Personally, I think the entire concept of reducing or diminishing your athletes’ profile within the very community that buys your tickets is about the dumbest thing a sports organization can do. I’ve said that for years, now. For the Orioles, who lost for 14 straight seasons and saw embarrassing crowds in at least half of those, to ever refuse what effectively is “free promotion” is completely silly.
That said, I followed “the rules” in 2013, even though I didn’t sign their goofy rules and regulations document.
Not one time in the 2013 season did I have an Orioles player on the D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction. Never. Not once.
Other shows at the station DID have Orioles players on throughout the season. I will admit, for certain, that I would have had an Orioles player on my show had one been booked by someone at WNST. If someone from WNST would have said to me, “Drew, do you want Nate McLouth on your show in the morning?” I would have said, “Absolutely”.
After all, WNST is a sports talk station and we talk about the local teams in town. If Miguel Gonzalez or Bud Norris or anyone else associated with the on-field product wants to come on and talk, they get booked on the show and appear in interview form for ten minutes or so.
As Glenn Clark likes to say – and it’s a perfect summary if you ask me – “We’re not going to allow the Orioles to program the radio station here…”
And he’s right. If the Orioles are going to program our radio station, they might as well come over and just do all the shows from 6am-6pm.
That said, and the Orioles know this for a fact, not once in 2013 did I (or Luke) violate the Orioles’ player interviews rule.
Once again, for balance, it’s important to note that if you listen regularly to our station, you’ll hear “live” Ravens guests throughout the week during football season. I just had Marshal Yanda on last week, for example.
The Ravens, as you know, get it. They understand that our listeners at WNST are also their paying customers. And they comprehend that the more we talk with their players, the more interest listeners might have in those players.
I’m a dummy from Glen Burnie and I know how it all works.
The Orioles, evidently, took great exception to their players appearing on WNST throughout the current season.
They started firing off threatening e-mails back in the spring to our powers-that-be, admonishing the station for “not following the rules”. Therein lies the rub, of course. The Orioles know they’re not going to assist us with any player interviews. That’s part of the game. Then, when we go ahead and get the players on the air by ourselves, we’re cited for “not following the rules”.
It’s nothing short of a skit used by professional wrestlers. Your partner distracts the referee and you throw salt in the eyes of your opponent and fall down on top of him. When the ref turns around, he sees you pinning your opponent, counts to three, and the match is over.
The Orioles say “please ask for permission” to interview our players, knowing full good and well they’re never going to grant that permission.
At some point this summer, an e-mail was sent to WNST that threatened the revoking of credentials if the player interviews continued.
It’s important to note here that I, personally, was never sent an e-mail by the Orioles this season about the situation involving the player interviews. My credential, evidently, was threatened in the e-mails that were sent to WNST management, but the Orioles didn’t bother to include ME on the e-mail chain. Odd, right? Of course it is.
WHEN A MAN WON’T DO HIS OWN WORK
I’m not breaking any news here or violating some sort of code of ethics when I say that Monica Barlow of the Orioles Media Relations Department is fighting cancer.
In fact, you can watch her touching story RIGHT HERE, as my friend Jamie Costello put together an awesome piece on her last November.
I don’t know Monica Barlow all that well. I’ve met her and been in her presence and would say “hi” to her if saw each other on the street, but I don’t know her as a person at all. Because of the way her boss and others in the organization have treated me over the years, I haven’t gotten to know Monica the way I know Kevin Byrne and Patrick Gleason of the Ravens, for example.
But, people in Baltimore that I know and trust tell me Monica is a terrific person and that’s good enough for me.
I know her work well enough to know she’s a professional and one of the best at what she does in Major League Baseball.
Here’s the sad news: Over the last eight months, as she continues to fight lung cancer, the Orioles made Monica do their dirty work in this on-going battle with WNST.
Monica sent the e-mails at the direction of the higher-ups.
She’s the one who was forced to be “the bad guy” even though she knows, in her heart of PR hearts, that having baseball players on a sports talk radio station is a good thing, not a bad thing.
It wasn’t Monica’s idea to threaten WNST.
But she was the one who had to do the threatening.
It wasn’t Monica’s idea to revoke my media credential.
But she was the one who sent the e-mail to WNST alerting the station I was no longer allowed in the stadium.
It wasn’t Monica’s idea to revoke Luke Jones’ credential.
But she was the one who sent the e-mail and did the revoking.
If you didn’t know better, you’d think Monica Barlow was a mean-spirited, vindictive witch who takes great joy in being a petty stuffed suit with a daily axe to grind.
You’d think that because the Orioles made Monica do all the dirty work.
But none of it was Monica’s idea.
And there is the story of the most reprehensible thing the Orioles have EVER done in this on-going pissing match with WNST.
They made a model employee who has a serious health condition do battle with the local radio station even though she didn’t start the war and, frankly, doesn’t even believe in it.
Grown men with big college degrees and $3,000 suits don’t have the balls to do their own work — their own dirty work — so they made Monica Barlow do it.
(Please see next page)