Posted on 10 April 2012 by Glenn Clark
Posted on 01 April 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
There’s no sense in shirking the responsibility here in Baltimore — the facts that show this community has been complicit in the damage done during this baseball free fall on the field and profiteering being done off the field by Peter Angelos via MASN. The truth is this: we get the government we deserve.
And the truth is that we get the Major League Baseball team that we tolerate as a community.
The Orioles are about to enter their 15th consecutive year of irrelevance and losing. Fans in Baltimore have turned away from the stadium by the millions instead of demanding a better product and an owner with the integrity to run the team in the best interests of the community.
The judges allowed this to happen by allowing television moguls to pass along unavoidable, mandatory charges you never know about and you vote for these judges.
Comcast (or your local cable TV provder) has passed along the “Angelos Tax” to you and you simply keep paying the bill.
The politicians allowed this to happen to the heart of Baltimore on summer nights and you elect the politicians. You elect the politicians who allow Major League Baseball an almost inarguable anti-trust exemption and public financing for stadia while they pad their pockets and Angelos shirks his “sacred responsibility” here in Baltimore to attempt to field a competitive team that stimulates interest and economic impact to the local economy.
Many local businesses and business owners – intimidated for one reason or another – all talk dirty out of the corner of their mouths to me at cocktail parties all over Baltimore yet no one except me and this radio station and web entity that I own have spoken up over the years and reported the dirty facts.
I am very proud of Free The Birds. I’m proud of being the only one to speak the truth and report the facts. I sleep well at night knowing that I’m TRYING to make a difference and get this corrected for the community.
WNST is the only free media company in the marketplace that is banned from covering the team while CBS Radio, The Sun, WBAL, Pressbox, etc. all have continued to exchange corporate media backrubs and “partnerships” while not demanding accountability from Peter Angelos.
Many others — from intimidated former Orioles players who need the autograph money to local fans, former season ticket holders and businesses who previously wrote a direct check to the Baltimore Orioles to sponsor the franchise — all now cough and “look the other way” while the city has been emptied of more than 2 million people every summer. The Ravens’ and their everlasting prosperity seems to only make it easier to turn away from the Orioles.
How can it be possible that local businesses downtown and at the Inner Harbor simply await the arrival of visiting fans from Boston, New York and Philadelphia in order to turn a profit off the fortunes of the Baltimore Orioles?
It’s unspeakable, shameful and YOU should be ashamed of our community for allowing it happen.
When all of this cowardice and the collective “turning of the heads” stops, perhaps the fate of the Baltimore Orioles will change?
Here’s what WNST.net is doing about this Thursday and Friday night as we hold a candlelight vigil and an Opening Day protest of the ownership and the way the team has been run into the ground for Baltimore and its baseball fans…
Staying away from the ballpark and not contributing by buying tickets and $8 beers has simply not worked to correct the issues with Peter Angelos and improve the baseball team. We’ve been writing about it here at WNST.net and opining at AM 1570 for the better part of a decade.
Sometimes I think that everyone knows the dirty little secret about Angelos and
Posted on 30 March 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 27 March 2012 by Glenn Clark
They’re not going to be good, but they’re going to play games anyway. Tuesday on “The Reality Check”, I offered my best educated guess on how to put together the Baltimore Orioles’ 25 man Opening Day roster.
A lot of this appears to be set in stone already. As a reminder, I’m not in Sarasota covering Spring Training. I’m in Towson looking out the window at the deer here at 1550 Hart Rd.
I’m not complaining by the way.
INFIELDERS/DESIGNATED HITTER (7):
STARTING ROTATION-IN ORDER (5):
(DISABLED LIST: P Zach Britton, 2B Brian Roberts, P Darren O’Day & P Alfredo Simon)
ROSTER NOTES: The O’s will be able to add Johnson and Paulino to the roster by sampling moving OF Jai Miller and C Taylor Teagarden off the roster. I’m guessing the team will now choose to leave Brian Matusz in Norfolk to protect a rotation spot for Britton when he’s healthy. There are other roster options (including leaving Wada on the DL) that could open up a spot for a Chris Tillman, O’Day or Simon.
Posted on 24 March 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 18 March 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 23 July 2011 by Nestor Aparicio
This inglorious 14 years of misery, lies and ineptitude for fans of the Baltimore Orioles all over the world has been hard to watch at every level. I’m exasperated with the media corruption, lack of integrity and pure filth of heart of Peter Angelos and his profiteering and lack of civic pride for something that this community held near and dear to its heart — bringing tens of thousands to literal tears in 1991 when the memories of 33rd Street moved downtown.
But circa 2011, on a night-to-night basis, the only ones who can change the course of the franchise “in the moment” are the players Peter Angelos is paying millions of dollars, Andy MacPhail has hired and the ones Buck Showalter has morbidly signed up to manage this summer.
Sure, Angelos is to blame for this entire mess — that much is self-evident at this point — but that does not exonerate alleged Major League Baseball players from being able to produce in the glare of the bright lights in the eighth inning of a one-run game.
Take Friday night’s multiple fiasco-fest with the game on the line vs. the Angels. Nick Markakis came to bat with two outs and two on and the Orioles a single away from a tie game and a gapper away from potentially winning the game. Markakis — the team’s “franchise” player — clipped the ball about 45 feet down the first base line to end a rally.
I’m a Nick Markakis fan. He’s quiet, he’s professional, he’s Greek, he lives in Baltimore, he’s not a Twitter jackass and last-place loudmouth like his outfield mate. But, he’s also making $12 million per year to win baseball games and put up a better fight in that baseball circumstance. It’s fair to say, his career has been a disappointment vs. the salary and the expectations that he would be the “face” of the Orioles. Like when they put him six stories high on the Warehouse wall a few years ago.
Of course, seeing the Orioles kick the ball around and bring in the likes of overpaid Kevin Gregg in the 9th inning to give up a grand slam to Vernon Wells in an eventual 6-1 loss makes it all seem trivial.
They’re the Orioles. They can’t win, anyway. So what difference does a few outs with RISP mean or a few more blown saves and missed chances by a bunch of arsonists who no one else wanted but the Orioles were forced to over pay.
I opine often about the sins of Angelos and they are more than warranted. But in the few rare instances when he’s done the “right” thing by the franchise, it then becomes incumbent upon the players to produce or face tough questions.
There’s no doubt that fans always want a “fall guy” — a horse to beat when the team loses. Every Monday morning in every fall the players and coaches in the Ravens organization take the weight or the world onto their backs like a civic grand piano.
In some ways, playing for the worst franchise in the history of modern sports in the toughest division in sports and given the lack of financial balance in MLB it somehow seems to exonerate the actual Orioles players.
I’m not willing to make that concession.
Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Luke Scott, Matt Wieters, Adam Jones and the rest of the well-paid professional baseball players need a mirror for their last-place woes as well.
But I have a feeling, in the end, this will get blamed on MacPhail and Showalter.
But then again, the fans seem to put the blame everywhere but where it belongs.
If you want to find the Orioles’ REAL magic — the meaningful games, the community activism, the late-summer wins, the memories and a potential World Series parade — you really need look no further than Angelos’ pockets.
Posted on 06 July 2011 by Glenn Clark
The Baltimore Orioles are now two games into the second half of the 2011 season. On Wednesday’s edition of “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, Drew Forrester and I gave our grades for Orioles players during the first half of the season.
Matt Wieters-Glenn Clark B+, Drew Forrester B
Jake Fox-Glenn D, Drew D
Craig Tatum-Glenn C-, Drew B
Derrek Lee-Glenn D+, Drew D
Brian Roberts-Glenn D, Drew D
JJ Hardy-Glenn A-, Drew A
Mark Reynolds-Glenn B-, Drew C-
Robert Andino-Glenn C+, Drew C
Blake Davis-Glenn C, Drew B-
Cesar Izturis-Glenn D, Drew D
Ryan Adams-Glenn C, Drew D
Brandon Snyder-Glenn C-, Drew C-
Luke Scott-Glenn D, Drew D
Adam Jones-Glenn B-, Drew B+
Nick Markakis-Glenn B-, Drew C-
Nolan Reimold-Glenn C+, Drew C-
Felix Pie-Glenn F, Drew D-
Vladimir Guerrero-Glenn D+, Drew D+
Jeremy Guthrie-Glenn C+, Drew C+
Jake Arrieta-Glenn B-, Drew C
Zach Britton-Glenn B, Drew B
Brian Matusz-Glenn D, Drew F
Chris Tillman-Glenn D, Drew D
Brad Bergesen-Glenn D+, Drew C-
Chris Jakubauskas-Glenn C-, Drew D
Koji Uehara-Glenn B, Drew B+
Jim Johnson-Glenn B+, Drew B-
Pedro Viola-Glenn C, Drew C
Kevin Gregg-Glenn C-, Drew C+
Alfredo Simon-Glenn C-, Drew C-
Jeremy Accardo-Glenn D, Drew D
Mike Gonzalez-Glenn D, Drew D
Josh Rupe-Glenn D, Drew D
Jason Berken-Glenn C, Drew C-
Clay Rapada-Glenn D-, Drew B-
Troy Patton-Glenn D, Drew F
Buck Showalter-Glenn C-, Drew B+
If you missed the breakdown of our midseason grades on Wednesday’s edition of “The Morning Reaction”, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net!
Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…
Posted on 01 June 2011 by Keith Melchior
As of this writing, there are quite a few reasons the Orioles are 5 games under .500. Injuries are always at the forefront of teams that are struggling, but some really bad pitching, bad hitting, bad managing, and five 3+ game losing streaks are killing the 2011 Orioles.
The season is 1/3 completed after today’s game in Seattle. For some players, it’s time to put up or pack up. If these guys don’t get untracked, it might be time to say goodbye;
Jeremy Guthrie - His career record with Orioles is 40-55. As the veteran starter on this staff, he always seems to keep the team in the game, but he simply cannot win in Baltimore and it makes no sense to keep him around if there is a team out there willing to give up a minor league prospect or two for his services come July 31st. Maybe he’ll go become an ace with another team like Dennis Martinez and Curt Shilling did after the Orioles let them go. Martinez thrived with the Expos and Braves after mediocre seasons in Baltimore. Shilling wasn’t that good when he was an Oriole and didn’t really blossom into that dominant pitcher until almost 10 years into his career when he played for Philadelphia, Arizona, and finally Boston. It’s painful to see Guthrie continue to pitch his ass off with not many positive results. Do HIM a favor and send him packing. He deserves better fate and much more money than he’s getting here.
Michael Gonzalez - The team signed him as the closer before the 2010 season. He had a rough opening weekend then landed on the DL. As an Oriole, he is 1-4 in 48 games with a 5.57 ERA and the glaring number, ONE save. His contract with the Orioles is up after this season. He is not reliable, is wasting a roster spot and needs to be shipped out ASAP. They couldn’t even trade him for a bag of baseballs at this point, but will most likely keep him here until his contract expires if no one shows any interest in the washed up left handed reliever.
Luke Scott – He’s coming off an Oriole MVP year when he hit 27 HR and had 72 RBI. As an Oriole he’s averaging 25 HR, 55 BB, 100 K’s and 70 RBI. So far this season he’s sitting on 6HR and 19 RBI and is on pace for 18 HR, 57 BB, 114 K’s and 57 RBI. People are waiting for him to get hot for a week or so and carry the team on his back like he did last year. With a partial tear in the labrumon his right arm, that may not happen. After 2010 I said the Orioles should trade him while he has some value. Then, the Orioles signed Vladimir Guerrero to be the full time DH, which placed Scott in a platoon mode in left field with Felix Pie and recently Nolan Reimold. Scott has been lucky enough to find his way on the field at 1st base with Derreck Lee’s trip to the DL. I believe they have nothing to lose by trading Scott on July 31, especially if he doesn’t get into one of his “streaks.” He’s 33 years old and eligible for salary arbitration after this season and a free agent in 2013. They might lose a few HR’s andRBI but his potential is worth at least 2 mid-level players that might develop into something.
Brian Roberts – He has never played in the post-season and probably is the most beloved Oriole since Cal Ripken retired. You always see him in the community at churches, schools and hospitals. You always hear interviews with him on the radio. It is hard to believe he is 33 years old and he’s coming off an injury plagued 2010 that kept him out until August. Currently in his 17th day on the 7-day DL with concussion symptoms, he is not the lead off batter we’ve grown accustomed to for the last 10 years. Roberts is struggling at .221, 60 points below his career average. You hope he comes back and is able to provide that jump start the Orioles need so badly at the top of the lineup. Regardless of what many fans might think, if Roberts is able to play up to his standards, it probably wouldn’t be a bad thing for the Orioles to explore possibilities of a trade before the deadline. The only thing that may hurt is his $10 million salary, but if he isn’t on the field and producing at the level the team needs, that $10 million is being wasted anyway.
Vladimir Guerrero – The Orioles ended up overpaying him to be the DH because no other teams appeared interested in the gimpy-kneed former outfielder. He still swings at bad pitches, but leads the team in hitting with a .289 average. The guys ahead of him in the batting order aren’t giving him a whole lot of chances as he only has 23 RBI. He is definitely on the trading block, which will land Luke Scott back into the DH role if he isn’t traded or on the DL come July 31. The Orioles might be able to get 2 decent AA players for him as long as his numbers don’t tail off.
The roller coaster ride will continue throughout the summer. The starters can’t get into the 7th inning, the big bats brought in during the off season have some major holes in them, the bullpen is shaky from middle relief to closer. The only one really doing the job is Koji with a 2.78 ERA and 0.882 WHIP. He’s actually thrown 22 2/3 innings in 21 games but rarely sees action on consecutive days. Since Koji was only signed to a one year deal, the Orioles should consider unloading him to a team looking for bullpen help in the late innings. Although fragile, Koji is quite capable.
There is not much talent in the AA or AAA levels to push anyone out of his spot. Brandon Snyder and Ryan Adams have reached the majors but weren’t doing enough in their at-bats to warrant them receiving more playing time. They’ve combined for 24 plate appearances, 4 hits, 3 BB, 5 K’s, 1 Run scored and no HR’sor RBI. Thus the position shuffling I wrote about earlier in the week. Sooner or later the Orioles have to bite the bullet and let these guys see some increased playing time. You can’t keep sticking with older players who are not producing to the level you expect.
I will probably catch some heat for suggesting these trades, but when you consider the ages of the players involved, it almost makes sense. A few years ago, the Orioles’ promotion was “Come see the kids play” That was a time when, age-wise, they had one of the youngest teams in the majors. With the exception of Brian Roberts, most, if not all, of those guys are long gone and the 2011 Oriole 40 man roster averages close to 29 years of age.
As the season approaches the halfway point, it’ll be interesting to see whether this team unfolds or folds up.
Posted on 08 March 2011 by Shawn Credle
“This team is improving. And while it’s nearly the end of the season, one would have to be optimistic about next year’s ballclub. Now, I’m not predicting playoffs just yet. But if the O’s can win at least 16 games per month next season, that will give them a minimum of 96 wins for the year. And I, along with every Baltimore Orioles’ fan, will take that. Don’t give up on the Birds just yet, fans. The best is yet to come. A new winning spirit may inspire a top free agent to come and play in Baltimore. An actual winning record will guarantee it.”
This is what I wrote nearly six months ago. And while people thought I was crazy for thinking that the Orioles can win over 90 games, some have seemed to change their minds after watching what the Orioles did this offseason. The signings of Vladimir Guerrero and Derrek Lee have opened the eyes of many fans, and have opened the eyes of many teams. The Orioles plan on not being the team that other teams want to face in order to get a much-needed win. The O’s plan on being contenders right now.
Now, before you go crazy and plan to buy O’s playoff tickets, hold on a second. I’m not saying that the O’s will win the World Series this year, or even the AL East right now. What I am saying is that they will be a contender. There will be meaningful games in August and September. They have to beat the Yankees and the Red Sox during the regular season. Last season, the Showalter-led Orioles finished 2010 at 34–23, the best record among American League East clubs during the same stretch. A fact many seem to have forgotten.
Hopefully, the Orioles will allow Showalter to finish what he started, which is something the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks did not allow. Watching those two teams win championships right after he left, has left a sour taste in Showalter’s mouth. So, in a sense, Showalter has something to prove, as well as the players. And, possibly, in two or three years, and after a top free-agent pickup, a championship isn’t that far-fetched of an idea.
1. Brian Roberts – 2B
2. Nick Markakis – RF
3. Derrek Lee – 1B
4. Vladimir Guerrero – DH
5. Luke Scott – LF
6. Mark Reynolds – 3B
7. Adam Jones – CF
8. Matt Wieters – C
9. J.J. Hardy – SS
With that projected lineup, there will be no easy spots for an opposing pitcher. With the 1-2-3 spot, that could be one of the best in baseball this year, and get on base a lot. The 4-5-6 spot - that has a lot of power. And the 7-8-9 spot, that will drive pitchers crazy. Guerrero batted .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBI last year. Hopefully, we will get at least 85-90% of that this season. Wieters batted .249 with 11 HRs and 55 RBIs last year. And while Wieters has taken a beating in the press lately, this could be the breakout year for him.
Projected Starting Rotation
Plus, one can’t forget about the starting rotation. Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta and Brad Bergesen pitched well for Buck Showalter last season. Many are optimistic that they will improve. Jeremy Guthrie will get more run support this year, and that was a problem for him last year. And Zach Britton and Chris Tillman are waiting for their shot.
So, with the new lineup, and with Showalter enjoying his first full season with the team, 90-72 is my latest prediction for the O’s this year. What’s your prediction?