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MASN Money For Dummies (Part 2): Understanding MASN, Orioles history and big money for Chris Davis

Posted on 07 January 2016 by Nestor Aparicio

“When we bought this team we paid $173 million for it and we owe approximately $75 or $80 million on it. In other words, we put up about $90 million in cash and the rest of it was mortgaged – like you get a mortgage on a business or a home or property you might own. We have to pay roughly $9 or $10 million a year in principal and interest on this franchise. And that hasn’t stopped us from being one of the top-spending clubs in the American League or for that matter Major League Baseball. The reason we are is because, basically, it’s the support of the fans that come to see the Orioles. Now in a way, it’s self-perpetuating. If you give the fans, particularly Orioles fans, a winning team, a team that’s competitive you’re going to get supported completely. I believe in that. Along with that ballpark that’s the gem of all ballparks, I believe that if we put a potential winner on that field every year, which is what we intend to do, we will be successful. And eventually we’ll make some money, and also we’ll pay off the mortgage which is also an important proposition.”

Peter G. Angelos

The Barn

March 1997



SOMETIMES, THE MISINFORMATION AND PROPAGANDA that Peter G. Angelos and his minions at the Baltimore Orioles spin regarding money, affordability and profit seems inconceivable to anyone who has been paying attention for almost a quarter of a century and doing the math.

It’s been a generation of mostly awful baseball and an extremely poor commitment to a winning product on the field for the fans of the Orioles.

Meanwhile, it’s been an absolute goldmine of riches for the Angelos family.

The results, the actions, the promises, the facts, the lies – it all speaks for itself.

The team’s record on the field since 1994 is 1665-1829. That’s four playoff appearances in 22 seasons. The team spent the first decade of the century finishing more than 20 games out of first place in the AL East race every season – and more than 30 games back in five of those 10.

Peter G. Angelos contributed $29 million toward the purchase of the Baltimore Orioles in the summer of 1993. Now, almost 23 years later, the empire has totaled up nearly $3 billion in total value – recent earnings totaling nearly $1 billion plus the current value of the properties.

But it’s almost like following the Donald Trump campaign with a fact checker. For many with a clear view, the “truths” are self-evident. But in the local media, no amount of promises or lies is ever held to accountability. The sports journalism done here is softer than the bottom of the current Orioles 2016 rotation – or maybe even the batting order, for that matter.

In this six-part series, “MASN Money For Dummies,” I’m here to fact check for Orioles and Nationals fans. This is Chapter 2 outlining the history of the local television network and its purpose and links to creating revenue for the local baseball franchises.

Chapter 1 outlines the goal of the series and is available here.

Last month at the team’s Fan Fest, former 50-home run king and current high-ranking Orioles executive Brady Anderson continued to spread the fallacy through the local media that the franchise is a “small to mid-market” team.

That is – very simply – a lie. It’s a myth from another era.

All of the numbers and profits will bear that out.

And if you judge the history of spending, winning, litigating and profiteering – it’s very clear the owner isn’t sincerely committed to winning and competing with other Major League Baseball teams for the best talent available and putting the best players possible into an Orioles uniform each spring.

And why should Angelos spend money or raise the payroll when the real money arrives via the MASN television network long before any commitment to winning is necessary?

In the old days, MLB teams needed to sell tickets and put asses in the seats to make money. Winning and having star players doing it was the formula to making money – or at least the prayer of turning an annual profit on a baseball team.

Angelos is now making between $75 and $100 million in profit per year with the current system of a low baseball payroll for the Orioles and a quiet, widely misunderstood cable television annuity that last year grossed MASN – and Angelos currently owns 83% of that entity – over $200 million from your living room according to SNL Kagan.

It guarantees this to be – by far – the most profitable investment in local sports franchise history.

I’ve done the math. Per Forbes, the Orioles made $197 million in profit between 2005 and 2014. The Angelos portion of MASN has made $397 million in profit since 2009. There was another undocumented chunk between 2005 and 2008 that was at least $100 million in total profit plus the $75 million in cash that MLB gifted him in two payments at the start of the deal.

His initial $29 million personal investment in the Orioles during the summer of …

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Wednesday's PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Wednesday’s PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 31 March 2010 by WNST Interns

The Swinging Bunt

Eagles falling apart in Philly.  You know, I guess I can understand the Eagles’ hesitance in trading Donovan McNabb.  Over the last decade the Philadelphia Eagles have been, if nothing else, one of the most consistent franchises in the National Football League.  Coming off a 3-13 record in ’98, team owner Jeffrey Lurie finally put in place the integral pieces of a puzzle that would result in 5 NFC East Titles, and 8 Playoff births over the next 12 years.  He hired Andy Reid as Head Coach, who in turn hired Jim Johnson as Defensive Coordinator, and the organization selected Donovan McNabb with the #2 overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft.  By 2001 Brian Westbrook was an undrafted rookie making an impact and the Eagles were on their way to 5 NFC Championship Games.  On January 18th, 2008 it seems the Eagles franchise officially began their rebuilding faze.  They lost 32-25 to the Arizona Cardinals that day in the desert and a tumultuous two year time span has ensued.  In the summer of ’09 Jim Johnson, after 40 years of service to the game of football, passed away after a bout with cancer and Brian Westbrook, due to continuous concussion issues, was released by the team this off-season after 10,000 yards and 66 TD’s combined rushing and receiving.  Andy Reid is still the head coach; and yes, he and McNabb are still attached at the hip… for the moment.  But as rumors, speculation, and proposed ‘front’-runners’ for McNabb’s services continue to emerge, it seems all the more likely his football marriage with Philadelphia appears headed for divorce.  It’s a shame, too.  If Jeffrey Lurie hadn’t decided to bring Michael Vick back into the league as his third-string quarterback and paid his $1.5M roster bonus this off-season, McNabb might stand in a better position with the only team he’s ever played for.  But as it stands now, Jeffrey Lurie, the man who facilitated bringing in the foundation of Reid, Johnson, McNabb, and Westbrook in the first place, may now have to hammer home the last spoke to break apart the final two, all by trading the best QB in Eagles franchise history.  Must be a tough trade trigger to have to pull.

Suggested Reading

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: “Steelers are no better than the Bengals.” Strong headline from Ron Cook, who’s not talking about talent, or even winning games, on the field.

Deadspin: Editor Will Leitch takes a look at Baltimore’s very own Orioles in, “The Stacked Deck.” While the title gives the impression of a very positive, upbeat write-up, Leitch comes to this by the end, “Is this what this new plan is leading to? A 78-win season in 2013? That’ll sell some tickets.”  Haha.

SI.com:  Thirteen Sports Illustrated Baseball Experts give their predictions for the 2010 season in their very appropriately named, “2010 MLB Preseason Predictions.” In case you’re wondering, Matusz was named as A.L. ROY on 7 of 13 ballots.

New York Post:  More Tiger details from David K. Li in, “The naked truth on tomcat Tiger.” Apparently we’ll have a long ‘Vanity Fair’ cover story on Tiger’s mistresses coming up very soon.  The Post scoops in for a preview.

Deadspin: Barry Petchesky looks at, “The (other) Least Desireable Gig in College Basketball.” I gave St. John’s a hard time, but it seems they ended up doing decently for themselves with Lavin.  Who does DePaul turn to?

Video of the Day

Who doesn’t love ‘Ridiculous Shots That Don’t Count’ videos?  Here’s Flip Murray’s from last night… pretty incredible.


Tweets of the Day

WNST Comcast Morning Show Producer, Glenn Clark – WNST

GMC: #Ravens vs. #Carolina 8/12 on #ESPN; @ #Skins Aug. 20 or 21; vs. #Giants 8/27 or 8/28; @ #Rams 9/2 in preseason

WNST NFL Correspondent, Chris Pika – WNST

Chris Pika: Former #Maryland hoops player/asst. coach Dave Dickerson is out as #Tulane head coach after 5 seasons, according to media reports.

New York Times College Basketball Columnist, Pete Thamel – PeteThamelNYT

Theme song from Indy: “Its the end of the world as we know it.” Jim Delany (Big Ten Commissioner) tells USA Today that expanded tourney “probable.”

ESPN College Basketball Insider, Andy Katz – ESPNAndyKatz

News conference at Pitt this afternoon to announce coach Jamie Dixon — getting an extension. Not leaving for Oregon as expected.

D1scourse Blogger, Patrick Stevens – D1scourse

So, if Carolina wins tomorrow, will the banner in the Dean Dome read “NIT champion” or “A-10 semifinalist”?

Baltimore Sun National Baseball Writer, Dan Connolley – danconnollysun #Orioles getting clubbed in 5th inn by Red Sox, 9-1. Lester has allowed 2 hits. Maybe both clubs are ready for the season

ESPN NFL Insider, Chris Mortensen – mortreport

Next QB Class: Washington’s Jake Locker, Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett could all be top 5 picks in 2011.

ESPN NFL Insider, Adam Schefter – Adam_Schefter

Waiting on Donovan McNabb gives us something to do while we’re waiting on Brett Favre.

Sports Illustrated Soccer Columnist, Grant Wahl – GrantWahl

Wayne Rooney out 2-4 weeks w/ankle sprain. Could impact ManUtd in Prem/CL, but not England for WC. http://bit.ly/9sIbeJ

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Tuesday's PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Tuesday’s PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 30 March 2010 by WNST Interns

The Swinging Bunt

Trembley decides O’s rotation.  Big news out of Sarasota today.  Orioles fans, your 2010 Opening Day starting rotation: Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen, and David Hernandez.  Determining the five-man rotation is just one personnel decision Dave Trembley needs to make before coming north.  Before Tampa on April 6th, we’ll also learn who’ll occupy the 2-8 spots in the batting order and who gets the last spot or two coming out of the bullpen.  We will all inevitably find out, when Dave Trembley tells us.  Trembley is playing under a different set of rules in this his third full season skippering the big club.  Managerial baseball decisions become much, much more important this season with more talent on the roster than ever before during his tenure.  This season he and his supporters will no longer be able to skate by with the defense of, “… how can he win, look at the talent on the field.”  Dave Trembley needs to win more in 2010.  Again, a good part of the cavalry is here, and along with a couple veteran bats, the talent is a notable upgrade over last year’s dreadful rotation and the Mora/Huff middle of the order.  At times last year Trembley looked defeated in his post-game press conferences due to the wear and tear of losses piling up.  He cited an overall lack of professionalism in his clubhouse as one of the major reasons for losing, and rightfully so.  Last year Trembley had to run out ballplayers that probably didn’t deserve to be playing on the major league level – yet or ever.  That was then.  This year Trembey needs to facilitate improvement in all aspects of the team by making the right baseball decisions along the way… his job depends on it.

Scanning the Blogosphere

WNST.net: Check out Drew Forrester’s closing points on the Steelers-Harford County fiasco in, “Tongue Kissing the Steelers – The Finale.”

WNST.net: “Tigers outslug Orioles 10-9.” Says here that Dontrelle Willis pitched for the Tigers… by the looks of it, I don’t think much pitching got done by either team.

NYTimes.com: New York Times National College Basketball Writer, Pete Thamel says, “For star power, look to bench, not to court.” He’s right, and for the record, a rhetorical question… who is the best player in the FF?  This guy says, for the college game, DaSean Butler.

SI.com: Former NFL lineman and SI NFL Columnist, Ross Tucker tackles a difficult draft topic in, “Gerhart, Rolle will try to overcome stereotypes to make it in the NFL.”

AL.com: Mobile Press-Register Columnist, Paul Feinbaum takes a really interesting look at the current role of being a beat writer in, “Urban Meyer outburst shows how far beat reporters have fallen.”

ESPN.com: Jerry Crasnick looks at what faces Stephen Strasburg in the upcoming months in, “Facing Monumental Expectations.”

Deadspin.com: Deadspin Editor, Will Leitch previews the New York Mets in, “The New York Mets: The Undulating Curve of Shifting Expectations.”  I just added this story because the picture was too funny not to have in the ol’ blog.

Video of the Day

When Comcast Morning Show Producer Glenn Clark alerted me this morning that the Orioles had re-acquired Joey Gathright, I immediately thought, “Man, he’s fast… and jumps over cars!”


Tweets of the Day

MLB.com Orioles Beat Writer, Brittany Ghiroli – Britt_Ghiroli

Orioles rotation confirmed: Millwood, Guthrie, Matusz, Bergy, Hernandez. #mlb #openingday

MLB.com Orioles Beat Writer, Brittany Ghiroli – Britt_Ghiroli

#Orioles Triple-A rotation will be Arrieta, Patton, Erbe, Simon and Tillman. Not bad.

The Nasty One, Nestor Aparicio – WNST

Nestor: Call me nuts, but methinks 35K #RedSox & #Yankees fans parading through #Baltimore 20X per anum is FAR worse than #NorthHarford crap

WNST Comcast Morning Show Host, Glenn Clark – WNST

GMC: #Orioles reportedly gave Joey #Gathright a minor league deal and #SpringTraining invite. Maybe they don’t own a calendar?

SI MLB Insider, John Heyman – SI_JonHeyman

despite ultra impressive spring, #reds phenom chapman is likely to start season in minors – that’s as of today, anyway.

New York Daily News Yankees Beat Writer, Mark Feinsand – BloggingBombers

First observation about Jason Heyward: he’s enormous. Looks like a 1980s slugger in the Eric Davis/Dave Winfield mode.

Yahoo! NBA Columnist, Adrian Wojnarowski – WojYahooNBA

Kings cut Joey Dorsey largely for clownish behavior, source says. They don’t consider him bad guy, but coaches feared his act rubbing off.

SI NBA Insider, Chris Minnix – ChrisMannixSI

Would Boston native and BC alum Bruce Pearl ever come to BC? @lukewinn

FoxSports.com Senior College Basketball Writer, Jeff Goodman – goodmanonfox

Boston College should make a run at Kansas State’s Frank Martin – has ties to the Boston area and could get players.

HoopsHype.com Editor, Jorge Sierra – hoopshype

Derrick Caracter, Cole Aldrich, Manny Harris and Ricky Martin all coming out.

USA Today Sports Business Reporter, Michael McCarthy – MMcCarthyUSAT

#HBO canceling #”Joe Buck Live” after only three episodes, according to statement from HBO Sports president #Ross Greenburg.

WNST NFL Correspodent, Chris Pika – BlogAndTackle

“ESPN’s Steve Lavin confirms that Steve Lavin will become head coach at St. John’s University …”

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My Thoughts On Tim Tebow .....

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My Thoughts On Tim Tebow …..

Posted on 19 March 2010 by WNST Interns

Ahh, I’m gonna vent today. That’s right, I’m using the WNST blogs for an opportunity to get a few things off my chest. Of course, it’s a rather meaningless topic – in the scope of REAL life. Nonetheless, this is the place to rant about it …..

I Wish The NFL Draft Was Held TODAY !!!!

Call me trite or petty, but I’m really starting to begrudge anything related to Tim Tebow. Have you ever seen a player who’s projected to get drafted somewhere between the 2nd and 5th rounds garner so much attention? And, it extends beyond the daily coverage and anecdotal information by ESPN.

Tim Tebow is being followed by TMZ, Deadspin and the New York Post, along with hundreds of additional media entities. The storylines and contrived scenarios are reaching an extraordinary status, in relation to the real American sports landscape. Heck, he gets as much coverage as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie – for the same stupid reasons.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame Tebow ….. and, I don’t think he’s purposely doing anything to orchestrate the mass amount of media coverage on his daily life. He appears to be a very decent dude, and I’ll imagine he’s a little embarrassed by the attention – like when THOUSANDS of fans attended his pro-day workout, on Wednesday …..

Have you ever witnessed so much specualtion on WHERE a non-1st round pick will end up? The list of standout college quarterbacks, who didn’t merit high NFL expectations is quite long – Jason White, Chris Weinke, Eric Crouch, Danny Wuerffel, Gino Toretta ….. you get the picture, right?

Think about it, handicapping Tim Tebow’s prospective NFL destination is not too hard, right? He’s not likely to end up with a team that REALLY needs a quarterback. And, he’s definitely not headed to a city where young quarterbacks – with tons of upside are standing under center.

So, while the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers, really need a quarterback, I just don’t see them mortgaging a few seasons on a highly potential BUST.

At the same time, teams with young, developing quarterbacks, like the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions are not drafting Tim Tebow. We all know the backup quarterback is the most POPULAR guy in town. And, as much as we love Joe Flacco, if he hits a skid, plenty of knotheads will be screaming for Tebow, if the kid is standing on the sideline.

Baltimore football fans are absolutely not immune to recklessly calling for a certain player to get a shot, regardless of what the team’s experts say. Remember last season?

EVERYBODY wanted Paul Kruger to play. I took the phone calls ….. he was ELVIS. And, his position isn’t nearly as scrutinized as a quarterback.

A handful of other NFL teams have veteran quarterbacks, with plenty of gas left in the tank. This list includes the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants, San Diego Chargers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers. These teams are all competitive and they’re not going to create a quarterback controversy for the same reasons cited in the paragraph, above.

Thus, we have a handful of prospective suitors remaining …..

Pittsburgh Steelers : Call me CRAZY, but Mike Tomlin attended Tim Tebow’s pro day workout for a reason. And, is there a better way to motivate his talented, but ridiculously immature star quarterback? To date, Ben Roethlisberger has done as he wishes, while laughing at the backup threats in Charlie Batch, Brian St. Pierre and Dennis Dixon. Put a potential talent, such as Tebow on the Steelers sideline and if nothing else, #7 will probably take notice.

Jacksonville Jaguars : What can I say? David Garrard is an enigma, of sorts. He’s not really a future star, but he’s not a substandard quarterback, either. And, God knows the Jags would love to fill some of those ugly turquoise seats. Enter Tim Tebow. Think about it – Gators fans would only have a 60 mile drive, on Sundays. And, they could continue to hang Tebow’s picture next to this guy …..

Oakland Raiders : They’re an unpredictable mess. I can see them drafting Tebow and further complicating their quarterback situation, while also setting the team back ANOTHER STEP. By the way, can you imagine Tebow in a more ill-fitted uniform than the Raiders?
Minnesota Vikings : Yes, I can see this happening. If Tebow really is a “raw talent,” he’d probably benefit from standing around and watching Brett Favre for the next 2, 3 or 7 years, right? If he does possess the qualities of an NFL quarterback, Minnesota’s situation offers a good fit – Tebow’s not a threat to Favre, and he’ll likely adapt well to that community.
Indianapolis Colts & New England Patriots : These could be the best two landing spots for Tim Tebow. The quarterbacks are ENTRENCHED legends. Heck, Peyton Manning could throw 20 straight interceptions, with Tebow holding the clipboard and the Indy fans would’nt clamor for a change. The same applies with Tom Brady, in New England. These two locales definitely offer the best learning environment for Tebow.

Well, that’s the prospective list of destinations. I honestly think Tim Tebow will end up with one of the organizations I’ve mentioned. But, who knows ??? Crazier things have happened …..

As much as I’m truly ready to see the TEBOW CIRCUS come to a screeching halt, I do hope he doesn’t suffer any embarrassment as the NFL Draft approaches. I’m not certain he should’ve been invited to New York, unless Mr. Goodell has received some strong indication the Florida Gator will be drafted sometime Thursday night.

I distinctly recall seeing Brady Quinn as he waited in that Green Room, alone, during the final stretch of 2007’s 1st round. Regardless of who it is, that situation sucks.

Thus, I’m surprised the NFL invited Tebow – and I’m equally shocked that he accpeted the offer. He seems like a guy who makes good, calculated decisions. It seems like a pretty poor and contrived gesture. In fact, I suspect some sort of fiduciary reason is really at play.

I cannot be more affirming in my wish ….. I’m looking forward to moving beyond the daily Tim Tebow updates. That said, I think he’s an outstanding dude and pretty modest. I just wanna see him earn any future exposure.

And, yes, I hope he proves all the naysayers wrong.

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Wednesday's Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Wednesday’s Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 25 March 2009 by WNST Interns

The Swinging Bunt

WE MUST PROTECT… our children?  The #1 seeded University of Maryland women’s basketball team marched onto the Sweet 16 last night with a win at Comcast Center over Utah.  Clearly, as Kevin Plank, CEO of Under Armor, would say, ‘they protected their house.’  Apparently, the on-campus home of the Terps is not the only thing needing protection in College Park these days.  The motto for the team this season has been, “We eat kids.”  Let me get that out again, “WE EAT KIDS!”  Courtesy Deadpin, freshman forward Yemi Oyefuwa added, “Every month I choose a child.  Sometimes it’s one from back home (London), sometimes it’s someone from this country.  You try to pick the juicy ones with nice hair, delicious ones, pretty eyes, because you know, the eyes are the best.”  This picture was actually snapped at the conclusion of Silence of the Lambs as Hannibal Lector gets away… Yiiiiiikes!

Scanning the Blogosphere

The Loss Column asks the question no Oriole fans ever want to know the answer to, “What if the Big 3 Stumble?”

Vent about Sports has their 2009 NCAA Basketball All-Tournament Teams… through only the first weekend, of course.  Greivis’ 45 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists land him on the 2nd Team.

The Big Lead wonders if Stephen Curry is the next J.J. Redick at the next level.

The College Hoops Journal has great coverage of the NCAA tournament coverage done by CBS, so far… anyone with kind words for GUS JOHNSON, is good by me.

USA Today’s ‘The Huddle’ blog tells us that DirecTV’s NFL Package will be made available to even non-subscribers next season.

CMS Video of the Day

Are you going through college basketball withdrawal?  I mean, it has been a looong few days, if Patty Mills v. Stephen Curry in the NIT doesn’t float your boat.  So here’s a little something to get those juices flowing on a midweek hump-day…

27 Years of One Shining Moment.

And… if that doesn’t work… always resort to listening to Gus Johnson end-of-game calls.

The Morning’s Final Thought

None sports related here, but an awesome link…

Here are the Top 5 Burgers to eat when you’ve already given up on your life!

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Joe Flacco vs. Bert from Sesame Street

Posted on 09 January 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

While surfing for some of the garbage being said about Steve McNair on the internet today, I tripped across a funny link comparing our civic hero Joe Flacco to Bert from Sesame Street because of the “unibrow” factor. There’s a very funny link here.

And if you’re a real Sesame Street lover — for the record I was more of an Electric Company guy on PBS — you’ll dig this link to the “real” Bert.

I know that Joe doesn’t like for his kid brothers and sisters to make fun of him but I have a feeling this one is going to wind up on the kitchen refrigerator in the Flacco household back in New Jersey. Hey, I didn’t create it. I just shared it!

Do you find the resemblence striking? LOL…

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