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

September 19, 2013 | Drew Forrester

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

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.

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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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