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Here’s what your local “sports media personality” needs to know in 2012

Posted on 15 June 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

It was so much easier when I was growing up, this sports media thing. First, you learned how to write and then you went to some journalism or “communications” college or university, you did an internship and then sent resumes out and you got your dream job and lived happily ever after.

And maybe you got a gold watch if you hung around at the newspaper or TV station for 25 years or more?

Here at WNST.net this summer, we’re extending an open offer to any Baltimore sports fan who wants to be the next Baltimore Sports Media Superstar via our competition. All of the info is here…

The harsh reality of media and new media in 2012 is that it’s an all-encompassing commitment of time, experience and continuing education that makes a local personality or entity relevant as breaking news, information, analysis and the games themselves fly by in real time with your mobile device with you at all times.

And that’s just the content side.

Here’s a speech I gave to a Loyola Sports Marketing class in May 2012. This is Part 1 in a series about my current thoughts on the state of Baltimore sports media and the industry as a whole:

If you can’t sell your own personal brand – by bringing in audience, engaging them, adding value to their life experience and adding expertise or analysis that people care about – you will NOT be successful in the new media world.

If no cares to be your audience – or in this era that would be “opt in” or “follow” or “subscribe” — then no one will be available to stimulate the commerce necessary that ultimately will pay your salary via local sponsorship dollars..

In the old days it was easy – there were three TV channels, a few radio stations and a newspaper or two. Whoever the local program director or editor hired was all that the public got and all that you’d ever get from the “inside” of a sports team. The competition for those scarce jobs and the outstanding pay via expensive local television news ads fueled by automotive dealers and local advertisers was all coveted. And the public in Baltimore essentially had three choices for the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news – WBAL, WMAR and WJZ. There were two newspapers – The Sun and The News American. And sports radio didn’t exist except for Charley Eckman screaming bloody murder about some local issue on the Johnny Walker show on WFBR.

That was the entire world of Baltimore sports media in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

And the only ones who really did it the “new world” way were Coach Eckman and Tom Davis, who bought and sold their own “in-show” advertising and made far more money than most radio “talking heads” did and certainly more than the folks at The Sun or The News American.

All of the TV and newspaper people were part of a larger ensemble and staff. The radio sports talk guys needed to fight for audience and those radio stations needed hosts who garnered real traffic and real new business for local sponsors and advertisers.

This is the world I lived in on local AM radio from 1992 until 2006, when tens of thousands of you crashed my webpage and my email with traffic from all over the world after the initial “Free The Birds” walkout and showed me a new world of WNST.net on the internet.

In the new media world, if you can’t sell your own brand as a sports media expert then how can a local sponsor or business owner trust that you can help them sell pizza or cars or beer?

The reality is that I’m in college every day at WNST.net. The college of life, emerging media and business in 2012 and how it relates to the changing ways of sports fans’ consumption of information via mobile devices in real time.

It’s taken two decades but I’ve finally figured out why I went to college back in the 1980’s. All of those beers at Jay’s off campus at the University of Baltimore and all of those evening classes about Marshall McLuhan — it’s all finally paid off. All those classes with Julie Simon and discovering the roots of communication and theory of how the “medium is the message” and emerging “global village” has changed the world in the last decade since the internet has extended our FCC towers at what was formerly a “little AM radio station” at WNST-AM 1570 and brought video and words and statistics and instant feedback into the realm of the palm of our hands via mobile via WNST.net.

I’ve finally figured out the value of my University of Baltimore education and Corporation Communications degree – it just took me 20 years!

While I’m not going to be donating to UB anytime soon – or anytime that the name of Peter G. Angelos

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Part 2 of 5: How does WNST measure up to other Baltimore media?

Posted on 28 January 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

This blog was originally published two years ago. We’ll be revisiting this with a three-part series and updating these thoughts with a new WNST “State of Baltimore Sports Media” survey next week while we broadcast live from Indianapolis all week. This is Part 2 of 5: The State of Baltimore Sports Media (circa 2010).

A friend of mine in San Franciscio has an awesome bar called Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant on Geary Street in the Richmond District. It’s one of my favorite places on earth. Full of chips, salsa, guacamole and stiff margaritas, the night before the AFC Championship Game in 2001 we hung out there with more Ravens fans than the place can hold. I was there three weeks ago and have shot several video segments for wnsTV from Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant over the years.

Over the Bay Area’s largest tequila bar, my pal Julio Bermejo (the U.S. Ambassador & world expert on 100% agave tequila) has a bunch of fun signs with slogans and axioms.

Here’s my favorite:

“Tommy’s encourages you to visit our competitors!”

I just love that. Because it’s exactly how we feel at WNST.net. Go ahead and scan the dial, surf the web, Facebook and Twitter away with our competitors – you’ll come back to us.

It’s our solemn goal and daily mission to make it mandatory that you come back to WNST.net every day for your Baltimore sports news, information and conversation because we think our content and observations are the best in the market.

The sign at Tommy’s is a symbol of excellence and the ultimate statement of self-confidence in one’s own product/expertise/value. It ain’t bragging if you can back it up, right?

It says we’re so good, you’ll remember us — and you’ll be back because we have the best information, the most accurate information and the most informed opinion, analysis and insights in the marketplace.

Oh, and unlike the others who are being paid “hush money” to cough and look the other way by the teams that they’re ostensibly asked to assess, evaluate and analyze with “integrity,” you always know you’re always going to get the truth from us.

For the first time in the history of WNST as a company dating back to 1998, we’re finally getting a fair shake on the measurement of our product on the web to know just how many people really are “coming back” each day.

I’ve been doing sports radio for 18 years. I have never read an Arbitron report that says we have more than 500 listeners. Most times, it lists us as the 52nd radio station in the market and sometimes we’ve fallen to ZERO listeners in their antiquated and useless monthly surveys. One local advertising agent has spent the past two decades calling us a “little station with a ‘cult’ following.” (After 18 years, nothing could be more insulting or further from the truth.)

And if you check the latest Arbitron numbers – we lovingly call them the “arbitraries” – you’ll see that once again NONE of you seem to listen to WNST.

Yep, we’re back at “zero point zero” – kind of like Bluto in “Animal House.”

But to the amazement of everyone in the Baltimore media world, suddenly, we’re so far ahead of the pack in every WEB measurement that it defies all of the “millions of dollars of research” that Arbitron has invested in proving that places like WNST-AM 1570 and brands like WNST.net aren’t effective.

But somehow, we have well over 40,000 people in our sphere here in Baltimore (at least that’s how many we’ve been able to account for so far) and displaced local sports fans across the country who’ve been kind and trusting enough to give us their email, mobile number, Facebook or Twitter access. We’ve got over 10,000 on our registration to the website and more 12,000 in our Facebook sphere alone! And there are certainly thousands of other folks who just “lurk” in our sphere, reading but never commenting, registering or playing any of our games for cash and prizes. Just like the thousands of you who have been listening to WNST-AM 1570 for years and have never received a dairy to fill out.

Every day thousands of you are coming regularly to WNST.net – via our website, Twitter, Facebook or a myriad of other connections — for any of the variety of media and information we offer.

Against the marketplace over the past dozen years, WNST has been cheated out of millions of dollars of market revenue but the game is “fixed” — at least as far as radio is concerned. Arbitron’s reporting is so fundamentally flawed and skewed that it’d be laughable if it didn’t cause me to fire people and lose money on a measurement system that is so antiquated I find it hard to believe that anyone could take it seriously.

For the first 17 years of my radio existence and as recently as last spring, Arbitron was sending out a paper diary in an envelope with a stamp via snail mail and the USPS to various (and random) home mailboxes with a $1 bill (and later $2) inside asking you

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State of Baltimore Sports Media: Where do you get your info & whom do you trust?

Posted on 27 January 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

This blog was originally published two years ago. We’ll be revisiting this with a three-part series and updating these thoughts with a new WNST “State of Baltimore Sports Media” survey next week while we broadcast live from Indianapolis all week. This is Part 1 of 5: The State of Baltimore Sports Media (circa 2010).

The world has changed a lot since I was born in 1968 and when I first starting reading The Sun in 1972. I was one of those kids who read early and have vivid memories of reading the sports section scores to the class in kindergarten in 1973. I learned to read by reading the newspaper every day. News, information and current events were a huge part of my household in Colgate. And sports was part gospel.

 

Expose

Every day at my house in Dundalk, The Sun came in the morning and The News American came at night. (Even though both of my parents insisted on calling it “The News Post” – its earlier name from the 1950s.) I read the sports section, the news section, TV listings, played Wishing Well and read the goofy horoscope. I was — and still am at heart — a newspaper freak. I clipped mastheads when my family traveled in 1978 to Myrtle Beach, S.C. from every newspaper at every rest stop. They were easy-to-get 10-cent souvenirs at every Stuckey’s along the way!

My Pop subscribed to the Baseball Digest (we’d always get the almanac and stats books at the end of every year, which were like bibles in my house) and The Sporting News.

As a kid in the 1970’s, we were under almost communistic rule in regard to the flow of real information to the public in regard to sports or the business of sports. If the baseball owners – who were the kings of American sports, in that they owned the most valuable & well-marketed sports properties – didn’t want players to have free agency for 50 years, do you think they were interested in sports writers having free speech? (Just think about it…lol)

My flow of information was relegated to a few annual digests, The Sporting News and bubble gum cards. (One day I’ll write a book solely devoted to baseball cards, which have been a lifelong passion for me.)

Back to the basics: when you’re a kid from Dundalk in the 1970s you think “I read it in the newspaper – it MUST be true!” Or at least that’s what I thought before I had given any thought to the business aspects of the sports media world.

I’ve later come to realize that until Howard Cosell came along during my childhood and began to expose all of the nonsense in the sports world and the backrubs that the alleged “media” were giving the “jockocracy,” it was a world of marketing, hero-worship and ticket selling with very little regard for the facts about athletes or how the world works. It was pretty much like the World Wide Wrestling Federation – a land of make believe. You make up a story in the public relations department, get the writers to write about it, make your broadcasters talk about it during the games – and voila, Fruit Loops becomes part of the Mickey Tettleton legend!

I’m now 41 and I’ve spent every moment since I was 15 years old learning about, living in and adjusting to the world of Baltimore sports media. And with all of the knowledge and school-of-hard-knocks life lessons I’ve been taught, I’ve never read anyone who was more on-point, accurate and candid than Cosell.

To me, he’s the greatest sports journalist there ever was – and his credo of “telling it like it is” always resonates with me and while in some colleague circles it hasn’t made me popular, it has brought me the eternal gift of respect from those who know that I don’t need to sugarcoat the reality of a circumstance.

In Dundalk parlance, they know I’m not “bulls%^&*g” them…

If I’ve said it or written it over the years, it’s the truth. Like it or not, you’re getting what I really think and the background of facts and observations that justify my stance.

But, then again, I’m the only media member in the marketplace who doesn’t have a boss. I don’t answer to anybody and I don’t work for anybody else. No one can “fire” me. So, in many ways, I’m the only one who CAN tell you the truth. Sad, but true.

If you’re giving me the time to read this piece – or have ever tuned into any of my work since 1984 – I feel I owe you what I really think not just what “someone told me I should say.” And besides, it’s got my name on it. And the building and radio station and website all have WNST.net on them. So this week upon my departure from radio and into the fulltime world of social media and entrepreneurship, I’m going to set the record straight.

Since the 1980’s, I’ve gone on to work for all three daily newspapers as a kid, learning every nuance of the news, journalism, reporting, editing and protocol of the industry from the greatest cast of experts you could possibly imagine: John Steadman, Richard Justice, Ken Rosenthal, Tim Kurkjian, Buster Olney, plus dozens (if not hundreds) of other mentors, co-workers, colleagues and sports media personalities and business executives. I’ve been a sponge to all of their unending information, knowledge and advice. Much of this I’ll be using when I begin researching and writing my third book all this year on the history of Baltimore sports coaches and leadership and wisdom. I am hoping it will be the best piece of work I’ve ever done. I will pour my heart into it and hope that you buy it and share it. I’m hoping to have it available by Labor Day.

In the 1990’s I created a successful sports radio show that begat WNST-AM

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MASN To Air Just Six Orioles Spring Training Games

Posted on 25 January 2012 by WNST Staff

SARASOTA HIGHLIGHTED TO MILLIONS IN THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION

THROUGH ORIOLES SPRING TRAINING TV BROADCASTS

The Orioles recently announced their radio and television broadcasts for the 2012 spring training season, providing the Sarasota area exposure to millions of households in the Mid-Atlantic region.

MASN, the Orioles’ television rightsholder, will air six spring training games from Ed Smith Stadium in 2012, the most MASN has ever broadcast. Those games include March 5 vs. Pittsburgh, March 11 vs. Boston, March 18 vs. New York, March 23 vs. Boston, March 24 vs. Washington and April 1 vs. Tampa Bay. MASN’s exclusive television territory covers over seven million households in all or parts of six states and the District of Columbia from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Charlotte, North Carolina.

“The broadcast of Orioles spring training games back to the Mid-Atlantic market is a huge promotional bonus for Sarasota,” said VIRGINIA HALEY, President of the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The three-hour broadcasts are often filled with images of beaches, shopping districts, marinas and other recreational activities, helping to promote the Greater Sarasota area as a true tourist destination.”

“Millions of households can learn about the beauty and attractions of the Sarasota area by watching or listening to Orioles spring training broadcasts, creating an awareness that can lead to increased interest and tourism in the region,” said GREG BADER, Orioles Director of Communications. “In addition to our local broadcasts, the Sarasota area also benefits from radio and television broadcasts of spring training games by the Orioles’ opponents to their regional audiences across the United States.”

The Orioles’ 2012 spring training season will begin on Monday, March 5 at 7:05 p.m. against the Pittsburgh Pirates at the new Ed Smith Stadium. Both MASN and WBAL Radio will broadcast the game live.

 

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 29 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Auto Racing-NASCAR Awards Show (Friday 9pm from Las Vegas live on SPEED); Golf: PGA Tour Qualifying School (Saturday & Sunday 4pm, Monday 3:30pm from La Quinta, CA live on Golf Channel), PGA Tour Chevron World Challenge (Thursday & Friday 1pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 12pm live on NBC. All golf from Thousand Oaks, CA); Women’s College Basketball: Big Ten/ACC Challenge-Michigan @ Maryland (Wednesday 7pm Comcast Center), Maryland @ American (Sunday 1pm Bender Arena); Tennis: ATP Tour Davis Cup Final (Friday 8am Saturday 10am Sunday 7am from Seville, Spain live on Tennis Channel)

10. Andrea Bocelli (Friday 8pm Verizon Center); Erykah Badu (Friday 7pm Rams Head Live); Dashboard Confessional (Saturday 7pm Recher Theatre); All Mighty Senators (Saturday 7pm 8×10 Club); Aaron Neville (Monday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Robin Thicke (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club); String Cheese Incident (Wednesday 8pm Lyric Opera House), Ryan Adams (Sunday 7:30pm Lyric Opera House); J. Roddy Walston & The Business (Friday 9pm Ottobar); Mac Miller (Thursday 7pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Ra Ra Riot (Friday 7pm Ritchie Coliseum College Park); Tori Amos (Monday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Adele Live at Royal Albert Hall available on CD/DVD/Blu-Ray/iTunes (Tuesday)

I really shouldn’t like Robin Thicke all that much. I just can’t help myself…

Dude, Ryan Adams has made so many great tunes but are any of them greater than this?

I feel like I should be a bigger J Roddy Walston fan than I am…http://wnst.net/wordpress/wp-admin/post.php?post=185164&action=edit

I don’t know if Adele sounds BETTER at Royal Albert Hall…but I know this much…no CHANCE she doesn’t sound amazing…

9. Washington Monument Lighting (Thursday 7pm from Mt. Vernon Place live on WBAL11), Mayor’s Christmas Parade (Sunday 2pm Hampden/Medfield); Gary Valentine (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Steve-O (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Jim Norton (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House)

Is there any chance that when Stephanie Rawlings-Blake flips on the lights at the monument the scene looks anything like this?

And since I’ve already invoked Christmas Vacation, I think it’s only appropriate that we do this…

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 22 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour World Cup of Golf (Wednesday-Saturday 10:30pm from Shenzhen, China live on Golf Channel); Boxing: Canelo Alvarez vs. Kermit Cintron (Saturday 10:30pm from Mexico City, Mexico live on HBO); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 59 (Saturday 9pm from Atlantic City live on MTV2); College Soccer: NCAA Tournament Louisville @ Maryland (Sunday 5pm Ludwig Field); Women’s College Basketball: St. Joseph’s @ Maryland (Tuesday 7pm Comcast Center)

10. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band (Friday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); The Bridge Farewell Show (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live), Staind (Sunday 6pm Rams Head Live), Reel Big Fish/Streetlight Manifesto (Monday 6pm Rams Head Live); Crack The Sky (Saturday 8pm Recher Theatre); Airborne Toxic Event (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), They Might Be Giants (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); Leon Russell (Tuesday 8:30pm State Theatre); Kirk Franklin (Saturday 7pm Lyric Opera House); Daughtry “Break The Spell” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I can’t go to Bob Seger Friday night. It’s an incredibly long story (my family celebrates holidays a day late) that I don’t want to talk about. But in honor of the festive weekend, I’ll just go ahead and assume he’ll break out “Little Drummer Boy”…

I can’t believe this is the last time Cris Jacobs and the boys from The Bridge will be playing together. It’s almost impossible. The show is sold out. I might tear up a bit.

I don’t know if I’m an Airborne Toxic Event “fan”, but I know I’m a fan of this tune…

Kirk Franklin is a legendary gospel performer. In one of the most inexplicable moments in music history, he had a smash hit on MTV/Pop radio in 1997. You know you know the words…

9. Glenn Clark’s Thanksgiving Plans (Thursday); Festival of Trees (Friday-Sunday Timonium Fairgrounds); Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Thursday 9am from New York live on NBC); The Muppets & “Arthur Christmas” out in theaters (Tuesday); Judah Friedlander (Friday & Saturday DC Improv)

I spent much of my adolescence wanting to be Fozzie Bear. If you don’t sing along to this you’re just a bad person…

Also, I’m looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with the Clark family, but I’ll admit I’m a bit confused by why it is that my mother has requested my girlfriend bring buffalo chicken dip to dinner this year. It’s just kinda weird. Whatever we consume, I know one thing. This Saturday I’ll be enjoying a “Thanksgiving Sandwich.” Wheat bread, turkey, potatoes and barbeque sauce. It sounds weird to you, but trust me on this one.

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Happy 5th Anniversary to my Free The Birds friends who want change for Baltimore baseball

Posted on 21 September 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

I’ve been watching the Baltimore Orioles since 1973 and I’m not sure any of us could’ve predicted what this franchise was to become back in the late 1980’s when Camden Yards was built, our city was starved without football and the Colts had split town.

It’s amazing now because most of the people in my company and many of you reading this under the age of 35 do not remember the Colts at all. Or a time when there was no purple. Or when there was no shiny stadia downtown that we all take for granted.

I watched William Donald Schaefer fight for all of this. I watched John Steadman politic and report through all of this as a colleague and a kid at The News American. I watched the first shovel go in the ground downtown. I was at that magical game in 1988 when all of this civic planning was announced on the backend of an 0-21 start that invigorated the renaissance of not only the Orioles but this community as a whole. I wrote more than 75,000 words on this topic five years ago. You can read all of it here…

I was there for all of it. I’ve got some perspective on just how incredibly foolish this all looks – the Orioles who drew 3.6 million people now barely getting a legitimate 1 million people through the turnstiles from the interior Baltimore community. Let’s face it: if it weren’t for a few tourists and 18 games a year against the Red Sox and Yankees, the place would be empty every night. Even on nights when they give away bobbleheads and orange T-shirts, they don’t have enough productive players to even get the promotions right. How many years in a row will they hand out an item for a player who isn’t even on the team?

Sheesh. Starting with all of the craziness of Peter G. Angelos in 1993, I could write a f**king book.

Well, actually, I did…and it’s all right here.

The civic devastation and their annual derelict status in the AL East (and in all of sports, really) makes them so insignificant as to not even be criticized by most national media and the locals are never going to say a word while their companies collect advertising checks from Angelos, via MASN or the Orioles.

The black cat is out of the bag – there’s intense financial greed behind that legal façade of Peter G. Angelos and that’s just fine, I suppose, if your audience participates in the Fantasyland charade of the Orioles attempting to compete to win a championship in Major League Baseball.

The Orioles are funded by you — the cable television buyer. You give your money to them – specifically MASN — through a third party. I bet if you got a bill every month for a couple of bucks from MASN – and it were optional – you and 99% of the state of Maryland would opt to NOT have MASN.

The same way I opt to not have Sirius radio, an IPad or a newer car.

I don’t like anything about the fact that $3 a month of my money goes directly to Peter Angelos under some mystical civic umbrella and trust that he’s investing it back into making the Orioles a better baseball team for the citizens of Baltimore.

That’s clearly not happening these days.

And that’s not my lie. That’s from Angelos himself. Here’s the direct link to our friends over at Pressbox, who take a check from Angelos and get “inside access” and get to ask questions once every decade. This is from 2006 when the Greek God of Losses told Stan Charles that MASN would change the team’s fortunes via increasing the payroll.

Instead, Andy MacPhail came out from underneath a rock in New York and came to Baltimore to quell the insurrection and help Mr. Angelos better understand the way to the profitland of Major League Baseball. Just like he did for many years for the Tribune Company and the Cubs, who now are entangled in the ownership of The Baltimore Sun.

It’s amazing how most Baltimore sports fans in town have no idea how the business of baseball and MASN and free agency and the MLB draft all work. Angelos clearly preys on the naïve nature of the local sports fans who are being fed the new “company line” that MacPhail has parroted through all of his worthless years here in Baltimore: “We just don’t have enough money to compete with those evil teams in Boston and New York.”

My other McFail favorite is this one: “We’ll grow the arms and buy the bats.”

Yeah, what bats? Mark Reynolds? Garrett Atkins? Cesar Izturis?

I can’t imagine that we’ve seen the end of the Orioles demise or the bottom of the proverbial barrel in this macabre tale of “How to Wreck a Baseball Franchise for a Local Community.” Given the state of the franchise and the fact that they’ll be looking for another “leader” who’s given “full control of the baseball operations” in two weeks, it’s pretty apparent that Angelos and the Orioles will still be big spenders of Syd Thrift’s “Confederate money” this offseason.

Angelos clearly bunkered down five years after Free The Birds. He was angry. He was humiliated. He took my press pass. He issued an edict to every member of the franchise to treat me like a pariah, even though it’s pretty clear that I love the team more than any of those people because I’m willing to face the hard reality and 14 years worth of facts.

Sure, Baltimore came back on the home jerseys a few years (I told Drew Forrester then that it was an empty gesture that wouldn’t improve the team) and Andy MacPhail was brought in to stabilize the organization (at least in the minds of the fans) and put a set of spectacles on it so it could look semi-legitimate.

Everything has been fine since Sept. 21, 2006 except for the fact that the team never won, stars haven’t emerged and accountability continues to be non-existent. Oh, and the fact that the man running the team at the time killed himself a few weeks ago.

The death of Mike Flanagan would be a tragedy anytime, anywhere. It’s a story that’s among the saddest I’ve ever heard as a Baltimore journalist. But amidst his suicide, there’s a story that must be told of his relationship with Angelos, the Orioles and the Baltimore fanbase.

Someday I might be the one who tells that story. But for now, I continue to grieve his loss with his family and attempt to help them heal.

Flanagan’s death has made my phone ring off the hook with former teammates, loved ones and people in the baseball community who are reaching to me to find out what happened.

I know a lot more about what happened than what I’m telling out of respect to Flanny’s family and loved ones. But I know the truth. And the truth should and will be told at an appropriate time.

And, rest assured, the truth isn’t going to make the Orioles look very good or make you feel any better about Peter Angelos’ ownership here in Baltimore.

I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be Tippy Martinez or Jim Palmer or Rick Dempsey or Boog Powell — when you walk around your hometown every minute of every day getting recognized by people over 45 who don’t know whether to console you, hug you or engage you in any sort of baseball chatter because let’s be honest – the only reason we’d know who any of the former Orioles are is because of baseball. It’s the one thing that bonds us.

And, really, none one of us wants to discuss the Orioles or Angelos or the situation with Mike Flanagan when they’re in last place the entire topic of baseball, suicides and World Series take a backseat to the purple football machine in the fall.

But, therein lies the problem.

No one EVER says ANYTHING.

I hate to say it, but YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!

So, embrace that statement, stew about it, send me “F**K YOU!” letters, sharpen your pens and your wit.

And then send them to Peter Angelos and see if the 82-year old can find your thoughts on his Facebook page.

The local media here is such a civic disgrace that they should be ashamed of themselves for burying the topic of the Orioles’ ineptitude and profit line and intentions. And you should be ashamed of yourselves if you tune into any of the Orioles “media partners” (it should say “protectors”) and believe a word any of these hosts and personalities say. They’re all told what they can and can’t say and when they can say it.

CBS & WJZ = guilty

WBAL = guilty

The Sun = perhaps the most guilty because their unique selling point and marketing tool is “credibility” and “knowledge of the community” and “journalism”

Pull Scott Garceau or Peter Schmuck or Gerry Sandusky or Mark Viviano up on the side and ask them what THEY REALLY THINK. Ask any of these “local leaders” and “trusted experts” off the record how they’ve been treated. Ask them how they’ve seen people treated around the organization. Ask them what Mike Flanagan told them about the team when he was running it and beyond.

I saw 15 Baltimore reporters crowded around a young Ravens cornerback named Cary Williams in a locker in Nashville three days and yet no one can make their way to downtown Baltimore to interview a guy who has chased 2.5 million people out of downtown on summer nights and destroyed local business in such a profound way as to be the most powerful man in the state?

Disgraceful…

Ask ANY bar and restaurant owner or anyone involved in the beer industry about whether their businesses would be stronger if the Orioles actually existed in their establishments on summer nights.

I’ve asked them ALL. And there’s not one who doesn’t want to see a stronger baseball franchise in Baltimore.

I go into bars all summer long and see that many don’t even put the Orioles games on their televisions these days. And that’s just in the suburbs.

I live in downtown Baltimore. The city comes to life when events prosper and the community swells with pride. The U2 concert was amazing. The IRL brought tons of new faces into the city that hadn’t been this happy near the Convention Center since the All Star Fanfest in July 1993. The Caps-Predators game last night was an incredible event – bringing 11,000 into the First Mariner Arena and stimulating commerce throughout downtown for a night.

The Orioles success and their verve and mojo doesn’t seem so far away to me. I remember it all. I wrote 19 chapters about it and you can click here and begin that journey if you’re really interested in my thoughts and my rationale and my legitimacy.

I’m not some hack journalist from out of town coming into Baltimore to tell you what to think. I’m not an out-of-town media leader.

I’m a citizen. I’m a taxpayer. I paid to get Camden Yards built back in the 1980’s. My city tax dollars fronted that IRL mish-mash three weeks ago. I own a business in Baltimore County. I employ people and put them to work and I trade off of ONE THING: your trust!

The team routinely doesn’t spend money. They’ve made far more money losing than they’d ever make trying to win. That’s just a fact.

And, right now and for the past decade, that’s been exploited and profiteered from by Peter G. Angelos and his ownership group. We’ve got a dead Cy Young Award winner who worked for the company for most of 38 years and his life became so entangled that he put a gun to his head and ended his life less than a month ago.

Who’s going to ask the tough questions?

And when is Angelos or anyone at Major League Baseball going to answer them?

Winning is not as profitable as losing. And when the citizens of the state are paying the freight and there’s only tens of millions of guaranteed profit every year, apparently popularity or civic pride or winning ownership and respect for tradition doesn’t factor into the equation for Peter Angelos.

If the richest guy in the state isn’t interested in winning a World Series then the Baltimore Orioles might as well just leave town and return when they’re ready to win.

It’s such a fragile trust to begin with in Baltimore, where Angelos was a resident and apparently unmoved by the Mayflower vans or any of the chicanery of Bob Irsay back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s when he did a beauty tour that was a disgrace to everyone but him.

The story of Angelos and his wrecking machine for the baseball traditions of our community is a legendary, well-told tale that as Ronnie Milsap once sang: “It’s too sad to write.”

Free The Birds is five years old today.

What will the Orioles look like five years from today?

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SQUEALERS SQUELCHED

Posted on 15 September 2011 by Tom Federline

It has been almost eight (8) months and the Ravens were due retribution. Eight months, to stew over a game the Ravens had lost, down right choked in the second half. There was a bad taste in the Ravens mouth and this past Sunday had to have felt like using Listerine for the first time. That was an old fashion, smash mouth, in your face –  Baltimore Ravens butt whoopin’. There have been two teams that have stood in the way of the Ravens going back to the Super Bowl and both teams are fairly despised by Baltimore football fanatics. The Pittsburgh Squealers and the Indianapolis Irsays. The Squealers were dealt their (some) of their due. Now if the Ravens can make it to the Super Bowl this year……..now you are talking…………’cause guess where it is? The city of Indianapolis. 

Opening Weekend for football coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. Heavy reflection. The playing of “Taps” in unison around the league prior to kickoff – emotional. The full field United States flag with opposing teams and ancillary guests streching it out across from one another, while the National Anthem was being played – nice display of patriotism and unity. There were multiple renditions of the National Anthem. I am a little biased recognizing Baltimore/Ravens Stadium as one of the best I have ever heard. Baltimore is blessed with the perennial Mycheal Miller for all home games.I can only hope some teams played “Proud to be an American” – (Lee Greenwood) at halftime. The NFL direction of the opening ceremonies was respectfully handled. Kudos all around the league and television coverage of that life changing day ten years ago.

And then between 1:05 and 3:55 pm, fans of the Baltimore Ravens had a reawakening. Reason to boast, reason to believe again, reason to watch the rest of the year. Oh and Jarret Johnson (JJ)…………you have entered the Ravens Greatest Hits of All-Time Club. I only have Bart Scott and Ray-Ray in that category. Do you all have any “hits” you would like to potentially add? Playing the Squealers on Opening Day after that loss last year could have really had some repercussions around town and for the Ravens if they had lost again. Thank you Ravens. A loss – the wound does not heal. A win – no more wound. The butt kickin’ they gave them – the Ravens are ready for 2011.

Ravens – Steelers footaball is kind of getting like Maryland – Duke basketball. Who cares about the rest of the season? Just beat that one team. Anything else is icing on the cake. The Ravens didn’t just beat the Steelers, they beat them down.  The team needed it, the coaching staff needed it, the fans needed it. There were moments there where I thought the officials were going to ruin “fix” the game. But they stayed consistently bad and good. Although, that holding call on McKinney in the first quarter after a 36 yard pass play to Dixon, had me throwing things at the television while adding colorful commentary. Even the CBS crew and Phil Simms got into the action on that one. Yes, I was happy to hear Jim Nantzs’ voice, along with Simms, on the TV broadcast. Jim Nantz just has to stay away from golf. The best thing about CBS doing the game………..It meant NO “J”erry Sandusky, Quadry(most annoying voice in broadcasting) Ismail and Stan (has no clue) White. Yes, I am still boycotting all of WBAL  newscasts, Ravens games with that Trio of Torture and “J”erry Sanduskys voice for the Mike Flanagan debacle and juvenile journalism.

Bottom line – the Ravens showed up for the regular seasons first game and the Squealers ………still thought it was preseason. November game may be interesting. Somebody is going to get hurt. Speaking of potential injuries, why was Flacco in the game in the fourth quarter? Horribaugh and Camera Cameron will ride Flacco until the young man needs a stretcher to take him off. And that will crush the Ravens chances of going to the promised land. Hey Bisciotti, you are the one spending the money, you are a successful business man, are you going to let the offensive captain of the team be sacrificed? Tyrod (VT) Taylor is not the answer. But he is the “back-up” QB, to be utilized in blow-outs to protect the the offensive leader.

Holy Ngata! That is one man-beast right there. Suggs, Ray Jr., Reeeeeeeed, McKinney (potential new star), Dixon, Pitta, Boldin, etc. etc. That was one of the best Ravens games ……… ever. Strap yourself in…….it’s gonna be one heckuva ride. GO RAVENS!

D.I.Y.

Fedman

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msf

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 29 August 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: College Soccer-Stanford @ Maryland (Friday 7:30pm Ludwig Field), Radford @ Maryland (Sunday 7pm Ludwig Field); Holiday Inn Express BWI Classic: St. Francis @ UMBC (Thursday 7pm Retriever Soccer Park), Fairleigh Dickinson @ UMBC (Saturday 7pm Retriever Soccer Park); Boxing: Jan Zaveck vs. Andre Berto (Saturday 10:30pm from Biloxi, MI live on HBO); WNBA: Atlanta Dream @ Washington Mystics (Thursday 7pm Verizon Center), Washington Mystics @ Atlanta Dream (Friday 7:30pm from Atlanta live on NBA TV), Connecticut Sun @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet/NBA TV)

10. UPROAR Festival feat. Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace, Seether, Sevendust (Wednesday 2pm Jiffy Lube Live), Jimmy Buffett (Thursday 8pm Jiffy Lube Live), Stevie Nicks (Saturday 8pm Jiffy Lube Live), Journey/Night Ranger (Sunday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Lyle Lovett & His Large Band (Tuesday 8pm Wolf Trap); Olivia Newton-John & Terrell Owens host Cancer Awareness Event feat. Kelly Bell Band (Saturday 6:30pm Rams Head Live); The Hold Steady (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), Umphrey’s McGee (Friday & Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); B.B. King & Buddy Guy (Tuesday 7:30pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall), The Script (Thursday 7:30pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Fuel (Friday 7pm Jaxx); Blake Shelton (Saturday 7:30pm Timonium Fairgrounds), All Time Low (Sunday 7:30pm Timonium Fairgrounds); Jimmie’s Chicken Shack (Friday 8:15pm Baltimore Grand Prix Party Zone), The Bridge/Collective Soul (Saturday 7pm Baltimore Grand Prix Party Zone); Red Hot Chili Peppers “I’m With You”, Lil’ Wayne “Tha Carter IV”, Counting Crows “August & Everything After: Live From Town Hall”, Lenny Kravitz “Black And White America” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I won’t make the rescheduled version of Jimmy Buffett either, but somewhere in the comfort of my own home I’ll probably be singing “Fins”…

Drew Forrester plays tunes from The Hold Steady sometimes on “The Morning Reaction”. I’m a fan…

I’m so bitter that all of the good shows are in DC this week. Men shouldn’t admit to enjoying The Script as much as I do…but I REALLY enjoy The Script. A lot…

WNST intern Ryan Morrison hooked me up with an advance copy of Tha Carter IV…I hope I’m not getting him in legal hot water by mentioning that. There was a humorous moment during Hurricane Irene where everyone in my house was singing along to this song. Don’t play it if you’re at work. Unless you work at The Gold Club. If you do, could you bring a Chap’s sandwich by the station Monday?

9. Maryland State Fair (Tuesday-Monday Timonium Fairgrounds); Maryland Renaissance Festival (Saturday-Monday RennFest Fairgrounds Crownsville); Glenn Clark’s Kickball Championship Round (Thursday 6:45pm Carsins Run Aberdeen)

I’m not sure which yet, but either Friday night or Monday early afternoon I’ll be at the fair. I have two goals. ONE-watching something get born in the Birthing Center and squirm like hell. TWO-Re-enact this picture…

msf

Glorious. Re-enacting THIS picture would also be an option…

horse

There’s a good chance I win the Breeders Cup at some point in the future.

Oh-I’m playing for a kickball title Thursday night in Aberdeen before the Ravens game. The hell with the Ravens game, no one that matters is playing. I’m playing for a kickball title. I’d love to have you guys come support us. You really owe me at least that much considering all I’ve done for you.

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jojo

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 15 August 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA-Minnesota Lynx @ Washington Mystics (Thursday 7pm Verizon Center), Chicago Sky @ Washington Mystics (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on NBA TV), Washington Mystics @ Indiana Fever (Sunday 6pm from Indianapolis live on NBA TV); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Demetrius Andrade vs. Grady Brewer (Friday 9pm from Hammond, IN live on ESPN2); Canadian Football League: Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Toronto Argonauts (Thursday 7:30pm from Toronto live on NFL Network)

10. Martin Lawrence (Sunday 7pm 1st Mariner Arena); American Idols Live (Friday 7pm Verizon Center); Ke$ha (Sunday 7:30pm Patriot Center); Slightly Stoopid (Wednesday 5:30pm Pier Six Pavilion), Bill Cosby (Saturday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion), Gipsy Kings (Sunday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Bob Dylan and his Band (Tuesday 6pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Skullcandy Identity feat. Pretty Lights (Thursday 1pm Jiffy Lube Live), Kid Rock/Sheryl Crow (Monday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Beach Boys (Sunday 3pm Wolf Trap); 10,000 Maniacs (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); “Hot August Blues” feat. Tedeschi Trucks Band & Robert Randolph (Saturday 12pm Oregon Ridge); Lynyrd Skynyrd/Doobie Brothers (Saturday 7pm Aberdeen Proving Ground)

I’m sung the praises of Robert Randolph in this blog so many times it’s almost overkill for me to go back to the well.

You know they call me “Dr. Overkill” in some circles…

I saw the Beach Boys last year at Pier Six. There was a thought process that it might be a bit hokey, but I was quickly reminded that there was no way in hell songs like this could EVER be hokey…

I’m well aware that Michael McDonald isn’t in the band anymore. That being said, I’d still be in on this…

I took my dad to see Bob Dylan years ago at American University in DC (he’s an alum). I didn’t understand much, but I’m pretty sure it was good. Just a shame he couldn’t bring Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers on tour with him…

9. Baltimore Comic-Con (Saturday & Sunday Baltimore Convention Center); Baltimore Fashion Week (Thursday-Sunday Harbor East)

I would assume there”s a good bit of crossover between these crowds, no?

While Comic-Con probably ISN’T really my thing, I get this funny feeling it might be more up my alley than I otherwise would have realized.

Plus-Stan effing Lee is going to be there!

Stan Lee!

It’s good news for me-not because I have any comic books I need signed-but more because I’ve been needing some dating advice and the phone lines over at Loveline have been LOCKED…

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