Tag Archive | "Nats"

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Orioles, Nats and MASN Money for Dummies: A complete primer on how Peter Angelos has lied and pocketed your dough

Posted on 03 January 2016 by Nestor Aparicio

“What you can expect, though, that those that comment – putting aside the fellow you mentioned (Nestor Aparicio), who you know is not even worthy of getting into that (chuckles), it really makes no sense to respond to him – the responsible people, who know baseball and who are baseball fans – the writers like you (Stan Charles) – if they want to criticize, they better look at the economics. They owe it to the public to explain to whoever is interested that the problem is disparity in revenues. Now, I have heard some of them mention that this MASN development might really generate some real funds, which would permit the Orioles to spend more money. That’s a pretty strong acknowledgment that the key to all this, to get off the losing years and so on, is more money invested on the field. And obviously, with that becoming available, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We’re going to do that because we are hometown and we are sensitive to what the public is thinking. I know a lot of Baltimore fans, and, just personally, I want them to feel like I am responding to their wishes.”

Peter G. Angelos, May 2006

(as told to PressBox via Q&A)

PETER G. ANGELOS DOESN’T WANT YOU to know about the billions of dollars he has collected, dispensed and quietly usurped from local sports fans from six states via your cable television bill. It’s time for someone who is “responsible” to do the math on where all of that money has gone over the last 10 years as the Orioles, and its spinoff cable TV partner the Mid Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), have become a virtual annuity for the owner here in Baltimore.

Clearly, given the dozen years that he’s fought with his Major League Baseball partners, Bud Selig, Rob Manfred and now Ted Lerner and the Washington Nationals over this incredible sum of “found” money, surely there must some large pot of gold somewhere? The Washington Post wrote that it was $298 million in dispute from 2011 to 2015 after the New York Supreme Court hearing in early November. But that’s just the tip of the financial iceberg – a small number compared to all of the money that’s been flushed through MASN since it was berthed as a olive branch to Angelos by then-commissioner Bud Selig for allowing baseball back into the nation’s capital in 2005.

Over the last decade, I’ve been portrayed as a liar or a heretic by Peter G. Angelos and his media partners. After 21 years with a Baltimore Orioles media credential, my access was taken away by the club in 2007.

However, my track record still stands as unblemished heading into 2016.

I always tell the truth and write the truth. (That’s why you’re here.)

As you’ll see, I’ve put in all of the work for you – a little “term paper” for you oldtimers who spent time with microfiche in a lonely library – so you can learn about this history and realities of how the Nationals came into existence and what it’s meant for Baltimore and Washington baseball and the fans.

This series of facts is presented with two educational goals:

  • Track everything that was said – and very openly in the “mainstream” media – a decade ago when Angelos began this power struggle for the future money of Washington, D.C. and what he considered his market
  • Document everything that has happened since he began this trail of lies in search of all of the money that was designed and originally earmarked to improve the Baltimore Orioles

Everything presented in this series will be linked to major media entities like Forbes, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The New York Times, ESPN/Grantland, Sports Illustrated, USA Today and various reports with financial annotations. I’ve always been accountable in my work. Meanwhile, accountability is always completely absent from the mind and spirit of Angelos and his …

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Nationals select Ryan Ripken in 15th round of MLB Draft

Posted on 07 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Nationals conclude 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft

The Washington Nationals concluded the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Saturday afternoon, selecting 30 players to round out this year’s draft class.

Over the course of the three-day draft, the Nationals selected 21 pitchers (seven left-handed pitchers, 14 right-handed), four catchers, 10 outfielders and five infielders.

Among the players the Nats selected Saturday was first baseman Ryan Ripken (Gilman) out of Indian River State College in Florida.

Ripken is the son of former Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame SS Cal Ripken. The younger Ripken was drafted by the Birds in the 20th round of the 2012 Draft before passing on the opportunity to accept a scholarship to play baseball at South Carolina.

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Chen battles Strasburg with Birds looking for sweep

Posted on 20 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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Jones big again as Orioles top Nationals…again

Posted on 19 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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Orioles 6, Nationals 5 final box score

Posted on 19 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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Hammel, Detwiler face off Saturday night at Nationals Park

Posted on 19 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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Orioles, Nationals square off with something at stake for first time

Posted on 18 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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Wieters Leads Way As Orioles Squash Nats

Posted on 24 March 2012 by WNST Staff

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With Nats-Orioles series looming, we get more stupid comments from Peter Angelos

Posted on 21 May 2010 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s another interesting spring weekend for the local baseball aficionados in the area who bring their civic report cards as well as a copy of the MLB standings with them to the ballpark. The Baltimore Orioles are once again visiting the Washington Nationals and this time one set of fans finally cares about the vaunted “Beltway Series” that Peter Angelos swore over and over would never happen.

And it’s not Baltimore…

Angelos, while sitting with me at The Barn in 1997 and then again various times in the ensuing years, opined that the “Baltimore vs. Washington rivalry” would never happen in my lifetime.

Today, with the Nationals beginning to flourish in the NL East in their sixth year of existence and Angelos pocketing upward of $40 million per year off of the transaction, the owner of the Orioles finally spoke out.

Angelos was asked in a rare appearance in the daily fish wrap this morning about whether the “rivalry” would ever catch on to be local Hatfields and McCoys.

His response: “You never know. It’s kind of early to say if that will happen.”

Actually, Mr. Angelos, it’s been six years. The Ravens won a Super Bowl for Baltimore in their fifth year of existence.

The Nationals have the greatest prospect in the sport, pitcher Stephen Strasburg, coming to their ballpark every five days in the midst of what could be a first-ever pennant race this summer for D.C. on the backside of a major first-round flop by the other team in town that wears red, the Capitals.

With the Redskins living in an almost Angelosian world of their own under the reign of Danny Snyder and the Wizards being just as dreadful as the Orioles have been for almost three decades now, the people of the District are waiting for a winner.

And if the Nationals provide that, the people will come and support them in that beautiful new ballpark just off the Metro east of downtown. And they will wear red. And the Senators will be a faded memory just like the Colts were here the first time we celebrated Festivus and decorated our Christmas trees purple in Baltimore.

All of the rhetoric – and believe me I’ve heard plenty of it this week from all walks of life after Free The Birds 2010 – is a waste of time.

For the fans it’s not really about money or players or even love of baseball. It’s really about civic pride.

And what self-respecting Baltimorean wants to go down to Washington D.C. to watch the former Montreal Expos — a team that the ineptitude of Angelos’ ownership birthed — kick our civic asses while the owner of OUR team cheers them on?

As Angelos said today: “”What’s good for the Nationals is good for MASN. That makes me happy, and that makes Mr. Lerner [Nationals managing principal owner Ted Lerner] happy. They are partners in the MASN network. The better they do, the more interest it generates.”

Right…

So in a season when the Orioles are 13-29, it almost BEHOOVES Angelos to allow the Nats to take three in a row here and gain ground on the Phillies and all of the other NL Wild Card contenders.

(Everything I say or do or write regarding Angelos is considering “piling on” these days but 13-29 is 13-29. Thirteen years of losing is thirteen years of losing. And 1,200 in the ballpark will always get you a comparison to the Expos. What’s happened here is nothing short of a civic disgrace, especially in the same generation that gave us Bob Irsay.)

But I’ve saved the best for last – and this was Glenn Clark’s favorite quote today for a different reason.

“I’m sure the Washington team will continue to improve, and I made the side comment that I’m hoping the Orioles will get their act together,” Angelos said.

(As Glenn said, he is DIRECTLY responsible for the Orioles but can only “hope” that they’re on the mend and his speaking of the Orioles in some “third person” way is as sad as it is maddening. He’s gutless to disassociate himself with this mess but such is his pretzel logic and ill manner.)

Angelos is SURE the Washington team will improve because when they make more money this summer on ticket sales, suite sales and advertising revenue instead of MASN house ads, they might actually SPEND it – like they did on this kid Strasburg who will make them a lot of their money back in his first five starts, which will almost certainly be sellouts given that the team will actually MARKET Strasburg and welcome folks down to see him play the way Matt Wieters created a stir here last spring.

Honestly, this is probably my favorite Angelos quote of recent times because it could be MY quote, too.

Read it again:

“I’m sure the Washington team will continue to improve, and I made the side comment that I’m hoping the Orioles will get their act together,” Aparicio said.

Spoken like a fully-vested, responsible, “hopeful” C.E.O.

I “hope” we get our act together.

Yes, Mr. Angelos, so do I.

I’ve been hoping for 13 years now.

And as much as you think you can refer to the Orioles as “they” when you own the team and get away with it. You’re not going to have that happen here.

Maybe your “partners” at CBS Radio and MASN and PressBox and the like won’t take you task on this quote but this might’ve been the dumbest thing you’ve ever said in the media.

Call around town to our competitors and ask them what THEY think about the owner of the team referring to the Orioles in the third person.

Maybe one day Cal Ripken will get involved and we’ll be so lucky!

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A weekend of MASN and Baltimore and Washington and “Battle of Basement”

Posted on 24 May 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Well, if they weren’t going to get the sweep at least they lost in dramatic fashion. Jamie Walker gave up a prodigious grand slam to Adam Dunn in the 7th inning and the Nats beat the O’s 8-5 to avert a sweep in D.C.

Brad Bergesen pitched well enough. The Orioles battled and the game was pretty nip and tuck through the middle innings with lead changes, big hits and competitiveness. But it all unraveled in the 7th for the O’s bullpen after Bergesen hit the shower.

I’ve spent all three days pretty much glued to the TV watching this series. I was just as amazed by all of the empty seats as I was the full ones. It looks like they sold a lot of tickets and many didn’t come. It was just weird looking at it for 30 innings over the last 45 hours.

I’ve been wanting to write a blog all weekend but I thought I’d just do a “summary” here today about what I’m thinking as I watch all of this pretty-much lousy baseball.

I’m also a little overwhelmed with MASN’s hodgepodge display of Nats and O’s as “friendly rivals” and how chummy the “Battle of the Beltway” feels as they both meet again and are both again headed for the basement of their respective East divisions. I call it the “Battle of the Basement” and it feels like it’ll probably be that way again next year.

With Jim Palmer back in the booth today, it was a refreshing change from the Nats-dominated coverage from Friday and Saturday. And when Cakes talks, I listen. He’s one of the few (Dave Johnson would be another) who actually teaches me stuff as I watch the game. I like that.

So, before I criticize MASN, let me say that Palmer eradicates many of their deficiencies with his brilliance, information, stories and general arrogance and candor. At this point, he’s Howard Cosell compared to what I hear anywhere else on MASN, CBS Radio, 105.7, Pressbox or anyone else who is “on the payroll” with the Orioles, Angelos or the axis of the “powers that be.”

But I’m just overwhelmed with how “templated” the Orioles and Nationals “fan experience” is when they tune their favorite club in on television. Both of their TV ratings are in the dumper and heading south with my last place summer nights. So, I suppose, other than telling us when Matt Wieters comes and pitching more events and MASN house ads and promotions, what else can they do with these teams that will be well into September before they win a combined 100 games?

But I love baseball. And I’m watching. And I’ve been taking some notes this weekend on Baltimore vs. Washington and how “flat” this thing feels.

Some random observations:

* A lot of orange in the seats all weekend in D.C. The O’s fans represented in almost Boston-like color in the seats. I’m not sure if that’s the D.C. side of the fanbase that thought that having a team they knew would suck as opposed to Montreal’s problems and MLB’s ownership would be a better play five years ago?

I’m not really sure how I would feel if I lived in Rockville and loved baseball. Why would I become a Nats fans? (Granted, it’s pretty easy to jump off the orange ship with the way Angelos has behaved with D.C. in general over the past 15 years. He’s more disliked in D.C. than he is here for trying to block the team’s entrance and now summarily screwing up the TV rights and presentation of the games.)

I suppose it’s the same situation for someone in Baltimore who truly fell in love with the Redskins in 1984 and just became a fan of the “nearest” team. I’ve rooted for the Capitals most of my life and considered the Bullets my “home” team until they moved into D.C. and changed their name to the Wizards.

It sucks bad enough being an Orioles fan. Imagine adopting the Nationals and watching them BOTH and trying to hang in there watching two doses of MASN every night to get your baseball fix…

* Debbi Taylor, former NESN girl who got her start as Peter Gammons’ girl wonder about 15 years ago at ESPN, makes Amber Theoharis look like Bonnie Bernstein or Suzy Kolber. The Nats broadcast team in general sounds like vanilla, blah, so what, etc. But again, they do have a 13-30 team that they have to make sense of every day. It ain’t easy talking day after day about losing. Trust me, we at WNST.net feel the same way. How many ways can you “sell” something that’s lousy?

* Palmer is hysterically funny. I’m not sure the guys at Famous Dave’s are happy with his assessment of their food, but it is funny.

* Hall of Famer Bob Feller stopped by in the middle of the game today and was just fabulous with one liners and old stories. Jim Palmer and Bob Feller talking old-school baseball might bore the hell out of some of the 21-year olds in the audience, but I love that stuff. I wish Feller, who is now 90 years young, would’ve stayed for two more innings. My Pop told me all about Bob Feller and the old stories are what sustain my interest in baseball these days.

•    I really wish this rivalry were good. The Redskins-Ravens thing is hot. Even when both teams suck, the game will always be a four-year war and the fans draw up the battle lines. I’m good with that. I hate the Redskins. I want to hate the Nationals. But neither one of these teams gives me any reason to feel any emotion. We had a bus trip planned for today and couldn’t find anyone who wanted to go. That’s pretty sad, I think. The Nationals are – alas — just “another team.” I wonder if sometime in the next 10 years whether it will ever develop into a “Hatfield-McCoy” thing. Right now, that feels a long, long way away…

* The one thing that I have found thoroughly offensive since Friday night has been MASN’s “mixed marriage” coverage. Look, I CLEARLY KNOW AND APPRECIATE that they’re “saving a buck” by combining the coverage. But if I hear Dibble call the Nationals “us” or “we” again or watch one more dorky Nats fan talk about “defining moments” in the same exact canned ads as they play on the Orioles broadcasts as they start the day 12-30, I’m gonna puke.

Angelos really HAS screwed up both cities for baseball. At least it’s comforting to know MASN’s just as lousy as a “templated” D.C. product.

And while I’m on it, the marketing phrase “Birdland” sucks. It’s just awful.

In D.C., they’re clearly “cultivating” Natstown”

As my wife pointed out, what would be wrong with “O-Town”?

Or “O’s Town”?

Anything but “Birdland,” which sounds like a place a last-place team would play to me.

•    I’ve gotta go now. Ray Knight and Johnny Holliday are on talking about the Nats in HD. I have to tune into MASN2 now to see Rick Dempsey and Tom Davis try to make sense of a loss to the Nats.

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