Drew’s Morning Dish — Thurs., Sept. 19

September 19, 2013 | Drew Forrester

Drew’s Morning Dish — Thurs., Sept. 19

This is a sad story.

It’s a maddening story, too, because it will put into proper perspective what happens when a sports organization decides to put their foot down and then remembers someone actually has to do the so-called “dirty work”.

You – if you have a heart at all – should be outraged by what you’re about to read.

It’s the story of the why and how that the Orioles decided to revoke my media credential – and Luke Jones’s as well – and, more importantly, who they burdened with the responsibility of carrying out the act itself.

It’s reprehensible, but no one seems to care.

The Orioles and their powers-that-be certainly don’t care.  They’re the ones responsible for this sh*tstorm.

Major League Baseball doesn’t care.  If they did, none of this would have happened in the first place.

And, frankly, the rest of the Baltimore media doesn’t care.  If they did, they’d be outraged at what the Orioles did to one of their best employees, Monica Barlow.

THE ORIOLES AND THEIR RULES

Unlike the Ravens, who welcome media coverage – in fact, ENCOURAGE IT – the Orioles are nearly the exact opposite.

They don’t WANT media coverage — they want to CONTROL media coverage.

To that end, the Orioles have developed a two-sided document of their “rules and regulations” with regard to covering their team and the games in their stadium.

The Ravens have no such document, by the way.

The Orioles, though, produce a lengthy list of things you’re not allowed to do and then force you to sign that document at the beginning of the year in exchange for the privilege of earning one of their coveted “season” or “daily” media credentials.

I didn’t sign that document prior to the 2013 season.  It wasn’t out of defiance.  They simply forgot to have me sign it at the beginning of the season when they handed over my media credential.

That I didn’t sign the document has no real bearing at all on how all of this went down with regard to my credential being revoked, but it’s important to note nonetheless.  I should also explain that I had a copy of the 2012 version of “the rules” and presented it to an attorney a few weeks back and he barely made it halfway through before he handed it back to me and said, “this isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”

One of the “rules” on the document deals with player interviews.  A current member of the Orioles organization jokingly calls it the “WNST clause”.  It’s in place for no other reason than to give the Orioles “an out” when it comes to their players appearing on WNST Radio.

It says, “No radio interviews with non-rights holders may be conducted without receiving permission from the Orioles…”

Fair enough, right?

In other words, you simply need to approach someone in the Orioles PR department to assist you in getting XXXXXX on the air with you and they’ll help organize it.

Except they never help.

They never say yes. When it’s WNST, that is. Hence, the aforementioned “WNST clause” gets put into action.

Other stations in town are afforded the privilege of having players or Buck Showalter on the air.

They, evidently, receive permission, assuming they “follow the rules”.

When WNST asks for permission, it’s never, ever, ever, ever, ever granted.

(Please see next page)

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12 Comments For This Post

  1. Kolo Jezdec Says:

    I think you missed some people when you discussed people who do not seem to care. What about the players? I know they are under contract and there is likely something in the contract about interviews and such, but get real. If Chris Davis or Manny Machado wanted to go to bat for Ms. Barlow (and indirectly for greater media access to the players), they could do it. They could come on your air and make it cleat that the silly “WNST rule” and the way Ms Barlow has been forced to enforce that rule is out of bounds. Yeah, the Orioles are in the hunt for a playoff spot, the players are busy, yada, yada, yada. The players are the face of the organization, the faces we see when we yell “Go O’s!” They need to step up and show they care, as well.

  2. Chris Says:

    Honestly, do you think when Peter dies people will be happy about it? Sadly I say yes and I think I will fall into that group. (DF: I never mentioned Peter Angelos once in my blog. He has nothing at all to do with what I wrote.)

  3. The Armchair QB Says:

    Nice tribute to this courageous young woman, Drew, and equally fair criticism of the organization she works for. As a native Baltimorean, I’ve been a loyal “O’s” fan my entire life and, while I didn’t follow them during the 14 years when they were apparently dedicated to…..LOSING, I’ve been excited to follow them again the past two years! That said, nothing the “o’s” management does should come as a surprise to anyone. While you and I differ on this matter, I believed they shoulda/coulda accommodated the Ravens opener here on Sept. 5th, but that’s ancient history now. What all this proves, however, is the old adage, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear!”

  4. Chuck Smolkin Says:

    I don’t agree that Monica(G-D bless her) should be the main issue here. Your issues with the Orioles over the years have been accurate and important. My focus would be more on the lack of support for your 1st amendment rights by the Baltimore media. They should boycott the Orioles until you are reinstated and the Orioles recind their stupid rules. They could be next. Critical reporting is a major foundation of our country. (DF: Actually, Chuck, the MAIN issue here is that the “MEN” who decided to revoke my credential didn’t do their own dirty work. That’s the MAIN issue. The sub-issue is they made Monica Barlow do it.)

  5. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    I’m just a guy who grew up in Hamilton, but can’t the station file a lawsuit against the Orioles ? Seems to me that WNST should take them to court to make them explain there policy & why it only affects your station,or am I wrong in thinking this way.

  6. Chuck Smolkin Says:

    I don’t agree. I think those clowns were saying your station isn’t important enough to spend their time on. Really WNST is the best, and you are the best of the best.

  7. unitastoberry Says:

    I have dealt with cancer too from a personal level my dad died of it and I beat it 2 years ago. I hope that this lady beats it too. Just in the last 3 days I have been told by 2 friends that their daughter has adrenal cancer and that a wife has liver and pancreas cancer. It’s an epidemic and it comes like a thief in the night taking no prisoners. Please give what you can to fight this scurge.
    As for the Orioles they have no class we all know that especially those of us who are older and wiser. It all starts at the top and while I wish the guys on the field the best it is my hope that the ownership someday will change for the better. That’s all you can do right now.

  8. justafan Says:

    Peter Angelos and Barrack Obama have two things in common. They are both democratic liberals and they both have absolute control of the media.

  9. Jason Manelli Says:

    I wish Ms. Barlow health and peace. The O’s know that when they restrict access to WNST, they effectively restrict access to the people who choose to listen to WNST. It’s an ugly game that makes this life long fan of the team wonder what I ever did to deserve this treatment besides buy 100′s of tickets, jerseys, shirts, hats and other items with their officially licensed logo on it? Quit punishing the fans O’s.

  10. D Says:

    If you had any amount of respect for Monica, you wouldn’t have dragged her into this. Drew, you have any issue with the Orioles’ front office. Fine. Attack them all you want. But don’t you dare bring a helpless employee who you are causing a lot of unnecessary stress into this situation. I think a public apology to Monica is needed. And quite frankly, if this is how you treat people who have power over you and have something that you want, I can see why the Orioles revoked your press credentials. (DF: With all due respect, sir, you have no idea what you’re talking about here…carry on with your day.)

  11. OVER40DON Says:

    Drew,
    If Glenn had refrained from interviewing whoever it was that started this conundrum, a lotta feelings would have been spared. While I find the name of the person who sent the emails irrelevant, it sure did fire up some folks that you brought that person into your article. Your point is taken and has merit but again, Glen shouldn’t have had an Orioles on the station. I know you disagree with both assertions/opinions.
    WNST seems to thrive on having a controversy with Orioles organization. While the Orioles are ridiculous in MANY of their policies, premium prices for Bos./N.Y. games, walk up charges to buy tickets day of the game, No Orioles or their wives allowed on some ( 1? ) radio stations, etc., how can you or anyone at the station be surprised at the most recent ridiculous policy of the O’s? That being revoking your credentials. WNST started the WAR with “Free the Birds” mantra years ago. Did you guys really ever think the BIG BOSS was ever gonna forget that? I’m amazed they gave you guys any credentials to begin with. You guys don’t want the Orioles to run your programming and the Orioles don’t want you or WNST to tell them how to run their PR.
    It seems that things really started escalate after the Oriole Bird soaked your boss at a game one night.

    Returning to the your article, are you 100% the gal in question feels that way about the “pissing match” ? I’m also curious if she responded to your email prior to the post on your blog.
    I missed the show this a.m. early tee time will be listening Friday for sure.

  12. matt Says:

    looks like this blog hit…. a home run :X

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