Tag Archive | "Steroids"

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES:  Baltimore Orioles' owner Peter Angelos (2nd L) talks at a press conference with Chicago Cubs' CEO Andy MacPhail (L), Major League Baseball President Bob Dupuy (2nd R) and MLB chief negotiator Rob Manfred (R) 16 August 2002 at baseball headquarters in New York. The baseball players association set 30 August 2002 as a strike date if an agreement is not reached with the current contract.  AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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Being Thrift with mounting debt and wringing the Belle with an insurance policy

Posted on 16 August 2017 by Nestor Aparicio

(Author note: This is Chapter 12 of my book “The Peter Principles,” which I was working to finish in March 2014 when my wife was diagnosed with leukemia the first time. I will be releasing the entire book for free online this summer – chapter by chapter. These are the true chronicles of the history of Peter G. Angelos and his ownership of the Baltimore Orioles. If you enjoy the journey, please share the links with a friend.)

 

12. Being Thrift with mounting debt and wringing the Belle with an insurance policy

 

I’ve been very productive in my life in baseball. I’m not going to be taken as some amateur or semi-pro trying to build a resume to get a job somewhere else, like a lot of my colleagues have done over the course of time. We really have had a plan of where we’re going, how we’re going to get there, what we’re going to do. And so far we’re very pleased with the progress that we’ve made with this team.”

Syd Thrift

April 2000

 

 

THE LOSS OF MIKE MUSSINA in November of 2000 came as a massive blow to the fans of the Orioles, whom by and large, were still loyal to the team and more so even to Cal Ripken who was clearly coming to the end of the line of what had been a legendary career.

The Orioles not only missed the playoffs the previous three seasons but really never spent a day anywhere near contention despite the many contentious vibes the team had been casting off in the shadow of an owner who had lost his way and was getting attacked on every front in the public eye.

Peter G. Angelos bought the Orioles in 1993 because he was nouveau riche and starved for attention and the power that came along with controlling a civic trust for the local sports community. He wanted to be important. He wanted to be famous. He wanted to be loved.

Now, he had the eyes of the metropolis on his every move and was wilting under the pressure of trying to follow through on his promises to make the team a winner every year. There was little doubt that Angelos wanted to win. He just had no idea how to do it and simply throwing money at players wasn’t the answer to chasing down George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees, who were the reigning champions and winners of four of the previous five World Series. And now, the damned Yankees took the only thing the franchise had left that was worthy of pillaging – ace pitcher Mike Mussina, who led the evening news in a pinstripe uniform and a dark NY hat because Angelos had essentially botched the negotiations and demeaned him publicly.

Angelos refused to pay Mussina the going rate.

It was never brought to light or reported – mainly because after being transparent regarding the finances of the Orioles in the early days of his ownership, Angelos went silent and became evasive – but the team began truly hemorrhaging money during this era of ineptitude on the field. Angelos admitted that the team wasn’t making money in 1996 and 1997, when wins on the field didn’t translate to profit for the club. The Orioles had the third highest payroll in Major League Baseball in 1997 and led the sport in 1998 and were still massive spenders vs. the marketplace in 1999 and 2000.

Angelos inherited a team with a $27 million payroll in 1993. By the turn of the century, the Orioles were spending $84 million per year despite seeing revenues dropping sharply over the previous three seasons when losing affected everything about the bottom line for the team. Fans who had tickets through corporations began not using them. Concession sales suffered. And attendance was falling because it had nowhere to go but down after the halcyon days of Camden Yards as the stadium approached the decade mark and many other cities had seen their own new stadia and downtown renaissance.

Angelos was quietly writing checks, privately, to fund the tens of million of dollars of losses of the Orioles. He acknowledged to other investors that it was his decision-making – and his alone – that had guided the team into a predicament where it wasn’t profitable and was bordering on dreadful on the field.

And as much as Mussina was one check that Angelos refused to write for $14 million per year, he had another similar check with three more years on the line and $39 million of team payroll still committed to Albert Belle, who struggled mightily during the summer

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Selig’s resignation long overdue

Posted on 15 January 2010 by dansoderberg

In order for Major League Baseball to move forward out of the “Steroid Era” Commissioner Bud Selig must resign. In fact, if he had any integrity Selig would have resigned after the release of the Mitchell Report in December of 2007. Allowing Selig to lead baseball’s post “Steroid Era” cleanup is tantamount to having Pete Rose and Tim Donaghy lead a probe into gambling in sports. Would you put a fox in charge of hen house security?

Selig benefited as much if not more than any player and if anyone is banned from MLB it should start with him. Banning a player after tacitly encouraging them to cheat and then benefiting financially from the cheating is the height of hypocrisy.

Selig’s fingerprints are all over the “Steroid Era”. The Mitchell Report detailed a pervasive steroid culture throughout MLB that began shortly after Selig’s tenure began. In fact, if not for the shattering of some of baseball’s most hallowed records and the burning glare of a Congressional spotlight baseball still wouldn’t even test for steroids.

I’m not saying Selig is solely responsible for baseball’s steroid problems, but it did occur on his watch. For someone charged with acting “In the best interests of baseball” this used car salesman has done nothing of the sort. Bud and his ownership buddies watched their profits and franchise values swell along with the biceps of their sluggers. Just as the players used steroids out of greed and the quest for glory, the judgment of MLB’s leadership was clouded by the piles of cash stacking up around them.

Mark McGwire issued his grand admission this week. As a further example of Selig’s incompetence, rather than condemning McGwire for making of mockery of the single season home run record Selig commended Big Mac’s honesty. Bud should resign out of embarrassment and to clear the path for a legitimate cleanup of the sport he professes to love.

Baseball should appoint a real commissioner (ie: not an owner), enact a zero tolerance policy for steroids (Players union be damned) and remove any player who admitted to steroid use or failed a drug test from the Hall of Fame ballot. Sorry Big Mac, Raffy, Barry Bonds and Manny. As an added step, MLB should develop a reliable test for hGH or until a reliable test is developed for hGH it should be removed from the list of banned substances. If you ban it and don’t test for it you are simply repeating the mistakes of the past and morphing the “Steroid Era” into the “hGH Era”.

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eagle

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (1/13/10)

Posted on 13 January 2010 by Jack McManus

9:51-

Ian Eagle is the next guest. Drew congratulates him for having the best comment of the year. Eagle said that Baltimore is not used to playoff baseball, that’s not a low blow, its a fact. Eagle next talks about the Ravens upcoming game with the Colts. He agrees with Drew that regardless of the outcome of the game, the national media will focus on the Colts’ decision to rest their players at the end of the regular season.

eagle

9:27-

Mike Wilkening of Pro Football Weekly is next up. he begins by talking about the interesting matchup between Arizona and New Orleans. He states that the Saints have lost their reputation of invincibility with a bad losing streak to end the season. He also talks about the success the Cardinals have had in the playoffs. Moving on the Ravens, Wilkening explains that the team had an excellent game plan coming into New England. Wilkening also talks about the Bengals’ quick exit from the playoffs. Instead of placing a lot of blame on Carson Palmer, he explains that the offense needs to become more balanced and add a deep threat to compliment Chad Ochocinco (Johnson?). In regards to possible upsets this week, Wilkening states that the Dallas Cowboys have the best chance of going on the road and defeating the Vikings.

9:09-

Rick from Parkville calls in. He first mentions that the Terps have recently picked up a solid linebacker commitment. Next, Rick talks about how the Ravens need to keep Peyton Manning off the field. He also mentions that the offense needs to get into a better passing rhythm.

flacco

7:53-

Pat Kennedy is next up with Drew. He states that there is a difference between a poor record and playing badly. He has seen progress recently and calls the next 5 game stretch very important. Kennedy mentions how he has shifted his lineup so the team has a bigger frontline. He explains that with these improvements hopefully the team can win some more close games.

7:50-

Ed in Park Heights brings up another point in the argument over whether or not the Ravens should have kept Matt Stover. He states that Dannell Ellerbe, who was one of the last players to make the team could have been cut if the team kept two kickers.

7:34-

Brendon Ayandaejo joins Drew early this morning. He starts off by talking about how he will be recovered in plenty of time for the start of next season. Ayanbadejo next discusses how the Ravens will try to contain Peyton Manning this weekend. On the offensive side of the ball it is important to once again run the ball and control the clock. Ayanbadejo also chimes in on the steroid debate that has been renewed by Mark McGwire’s admission of steroid use. He believes that so many players used performance-enhancing drugs it is almost an even playing field.
brendon

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WNST.net Says It All – Not A Single Mark McGwire Blog …..

Posted on 12 January 2010 by Rex Snider

Well, I’ve waited nearly 24 hours for Mark McGwire’s name to appear on this homepage. As I write this blog, we’re 26+ hours and counting – with no devotion to the guy who shattered Roger Maris’ single season homerun record, a mere decade ago.

They’re talking about it on CNN …..

They’re talking about it on Fox News …..

And, of course, they’re talking about it on ESPN …..

But, here, where REAL SPORTS FANS hangout and gather their daily diatribe of coverage between the baselines and sidelines, not a single ‘NST blogger gave Big Mac any print. And, the topic hasn’t dominated our airtime, either.

The relevant question is WHY ??? As sure as we know pro rasslin’ ain’t real ….. and, as sure as we know Paul Tagliabue doesn’t own any Ravens gear – we’ve also known Mark McGwire was a steroid user. We just KNEW it.

And, on the day following his admission, of sorts, there is very little dialogue and banter about it.

I think the reason is pretty clear – Baltimore’s sports fans don’t care. I’ll suspect you deemed Mark McGwire’s achievements as “ill-gotten” a long time ago. Regardless of what he says – or doesn’t say ….. your mind is made up, and rightfully so.

Maybe this story is a big beal in St. Louis or Boston. Heck, it might have some importance in Los Angeles or New York – or Chicago – or Atlanta – or Philadelphia – or Minneapolis. But, it’s obviously just a mitigating piece to the daily sports news, in Baltimore.

Yep, a couple distinctive, indigenous reasons are probably impacting a story like McGwire’s – as it relates to Baltimore.

ONE – this town’s football team is preparing to play it’s most meaningful game of the season – fresh on the heels of last week’s most meaningful game of the season.

TWO – and it honestly hurts me to suggest this – my hometown might be falling out of love with baseball. And, like a wife or husband who’s the victim of so many years of disappoinment and turmoil, we simply harden to the existence of anything related to something we no longer love.

I’ve got an uneasy feeling in my stomach. It’s a feeling of angst and inevitability wrapped into one.

When the Ravens lose their next game – OR win their 5th in a row ….. the clock will start, and nearly SEVEN MONTHS will pass before another meaningful contest is played by a team from Baltimore. If you think this raw, chilling weather sucks, just wait a short while. It’s gonna be a SUCK SUNDAE, with a cherry on top, real soon.

Baltimore’s fans haven’t been excited or attuned to Major League Baseball’s standings, storylines or salacious scandals for a few years. We’re beyond disgruntled. We’ve grown indifferent, and that’s a telling result for the discerning eye.

A team located closer than Ocean City has appeared in two consecutive World Series matchups. How many of us drove up to see them over these couple seasons? Oh, that’s right -we’ll go to THAT SAME CITY to watch a bunch of guys fight in a cage. But, baseball ??? Nah …..

And, don’t tell me baseball fans don’t travel. Do you know what Yankees and Red Sox fans get for Christmas? You guessed it ….. tickets to Camden Yards.

We don’t care about Major League Baseball’s annual awards. Who’s the defending AL MVP?

We don’t care about Major League Baseball’s statistics. Who hit the most homeruns, in 2009?

We don’t care about Major League Baseball’s Free Agents. Who’s coming to Baltimore? Umm …. seriously, WHO IS COMING TO BALTIMORE?

We honestly just don’t care.

It’s really not about Mark McGwire. He’s just a byproduct of the game’s era of dysfunction and deceit. McGwire has nothing to do with this town’s woes.

A fair share of steroid users have played baseball here. But, their presence didn’t cause our indifference. Perhaps, their effort and contributions lent to the problem ….. but, it wasn’t the performance enhancing drug usage, per se’.

We know the reason(s). It’s LOSING and BEING TREATED POORLY. After a decade of both, I just don’t think people have much left in their hearts. We’re stuck squarely in the middle of a LOSING LIFESTYLE, as it regards baseball.

Terrible, isn’t it?

So, when Mark McGwire and his honesty, or lack thereof, don’t really resonate in this town, I’m not surprised. In fact, ‘ole Big Mac can get in line with every other baseball story to hit Baltimore over the last few years.

To be honest, he could feasibly grab a first baseman’s mitt and head to Sarasota, in five weeks. After all, it’s not like the team has a better option on the roster. In fact, this reality is a perfect example of why people just don’t care.

God help us when the Ravens season ends.

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A Tale Of Two Drug Tests …..

Posted on 12 May 2009 by Rex Snider

In the span of 3 days, a couple pro athletes were suspended by their respective leagues, for failed drug tests. Manny Ramirez and Jeremy Mayfield are pro athletes. Manny Ramirez and Jeremy Mayfield are both on the outside looking in ….. and this is where the similarities end.

Lets be honest with each other – every sports fan in America knows Manny Ramirez and his antics. However, Jeremy Mayfield’s name is really only a staple within the ranks of NASCAR fans, as well as the purest of crazies in all sports. One guy is a modern day icon and the other could walk down Pratt Street without turning a single head.

Yet, Ramirez and Mayfield have both ran afoul of their sport’s sanctioning body and its drug testing program. To his credit, Ramirez hasn’t disputed the result – although, I don’t believe the male dysfunction excuses. Manny is just being Manny, as they would say.

Jeremy Mayfield’s situation is a bit less clear. NASCAR suspended him prior to Saturday night’s “Southern 500,” in Darlington, South Carolina. According to NASCAR spokesman, Jim Hunter, Mayfield’s urine specimen from a test administered in Richmond, a week prior, resulted positive for an undisclosed drug compound.

Hunter has confirmed the positive test result was not attributed to alcohol or a PED (performance enhancing drug) substance. And, Dr. David Black, who heads up NASCAR’S drug testing group confirmed the substance is not of the “prescription variety.”

Hmmm ….. we’re able to narrow the list of suspected drugs, huh?

While the specific situations of Manny Ramirez and Jeremy Mayfield serve as an embarrassment for Major league Baseball and NASCAR, respectively, each sport has a differing interest moving forward.

Major League Baseball is trying to rid its culture of guys who cheat the integrity of the sport and it’s legendary records and achievements. Whether an offender throws a ball or hits a ball, they’re robbing the history of the game ….. and negatively impacting the current competition.

NASCAR has a totally different set of problems.

The fear within NASCAR does not regard records, when drug use is considered. Indeed, there are drugs that can enhance one’s ability to concentrate – for short periods of time. And, I suppose steroids or HGH could benefit a driver, given the physical demands of handling a 4,000 pound monster at nearly 200 miles per hour.

Yet, the real concern is waged on drugs that impair the ability to drive a car. These substances – of recreational and prescription means, can most certainly inhibit a driver from making the right decision in a “split second.” Heck, we see the evidence of bad decisions – by SOBER drivers – all the time.

NASCAR has a real problem.

Forget steroids and their impact on the game of baseball. A “high” driver can kill himself and a few others. Now, that’s a crisis …..

I’ve met Jeremy Mayfield numerous times and each encounter has been pleasant. He’s affable, cordial and well mannered. Before Saturday, his two biggest claims to fame included an old Quaker State commercial that still has NASCAR fans jeering “Heyyyyy Jeremy” whenever he walks by.

Oh, and he’s the GUY who gained cult celebrity with the racing community, as he rattled Dale Earnhardt’s cage with a little of his own medicine, in the form of rough driving, on a Monday afternoon, in Pocono – nearly a decade ago. People still remember that race and win.

If there were ever an occasion when I’d like to find out a test result was mistaken, Jeremy Mayfield’s situation would be the one. He’s not greedy, nor selfish. He’s a likeable guy and “down to earth.” But, I’m pretty convinced of drug tests and their credibility.

Still, Jeremy Mayfield’s failed test is much more important than that of Manny Ramirez’s ….. even if the lesser impacting story is getting the most attention.

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Wednesday Morning’s Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 18 February 2009 by Chris Bonetti

The Swinging Bunt

Really Pittsburgh?  If Bud Selig wants to rewrite the Major League Baseball record book by taking out players guilty of using performance enhancing drugs.  Maybe the NFL and Roger Goodell should consider doing the same.  This morning Sports by Brooks has a story asking the question, “Did Steelers Blood Dope Before the Super Bowl?” WR Hines Ward and S Troy Polamalu, public enemy’s #1 and #2 in Baltimore, received a controversial treatment knows as Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy.  We all know the 70’s Stillers were the fathers of the sports ‘Steroid Era.’ Hmmm… sounds sketchy to this CMS Staffer.

Maryland’s Mt. Rushmore of Sports.  SportsCenter is currently holding a competition of which individual United State has the best ‘Mt. Rushmore of Sports.’  They are going to announce a series of finalists and then the fans will have the final say, which gets this “prestigious” honor.  Where will Maryland factor into the discussion?  The Old Line State put up quite the fearsome foursome, Cal, Brooks, Johnny U, and Michael Phelps.  You have to wonder, do you think George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, or Abe Lincoln were ever involved in a ‘Bong-Gate?’

Surprise, Surprise.  This morning it is being widely reported that Tracy McGrady of the Houston Rockets will have season ending micro fracture surgery on his left knee.  Since being an underrated budding star in Toronto with Vince Carter, he was supposed to revolutionize the NBA with Grant Hill in post-Shaq-Orlando, and be involved in the next ‘Big 3′ to make a title run with Yao and Artest in Houston.  It might be really safe to say, McGrady might be the most overrated, way over-hyped “super-star” in the entire post-Jordan era.  Anyone who has played with that amount of talent over a decade should without a doubt be able to get to a conference semi-final, but as you’ll remember, the amount of playoff rounds T-Mac has ever won is 0.  Bob Haynie, esteemed host of the Bob Haynie Show, had Houston-Boston in his NBA Finals… sorry Bob, not this year.

Scanning the Blogosphere

Pro Football Talk has a few words on Terrell Suggs potentially being ‘tagged.’

The Schmuck Stops Here has a thought on “Guthrie and the WBC.”

MLB Trade Rumors comments on Brian Roberts and the O’s possibly narrowing the gap on a long-term deal.

Ravens Insider asks is “Rolle next on the chopping block?”

Fanhouse:  “Broncos cut Dre Bly,” could he be a potential FA signing for the Ravens?

Medium Well wonders if is “Maryland among ESPN’s Mt. Rushmore finalists?” The Old Line State has a pretty nice fearsome foursome with Cal, Brooks, Phelps, and Unitas.  I wonder if anyone on the real Mt. Rushmore

Face off confirms that “Hagelin’s still the one at Loyola,” and ponders who is “UMBC’s next diamond in the rough.”

Recruiting Report looks at the life of ex-Terp basketball recruit Eteyen Edet.

Deadspin has a great human interest story, “Not all high school kids are punks”… Drew addressed the story this morning on the CMS.

CMS Video of the Day

With the NFL Draft approaching quickly potential draftees all over the country are trying to show GM’s all over the league that they should be selected.  San Jose State 6’4 287lb Jarron Gilbert did something amazing while getting out of the pool after a workout… absolutely unreal for someone that size to be able to do that, put him on my team’s D-Line!

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Get over it

Posted on 18 February 2009 by caseywillett

So what did you really want Alex Rodriguez to say?

I have no problem with anything that he said, although it was funny to me that some of the media members thought they were going to get him to say something different.

There were some dumb questions:

Reporter: Alex, do you remember the first time you injected and what it felt like? … Really?

Reporter: What is the name of the cousin who got the stuff for you and brought it from the Dominican? … Sure. Let me just expose a family member who committed a crime.

Reporter: Would you have admitted your steroid use if you had not got caught? … Ok, I understand the question, but again, we all know the answer to it.

Reporter: Do you think stats from those years should be erased from your records? … Come on, honestly. What did you think he was going to say, and here’s some breaking news, he is not the commissioner of baseball.

I now have heard people criticizing him for reading from a prepared statement. So what, did you really think he was not going to go up there prepared with every answer he wanted to give right out of the gate?

Rodriguez did yesterday all that he can do at this point. He admitted he made a mistake, he knows people will question him and his credibility, and he understands all of that. His past is the past, he has not tested positive for anything since 2003, and oh by the way, he has already admitted more than what we initially knew.

Maybe I am just tired of hearing about steroids, HGH and over-the-counter items, but I have no issues with A-Rod. He messed up, he admitted he was wrong, and he wants to become a person that educates people, and in particular kids that what he did was wrong.

Case closed.

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Funny Phelps Facebook Page

Posted on 16 February 2009 by Alex Thomas

One of our WNST.net listeners recently forwarded me a group invite to a new page on Facebook.

It’s called “I be I can find 1,000,000 people who don’t care Michael Phelps smoked weed.”

You can click the link above to check out the page and join if you so please. At this point, the page has about 371,000 members.

Of course, you have to be a Facebook member to view this page. And if you’re not on Facebook at this point, you also might want to trade in your record player for and iPod.

Last week, I blogged about the “dirty little secret” of national-level swimming. A lot of these athletes party…hard.

Most of the best swimmers on the planet are in their late teens to mid 20s, and they act as such on Friday and Saturday nights. Compound that with the most rigorous training regime in athletics, and you get an athlete looking to blow off some serious steam.

But when you’re arguably the most famous athlete on the planet making millions of dollars, you have to show better judgment than what Phelps showed in November.

You can’t get caught in a strip club pounding booze, you can’t get caught with “escorts” entering your hotel room, and you certainly can’t get caught doing drugs.

And in the era of camera phones, if you’re famous and do something wrong in public, it will not go unnoticed.

Yes, Phelps was wrong. Yes, he was stupid and should have shown better judgment.

But, no…I really don’t care. He made a mistake. We all do at some point.

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Larry Bigbie tells his side of the story

Posted on 14 February 2009 by caseywillett

Larry Bigbie tells his side of the story as it relates to all the connections to him in baseball’s steroid saga. Here is the story that was done by the Baltimore Sun.

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A few things

Posted on 12 February 2009 by raybachman

Am I the only one who is sick of all of the steroid talk? I think they are all doing ’roids, growth hormones, etc. To quote John Rallo on today’s MMA segment, “Legalize the (performance-enhancing) drugs, and regulate them.” There, problem solved. There has been cheating since the beginning of time in some way, shape or form. Let them all “juice,” I just don’t care anymore.

I read in the Dallas Morning News that Terrell Owens is talking to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones about signing Ray Lewis. Owens said he is in contact with Lewis, who has expressed interest in playing for the Cowboys. I want Ray to retire a Raven, but I am a fan of the Ravens, and if Ray isn’t here next year, oh well. Sign free agent Julius Peppers and re-sign Terrell Suggs. I don’t think that many people will get mad about that.

Pineapple on a pizza sucks. I like pineapple, and I like pizza, just not pineapple pizza.

Orioles’ spring training opens on Saturday. I am glad it’s baseball season. Warm weather and nights at the ballpark, that’s what I’m talking about. I am anxious to see what some of these young pitchers are going to do. Come see me in June, and I may be saying that I can’t wait for football season. I hope not.

Police are making arrests in the Michael Phelps marijuana case in South Carolina. Are you kidding me? Go after the guys who are standing on every single street corner selling the kids the stuff.

Jim Schwartz, a Baltimore boy, is now the head coach of the Detroit Lions. He checked in with Nestor today on WNST. Check it out in the audio vault. Jim’s a good guy, he’s from Halethorpe, and he loves rock ’n roll. I always enjoy listening to Jim and what he has to say.

It’s 55 degrees outside and it’s the middle of winter in Baltimore. I guess that means there’s a blizzard coming soon.

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