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)