Tag Archive | "Tejada"

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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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Ray – will he stay or will he go?

Posted on 23 January 2009 by raybachman

It’s hard to believe that Ray Lewis may have played his last game as a Raven. I know that the Ravens are gonna do everything they can to keep him but, Ray Lewis has to look out for himself. People throw the word loyalty around. I am a strong believer in loyalty but, this is Ray’s last big contract and loyalty doesn’t pay the bills.

It was good to see the Orioles lock up Markakis for the next 6 years. Now you can finally buy an Orioles jersey and keep it for a few years. I saw a Tejada jersey for 10 bucks. That’s pretty funny. Nothing worse than wearing a jersey of player that’s not on the team anymore.

Mark McGwire is in the news again. This time his brother is saying that Mark used HGH and steroids. No shocker there but, it’s good to see McGwire’s image continue to take a hit. Ever since he told me to go the F—  home and go to bed when I was 13 and asked him for his autograph.

Jets owner Woody Johnson said he wants Brett Favre back. Have fun Rex!

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 22 January 2009 by Glenn Clark

I didn’t take MUCH from attending the season-ending press conference held by Steve Bisciotti and John Harbaugh yesterday; but a couple things jumped out at me……..

1-Steve Bisciotti WON’T tell Ozzie Newsome to “break the bank” in order to re-sign Ray Lewis….

This team can’t afford to mortgage anything just to bring Ray bank. I want Ray back as much as anyone; but if he decides he’s in it for the money; then the Ravens need to try to spend some money on Bart Scott and make sure they don’t lose both of their inside linebackers.

2-Bisciotti is hoping for a “hometown discount” from Ray

If Ray is as committed to helping the Ravens win this season as we hope he is; then this is a reasonable expectation. Ray wants to make money; but if the difference in bringing back a Terrell Suggs is $2 million per season; it is not terrible to hope Lewis will make the sacrifice to help the team. That being said; he doesn’t HAVE to do it. Ray has every right to say “I need to receive every penny I can.” But Bisciotti, and Ravens fans everywhere; can always hope.

3-The Ravens aren’t likely to use the Franchise Tag on Ray

I don’t know how I feel about this. I understand the concept that this might be ‘disrespectful’ to Ray; but knowing how important he is to the team; I don’t think I’m necessarily as against this as some people are.

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

Best of Wednesday’s WNST Blogs:

Drew Forrester offers high praise to Ngata, Lewis, Suggs, Reed, Koch

Casey Willett says Pagano, Fangio most likely candidates to replace Rex

Drew Forrester says Ravens don’t want to have ‘annual negotiations’ with Lewis

Casey Willett says Hue Jackson, Clarence Brooks not going anywhere……at least yet

Alex Thomas says Flacco’s long run, win over Skins amongst highlights for ’08 Ravens

Nestor Aparicio says Harbaugh thought Rolle could have returned for Super Bowl

Chris Bonetti says Greyhounds have tough MAAC stretch ahead

Rex Snider says Philly fans don’t particularly hate Ravens

Ed Frankovic says Caps send Alzner back down to Hershey


The Official Site says Bisciotti ‘doesn’t see’ Ravens using franchise tag on 52

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Bisciotti ‘hopeful’ Ravens can re-sign 52

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Bisciotti ‘hopes’ Lewis will give Ravens ‘hometown discount’

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Bisciotti feels better now with ‘long-term coach’ and ‘long-term quarterback’

The Sun’s Rick Maese says Ravens ‘striving for consistency’

Newsday’s Erik Boland says ‘intensity’ got Ryan Jets’ job

The Sun says Browns could be approaching deal with Kokinis

The Examiner’s Ron Snyder says Bisciotti thinks Ravens value 52 more than other teams would

The Examiner’s Ron Snyder says Ravens definitely keeping defensive coordinator position ‘in house’

The Examiner’s Steve DeClue says Ravens have no ‘heir apparent’ to Ryan

Aaron Wilson says Bisciotti’s friendship won’t interfere with Newsome’s work in attempting to sign Lewis

Aaron Wilson says Ravens feel Harbaugh has ‘identity’

Aaron Wilson says Pettine left for New York with Ryan

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Bisciotti won’t tell Newsome to sign Lewis under ‘any circumstances’

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Lewis will command ‘high price tag’

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Ravens, Lewis expected to hit negotiating table ‘pretty quickly’


The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Birds finalize 6 year extension with Markakis

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds to announce Markakis extension at news conference today

The Sun’s Ray Frager announces Birds’ Spring Training radio schedule

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. would like to see Justin Turner start at 2nd for Norfolk

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says only Belle, Tejada have had higher annual salaries than Markakis will in O’s history

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Spring Training issues stem from Angelos’ fears

The Examiner’s Jay Trucker doesn’t expect anything particularly worthwhile to come from Markakis presser

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says deal would keep Markakis in Baltimore through 2014

The AP says Markakis’ deal includes $2.1 million signing bonus


The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Duke should have rebounding edge over Terps

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Terps could use Buck Williams

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says win over Virginia 400th ACC win ever for Maryland

The Examiner’s Sean Welsh says Terps winning thanks to free throw shooting

The Examiner’s Sean Welsh says Neal expected to become a Terp

The Examiner’s Dylan Waugh says Terps managed to beat Virginia without huge game from Vasquez

Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg says Dupree acting as ‘hype man’ for Bowie

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Gary doesn’t want rebounding pressure on Milbourne

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says even Gary ‘inspired’ by Neal

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Terps used defensive switch to shut down Landesberg

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says ‘less is more’ approach might help Terps with outside shooting

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps have twice beaten last undefeated team in last 15 years

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Burney still ‘sore’

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says former Terps Gist, Osby ‘thriving’ in Europe

CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm thinks Terps ‘on the fence’ to make Tournament

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter profiles prospects playing for former Terp Gatlin (must subscribe)


The Sun’s Matt Bracken says DeOnte Arnett came to Maryland for ‘engineering’ program

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Turner will have chance to move into 2nd place on Maryland’s all-time passing list

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Fokou in Mobile for Senior Bowl this weekend


The Official Site says Tigers drop 5th straight CAA contest at James Madison

The Sun says Nwankwo, Rocky Coleman each score 13 in loss


The Official Site says Chris Harris, Mark Veazey score 20 each as Mids beat Holy Cross

The Sun’s Todd Karpovich says Mids improve to 3-1 in Patriot League with win

The Examiner’s Dave Carey says Mids now only trail American in Patriot League

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Avworo tallied 7 assists in win over Crusaders

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Mids best with  A. Teague on floor last night


Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns says Mids burning to avenge last year’s loss to Army


The Official Site says Neal Pitt scores 24 as Hawks win at North Carolina Central


Boston University Official Site previews Terriers/Retrievers tonight


The Sun’s Edward Lee says Bobby Atwell will miss season with ACL injury


The Official Site previews tonight’s MASN contest with St. Peter’s


The Official Site previews tonight’s visit from Central Connecticut State


The Official Site says Kevin Thompson honored by MEAC

The Official Site previews Saturday’s contest with Howard


The Official Site profiles WR Scorpio Brown


-Congratulations to SunTrust Athlete(S) of the Morning Will and Antonio Barton; who combined to score 40 points last night as Lake Clifton followed up their win over St. Frances with a 68-29 DRUBBING of Dunbar.

Boston U 67, UMBC 61-This Retrievers team is still banged up.
Loyola 70, St. Peter’s 67-Hopefully the lumps they took earlier in the year are now paying off for the Greyhounds.

Recapping “Who Knows Drew” from this morning….
-Drew would rather pay $18 to see Stephon Curry and Davidson than $33 to see Tyler Hansbrough and North Carolina.
-If he had to take President Obama to a Baltimore sporting event this Spring; Drew would rather have him sit in the bleachers on Opening Day at Camden Yards than the Preakness infield or the Maryland/Hopkins lacrosse game at M&T Bank Stadium.
-If Bruce Springsteen were to get sick and not be able to play the Super Bowl halftime show; Drew would pick the Beastie Boys over Pearl Jam and R.E.M. to replace him.
-Drew WOULD bet $250 that Tiger Woods wins two majors this year……if he got the right odds.
-If Drew could pick any goalie and any shooter for one penalty shot; he’d go with Guy LaFleur and Dominik Hasek.

Talk to you tomorrow.


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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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Why should Teixeira sign a “hometown discount” deal here?

Posted on 12 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

With all due respect to my colleague Drew Forrester, I have a different “conspiracy” theory on the Mark Teixeira chronicles that unfolded in Las Vegas last week and look like they’ll drag on for a few more days. Here’s the most simple, unasked question of the day: “If you were Mark Teixeira, would you sign up to be a Baltimore Oriole circa 2009?”

I mean, honestly, what’s the upside for him? He’s going to get plenty of money wherever he signs and the No. 1 & No. 2 issues for him – besides the money – are “Can I win there?” and most importantly, “What are the odds I’ll be happy there?”

With everyone and their mother now working for Peter G. Angelos Enterprises or sucking milk from the nipple of the baseball franchise, you aren’t going to EVER hear any REAL analysis in the “old media” about what’s happening in the Warehouse on this one. All you’ll hear from everyone from Steve Melewski to Mark Viviano to Bruce Cunningham to Scott Garceau to Roch Kubatko (and I apologize to the other dozen on the payroll who I’ve left off the list) is this: “The Orioles offered him a LOT of money. He just took the most money and signed with (Bostom Anaheim, Washington, etc.)!”

And Drew – or any of the others — can paint him as a “phony” or a “bad guy” if he wants to and so can you. (For the record I’ve never met or spoken with Teixeira and I’ve honestly never heard anything particularly glowing about his personality or local charm. I don’t think his personality will be selling them tickets. Let’s not expect him to be Cal Ripken is all I’m saying…)

But if Mark Teixeira were my son, I don’t know what I could possibly say positively as a parent (or even an agent) about why he should take a “hometown discount” to come play for the lowly Orioles who have wrecked the franchise over the past dozen years and would fully expect him to be the savior to fix it.

Yeah, maybe Teixeira USED to dream about playing in Camden Yards. Didn’t we all? But that was when it was full and fun and the team woke up on Opening Day with a legitimate chance to win. If you were Mark Teixeira, you’d probably be much more intrigued by an opportunity to spend the next decade in Boston where the stadium is full, the energy is like “real” Major League Baseball and where everyday you’d perform with something on the line. Why does Teixeria want to be standing at first base with an orange cap next spring when he’ll be getting jeered at his own hometown stadium by Red Sox and Yankees fans 20 times?

All of the stuff that made the Orioles enviable 15 years ago when Texeira was a kid no longer exist because of the reign of terror of this ownership group.

That’s why Mike Mussina left. And that’s why no top-tier free agent outside of Miguel Tejada and Ramon Hernandez has even thought about coming here to play. And honestly, what besides Andy McPhail being charming and convincing to all of his co-workers in the media has changed here since 1999?

The team still sucks. The team has plenty of money that it’s refusing to truly spend to bring a winner here. The team still must compete with New York and Boston (and Tampa Bay now) annually. The stadium here is more empty than it’s ever been. And if you think the team’s human resources department has championed “togetherness” and fairness amongst its employees/players, just go ask Brian Roberts or Nick Markakis how it’s been to be an Oriole lately in negotiations. Angelos fights with his best players. It’s not a pattern, it’s a way of life.

So – in your wildest orange fantasyland — if Teixeira DID turn down the extra $30 or $40 million Boston is offering and come “home” to Birdland, what expectations would be placed on him to make this moribund franchise a contender again? He’d instantly become the face of a franchise known for perennial losing. He’d be dubbed “the savior” by the Orioles’ own employees in the media. For $150 million, he’d BETTER be, right?

Sure, as an Oriole he’d be a hometown hero to all of the Baltimore types like you and me for a little while, but then the season would start and as far as I can tell Teixeira is only going to bat four or five times a night and I’m assuming he’d be a lousy pitcher. This franchise isn’t close to being an annual contender for Tampa Bay at this point, let alone Boston and New York.

Really…think about it…what’s the upside for Teixeira to come back and be a part of this mess when he can go win in Boston or Anaheim and make MORE money?

If he were YOUR son, what would you tell him to do? (And Dave Johnson, who also works for Mr. Angelos, is off the hook to answer this one! Maybe one day he’ll have to make that decision himself.)

If you want a “Nestor conspiracy,” try this one:

My bet is that the Orioles are NOT serious – as usual – and just threw a number big enough number out to the media and the “sources” to look like they did their best so they can come back to what’s left of the fan base here in Baltimore and say “we gave it the college effort…we offered him $140 million!” It smells like their twisted attempt to win some “credibility” PR by “bidding” on Teixeira. (Two weeks ago, McPhail was telling everyone they really weren’t all that interested in Teixeira. They went from uninterested to “let’s give him $150 million”? I’m just saying…)

The late, great Syd Thrift has long left the Orioles and has left our planet. His words were still the most prophetic in all of the “new era” of Baltimore baseball history: “Confederate money.”

Do you think there’s any way Scott Boras is going to direct Teixeira to Baltimore for a discount?

Get serious…

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 17 July 2008 by Glenn Clark

Oh, boxing.

I used to take a number of angry phone calls in this town about the negative approach I took towards the embarrassment that is the state of the sport of boxing.

I tried to explain to everyone at the time that I LOVE boxing; and I’m just frustrated with how terrible the sport has become over the last few years, especially at the Heavyweight level.

However, even though I know how awful Boxing’s Heavyweight division is; I spent WEEKS promoting a TERRIBLE Shannon Briggs-Sergei Liakhovic fight at Phoenix’s Chase Field just 18 months ago.

Even though I know how awful Boxing’s Heavyweight division is; I actually replayed an interview at 5:45 so I could end my show early last year to watch Hasim Rahman fight Taurus Sykes on VERSUS at 6pm Pacific.

Even though I know how awful Boxing’s Heavyweight division is; I can still tell you that Ruslan Chagaev, Wladimir Klitschko, and Samuel Peter hold the four major belts. (I still wouldn’t know who holds which belt without looking it up.)

And even though I know how awful Boxing’s Heavyweight division is; I still stayed up past midnight last night to watch Hasim Rahman fight James Toney; even though I knew I had to wake up for work at 4:30am.

But as FSN announcer Barry Tompkins said last night, “These sorts of things don’t happen in bowling.”

Boxing again embarrassed itself last night, on a night when things should have been good.

Hasim Rahman and James Toney wouldn’t have gotten many PPV buys; but putting them on free TV last night was a GREAT idea for Boxing. It’s not exactly like putting Anderson Silva on free TV Saturday night; but they ARE recognizable names, former champions, and they have a history with each other. Plus, FSN sent out Chris Rose, John Salley, Chris Byrd, and even Jay Glazer to add glitz to the event, which frankly helps.

But once again, boxing managed to piss all over itself.

Hasim Rahman may not have quit last night’s fight; but he made it very clear that he didn’t want any part of it. He said afterwards that he wasn’t happy with the fact he had to fight in California at an event sponsored by Toney’s promoter. That doesn’t mean that he told the referee or doctor that he wanted to quit the fight; but it doesn’t reflect well on him.

From listening to the exchange between Rock and the fight doctor after Round Three, it never sounded like Rock quit the fight. It sounded like he told the fight doctor that he couldn’t see. If boxing rules say that a fight stopped due to an incidental headbutt should go to the scorecards if ended before four rounds; then I would have awarded Rahman the fight 29-28. If boxing rules say that if a fighter cannot continue due to an injury a fight should be declared a TKO; then James Toney was the rightful winner.

Who knows what really happened last night?

The only thing we DO know is that anyone who tuned into last night’s fight as a casual fan of “The Sweet Science” was probably turned off by what they saw; and some may never tune into boxing again.

But I know I will. Despite how much I hate this sport right now; I just can’t help but keep watching.

Rahman and Toney both said that the loser should retire; but certainly after last night; that won’t happen. Perhaps there will be a Rahman-Toney III; and perhaps Rahman’s appeal will even get him a no contest of last night’s fight.

But last night’s events were just plain AWFUL for an entire sport; and another black eye for a sport that has been beaten soundly over the last few years.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say…

Best of Wednesday’s WNST Blogs:

Nestor Aparicio says Sherrill ‘sensational’ in All-Star Game

Thyrl Nelson says Tejada example of “Derby curse”

Bryan Powell says MLL returning to Maryland


The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Birds aiming for winning record in 2nd half

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin predicts Birds fall short of winning record

The Official Site’s Jeff Seidel says Millar participates in White House event

MLB.com’s Mark Newman says prospect Arrieta named to U.S. Olympic team

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says MacPhail faces tough decisions

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says MacPhail keeping focus on rebuilding

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Sherrill told media he didn’t want to pitch multiple innings in All-Star Game

The Sun’s David Steele hopes long game didn’t hurt Sherrill’s arm

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. expects big series from Huff

The Sun’s Sandra McKee says Orioles trying Sunday promotion again

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec breaks down where Birds could be traded

The Sun’s Roch Kubatko says Arrieta’s Olympic nod comes after futures game appearance

The Sun’s Roch Kubatko says Trembley can’t be happy with Sherrill’s lengthy All-Star appearance

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says 11 game homestand will dictate 2nd half for Birds

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Arrieta considers Olympic nod ‘icing on cake’ of young career

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says former Oriole Johnson liked Arrieta in Futures Game, picked him for Olympic team

Washington Post’s Marc Carig says start of 2nd half could determine team’s future

Washington Post says Birds need SS, pitching depth, another bat

The AP says MacPhail ‘satisfied’ with Birds’ progress

Fox Sports’ Aram Tolegian has Orioles 18th in Power Rankings

Sporting News’ Gerry Fraley thinks Sherrill ‘key performer’ for Birds in 2nd half

CBS Sports’ Scott Miller gives Birds “B” for first half, up from “F” last year

The AP says Orioles-Yankees regular season finale at Yankee Stadium moved to primetime


The Official Site’s Mike Duffy previews OLB’s

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens, Flacco agree to 5 year deal

The Sun’s Kyle Goon profiles Ravens fan/Yardbarker editor Hammond

The Examiner’s Phil Macek thinks Ravens should have extended Suggs

Aaron Wilson says Flacco’s deal includes $8.75 million guaranteed

The AP says Flacco deal has maximum $30 million value

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio says Flacco’s deal includes similar escalators to Quinn


The Official Site says Thomas thinks depth will help O-Line

The Sun’s Matt Bracken says LB signee Edet going to Milford Academy for prep school

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps have PLENTY of depth at WR

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem checks in with prospect Austin (must subscribe)


The Diamondback’s Aaron Kraut says Gary intends to use four guard lineups this season

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter checks in with 2010 prospect Starks (must subscribe)


The Diamondback’s Jakob Engelke says future Terps shine in All-American game


Dallas Morning News’ Brandon George says Dallas will bid for Army-Navy game

Go Mids previews quarterbacks (must subscribe)


The Examiner’s Dave Carey says Brooks was keeper before moving to forward


Fightnews’ Francisco Salazar says Toney gets controversial TKO victory over Rahman due to headbutt

Fightnews’ Francisco Salazar says Toney thinks Rahman wanted out of fight

Max Boxing’s Doug Fischer says Rahman ruled to have quit after third round

Sweet Science’s David A. Avila says deep cut made Rahman unable to see after third round


-Here’s the skinny on Palmer vs. Murray today. Eddie Murray played 13 seasons in Baltimore (really 12 and a half); making 7 All-Star teams, winning 3 Gold Gloves, 2 Silver Sluggers, the 1977 Rookie of the Year, a World Series title in 1983, and finishing in the Top 10 of MVP voting 7 times. His number 33 is retired by the Orioles, and he was elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2003. Jim Palmer played 20 seasons in Baltimore; making 6 All-Star teams, winning 3 Cy Young awards, 4 gold gloves, and 3 World Series titles. His number 22 is retired by the Orioles, and he was elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1990. My vote will go to Jim Palmer, if only because (as a number of our hosts have eluded) the Orioles have never won a World Series without him.

-After the Ravens host the Browns in a late afternoon game Sunday, September 21st; will it even be worth racing to an establishment in Federal Hill to watch a watered down Orioles team face a Yankees team that is about to clinch a Wild Card berth and make the regular season finale at Yankee Stadium irrelevant? I think not.

– Kudos to Joe Flacco, Joe Linta, and the Baltimore Ravens for working quickly to get a deal done. Flacco doesn’t appear to be getting any sort of ridiculous deal; but instead a fair deal with escalator clauses that could allow the big man to make money if he proves his worth. I think this is good all around.

-Congratulations to Jake Arrieta, who gets the incredible honor of pitching for the United States at the Olympic Games in Beijing. It’s almost hard to even remember that such luminaries as Rick Krivda, Mike Kincade, and Kurt Ainsworth picked up gold medals back in 2000 in Sydney. There could be some concern about Arrieta overextending himself-especially considering the exhibition schedule BEFORE the Games; but he deserves the opportunity.

-I hate saying this because it is just more competition for Baltimore; but Dallas deserves the opportunity to host an Army/Navy game. There is clearly passion for both institutions down there; and the new stadium would serve as a great host for the Game.

-Make sure you come out today to support Drew, Captain Kirk, Coach Seaman, Coach Stern and the Casey Cares Foundation. You can still make donations by emailing Drew at drew@wnst.net

Talk to you tomorrow.


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Instant Relay?

Posted on 16 July 2008 by roblong

First, the words, “That baseball game was too long,” will never be said by me. There’s no such thing.

With that in mind, last nights All-Star game should have ended, twice, in the 11th inning.

Now, I know the baseball purist are going to come out and debate what I have to say, but it’s your right. That’s why we have a “comment” option for our blogs.

Last night was proof of why baseball should have instant replay for calls at a base/plate.

Ian Kinsler singles to lead off the 11th. He goes to second on a pitch-out. Russell Martin throws to second. Miguel Tejada catches the ball and makes a “sweeping” motion through the bag. While watching it on television, it looked as if Tejada missed the tag. As Fox showed the replay, it was obvious Tejada missed the tag. This was a perfect time for instant replay.

Later in that inning, Michael Young delivers a ground ball hit to center. Dioner Navarro, who was on second, attempts to score to end the game. The throw from Nate McLouth is on the mark. Martin fields the short hop and applies the tag. It, once again appeared the umpire got the call wrong. It looked as if Navarro reached the plate before the tag was applied.

Today, there’s going to be lots of debate about last night’s game. The debates will probably center around issues like, the game was too long, the game shouldn’t count, the rosters should be extended for situations like this, etc. Those are all valid arguments.

However, technology has allowed us the opportunity to “get it right.” I guess if I’m not a purist, that makes me radical, but why would you want to get it wrong for the sake of “preserving the game’s integrity?” Seems like, to me, bad calls that help decide games kill the game’s integrity. Especially when you have the ability to “get it right.”

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A-Rod, Clemens and Steroids

Posted on 11 January 2008 by raybachman

I was reading an issue of USA Today’s Sports Weekly and came across an article about the Mitchell Report. There was a list of 22 players that responded to the report. Out of the 22 that responded, 11 of the players said that the report was true and that they made a mistake. 6 of the players said that the report was a lie. 4 of the players had no comment and 1 player said that the he bought something from Radomski but never used steroids. Roger Clemens was 1 of the players that strongly denied the report.
Where am I going with this? If 11 guys said that the report was right on, then I’m willing to bet you that the report was right on. To the players that didn’t comment. If you were innocent why wouldn’t you comment? You get the point.
A few years back Jose Canseco said that 80 percent of baseball was on steroids/HGH. Everyone laughed at him. He named people like Palmerio, Tejada, Giambi etc. For the record, I don’t remember anyone suing Canseco for calling them out.  Looking back at Canseco’s comments now, I think it’s safe to say that he was telling the truth. Now Canseco is saying that he was surprised that Alex Rodriguez’s name wasn’t mentioned in the Mitchell Report.
Is MLB protecting their Golden Boy? Not A-Rod!!! Not the guy that is going to break every baseball record, I believed Canseco before and I believe him again. Wait and see if something doesn’t come out about A-Rod down the road.

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Posted on 12 December 2007 by Allen McCallum


Miguel Tejada is gone. It was a move that we all knew was coming, but I think that we were all hoping to get a little more out of it. Yes, the Orioles got 5 players in return for the former MVP, but is there real talent among them? Of the five, there is no question that outfielder Luke Scott is the biggest name. Yes, he has power. Yes, when he came up in ’06 he lit the world on fire for a couple of months. There are three issues with him. The first one is glaring. He is almost 30 years old. Not exactly the talented youth that we were hoping for in return. The second is his questionalble ability to hit left handers. That could make him a platoon player. He is a mediocre outfielder. He is ticketed to play left field at Camden Yards which requires more than a mediocre ability.

The rest are names we have never heard. Three young pitchers with varying degrees of potential. Finally, a left handed 3rd baseman with pop, but big holes in his swing if you follow his statistics. It seems to me that if you could have gotten one can’t miss prospect for Tejada, that might have read better. Instead, McPhail has netted five players in the hopes that two or maybe three prove to be competent major leaguers.

Here is my big question…..why now? McPhail, known as a patient and methodical mover chose today….the day before the Mitchell report is released to move Tejada. A player who has clearly lost much of his value on the trade market is now gone for a collection of “could be” players. If this were a land deal, wouldn’t that make you wonder about the ground you were purchasing?

Let me be clear about this, I have no knowledge that Tejada is in the Mitchell report, or has done anything wrong. All I know is that since Palmeiro and the B-12 insinuation, there has been a lot of smoke surrounding Tejada. A player who started in the bay area. A little guy with previously amazing if not surprising pop. A player whose numbers have diminished steadily since the new testing policies were put in place by baseball. Now he is traded the day before a report that could become the equivalent of the scarlet letter in baseball circles is released for five “could be” players?

McPhail needed to make a move. He had to find a way to fill several spots with only a few blue chip pieces to move. Wait to long, and you run the risk of injury or continued diminishing abilities further weakening his position. Move to soon and you have what happened here. You get what you can get, and swallow hard and walk away from the table with what you can.

This puts even more pressure on McPhail to get class A talent from any deals involving Bedard and Roberts. The Orioles cannot waste their bullets. They don’t have many to fire. I hope that I no Oriole is listed in tomorrow’s report, and that all of these players turn out to be stars. Maybe I am too jaded, but given the team’s recent history, neither of these hopes seems likely.