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The Peter Principles (Ch. 11) – Letting The Moose Loose in pinstripes

Posted on 22 January 2019 by Nestor Aparicio

(Author note: This is Chapter 11 of my book “The Peter Principles,” which I was working to finish in March 2014 when my wife was diagnosed with leukemia the first time. I will be releasing the entire book for free online this summer – chapter by chapter. These are the true chronicles of the history of Peter G. Angelos and his ownership of the Baltimore Orioles. If you enjoy the journey, please share the links with a friend.)



11. Letting The Moose loose in pinstripes


“We’re not in the business of making arrangements with baseball players that border on economic insanity. We are in the business of putting a first-rate team on the field which is composed of athletes who are generously compensated. But when the demands of any one player or more than one player exceed what we believe to be reasonable, we are prepared to go in another direction. If we’re not able to do that, then we become the prisoners of the respective ballplayers. We aren’t going to do that. We don’t operate that way. We play fair. We pay generously. We pay what is generous and proper. I think $72 million to Mussina is plenty of money to Mussina.”

Peter G. Angelos

WBAL Radio

October 2000





THE PETER G. ANGELOS OBSESSION WITH INJURIES and medical reports was in full swing every offseason following the Xavier Hernandez incident in December 1998, when the journeyman pitcher walked away with $1.75 million of orange and black money without ever having to pull a jersey over his head. Angelos wasn’t just outraged and angry. He felt the Orioles had been fleeced and was once again feeling just how powerful the Major League Baseball Players Association was in the sport. In many ways, they employed even dirtier legal tactics then the word salad filth he was accustomed to with tobacco companies and asbestos cases in building his wealth.

The Orioles needed pitching heading into the 2000 season and big right-hander Aaron Sele was on the marketplace as a free agent. Thift and the Angelos boys, who were clumsily heading up the baseball evaluation for the Orioles, both liked his solid makeup and track record with the Boston Red Sox and then the Texas Rangers. He had won 37 games the past two years in Arlington and, at 29, was hitting the peak of his career. He finished strong at 10-3 for the Rangers and helped lead them – along with former Orioles manager Johnny Oates and GM Doug Melvin – to the American League West title in 1999. This was his first big chance to cash in on free agency and the Orioles were considered a prime suitor. Other starting pitchers Andy Benes, Omar Olivares and Darren Oliver were also on the market, but Sele would be a perfect fit for the No. 3 spot in the rotation behind Mike Mussina, who was entering his final year under contract to the Orioles, and Scott Erickson, who struggled in 1999.

On Jan. 7, 2000, Roch Kubatko of The Sun reported that Orioles had agreed with Sele on a four-year deal worth $29 million, with the veteran turning down a four-year deal for $28 million to remain in Texas. Thrift, who was only negotiating a portion of the club’s deals because Angelos always had his hands on the phone as well, told the newspaper, “There’s always the possibility of something not happening.”

Thirft’s words were prescient.

After agreeing verbally to the deal with the Orioles, Sele was administered a physical that the team said raised questions regarding the strength of his arm. Angelos demanded that two years be taken off of the deal. Angelos said that Orioles doctors believed that Sele only had 400 innings left in his right arm.

One of Sele’s agents, Tom Reich, told The Associated Press there was a difference on interpretation with the Orioles on medical tests. Sele had never undergone arm surgery, but missed most of 1995 with an arm injury. But that was five years earlier.

“The dealings with Baltimore were very cordial from beginning to end and it just didn’t work out,” Reich said. “To me, Peter Angelos is a good guy.” This was after his client lost $14 million in guaranteed money and was branded in MLB circles as “damaged goods.”

Two days later, Sele signed a two-year, $14.5 millon deal to pitch for his childhood hometown team, the Seattle Mariners. Once again, a former Angelos employee was involved.

“This thing is like a star falling out of the sky,” said new Mariners general manager Pat Gillick, who felt he got a bargain. “We’re satisfied Sele is as healthy as he was when he finished the season with the Rangers. He underwent a physical on behalf of us with another physician, and our physician talked with that doctor and is satisfied. There is going to be normal wear and tear. You really have to rely on your medical people. They know which bumps along the road you have to watch for and which you can work through.”

Of course, Gillick got in a nice shot on Angelos to the media at the Sele press conference 3,000 miles from Baltimore.

“I’m not aware of exactly the concerns were with Baltimore,” Gillick said. “I think there were some differences of opinion there. I think this is a business where timing is very important. You only have a very small window. You have to react very quickly. Those who hesitate, as they say, are lost.”

By now, the complaints about Angelos were long and varied from any of the long list of qualified baseball

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Purple Woman

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Did you hear what those fools said on the radio over at 105.7 The Fan?

Posted on 27 September 2015 by Nestor Aparicio



“All they need is a drum beat and somebody yelling over it and they’re happy. There’s an enormous market for people who can’t tell one note from another.”

– Keith Richards



SO, I SUPPOSE YOU’VE HEARD the big news that WNST “doesn’t take phone calls anymore.” In the midst of this ugly 0-3 start for the Baltimore Ravens, this is a perfect time for an illustration of the difference between “them” and “us” in the world of local sports radio and media information in 2015.

Who do you go to for news, information and analysis? And who do you trust? And where do you ever truly learn anything about the team or sports or strategy?

I’m guessing if you’re an intelligent, thinking Baltimore sports fan, the format at 105.7 The Fan this week will be like nails on a chalkboard. Wall to wall bitching, 24 hours a day and all fueled by the people who know the least about the team. You know, kinda like what you see at the bottom of the toilet on your Twitter feed.

I hear and read and see a lot of garbage about WNST and 105.7 The Fan ­­–­ contrasts, comparisons, scuttlebutt and nonsense that isn’t really unique in any publicly competitive environment – and it’s far past the time that I finally said something about my upstart “competitor” down the FM dial.

I get paid to be honest and tell you what I think and this is a topic that I’m actually a supreme expert on – sports radio and local media. And let’s be honest: everything they’ve ever done over at the corporate CBS Radio monster was a rip off and a cheap imitation of WNST from the beginning.

So this missive is actually long overdue. It’s time for a report card.

At 105.7 The Fan, they spend their whole public lives judging the work of athletes so as the Bruno Tonioli of this dance, this is a one-time expression of what I think of their “art” and ethics and journalism.

So, here it is:

I’ve had a year now of being back on the radio 24 hours a day, doing the best and most intelligent sports conversations in the marketplace. I’m entering my 25th year of doing sports radio better than anyone in Baltimore has ever done it. And, yes, we’ll be throwing a party in December.

Swimming behind the murky scenes in the media world of sharks and snakes, I’ve dealt with the low blows and insults of WJZ TV corporate poohbah Jay Newman, dealt with the emergence of a New York-driven corporate entity led by radio poohbah Bob Philips attacking my brand over the past decade with various lies and a heinous and baseless lawsuit from one of his pathetic former employees that was designed to get publicity for a lazy media member looking for a cheap headline. All of this “Walmart-style” business as usual from out-of-town corporate monoliths while adjusting to a changing marketplace in the volatile space of modern media during the worst recession in our history.

I also watched my wife battle for her life last year and survive to inspire me to save more lives. I wrote about the changes in my life then – and now. I’m a very happy guy. My life is fantastic and my future is as bright as it’s ever been.

Honestly, having 105.7 around simply shows off how good our work is at WNST.net.

A few of my former hosts, whom I literally plucked from the street and put on the radio to give them their biggest opportunity in life, are over there or elsewhere – where they belong – as I outlined last month.

I’m still very happy about that.

And I’m still here at little WNST, where I’ve been since 1998 as the last local, independent voice in a wilderness of corporate media greed, corruption and stench.

And I’m still quite relevant. Every word I say gets measured, critiqued and heard – except by Arbitron and the local advertising agencies. You’re reading my words right now. So will everyone at CBS Radio.

And, you can certainly be the judge any time day or night from anywhere in the world on your mobile device.

Try my brand and try theirs.

I think the quality of the content speaks for itself.

I rest well every night knowing that we do Baltimore sports media better than anyone in the marketplace – now or ever.

And it shouldn’t shock you that the folks over at CBS Radio don’t like me one iota.

But I’ve been watching their increasingly weak act.

And the primary difference is that they base their content around listener outrage, low information conversation and “uncensored” radio. That, and lazy hosts.

This is a week when I’d love to point out the vast differences between a local guy from Dundalk who

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A year after major changes at WNST, I’m very happy and here’s why…

Posted on 24 August 2015 by Nestor Aparicio


“The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline.”

– O.A. “Bum” Phillips.


A year ago this week, I famously made some massive changes in my life and here at WNST.net & AM 1570. At the time, as you might remember, my wife Jennifer was bald, frail and fighting for her life after battling a rare form of leukemia, the effects of chemotherapy and radiation and in the early recovery phase in the aftermath of a June 26, 2014 bone marrow transplant.

At the time, the moves to reduce my staff and increase my radio responsibilities were considered by many to be “controversial” or “desperate” or somehow inexplicable even though I wrote ­– from my heart – more than 8,000 words in two blogs about the changes. I wrote a lot about happiness and my journey in life and a unique calling to do sports media in Baltimore as my life’s work from the time I was 15 years old.

With the aid of my former employees ­– who fanned a social media assault on me and WNST and my sponsors even as my wife quietly spent the following six days in the hospital in a dark room fighting for her life after the firings – my reputation was being smeared and relationships were being poisoned by the very people I spent years of my life trying to nurture and feed. A year later – and after unearthing many truths that weren’t as clear last August, as well as seeing the world with far more clarity and unfiltered information – I can assure you that I made the right decision.

As a matter of fact, I would say it was the best decision I’ve ever made – downsizing, rightsizing, reorganizing and getting back to doing what I do best and what makes me happy and why I berthed WNST to begin with in August 1998: opining, reporting and talking about Baltimore sports.

I abandoned doing something that wasn’t profitable, didn’t make me happy and didn’t appear to hold out any hope of growing.

I did something that I’ve been doing since January 1984 when I got my first sports newspaper internship: I adjusted and changed and learned and grew.

It’s been 12 months since I’ve blogged about my business, my station or my work/life situation because I’ve been too focused on re-building a fantastic company and my personal brand via a daily regiment and lifestyle that works for me and my family. I also did a little 30-city MLB tour and swabbed thousands of people for the bone marrow registry along the way this summer and threw a May 14th gala with Chuck Pagano for There Goes My Hero that many are still talking about around Baltimore. We’re also working with the premier golf tournament in town with Ruth’s Chris at their Sizzling Classic on Sept. 21st to benefit a charity that was personally involved in helping my wife survive leukemia in 2014.

I’m also doing the finest and most comprehensive radio interviews and conversations of my career with distribution greater than my mind could’ve imagined when I started in the newspaper and radio world. It’s by far my best work and I hope you’re enjoying it at WNST.

Inspiration, passion, energy, commitment and a sincere follow through have never been an issue for me. This is the sole reason WNST came into existence in 1998. This is how I birthed a sports radio station from a small AM brokered radio show on a big band radio station in afternoon drive time in the early 1990s. There’s always been a

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Mickey Cucchiella will add local comedy to WNST format in March

Posted on 24 February 2015 by Nestor Aparicio

Sure, it might seem like a strange marriage – two, short, exceedingly handsome middle aged East Baltimore guys on one radio station mix in an era of instant mobile video delivery with a lot of sports, a ton of Baltimore institutional knowledge and a strange brew of comedy and conversation to break up the monotony. But, that’s where we’re headed at WNST.net & AM 1570 as we continue to grow, evolve, change and embrace a new day in local radio.

So, why will Mickey Cucchiella and WNST be a happy match for Baltimore radio listeners and social media fans in March of 2015? I’ll do my best to explain our rationale and plans. I’m also very appreciative that so many of you care about my radio station and our future plans for expansion and dominance with a distinct local flavor. I’m also forever indebted for the kindness many of you have expressed over the past 11 months while my wife, Jennifer, battled for her life and beat leukemia with a bone marrow transplant.

About 10 years ago, when I was still living in White Marsh, my phone rang at 6:30 in the morning and awakened me from a sound sleep. It was Mickey. He was new on morning FM radio at that point but certainly not new to comedy and he wanted to have me on 98 Rock as an impromptu guest. Of course, the “powers that be” at WBAL – two guys named Ed Kiernan and Jeff Beauchamp – despised me for years but I’m not sure Mickey knew that at the time when he tried to put me on his show (or their radio station). Cucchiella didn’t think of me as a “competitor” or “the enemy” like some did (and do) on TV Hill.

I was, simply, his old sports and rock and roll friend.

Those of you who have listened to the morning zoo radio format over the years know that this is the oldest trick in the book. The “celebrity/friend wake up call” is a staple of hilarity. You call super early, you wake someone up, they’re kinda pissed or clearly half awake and bewildered and some semblance of hilarity or a mini “punked” episode ensues and everyone winds up laughing about it if they have a sense of humor.

Being the wak-ee, I played along until I figured out that Mickey didn’t want to embarrass me or give me a hard time at all. He just had some crazy sports question that he couldn’t answer. In my previous life – before the internet when you couldn’t just Google stuff and get answers – this is what I did on the radio, played the role of expert and bar-bet judge and jury.

“If it’s a sports knowledge question, just call Nestor…he’ll know the answer!”

I can’t even remember what the topic was or why he woke me up but I do remember saying to Mickey repeatedly on 98 Rock that morning: “C’mon Mick, where’s the part where you insult me, embarrass me or punk me?”

But, nah – he never did. He just wanted a sports bet settled on the radio.  I was actually a little disappointed that he was so nice to me.

It’s the only time I’ve ever had any sort of public conversation or done live radio with Mickey Cucchiella. Well, there have been a few times where I’ve gone to Burke’s half-drunk for the late show and heckled him from the crowd. But, always keeping in mind, that heckling a man of his height and intellect would surely bring about abrupt and ruthless repercussions. I wanted him to insult me like Don Rickles! It was a badge of honor to be annihilated by the best comedian to ever come from Baltimore!


I know Mickey from around town. I’ve known him most of my life. In my previous, Almost Famous life, I met him backstage at Hammerjacks in the 1980s when he was a manager there and I was the local music critic from The Evening Sun, who interviewed bands, wrote reviews and observed heavy metal groupies. Mickey later owned a bar in Fallston. Then he did stand up comedy. Then, he did radio at 98 Rock and became famous. We’ve always remained friends and always laughed whenever we’ve been in the same room.

Mickey will be the first to tell you that he isn’t a sports expert but he’s most certainly a sports fan and a radio personality that has been amongst the best and most successful of my lifetime in Baltimore.

If you know me – or if you know Mickey – and probably together we know roughly 92% of all Baltimoreans who’ve ever drank a beer on 33rd Street, attended a concert at Merriweather or Ramshead, cheered for the Ravens or Orioles, or wiped Old Bay off our fingers – you probably know us from our association to doing quality radio.

(BTW: please continue to give our regards to Jane Goldstrom, Andy Malis or any of the rest of the MGH crew who continue to believe that guys like Mickey and I would be a “bad fit” to market a uniquely Baltimore product like Old Bay or OCMD because no one listens to our little, AM radio station. Just ask Arbitron!)

No one has ever done a better Baltimore morning comedy radio show than our new addition at WNST.

Here’s the truth: I only pay to see one local comedian – Mickey Cucchiella.

Mickey makes me laugh. He’s always made me laugh. Sometimes, he’s made me laugh so hard that I’ve been spotted sobbing uncontrollably on the second floor above Burke’s (which by the way makes some fantastic fried chicken these days at what is now my local Royal Farms.) And sometimes he’s made me laugh when I just randomly bump into him in a parking lot in White Marsh or walking up to his perch at a Ravens game.

Mickey can speak to his own reasons and rationale for leaving 98 Rock a few years ago. Clearly, the past year has been a whirlwind for me and my wife and her battle for her life with leukemia and the bone marrow transplant.

Life changes, things happen, people move on and we all are looking for better life and a happy home. We’re all looking to be surrounded by people we like and who make us smile. We all want people who add color to our lives.

So, for the foreseeable future, Mickey will be hanging out at WNST – in a limited but ever-expanding role – doing what he does.

Being funny.

And he does it better than anyone.

In general, my role in doing sports conversations won’t change a bit. But in between my relevant, topical conversations with people I like who know a lot about sports, Mickey Cucchiella will be doing his own “Mickey Minutes,” which will be heard throughout the day to bring some levity, some local fun, color and humor and authentic Baltimore flavor to our radio mix.

Most of the time, Mickey will be doing his own thing interspersed throughout our daily programming but on Fridays and weekends, you’ll hear some segments where we’ll be chatting with each other and attempting to have some fun as a radio tandem. Concerts, Orioles, Ravens, Hammerjacks memories, comedy, business, life, kids, economy, movies, television, girls, politics, entertainment, plus local issues, events and flavor will all be on the agenda when we do radio segments together. We’ll also attempt to deliver these segments on video as often as we can.

There’s even a chance that Mickey will play the role of Dr. Melfi for me every week as I ask him to explain the world to me.

As I said, I’ve done about 12 minutes of radio in my life with Mickey Cucchiella so this will be a fun experiment.

Not much will change for what I’m hoping to accomplish as the owner of WNST. We want to deliver and produce authentic, quality, listenable conversations on our radio format that makes you want to “see what’s on WNST” when you first jump into your car.

Maybe I’ll be talking with Barry Trotz and you don’t like hockey? Maybe you’ll catch John Harbaugh hanging out with us and think it’s cool. Maybe Luke Jones and I will be talking about the Orioles from spring training (like we are all week from Sarasota despite me once again being banned from having a press credential by the biggest turd and serial liar in Baltimore sports history, Peter G. Angelos). Of course we’ll be following the Terps and Wizards and some lacrosse as well as everything going on with the Baltimore Ravens just about every day on WNST. Plus, I’m hitting the road from June 13 through July 15 visiting every MLB stadium in North America – 30 ballparks in 30 days – to raise awareness for There Goes My Hero and to save lives via the international bone marrow registry that saved my wife’s life last year when an anonymous 21-year old donor from Germany sent a bag of blood across the Atlantic Ocean to give her a second chance to laugh at Mickey.

In some cases, maybe it’ll be Mickey telling some jokes, ranting, bugging his friends to rant with him or maybe on some Fridays and weekends you’ll hear Mickey and I speaking our minds about any range of subjects – real or imagined.

I like Mickey. Mickey likes me. It’s pretty simple. We both have local sponsors and an audience that we’ve earned the HARD way – through hard work and legitimate sweat equity in our personal brands that extend far beyond what local “advertising agencies” currently measure. These days, in the digital and social media space, they call it “earned media.”

We’ve spent many months discussing whether we should try this local Abbott and Costello act.

So, who’s on first?

Beginning next week and for the foreseeable future, you’ll get a dose of both of us doing what we do – Baltimore style.

And both of us – as social media targets, lightning rods and oft-times piñatas – will continue to do what we do best.

We do talk radio. And we do it better than anyone from Baltimore has ever done it in the modern era.

(EVER! You can look it up…and it ain’t bragging if it’s true.)

We are the two most celebrated, decorated and excoriated radio show hosts to hail from Baltimore in the modern area. And to think it all came from Dundalk and Hamilton!

Tune in and find out. Grab us on your mobile device in the Buy A Toyota Audio Vault at WNST.net. Or download the Tune In Radio app and listen live anytime from anywhere in the world. Or subscribe to our free WNST Morning Newspaper and get it delivered to your email inbox every morning at 7:30 a.m. And feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

We hope you like what you hear.

Some of you will. Some of you won’t.

And that won’t shock us. We’re used to it.

Let the M & N era begin at WNST…

(And if you reach to him on the internet to applaud or criticize his decision to join us at WNST, please remind Mickey to keep his shirt on…)

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Our 18 Baltimore Sports Media Superstar finalists await Monday cuts

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

Can our WNST Baltimore Sports Media Superstars pass the test? You can be the judge now with all of the action from Monday’s packed live show at Hooters in Towson right here at WNST.net:













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