Tag Archive | "A-Rod"

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McCarver is giving me a headache

Posted on 01 November 2009 by WNST Interns

I’ll get to McCarver in a moment. First off, the Orioles are selling hope based on the Arizona Fall League performances of prospects Josh Bell and Brandon Snyder. The two corner infield prospects have combined for 4 HRs and 25 RBI and their first 93 ABs in Arizona. The power showing of Snyder is encouraging (3 HRs in 51 ABs) given that he hit only 2 HRs in 262 ABs after a mid-season promotion to Norfolk. When the Orioles fail to acquire a power hitting 1st or 3rd basemen this offseason, rest assured that Bell and Snyder will be sold as the saviors.

I’d hate to be the pitching rubber at Citizens Bank Park tonight. Blanton is listed at 225 lbs. and that’s selling him short. Sabathia is listed at 250 and he looks like he should be playing left tackle for the Jets.

Every October (now November) baseball fans are forced to put up with Fox’s broadcast coupling of the smug Joe Buck and the perpetually clueless Tim McCarver. My distaste for McCarver goes back to my childhood when he was the color analyst on the Mets’ broadcasts on WWOR. Each game was filled with McCarver’s inane, pointless stories and Ralph Kiner’s obvious drunkenness. Listening to McCarver blather on for 3 innings tonight about how he didn’t think Blanton hit A-Rod intentionally made me long for Kiner to burst into the booth with a bottle of Jack. Blanton hit A-Rod for 2 reasons: 1. First base was open and it’s easier to hit him with one pitch than waste 4 to walk him; and 2. It sends a message and gets Sabathia warned before he ever takes the mound. Now if only Blanton would lob one up into the TV booth.

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Jeter feat overblown

Posted on 12 September 2009 by WNST Interns

Derek Jeter collected 2 hits tonight against the Orioles to pass Lou Gehrig and become the Yankee’s all-time hits leader.  ESPN has spent the better part of the last week talking about the oncoming feat and celebrating Jeter’s greatness.  I don’t argue that Jeter is a great player.  He’s a HOFer with multiple championships, there’s no argument.  Let’s cut the hero worship though.

He received a standing ovation tonight and will hold a post game press conference for moving into 53rd place on the All Time hit list with 2722.  Yes, he now ranks ahead of Lou Gehrig, and just behind Roberto Alomar.  Maybe my memory is fuzzy, but I don’t recall Alomar holding a press conference when he collected his 2724th career hit.  I’ll celebrate Jeter’s accomplishment when he actually gets to a number that matters, like 3000 hits, which will probably occur sometime in the 2011 season.

Ken Griffey Jr. is MLB’s active hits leader at 2752.  He is reportedly interested in returning next season for another season with the Mariners, but it is doubtful he’ll stick around long enough to reach 3000.  Alex Rodriguez currently has 2512 hits at the age of 33 and is a virtual lock to reach 300o hits, probably sometime during the 2012 season.

Strangely enough the next active player with next best chance to get to 3000 could be Ichiro.  He currently has 2001 hits at the age of 35.  Ichiro is a hit machine averaging over 200 hits per season in his big league career.  If he maintains his current pace and stays healthy Ichiro could reach 3000 hits around his 40th birthday.  Counting the 1278 hits he collected in Japan Ichiro currently has 3279 professional hits and if he reaches 3000 MLB hits he would also surpass Pete Rose and his record of 4256 professional hits.

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O’s Shutout, Then Take Yanks To The Woodshed

Posted on 10 May 2009 by WNST Interns

Friday Night – O’s Shutout

 

A-Rod returned to visit Camden Yards for the first time this season and promptly crushed a three run homer.  It must be the start of new cycle for him as it was the end of a cycle for Mannywood. 

 

I was glad to see O’s fans giving him the business because he deserves it.

 

Unlike Opening Day CC Sabathia was on his game.  Much to my surprise he pitched a complete game shutout against the birds.  Sabathia has been relatively ineffective thus far but the best cure for a slumping team, or a slumping player is to see the Orioles come up on the schedule.

 

Jeremy Guthrie gave the Orioles an adequate start for the first time in a while.  His lone mistake was giving up the homer to A-Rod as he struck out eight over six innings.  He certainly gave the birds a chance to win.  McCrory gave up a run in two innings in relief as he has been decent filling in for the injured Dennis Sarfate.  Sarfate will be out at least six weeks with a circulatory problem so McCrory will have a chance become a staple in the pen during his absence.

 

It was good to see Brian Roberts break out of his mini-slump with two hits albeit in an Orioles loss.

 

Saturday Night – O’s dominate Yankees

 

The Orioles chased Phil Hughes in the second inning by scoring eight runs.  It was awesome to see that type of offensive outburst considering they were shutout the night before.

 

Adam Eaton was not impressed however because he tried to give the game away by walking the bases loaded in the fourth.  He was only able to muster a five inning performance even though he was staked to an eight run lead.  He managed to give up four runs and walk five.  I personally can’t wait to see this guy leave as he was lucky to win this game based on his performance.  Eaton possesses an apparent desire to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory virtually every start he makes.

 

The offense came alive again and it was great to see the bottom half of the lineup contribute to sealing the win.  Montanez appears to have recovered from his thumb injury as he hit a two-run shot last night.

 

The bullpen should not have had to work so hard with such a lead but our veteran “innings eaters” have proven ineffective in their roles.  I just hope that we don’t burn out any more arms this season with Sarfate and Albers (key contributors last season) already out of commission with injury trouble.

 

Greg Zaun’s bat has also started to come around which is good to see.  Maybe now the public outcry for Matt Wieters will subside for a bit. 

 

Jones and Markakis are still raking.  I imagine that they are pushing each other to higher levels of performance with the anything you can do I can do better routine.  I want to state again that I am excited with Markakis’ development into a solid RBI guy having only eclipsed 100 once in his brief career.

 

Danys Baez has proven to be the O’s best option out of the bullpen so far this year.  The rise in his level of play has significantly affected the Orioles in a positive way as he has had a hand in many of their wins.  I still don’t trust him over the long term but he is finally healthy from his elbow surgery so maybe he will continue to be effective.  I refuse to go as far as to apologize to him for my previous negative criticisms just yet as he still has a lot to prove.

 

As Aubrey Huff continues to deliver his price tag continues to grow.  I would sign him to a two or three year deal now Mr. MacPhail unless you have a plan in place to deal him at the deadline for a younger power hitter.

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Mannywood, And My Diatribe On The Steroid Era

Posted on 08 May 2009 by WNST Interns

Is anyone really surprised, shocked, taken aback?  If you are I don’t know why, Manny Ramirez fits the bill perfectly as an aging superstar who’s numbers haven’t diminished in the least.  Coincidentally he is also Dominican but we will address that much later.

 

Here in Baltimore we have dealt with the specter of steroids for years now.  From people we know used but haven’t actually been confirmed like Brady Anderson who swung half of a tree at the plate and was still able to hit 50 homers one season (his previous high had been 21 while his post high was 24).

 

We’ve dealt with the liars like Rafael Palmeiro who indignantly waved his finger at a congressional committee and boldly proclaimed his innocence.  I am still not sure how he hasn’t been put in jail for that escapade.

 

We’ve also harbored two time cheats like Sammy Sosa.  He not only had to use steroids he also had to use a corked bat in order to produce at the major league level.  He should be completely ashamed of himself and banished from baseball forever.  His little homerun trot was ridiculous, I can still remember the time he thought he hit one out and ended up with a long single due to all the histrionics involved with his celebration.

 

We’ve seen the guys who were barely hanging on to their dream of playing in the majors, the never-weres, such as Larry Bigbie and Jay Gibbons.  The latter looked like he didn’t need steroids and should have just used his Sloth strength, but I guess Chunk’s parents didn’t raise him right.

 

We’ve had has-beens and baseball’s versions of transient nomads such as Jason Grimsley breeze through the organization tainting it with their salacious secrets.

 

We’ve also dealt with our star players using in the prime of their careers like Miguel Tejada and Brian Roberts.  Tejada was a complete fraud because he also lied about his age, and I love Brian Roberts as a player although he is just as guilty as the rest and should not have amnesty because of his good works off the field.

 

As MLB fans we have been duped by all of their attempts to explain away the problem which was festering right under our noses.  The powers that be used excuses such as the improved workout regiments the players had, or the better diets they were keeping.  In some cases it was blamed on bodily aliments like Jason Giambi’s mysterious stomach parasite.  One of my favorites was the juiced ball theory.  How big of a stretch was that one?

 

There were arguments about the decreasing size of ballparks and the lowering of the pitcher’s mound.  The talent was surely to blame; too much expansion they said, the pitching has been watered down.  They even looked toward meteorology for a justification which eventually introduced us non-cigar smokers to the word humidor.

 

Many of us swallowed these shameless reasons just like a child taking medicine.  A spoon full of sugary homeruns made it go down easier.  Perhaps if we swallowed the medicine it would make the pain of soiling America’s Pastime go away.

 

But of course it didn’t and we were forced to be inundated with thousands of stories about steroids, the users, the suspects, and the guys we thought could never have done them.  Then came that farce of the Mitchell Report which was supposed to end the issue once and for all but of course it stirred up more controversy than it settled.

 

That still wasn’t enough.  The television played out a soap opera like theme of he said, she said concerning almost every player one could think of for months on end.  We had to witness the drama unfold between that weirdo Brian McNamee and Roger Clemens.  Who saves used syringes and bloody cotton swabs anyway?  And who cares if Clemens slept with an underage country music singer except for her parents, his wife, and the police, that information wasn’t even relevant but we just had to hear about it.

 

Then we were made aware of the list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball’s ’03 survey testing when someone leaked a name from said list.  It was just icing on the cake when the name turned out to be A-Rod the white night above reproach whom all the experts were eagerly anticipating to break Barry Bond’s record and reclaim baseball’s honor.  There’s a fat chance that baseball will ever recover from that black eye.  The next question was, when are we going to find out the names of the other players on the list? 

 

The answer is we will never find out who did, or did not use steroids during the Steroid Era.  I personally am at the point where I assume everyone did them.  It is now every player’s duty to prove that they didn’t use before I will believe they were clean.  All of the evidence suggests that everyone was using and everyone knew about it.  Some guys were using so much and so regularly that they blew up their own hearts (Ken Caminiti please stand up) or took years off of their lives in the process.

 

At every stage in this process there was a cover-up.  At first it was just supposed to be a few rogue guys who were turning into Mr. Olympia while secretively using.  Then the suspicion was cast on all of the players who were hitting over 40 homeruns a season.  Then it was just supposed to be those guys and guys who had problems healing from injuries (although they appear to cause more injuries than they heal).  Then we found out little speed guys and utility infielders were in on the act.  After that came the revelation that pitchers were involved.  It continued to spiral to the point we are at today where everyone is a suspect and no one is innocent.

 

I love the fact that the baseball establishment always tried to admonish the players who were thought to be using while protecting those groups of players on whom the light of justice had not yet shined.  I can still remember when the argument was for the poor pitchers whose ERA’s were inflated because only the hitters were using, what a croc.  All of the announcers and commentators (especially the former players) knew everyone was using.

 

I too fell prey to sentimentality.  Once I tried to explain to a co-worker, who happened to be a Yankee’s fan, why Brian Roberts all of a sudden started hitting homeruns a few seasons ago.  I was defending him because he was an Oriole getting bashed by a Yankees fan, but in reality I was actually fooled into believing it was real.  My argument (I will never forget it) was that he had hit more than 50 doubles the year before and over the off-season he put on some weight therefore some of those doubles turned into homeruns.  What an ignorant fool I was to actually believe baseball’s lies, how could I have been so blind.

 

Fool me once shame on me, fool me twice shame on you.  I even said years before the whole steroids thing came to the fore that Barry Bonds was the greatest hitter of all time.  Then I realized as an adult his head grew several hat sizes.  That just doesn’t happen naturally folks.  Whether it is HGH, steroids, or whatever cheating is cheating.

 

My personal pet peeve of the whole steroid debate however is when people say that there was no rule prohibiting it in baseball.  Hello, it is illegal you moron baseball shouldn’t have to say that it is bad to do steroids or create punishments for it to tell you its wrong.  All users should be prosecuted by the law.  Personally if a grown man wants to kill himself slowly and shrink his you know whats I think it is his right, as long as you are not infringing on the rights of others it’s up to them.  But the fact remains that steroids are illegal so don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.

 

I personally think the entire steroid issue arose from the preponderance of Latin Americans currently playing in MLB.  If you were to look at the number of players who have violated the MLB substance abuse policy more than half of them are from the Dominican Republic.  And the vast majority of the players are from Latin America in general.  In the 70’s and 80’s scouting Latin American players became en vogue because teams could sign them to cheap deals at a very young age.  When did steroids start hitting the scene, that’s right kids the 80’s.

 

I know there were players from Latin America far before that time that were probably clean, that isn’t my point this is not a racial argument so please don’t skew my words.  Many of the problems in the region (I am including the Caribbean in that distinction) stem from those countries being third world countries.  If you have never traveled to a third world nation before you have no clue what the word poor means.

 

I have personally been to several third world countries, one of which happens to be the Dominican Republic.  I know some of you may have visited and are wondering what I am talking about.  I am not referring to the tourist resorts like Punta Cana, of course it is great there or you wouldn’t spend your hard earned money to go.  Take a step outside of the resort next time and check out the countryside. 

 

My buddy and I went to the Dominican for two weeks last summer and I can tell you first hand how poor the people are there.  We generally refuse to do all of the touristy things that many people do when on vacation because we like the adventure.  So we rented a car and drove around the entire island from Santo Domingo to Sosua and all over in between.  We stayed in small towns and villages and meet all kinds of people.  Many families live in virtual lean-tos supported by concrete blocks.  The majority of the people there are destitute in every sense of the word.  Just riding on their roads and seeing their infrastructure you can tell how bad things are for them.

 

Knowing this information one can understand why they would want to take a chance with steroids in order to improve their chances of being signed by a MLB team.  Even if they don’t make it to the big leagues the money they earn in the minors will make them wealthy in the DR.  Everyone is in on it because they all hope that their family member or friend will strike it rich someday and pay it forward.  The problem is they don’t always do that.  Take Juan Uribe as an example.  He lives like a king in one of the poorest villages in the DR, he doesn’t help the local community and is even accused of trying to murder some of the other villagers. 

 

So the people have to try again with the next great hope.  There are no real laws in the DR in general (there are but they aren’t enforced very well) and there are even less concerning steroids.  These Dominican players can be prescribed steroid regiments by the many quack doctors practicing legally (and often illegally) there with impunity.  Often the drugs they take are veterinary drugs which aren’t even meant for human consumption.

 

The excuses for the prevalence of these players have already started circulating just like the excuses made to cover up the widespread usage of steroids in the first place.  They include the fact that Latin American kids can play baseball year round.  As well as the fact that they have different training methods, such as their version of long toss which builds up arm strength, and many others.  It all comes down to exploitation.  Just ask Jim Bowden about skimming off the top of contracts he arranged for several young players to see what I am talking about.

 

When players like Jose Canseco (Cuban by the way) started to hit everyone got worried about losing their jobs to the Latin Americans, they wanted to do anything to gain an edge and stay in the game.  Instead of saying no way Jose to steroids their use spread like wildfire.  Soon people had to use to keep up with the Joneses.  At least that is my theory.

 

I do find it funny that the guy who baseball vilified as a liar has come out of the whole mess smelling like a rose.  Way to go Jose Canseco you deserve a pat on the back buddy for finally telling the truth after years of cheating and lying and helping to destroy the integrity of a game thousands of people around the world love by helping to introduce steroids in the first place.

 

Manny Ramirez is just another guy in a long line of guys who fit the description of a steroid user.  Deal with it folks they all used and many are still trying to find ways to circumvent the rules.

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Give The Yankees What They Deserve This Weekend

Posted on 08 May 2009 by WNST Interns

Tonight is the night A-Rod makes his season debut.  I want all of the Orioles fans reading this to give him a great welcome and barrage him with the sea of boos that he deserves. 

 

I am not saying to use up all of your boos up on him because I would like to hear an even louder reaction toward Teixeira.  The superstar is batting a robust .198 this season so let him hear it.

 

Of course the overall message I am trying to send here is that I don’t want to see the Yankee fans take over the Yard like they have done in the past.  I am in no way condoning violence or anything of the sort, let’s get that straight.  All I am trying to say is let your cheers and boos outdo their chants. 

 

I find it particularly distasteful when the “let’s go Yankees” cheer is easily audible inside our own stadium.  And yes we do own the stadium it was bought and paid for through public funds so try to take ownership of our house. 

 

I know it is hard to show pride in a team that hasn’t won for over a decade but at least show your pride for Baltimore, or Maryland, or Southern Pennsylvania, or Northern Virginia, or Delaware, or wherever in the area you are from.  If you love the O’s then show it.

 

If you are taking your kids to the game teach them how to sport the orange and black, let’s try to discourage all the other MLB merchandise that I continually see around the park.  During last night’s telecast the cameraman zoomed in on a group of youngsters in the stands one was wearing an Indians hat, one a Mariners hat, and a third wearing a Brewers hat. 

 

I can understand if you are originally from an area and you are instilling the love you feel for your team in your kids, but the situation I just described is more than a coincidence and it is happening more often.  Quite frankly it is almost as embarrassing as the play on the field at times.

 

My closing thought here is something I never thought I would say.  I am actually gaining respect for Derek Jeter.  He has somehow morphed into the least offensive Yankee on the current team (except for maybe Godzilla).  All of the other guys are just plain clowns Damon, A-roid, Tex-liar et al.

 

Again I will be at the Yard this weekend so I will know if you all followed my advice.

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O’s Win See-Saw Affair, A-Rod Official For Friday

Posted on 07 May 2009 by WNST Interns

The game went back and forth through the first three innings but the birds prevailed tonight over the Twins.  It was the first home series win against the Minnesota in four years albeit was only a two game set. 

 

Joe Mauer absolutely destroys Oriole pitching; he is batting .388 lifetime against them.  It’s too bad that he will inevitably be a member of the Yankees or Red Sox in the future so he can further torment us.

 

Adam Jones flashed some spectacular leather in centerfield again tonight.  If he continues to perform and doesn’t make the All-Star team it will be a traveshamockery.  This guy is the future for the Orioles.

 

Brad Bergesen went out to the mound and again gave the O’s a chance to win.  Who said that pitching in the big leagues will kill a young guy’s psyche, he seems to be doing well.  Other teams bring up their young pitchers with impunity why can’t the Orioles?

 

Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw, Rick Porcello, Josh Johnson, Dallas Braden, Trevor Cahill (the list is longer but you get the point) are all guys who were brought up by their clubs at young ages and haven’t been completely paralyzed by fear or messed up psychologically. 

 

That whole line is just a bunch of phooey which the Orioles love to shove down the fans throats.  The problem is the people who drink too much orange Kool-Aid actually believe that nonsense.  Just because the Orioles have tried to develop some head cases (Matt Riley, Sidney Ponson) doesn’t mean that all young pitchers are that way.  Chances are if they can’t do handle it now they well never be able to handle it.

 

It’s also good to note that the ol’ sheriff George Sherrill yet again put the tying run on base before saving the game.  I pray every day that Chris Ray will return to form so Sherrill can be deposed from the closer role.  A closer can’t put that many guys on base and consistently get the job done.

 

Troy Patton appears to be throwing well at AA, hopefully it is only a matter of time before we see either he or Rich Hill relegate Hendrickson to the bullpen.

 

I’m anticipating the good times rolling into the weekend because I would like nothing more than to see the birds beat down the Stankees.  And yes it is all but official A-roid will be in the house on Friday.  The Yankees are hoping he can provide insurance in the lineup for their faltering investment at first base.  Tex-liar and A-rod will probably get along famously because they are both so fake they might even make each other sick.

 

I’ll be at the Yard probably on Saturday, but definitely on Sunday so if you see me down there feel free to say hello.  Also stay tuned for a Manny blog coming tomorrow.

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A holiday message to Peter Angelos and the Orioles

Posted on 24 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

The Baltimore Orioles can try to silence their critics today and attempt to ban the free speech of all of their many disgruntled customers and fans from posting angry diatribes on message boards like WNST on the internet, but there’s no getting around it if you’re Peter Angelos today. If you are from Baltimore and love Baltimore sports and you are celebrating any religious holiday from Christmas to Hanukkah to Kwanza to Festivus over the next 48 hours and anywhere from Highlandtown to Hong Kong, inevitably amongst so many family and friends with food and drink and cheer, you’ll be talking about two things:

1.    How much the Orioles suck and once again what a disgrace it is to be an Orioles fan (and/or a MLB fan in general) after this whole Mark Teixeira fiasco

And …

2.    How much fun the Ravens have given us this year and whether they can win this Sunday against Jacksonville and whether they’ll go far into the playoffs and give us the thrill of a Super Bowl again

Clear advantage: Ravens

“WNST” has no control over any of your holiday conversations. There is no “WNST stance” at your dinner table. There are just facts and opinions. Yours and mine. My opinions are listed right here, under the heading “Nestor Aparicio’s blog.” Yours are listed below in the comments and as long as you don’t write like a complete jackass and you’re staying on the topic – which is Mark Teixeira and the Orioles and the Yankees and free agency and baseball or the Ravens and the Jaguars and the NFL playoffs – your unabridged words get YOUR name on it just like mine do. And agreeing with me – or disagreeing with me — is not even remotely part of the equation. Just say what’s on your mind. Write what’s on your mind. And have some sensible, logical argument loaded with facts and documentation to back it up. And as the Ravens would say: “Don’t be a jerk!”

And there’s nothing Peter Angelos can do to ban you from speaking your mind on the internet. (Although I’m not really sure he knows the internet exists based on the Stalinist manners in which the team is positioned publicly by not answering legitimate questions from legitimate journalists about the issues of the team and the economic strife it causes the downtown business community.)

That’s what WNST.net is all about: free speech. And people have really been speaking up on this Teixeira situation. Not just here, but all across the internet and on our Facebook page as well.

The informed and “smart” people are pissed that the Orioles continue to print money with a Wayne’s World television network that we are all funding publicly via our cable bill and then refuse to reinvest our money back into the community via putting a quality product on the field that resembles Major League Baseball. The uninformed (or those who continue to get their “state-run news” from places like MASN, The Examiner, The Sun, Pressbox and CBS Radio, who all are directly funded and thereby controlled by Peter Angelos) will say that Mark Teixeira is a “traitor” and his filthy agent Scott Boras is a rat and did the Orioles dirty all because they refused to take a measly $40 million dollars less to come and try to salvage this disgraceful franchise from itself.

People ask me all the time about the Orioles and Angelos and MASN and being “banned” from asking any legitimate questions about the franchise to anyone inside the franchise. You know, the way I did for 20 years to make a living and feed my family. You know, like a real journalist, which I’ve been since 1984 through both big city newspapers and a variety of radio stations here and across America.

And my answer is always the same: it’s not what I think that’s important. I’m just one voice and in the old world before the breakdown of a “closed” media in America and before the internet, mine was one of a dozen significant voices in Baltimore that could be heard by the masses – four guys via television, four or five sports talk radio hosts and the handful of sports columnists from The Sun.

But over the last few years – let’s say since Miguel Tejada signed here – it’s changed greatly because of the internet and the ability for the “common fan” to speak out on more than just sports radio. And it’s their ability to put their real name and their real pictures with their thoughts. Are you on Facebook? If you are, you know what I mean. (As an aside, if you’d like to blog here at WNST.net, just drop me a note and I’ll do my best to get you started. We’re looking for people who love local sports as much as we do!)

And over the next two days anyone who is from Baltimore and is having a ham or a turkey or an egg nog or some cookies with their holiday cheer will be talking about the Orioles and Ravens. That’s always been a fact, sports and conversations with family during the holidays. But those conversations are now open for the public to view via the internet. Social media is a bitch, like that. There’s nowhere to hide anymore…

It’s not just “that loudmouth from Dundalk” screaming on the radio.

It’s the thousands of people from Owings Mills to Oakland, from Aberdeen to Arbutus, from Hunt Valley to the ‘hood, who feel the same way I do saying the same things I’ve been saying since the firing of Jon Miller and Davey Johnson. Try as they might to make Andy McPhail the “fall” guy on this one, the truth is pretty clear to anyone with a brain: nothing has truly changed in this franchise except for the Baltimore script on the road, gray sweaters.

Because I have created a public forum here on WNST.net I don’t have to speak for the many, many people who are disgruntled. Most of them are like me — disguised summer night after night as empty forest green seats that used to be filled with people from our community who felt aligned with the team and felt a part of a civic bond that brought our parents and grandparents joy in being Baltimoreans and being Orioles fans. It meant something. It meant a LOT. It made grown men by the thousands openly sob when Memorial Stadium was abandoned for Camden Yards over 17 years ago (God, has it really been that long?).

(If you doubt that the “feeling” exists, think about how the Ravens made you feel around 11 p.m. on Saturday night on TV from Dallas or how you’ll feel at 4:15 this Sunday, with your heart pounding and your pride on red alert…that’s what I’m talking about it. When you can feel that way about the Orioles again, you’ll know and recognize it as one and the same.)

Through the comments section of this website and many others (including Facebook, which is amazing), the “little people” get to say what’s on their minds now and it ain’t pretty for Angelos, McPhail and the Orioles. It’s impossible to be an Orioles fan or a fan of MLB without the obvious “truths” slapping you on the skull like a Daniel Cabrera or Armando Benitez floater: THE GAME OF BASEBALL IS BROKEN and has been broken for YEARS! And the Orioles are just terrible at “playing the game” of modern baseball. Whether it’s drafting or signing players or marketing or being good community partners and treating fans, customers, employees and the media with any dignity or respect with truth and honesty, this franchise finds ways of alienating just about everyone consistently.

The community is comfortably numb and has been for years. People are “ho hum” about the Orioles’ inability to get out of the cellar.

This inability to come even remotely close to getting a local boy the stature of Mark Teixeira into a Baltimore jersey – and then blaming it on the agent or the player’s heart or saying “too much money” when the truth is that their efforts to land him were predictably insulting and lame – is Standard Operating Procedure. From Syd Thrift to Mike Flanagan, from Jim Beattie to Andy McFail — you could see this coming a mile away if you are a student of the “Oriole Way” under Angelos’ tenure.

Did you really believe that Angelos and McPhail would find a way to land Teixeira? C’mon…really? I’ll put this in a language Angelos would understand: What precedent would have predicted a victory on this one?

It’s really rather uncanny that they seem to screw up everything all the time, even when they have the money to make a “tipping point” change in the direction of the franchise. Being known as the “anti-Pete” here in Baltimore (again I’m just an educated guy with a voice…most people I meet feel the way I feel), I almost never have to worry about “eating crow” or them ever getting any good anytime soon because when they hit the “Y” in the road of decision – during those pivotal times in the growth of the franchise — they allow occasions like this Teixeira situation to happen over and over again.

(And for the record: I’d LOVE to “eat crow” and watch the Orioles win 92 games next year like the Rays did. Nothing would be better for our city than to have the Orioles win…)

This Teixeira fiasco is what makes them perennially losers, on and off the field, inside and outside the stadium and The Warehouse.

For them to blame it on “money” is just ludicrous. It’s a sick joke, really, that they put $22 million more back into their pockets yesterday all while pointing to the Yankees and MLB and Boras as the “evil villain.” This franchise and the Angelos family and investment group is simply awash in millions of dollars from MASN and the entire premise of the public financing the betterment of the franchise via our cable bills was their civic promise to get better and to compete. On — and off — the field!

And if they can’t compete with the Yankees on the only player of this generation who would actually consider coming to play for the Orioles in the prime of his career and change things for the better and change the public sentiment about whether Angelos really cares about seeing a World Championship in Baltimore before he dies – then why are they even in business? Are they playing for third place in AL East?

Why doesn’t this miserable group just sell the team already and let the healing begin for the city and the franchise? Ya know, FREE THE BIRDS already…

Here’s the real question for Teixeira: if the money had been equal, would he have really signed in Baltimore knowing what he knows about Angelos, this franchise and how unhappy all of its players have been for a decade? Only he will know the answer to that question but – sure — I have my doubts…

(I bet if Cal Ripken owned the team, Teixeira would be an Oriole. But, who wants to take that bet or play that game?)

No doubt about it: the way the Yankees sign players is an outright embarrassment to the game and the fact that their payroll is over $200 million and the Orioles will be $65 million creates a competitive imbalance that is almost impossible to overcome. And that’s with or without a luxury tax. And that’s with or without Teixeira in orange and black. (And you can fill in your Tampa Bay or Marlins feel-good story here, but that’s an anomaly over the course of the past 12 years.)

The real story is this: the Orioles have PLENTY of money. They have been stealing money from the cable companies for almost three years now. MILLIONS of dollars have been lining their pockets simply because the Washington Nationals exist. As much as Angelos fought to keep the Nationals out of the nation’s capital, it’s by far been the biggest financial windfall of his awful stewardship of our civic treasure that’s been so sordidly tainted that it’s almost unrecognizable as Orioles baseball. The franchise has gone from being worth $172 million in 1993 to more than $750 million because of the cashflow of MASN and the undercurrent of cash that the Nationals pay King Peter.

So just what do the Baltimore Orioles stand for in 2009? What is their mission statement?

Are they in business to bilk the public out of tens of millions of dollars via their Mickey Mouse TV network or are they trying to fix the team on the field, bring back enthusiasm for their core product – Major League Baseball – and help the city get stronger on summer nights with a full ballpark and a bustling downtown business community? Are they committed to making their fans proud to put those “Baltimore” sweaters back on or are they presenting lip service by signing Cesar Izturis and saying Teixeira “cost too much”?

I’m honestly not sure what they’re trying to do, other than “save face” when another big ticket ballplayer spurns their “Confederate” money to go to New York and play for the Yankees. And they’re even doing a lousy job of covering up what happened over the past few weeks.

The truth is this: they didn’t really want Mark Teixeira.

Sure, you can harbor all of the anger and resentment you like in the direction of Mark Teixeira. It’s not his mercy mission in life to come and play for the dreadful Orioles who refuse to offer him a market rate salary and then expect him to come here and play for 20% less money and also expect him to be a miracle cure for all that ails this woeful, woebegone franchise. He’s a baseball player, not a martyr. And quite frankly, why should he take LESS money to play for the Orioles, especially when Angelos and the franchise actually had the money to pay him?

Ask yourself – and ask honestly – if you were Mark Teixeira, why would you take $40 million LESS to come play for Peter Angelos when you could go to New York and play in front of the biggest crowds in the best environment and with the best chance to be successful and have fun?

If you were Mark Teixeira, you would’ve done the same thing he did yesterday. You’d be wearing pinstripes just like him.

You really would…

And the Orioles have no one to blame but themselves for allowing this to happen. Peter Angelos had a chance in the last negotiation to attempt to get a salary cap for baseball. Instead, Don Fehr bent him and his buddy Bud Selig and the MLB owners over for another decade of days like yesterday when the best players in the game (ARod, Jeter, Sabathia and Teixeira are the four highest-paid players in the business) opt not only to wear pinstripes, but also to get the most amount of money while they’re doing it.

Instead, six years ago, Angelos fought for social welfare with his own customer base by taking Comcast to court and winning nearly $3 per month from every household in the state. He’s getting paid well over $100 million a year just for having that lightweight television network. He’s been getting drilled in the public forum for years for doing the “wrong thing” with the baseball team and the community. He had a chance to step up and change that yesterday. He could’ve “bought” himself a few years of peace by stroking a check and stepping up and saying, “I’m trying hard and it’s as important to me as it is to you!”

But once again, he’s the fool with the deep pockets. Instead, King Peter “passed” on Mark Teixeira. And he put the money back into his own pocket. That’s just a fact.

And I’m just one voice in a cacophony of people screaming “FREE THE BIRDS” over their holiday meals this week.

And of course, “GO RAVENS” as well.

Merry Christmas. Happy Hannukah. Cheerful Kwanza.

Festivus, of course, doesn’t begin until Sunday at 7…

At least we hope…
P.S. Tell your family you love them this week!

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Steve McNair at Camden Yards

Posted on 18 April 2008 by WNST Staff

So being fortunate to stand on the field and watch Steve McNair throw out the first pitch tonight was a pretty cool experience. There was a long line to get an autograph from Steve and he stood there and signed. When Steve was introduced, many of the fans in attendance as well as the players applauded McNair.While Steve was waiting to walk out on the field, Steve watched the video tribute to him that was on the jumbotron and appeared as though he was about to tear up. Steve turned his head a couple of times from watching the video.
 
While Steve was walking out to the mound, Alex Rodriguez tipped his cap to Steve. After Steve threw out the first pitch, A-Rod walked over to McNair and shook his hand and told him that he enjoyed watching him play. McNair said he was taken back by having an athlete like A-Rod compliment him. The
 
You can listen to the entire interview after the first pitch in the Toyota LiveWeb audio vault. McNair talks about retirement, baseball, A-Rod, football, and what it was like this morning to wake up and not have to think about football.

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Thoughts with my bowl of fruit loo

Posted on 10 April 2007 by WNST Staff

For those of you that might have missed it yesterday, or want a good laugh this morning, here is the video of Kevin Millar dancing yesterday.

 

There are some other ones of Kevin on there that I am going to ask him about this afternoon-in particular one video that you will find of Millar when you watch the above video.

 

Tonight will be a big night for Jaret Wright when he toes the mound against the Tigers, Jaret has to go out there and prove that the performance in Minnesota was a hopeful hiccup, but we shall see.

 

Another positive out of yesterdays game, was that the bullpen got a little bit of a rest after being used a lot over the first week of the season.

 

Anyone see Sir Sidney getting beat around by the Twins last night? They were teeing off on him last night, the A-Rod HR was a shot to the opposite field-again I am sticking to my A-Rod MVP case.

 

 

Will be back later today with more thoughts about tonight

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Random Though

Posted on 08 April 2007 by WNST Staff

Is there any question as to why A-Rod is one the best players in all of baseball? Big time players make big time plays, and that was never more on display than yesterday in Yankee Stadium. I still will stick with A-Rod as my vote for MVP on the AL for this season – then he will leave the Yankees.

 

You notice how almost every ball that is it in the air off of Chris Ray he points to the sky?  I think yesterday he was trying to warn a bird or a plane that there was a chance the ball was going to hit them- or maybe it is just me.

 

Nice job by Steve Trachsel yesterday against the Yankees, he definitely rose to the occasion and did his part to get his team the win.

 

 

Saw Sammy Sosa hit his 1st homer of the season yesterday in the Rangers win over the Red Sox. I will always remember when Sammy was with the Orioles he would hit a ball and do his little hop out of the batters box thinking it was gone, only to watch the ball come crashing down into a glove on the warning track.

 

For you UFC fans out there, watched a great DVD last night on the

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