Posted on 16 April 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 09 April 2012 by Glenn Clark
I receive plenty of ridiculous messages via Facebook, Twitter, email, text, phone and here at WNST.net every week. I have a soft spot in my heart for those many messages and those who send them.
On Sunday, one of the more ridiculous messages I’ve seen was brought to my attention on Twitter.
“bet ur pissed Os are 3-0 and ur boycott isnt working”
I won’t say who sent me the note because I have no idea if they’re an actual listener/reader or just a troll who was sent my way during my brief spat with Baltimore Orioles OF Adam Jones last week. There’s no particular reason to allow this person any attention anyway.
The statement here is so ridiculous that I will need a minute to address it. I’ll start with the notion that I’d be “pissed” about the O’s starting the season with a sweep of the Minnesota Twins. The note implies one of two things-either I’m not a fan of the Birds at all or I’m a fan who for some reason doesn’t want to see them win.
I’ll start with the notion that I’m somehow “not an Orioles fan”. Here’s a picture from Chase Field in 2007 when the Orioles visited the Arizona Diamondbacks and I was working at The Fan 1060 (KDUS) in Phoenix…
I looked almost exactly like that all weekend. I could probably post about 1,000 more pictures here-but you can check my personal Facebook page for your own proof. As Nestor Aparicio knows all too well, somehow asking for a team to get better translates into “not a fan” in the minds of folks who likely also believe their favorite band WANTS to be known as a sellout. I’m a Baltimore Orioles fan, plain and simple.
The next thought would be that I for some reason don’t want the team to win. This is an all-too-often misconception related to WNST’s “Free The Birds” campaign that I have openly supported since its’ inception in 2006. I’d like to come back to this in a second.
The final part of the statement “your boycott isn’t working” reflects an absolute lack of knowledge about “Free The Birds” in general. To some, it is incomprehensible that I can both believe a current regime is incapable of creating a quality product but yet appreciate the product when it shows to be of quality.
Before heading in to see the Birds open the season against the Twinkies Friday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I wandered across Pratt Street to chat with fellow fans at Luna Del Sea. I had a great time hanging out, talking baseball and promoting FTB. Two listeners in particular approached me to say “thank you” for defending those who believe in our cry (and also the cries of groups like “Occupy Eutaw Street”) on my show last Thursday. I engaged in a great back and forth in which I reiterated a statement that I feel must be repeated.
“Free The Birds to me has only ever been about one thing-making the team better. It’s not anything personal about players, managers, general managers or even (wait for it) owners. If the Orioles can get better and baseball can become relevant in Charm City again with Peter Angelos as owner I will owe a debt of gratitude to the man. I just don’t really believe it will happen.”
Free The Birds isn’t a “boycott”. Free The Birds is ABSOLUTELY not a statement that we don’t support the Baltimore Orioles when they take the field. Those misconceptions will exist in the minds of some forever, but it won’t make them true. Free The Birds (for me) is simply a belief and statement that losing is NOT okay.
That concept alone is apparently not even enough for all to agree. That’s fine. Not every fan has to demand quality from the entity they support. The fact that Bon Jovi has managed to sell plenty of concert tickets over the course of the last decade is living proof of that.
The fact is, I want quality from the Baltimore Orioles and I don’t believe it will happen with Peter Angelos as owner. But my belief/expectation will never be cause for me to “hope” or “root” against such an occurrence. As many of you are aware, I don’t pick the Baltimore Ravens to win every football game they play. There hasn’t been one time in my life however that I wasn’t rooting for them to show me just how little I know.
I root against my own belief that the Orioles will fail to succeed under the control of Peter Angelos. I OPENLY root against it.
Like many years during what I’ve called “The Rock Bottom Era” here in Baltimore, the Birds got off to a hot start this weekend. Pitchers Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter and Jason Hammel combined to allow ONE run over 22 innings pitched. That number seems so impossible I’ve actually quadruple-checked it.
After an Opening Day sellout, another crowd of 30,000 plus took in Saturday night’s game (there was even a buzz about it at Power Plant Live as I was leaving the Alabama Shakes show at Rams Head Live). Sunday’s crowd looked all too “Baltimorean”, but the Easter holiday clearly had something to do with it.
(Oh and I didn’t even mention the awesomeness of the orange uniforms Saturday night. The last time I’ve wanted an article of clothing so badly was the first time Stone Cold Steve Austin donned a knee brace.)
It was an awesome weekend that left the city buzzing. It makes Monday a happier day to be in the state of Maryland than it would have been otherwise.
It doesn’t mean things have changed with the Orioles organization. It doesn’t mean the Birds will be 6-0 when the New York Yankees leave town. It absolutely doesn’t mean the AL East should be on notice. It means we’ve had way more fun as fans for three days than we would have otherwise.
Of course, maybe I’m wrong.
Maybe this weekend marked an official turnaround for the Orioles. Maybe the excitement of eliminating the Boston Red Sox last September truly carried over and this type of baseball will be a reality for the Birds all season.
Maybe the Orioles truly are better despite an offseason that made us believe they might be worse.
Let me repeat that. Maybe this weekend was a sign that the Orioles really are better. I don’t believe it, but I’d love to be wrong.
If they are, Free The Birds is a success. This is all we’ve ever wanted.
Posted on 17 March 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 17 March 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 14 March 2012 by WNST Staff
Odds to win the 2012 World Series
Philadelphia Phillies 11/2
New York Yankees 13/2
Los Angeles Angels 7/1
Detroit Tigers 8/1
Texas Rangers 10/1
Boston Red Sox 10/1
San Francisco Giants 15/1
Tampa Bay Rays 18/1
Miami Marlins 20/1
Cincinnati Reds 20/1
Atlanta Braves 22/1
St. Louis Cardinals 25/1
Arizona Diamondbacks 28/1
Milwaukee Brewers 28/1
Washington Nationals 30/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 40/1
Toronto Blue Jays 40/1
Chicago Cubs 40/1
Colorado Rockies 40/1
Cleveland Indians 60/1
Chicago White Sox 65/1
Minnesota Twins 75/1
Kansas City Royals 80/1
New York Mets 80/1
Oakland Athletics 80/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 100/1
San Diego Padres 100/1
Seattle Mariners 100/1
Baltimore Orioles 150/1
Houston Astros 200/1
Odds to win the 2012 AL Pennant
New York Yankees 13/4
Los Angeles Angels 7/2
Detroit Tigers 4/1
Boston Red Sox 11/2
Texas Rangers 11/2
Tampa Bay Rays 9/1
Toronto Blue Jays 22/1
Cleveland Indians 28/1
Chicago White Sox 35/1
Kansas City Royals 40/1
Oakland Athletics 40/1
Minnesota Twins 40/1
Seattle Mariners 60/1
Baltimore Orioles 75/1
Odds to win the 2012 NL Pennant
Philadelphia Phillies 9/4
San Francisco Giants 7/1
Atlanta Braves 9/1
Cincinnati Reds 9/1
Miami Marlins 9/1
St. Louis Cardinals 11/1
Milwaukee Brewers 14/1
Washington Nationals 15/1
Arizona Diamondbacks 14/1
Colorado Rockies 18/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 18/1
Chicago Cubs 22/1
New York Mets 40/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 40/1
San Diego Padres 50/1
Houston Astros 100/1
Odds to win the 2012 AL East
New York Yankees 2/3
Boston Red Sox 3/1
Tampa Bay Rays 9/2
Toronto Blue Jays 12/1
Baltimore Orioles 100/1
Odds to win the 2012 AL Central
Detroit Tigers 1/4
Cleveland Indians 10/1
Kansas City Royals 12/1
Chicago White Sox 12/1
Minnesota Twins 16/1
Odds to win the 2012 AL West
Los Angeles Angels 4/5
Texas Rangers 1/1
Oakland Athletics 30/1
Seattle Mariners 45/1
Odds to win the 2012 NL East
Philadelphia Phillies 1/2
Miami Marlins 11/2
Atlanta Braves 6/1
Washington Nationals 8/1
New York Mets 50/1
Odds to win the 2012 NL Central
Cincinnati Reds 7/5
St. Louis Cardinals 2/1
Milwaukee Brewers 11/4
Chicago Cubs 18/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 30/1
Houston Astros 100/1
Odds to win the 2012 NL West
San Francisco Giants 5/4
Arizona Diamondbacks 2/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 11/2
Colorado Rockies 7/1
San Diego Padres 15/1
Over/Under Regular Season Win Totals
Arizona Diamondbacks 86½
Atlanta Braves 86½
Baltimore Orioles 69½
Boston Red Sox 90½
Chicago Cubs 73½
Chicago White Sox 75½
Cincinnati Reds 87½
Cleveland Indians 78½
Colorado Rockies 80½
Detroit Tigers 91½
Miami Marlins 85½
Houston Astros 63½
Kansas City Royals 78½
Los Angeles Angels 91½
Los Angeles Dodgers 80½
Milwaukee Brewers 85½
Minnesota Twins 72½
New York Mets 73½
New York Yankees 93½
Oakland Athletics 72½
Philadelphia Phillies 93½
Pittsburgh Pirates 72½
San Diego Padres 73½
San Francisco Giants 87½
Seattle Mariners 71½
St. Louis Cardinals 85½
Tampa Bay Rays 86½
Texas Rangers 91½
Toronto Blue Jays 81½
Washington Nationals 83½
courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).
Posted on 12 March 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 06 March 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 04 February 2012 by Glenn Clark
It was another incredible week of Super Bowl coverage for us here at AM1570 WNST.net. Both “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester and Luke Jones as well as “The Reality Check” with Glenn Clark emanated from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis every day. “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio was also part of the daily fun.
In case you missed anything we did, here is a list of the guest segments available for your consumption right now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.
-Adam Sandler (Actor)
-Matt Birk (Baltimore Ravens C)
-Chuck Pagano (Indianapolis Colts Head Coach, former Ravens DC)
-Curt Schilling (Former Baltimore Orioles/Boston Red Sox/Arizona Diamondbacks/Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher)
-Shannon Sharpe (Former Baltimore Ravens/Denver Broncos Hall of Fame TE, CBS)
-AJ Green (Cincinnati Bengals WR)
-Ingrid & Sarah Harbaugh (Wives of John & Jim Harbaugh)
-Jim Schwartz (Detroit Lions Head Coach)
-Mike Smith (Atlanta Falcons Head Coach)
-Marcus Allen (Hall of Fame RB)
-Larry The Cable Guy (Comedian)
-Priest Holmes (Former Baltimore Ravens/Kansas City Chiefs RB)
-Vanilla Ice (Musician/Actor)
-Will Forte (Actor/Comedian/Saturday Night Live alum)
-Lynn Swann (Former Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame WR)
-Greg Ballard (Mayor of Indy)
-Dustin Keller (New York Jets TE)
-Jason Taylor (Former Miami Dolphins DE)
-Frank Caliendo (Comedian)
-Jay Mohr (Actor/Comedian)
-David Feherty (Golf Channel)
-Mike Haynes (Former New England Patriots Hall of Fame CB)
-Brian Billick (Former Baltimore Ravens coach FOX/NFL Network)
-Herm Edwards (Former New York Jets/Kansas City Chiefs coach, ESPN)
-Dick Vermeil (Former Super Bowl winning St. Louis Rams coach)
-Marv Levy (Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame coach)
-Joe Theismann (Former Washington Redskins QB, NFL Network)
-Lorenzo Neal (Former Baltimore Ravens/San Diego Chargers FB)
-Rich Gannon (Former Oakland Raiders QB, CBS)
-Antonio Pierce (Former NY Giants LB)
-Jack Youngblood (Los Angeles Rams Hall of Fame DE)
-Dhani Jones (Former Cincinnati Bengals LB)
-Robbie Gould (Chicago Bears Kicker)
-Morten Anderson (Former New Orleans Saints/Atlanta Falcons Kicker)
-Bonnie Bernstein (ESPN/University of Maryland alum)
-Peter King (SI/NBC)
-Lesley Visser (CBS)
-Sal Paolantonio (ESPN)
-Laura Kaeppeler (Miss America 2012)
-Chrissy Teigen (SI Swimsuit Issue model)
-Will Witherspoon (Tennessee Titans LB)
(More on Page 2…)
Posted on 15 June 2011 by Glenn Clark
It didn’t hit me until Tuesday night. To be totally honest with you, I’ve been really enjoying some of the other things going on in the world of sports since you left my life in February.
My favorite NHL team (the Phoenix Coyotes) were quickly swept out by the Detroit Red Wings, but the Stanley Cup playoffs have been really good otherwise. Most of the cities I don’t like have already seen their teams eliminated (Pittsburgh, Washington, New York) and the Vancouver Canucks have the opportunity to deliver the most painful heartbreak to Boston Wednesday night, with a chance to win a Game 7 at home against the Bruins.
There’s been a ton of scoring but still a ton of close games, and the hockey playoffs in general have been pretty good.
My favorite NBA team (the Phoenix Suns) didn’t even qualify for postseason play, but it had little effect on how exciting the NBA playoffs were. Between the Los Angeles Lakers getting swept out, Greivis Vasquez and the Memphis Grizzlies getting within a game of the Western Conference Finals and the riveting series the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat played in the NBA Finals, the postseason was thrilling.
Even those of us that don’t spend too much time watching regular season hoops found ourselves making postseason games destination television.
Posted on 20 May 2011 by Glenn Clark
The Preakness Stakes will never mean to Baltimore what the Kentucky Derby means to Louisville.
I will start my thoughts by offering an acceptance of that fact.
I couldn’t honestly say I understood the difference between the two Triple Crown races until attending my first “Run For The Roses” in 2010. It’s a different world. It truly cannot be replicated in Charm City.
Perhaps veteran horse racing columnist Jerry Izenberg of the Newark Star-Ledger said it best in 2010…
“Here in Crab Cake City, there is one thing that all of them — infielder, grandstander and the jacket-and-tie set, that actually know the words to “Maryland, My Maryland” — have in common. They all know how to treat a horse race like, well, a horse race.
Greater Baltimore is too big and too honest, and its people work too hard and wear out too many blue collars for it to be otherwise. It understands exactly what this race is. It is a break in the calendar when the Orioles will not be the lead story. It is an event that the town respects but does not worship.”
It’s hard to argue his point.
In fact, year after year the romanticism and celebration of the “Run for the Black-Eyed Susans” appears to be lessened throughout the city.
It’s not just because patrons were barred from bringing their own alcohol into the infield, either.
The fact is that it is safe to question at this point whether or not Baltimore truly even “respects” the Preakness, more or less reveres the city’s most significant event.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the 2010 Preakness spending generated roughly $1.3 million in 2010 in state and local taxes. The event was as significant if not more to area businesses including hotels, restaurants, bars, taxi and limo services, entertainment venues and grocery/convenience stores.
What can’t be measured beyond that is the value brought to the area by the exposure that comes with Preakness. NBC and VERSUS will combine to dedicate nearly eight hours of coverage this weekend from Old Hilltop, while HRTV and ESPN have also reported and broadcast from the track this week as well.
The Maryland Jockey Club said over 1,000 media members were credentialed for this year’s event, generating coverage in newspapers and on websites throughout the country and the world.
There is simply no arguing the significance of Baltimore’s biggest annual event.
While an argument could be made that a Baltimore Ravens playoff game could provide nearly as much exposure for the city, it would be difficult to picture a NFL game reaching the vast demographic group that the Preakness is able to touch.
Baltimore’s most significant annual moment happens just off Northern Parkway on the third Saturday of May.
As Bob Ehrlich told Drew Forrester this week in an interview on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, “For me, (the Preakness) was a wonderful day. It’s the best day of the year to be governor.”
Or as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told Rex Snider in an interview on “The Afternoon Drive” also on AM1570 WNST, “It really gives us a chance to showcase the city in a big way.”
It is hard to imagine a resident of our fair city not understanding how significant Preakness Saturday is annually.
Imagine my frustration when I was asked this question by a friend (and lifelong Baltimore resident) recently:
“Everyone is getting together at Riverwatch for dinner Saturday because Tuesday is my birthday. You’ll be there, right?”
After allowing the bewildered look to finally disappear from my face, I had my own question for my friend:
“You’re aware they didn’t cancel the Preakness this year, right?”
Even more troubling at the same time was my realization that the Baltimore Orioles were not only playing at home, but they were playing at 4:05pm.
Given that the average Major League Baseball game lasts two hours and fifty-one minutes (according to MLB.com in 2010) and the post time for the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes is 6:19pm-a conflict exists.
A source from the Maryland Jockey Club (who asked not to be identified) told me that the MJC reached out to the O’s after learning of the scheduling conflict, but the club deferred to Major League Baseball. Emails sent to the Orioles and MLB requesting further comment were not returned.
To be fair, the Orioles have to play on the third Saturday of May. But in the last 10 years, the Orioles have not played a game that directly conflicted with the Preakness despite playing seven times at home on Preakness Saturday.
It seems stunning that the Birds (and Major League Baseball) would allow a game to go off at the same time as the city’s signature event instead of altering the time of the game. The Boston Red Sox play an 11am game annually at Fenway Park as part of the city’s “Patriots Day” celebration. The Orioles could start at a similar time on Preakness Saturday to make way for Preakness, or could start later in the evening (around 8pm) to allow fans to attend both events.
In fact, they could even label the game as “the official post-Preakness party” and offer ticket discounts to attendees of the Preakness should they work in concert with the Jockey Club.
It would be the type of arrangement that could perhaps encourage out of town enthusiasts to “make a day of it” in Baltimore, seeing the sights of one of America’s classic sporting events and also viewing breathtaking Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
It’s a shame the city hasn’t worked with both parties to encourage such a partnership.
But the lack of reverence towards the Preakness in Baltimore is more appalling than even a baseball game.
Many Baltimoreans have simply told me in recent weeks that they feel no connection with the event despite understanding the overall significance of the event.
The reality is that some Baltimoreans are simply more interested in other events.
The problem with that attitude is that Baltimore doesn’t have anything else this significant. There is no PGA Tour stop. There is no LPGA, ATP, WTA Tour stop either.
The NBA & NHL Playoffs are irrelevant in Baltimore unless a fan chooses to root for a team from out of town. The NCAA Tournament might include a team from Baltimore, but the days of Tim Duncan and company playing March Madness games on the floor of what is now known as the 1st Mariner Arena have long passed.
The UFC has never staged a major Mixed Martial Arts event in Baltimore. There hasn’t been a significant prize fight in Baltimore in my lifetime. NASCAR has never come to town, and while the IndyCar series will hold the inaugural “Baltimore Grand Prix” in Baltimore this Labor Day weekend, the event has exactly enough significance that it was not picked up by the series’ network partner (ABC).
The Baltimore Ravens have never played more than nine meaningful home games in a season. The Baltimore Orioles haven’t played a significant home game after Opening Day since 1997.
In Baltimore, we have the Preakness and not much else.
But there’s no reason for that to be so depressing.
It would certainly bode well for the event if the sport of horse racing could make a “comeback” in Charm City. Pimlico has been outdated about as long as the Arena has, and it doesn’t serve well to generate excitement. The fact that racing only happens at the track for about a month out of the year hurts too.
No one has to be a horse racing fan to support Preakness, however.
The majority of the 100,000 or so fans that pack the track Saturday will likely not know the names of more than a few horses running in the actual race and even fewer could quickly answer “Lookin At Lucky” if asked who won last year’s event.
That being said, the folks who attend the event are at least expecting a good time-whether they’re watching Train on the infield or screaming at ponies from the grandstand.
There’s nothing wrong with being a Baltimorean and not attending the Preakness. The dirty secret in Louisville is that more locals actually attend Kentucky Oaks day on Friday than the actual Derby. (Which is aided by the closure of schools, government and many offices in general). The simple idea is that the city should somehow partake in the event in general-or at least feel more positive than negative energy in association with the event.
At the very least, everyone in Baltimore should ABSOLUTELY know that the third Saturday of May is Preakness Saturday.
It’s a shame that isn’t currently true.