Another day, another bizarre story from the wizards who make the public relations decisions with the Orioles.
The story isn’t all that unfamiliar, actually.
You’ll read it and say to yourself, “So, what’s new?”
Answer: Nothing’s new. And that’s the problem.
You’ll recall that Tuesday a week ago, Dan Duquette was introduced as the Orioles new General Manager at a press conference at The Warehouse. If you listened to the Morning Reaction last week or read yesterday’s Friday Mud at WNST.net, you’re aware of the fact that during that press conference, WNST’s Luke Jones was intentionally ignored by the press conference moderator despite the fact that he sat in his chair and kept his hand raised for the better part of 15 minutes during the open Q & A session.
That’s bad enough. It’s not only completely bush-league, it once again shows that nothing has changed with the ballclub, who continue to operate on the concept of “we decide what questions get asked of us” while the rest of the sports world simply says, “Does ANYONE have any questions?”
But the Luke Jones hand-in-the-air snub wasn’t the worst mistake the Orioles made recently. Not even close .
This past Tuesday, Dan Duquette made an appearance on a Boston sports talk radio station, WEEI, and spent that time answering questions from the show’s hosts about the Orioles and his time as the Red Sox GM.
On the surface, the interview appearance looks rather benign. After all, it’s Duquette talking to people in his old stomping grounds. What’s so wrong with that, right?
Nothing, really. Except for the fact that Duquette is not allowed to have that same conversation with the media in Baltimore. He can, of course, have that talk with the two stations in town that pay the club, WBAL and 105.7. But he’s not allowed to talk about his new job or the Orioles with WNST, WCBM, WPOC, 92-Q or anyone else in town.
Please understand this: I’m not blaming Dan Duquette for any of this mess. I’m about 99% sure he has no idea that his new employer is going to restrict him from talking to the Baltimore media. He’ll find out at some point, I’m sure, but for now, 3 weeks into his job, he doesn’t really know how shameful his appearance was on WEEI.
I have no idea which member of the Orioles organization makes those decisions – you know, like the one two Tuesdays ago concerning Luke Jones. I wish I knew…but you never, ever get any kind of straight answer from The Warehouse. And I don’t really know which dinosaur over there who doesn’t have a clue about public relations would make a decision to NOT allow Dan Duquette to be interviewed by any Baltimore radio station that wants him…but yet an appearance on a Boston radio station is permitted.
Who makes that decision? Is it Greg Bader? Is it Bob Ames? Is it Lou Kousouris? I don’t know. Bader is the guy that’s always quoted in the newspaper anytime something GOOD happens with the club, like new uniforms, a charitable donation or some other element of the organization that needs to be professionally polished for the public’s consumption. He’s also the guy you NEVER hear from in matters like this, which clearly falls under his umbrella as “Director of Communications”. Is it Bob Ames making the call to ignore Luke Jones and then, in the very next week, say “It’s OK” to have Duquette do an interview in Boston while ignoring the ticket holders of Baltimore? Or was Kousouris the person who made that decision? By the way, my Warehouse source tells me Peter Angelos is in no way involved in petty matters such as these…for those of you thinking this was all rubber stamped by the owner.
But no one over there will own up to the big question: “Which one of you people thinks it’s good for your business to not allow your new General Manager to be interviewed in Baltimore…but yet you see the wisdom of allowing him to talk to the folks in the Boston media?”
Baseball fans in Baltimore deserve better than this.
They’ve deserved better for a long time.
Andy MacPhail had zero interest in getting involved in the whole fuster-cluck. He told Nestor and I at the Nick Markakis (see next page please)