here. He’s the incident and guy we don’t talk about anymore. We’re not allowed to bring it up.
It’s like it never happened.
But it did.
I know because I was there in the days afterward consoling his widow, friends and family in the aftermath of the ultimate tragedy in the history of the Baltimore Orioles.
Just so you know, I fully realize that I’m nothing special – just another guy shat upon.
I’ve never thought I was anything significantly more or less – but I just happened to be the local journalist and lifer Orioles fan with a voice who thinks the way you’ve treated the community has been not much different than my personal dealings with you.
Hey, if you didn’t have any time, place or care about the likes of Brooks Robinson or Cal Ripken, why would a kid from Dundalk named Aparicio who loves the Orioles matter?
Honestly, when I did the Free The Birds walkout in 2006, I was simply publicly saying everything everyone else was saying behind your back about how fucked up the franchise is and has been. I’ve rarely met an Orioles employee –past or present – who hasn’t (eventually) been quite candid with me about the rampant and eternal dysfunction and general incompetence that is the hallmark of what you’ve sanctioned over 25 years.
The conversations always begin with: “Let me tell you how fucked up this place is…”
The guy running your baseball department tried to leave three years ago you wouldn’t let him. The guy who runs the place doesn’t want to be there. And you’re making him run your company. And you’ve done this for three years!
This would be considered moronic in any business or any walk of life or any relationship that isn’t some kind of arranged marriage in another culture.
Oh, some folks on your payroll still think you’ve been a peach all these years. You’ve supported their families – and in many cases, their ineptitude – with a paycheck every two weeks and have received their ultimate loyalty over two decades. They’re in line for a MLB pension. They will echo anything you tell them to say. The ethics, the truth, the tone, the intent – it all comes from you.
They unlink me on LinkedIn, block me on Twitter or Facebook, run from me when they see me in public places, get on airplanes and pretend they don’t know me, and deny that I’ve ever lectured their classes or know their families or even know them at all.
Apparently, even knowing me might cost them their job with the Baltimore Orioles or MASN.
I want to assure you that they’ve all followed the orders. I am universally denounced and treated poorly by all of your employees – even when you’re not around. You can rest assured of that! Even when my wife battled for her life twice and I did an unprecedented baseball tour to save lives, the folks running your place made sure no mercy or kindness or cooperation was shown to me or my family in any way.
But every once in a while, someone on or very close to the “inside” will drop me a line to tell me what’s going on. And just like everyone else in the city, we’re trying to figure out how all of this ends.
To be fair, your tenure hasn’t been a complete failure.
Somehow amidst scaring away virtually every qualified candidate in the industry of Major League Baseball, you’ve managed to find a couple of decent baseball men in Andy MacPhail and Buck Showalter over the last decade.
Smart people change everything – even in baseball. Plus, you’ve had the money to change things after almost going broke back before the MASN deal.
MacPhail made you money and saved you even more. Andy was a baseball genius, whose family soaked him in the game and the business of baseball from the cradle – from collusion to contraction, from franchise relocations to contract negotiations, from the field to the front office. Those difficult weeks where you rolled up your attorney sleeves and made a relationship with the guy inside of Major League Baseball who thought he wanted to be the Commissioner and saw the game through the same green goggles you had while you were $200 million in the hole for all of your ineptitude and sins of