angelos the money he so richly deserves for owning both media markets.)

ESPN has followed with this story putting the Orioles offer to Teixeira at $150 million. Hey, it’s only a $30 million swing?

Meanwhile, The Sun says it’s “between $140 and $150 million.”

So, again, this could be Scott Boras and his group of thugs — hey, he got $252 million from Tom Hicks for Alex Rodriguez when the next bidder was at $180 million — driving up the mythical price.
It would be completely out of the realm of Peter Angelos’ latest moves to believe that this is accurate. But, again, we’re not in the prediction business when it comes to the Orioles. Or the Nationals for that matter. There’s no precedent in this case.
Other than Cal Ripken, Maryland hasn’t produced a talent like Teixeira in this generation. So, who knows what the old man is doing besides counting his money from MASN?

Maybe ’tis the season for giving the Orioles fans some hope? Perhaps, Teixeira will be an Oriole by the weekend. Or maybe not.

But you must admit, the L.A Times knows how to sell a hot rumor. And they also know that Arte Moreno, owner of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (or whatever they’re called this week), reads the local fishwrap. And the Boston Red Sox crew must be reeling from the C.C. Sabathia blockbuster in the Bronx today.

Who’s zooming who? That’s what makes hot stove so much fun. The lies, the damned lies and the liars who make it all happen.

It’s Las Vegas. Why not play a little poker, right?

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