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With summer vacation about to commence in the NFL, we’ll take a deep dive on the AFC North competition this month. First up, Will Graves of the Associated Press in Pittsburgh talks Steelers and state of Pirates baseball in The Burgh with Nestor as Mike Tomlin preps ‘yins for his 17th season in black and gold.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

ravens, year, steelers, baseball, game, pittsburgh, baltimore, pirates, lamar, team, football, played, win, point, division, orioles, maryland, money, offseason, franchise

SPEAKERS

Nestor Aparicio

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

W n s t, Towson Baltimore. Baltimore positive we are into the summer months around here and you would think we’re going to talk nothing but baseball but you’d be wrong well football segment here we’re gonna be out on the Maryland crab cake tour taking real Marylanders like this guy out for crab cakes throughout the community got a dozen stops this summer, including our 25th anniversary over at cost this is all brought to you by the Maryland lottery I’ll be giving these instant lottery scratch offs away and our friends of course, at window nation who provide me with the fun floppy hat 866 90 nation you buy two, you get two free it’s all summer long and you get 0% financing for two full years. It’s football season for another week and then everybody goes into the basement we get to watch real baseball we have like a real baseball team Luke’s gonna be in Owings Mills doing all this and I thought this is a good time. So that midway point we’ve been through offseason we’ve been through draft we’ve been through post draft. We’ve been through a marathon around here for months and months and months that I would go back to some old friends and foes in AFC North opposing cities. Cincinnati’s the best team Cleveland’s got the quarterback, Pittsburgh. What’s Pittsburgh? Well, graves here from the Associated Press and Pittsburgh, one of our defending champions around here for all things penguins, hockey, Steelers, football occasionally, even some pirates, baseball, or some pit football. We welcome him back in from the three River City where you’re playing good baseball for a little while. Dude, I almost called you when the pirates came in here to regurgitate all that 1979 Nonsense. But it’s still Steelers. It’s the Steelers world you’re living in up there? Well, right.

8

01:42

You know, as good as the pirates have going right now. You know, they’ve got another little winning streak going on at a terrible man. They’ve bounced back. And they woke up this week in first place, at least for a little bit. And it’s really bad Central Division. So yeah, there’s having Andrew McCutchen back, I can tell you on a personal level. I had a chance to talk to him on Saturday, during the recent homestand for a good 10 minutes. The first time we’ve met we’ve talked one on one since he left because everything else had been in a scrum. And you know him well, right. Yeah, yes. Yeah. And it was like, I mean, I literally texted my wife when I got done and I was like, Oh my God, I’ve missed this guy so much because he gives them an identity like he gives them a got like a like this is the leader got a bunch of young guys on this team that are going to be the guys down the road, but he is sort of this. And he is it’s crazy. Like he is so happy to just be here to be home like he never moved when even though we got traded to San Francisco and then went to the Yankees and the Phillies still bump into him in the offseason. He’s still you know, he didn’t his wife is from around here. He’s raised his kids around here and you know, it’s he’s placed like he’s still got some juice left can still play a little bit can still swing the bat and is given them you know, somebody to rally around and I think that it’s, you know, they’re they’re not they’re not as good as Baltimore. Oh my goodness. That was oriels. Like, you got to have a lot of a lot of respect. Now. Like I grew up I’m from Waldorf. I grew up in a real span. My first game was in 84. I think Cal hit Homer. Glen Ford had a homer I think

Nestor Aparicio  03:12

and Lana get pitched that night who pitched McGregor. Oh, I

03:15

don’t remember they played the Indians. It was in August.

Nestor Aparicio  03:19

8

Well, bye. Bye baseball reference. You can look that database up.

03:22

I could, I could. Yeah. And so just really impressed with sort of the way that they have what like literally what the pirates are trying to do with what the Orioles have done. I mean, since Ben Ben Sherrington came in late night team took over the franchise they had their minor league system was not good. He basically traded everything that was worth something to accumulate prospects they’ve drafted well now you see some of these guys starting to come up like their version of Adelaide Adelaide. rushman is just got promoted to triple A yesterday. Right so Henry Davis is number one overall pick and 21 So like he’s getting close you just

Nestor Aparicio  03:58

mentioned the number one overall pick it you know, God awful. You have to be like the Orioles are bragging about all these number one ones they had and I’m like, Dude, that’s you know, it’s great that they’re all like germinating and flowering and Couser is going to be here and like all of the hey, you know, all these guys are coming. But like they were trash like they were when nobody was watching. But the pirates have been trash forever. Hey, how about the Royals, right? Like the Royals were trash. They when everybody comes we’re kick our ass a decade later. They’re back to being the pirates. They’re back there. Like, nobody got like it was here. I suppose just effed up man. It really is.

04:39

I mean, it is I mean, when you think about it, you know the A’s have been in town recently and they’re I mean, they’re on track to be the worst team in the history of baseball, which means like baseball, which is saying something and yet they were a 95 win team like what two three years ago?

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Nestor Aparicio  04:54

Hey, the ways all they do is win and nobody cares. Nobody goes.

04:57

Run so like, but what the what Ben? Sheridan in the gym is trying to do is build a system like the rays and up until the last couple years like the A’s were you know your resources are going to be limited so you just try to just continue to stockpile and stockpile and stockpile and replace and replace when the guys that that get good get go make their money elsewhere. Right. So I think that that is I mean like that’s going to be a challenge but they are that’s a challenge for down the road. But right now I think there is a they matter the pirates matter and even in the early to mid summer for the first time since probably 2016. So that is a welcome. It’s it is there some juice around the baseball club, which makes it definitely more fun to go the ballpark than it has been the last four or five years for sure.

Nestor Aparicio  05:43

Well, grapes is our guest I love having will on especially long form. I love that he’s a Marylander crop caps fan and Orioles fan and all that you’ve been how many years in Pittsburgh now. I mean, like you’re 12 Well, I was gonna say I was gonna say over a decade. So I do want to ask you this because you are a transplanted guy there. And I know plenty of transplant people here that would see me or my last name being Aparicio. This is my 32nd year on the radio. Our 25th anniversary of the radio station is August 3. So I feel like I’ve seen everything here. And the one thing that I could never convey to someone that like my dad who died 1992 Right, would be that the Ravens own the soul of the city. But the baseball team it’s always percolated there because of Jim Palmer on TV. I want to ask you the ultimate Pittsburgh question was when I came in, and Tomlin picked me up at the airport and 15 And by the way, we spent time with the coach in that day. I saw him in an all star game like in DC, and like interactive. I’ve only interacted with him twice in my life. And they both have just been really good interactions for a 38 year sports writer who interacts with athletes. I have a very positive opinion of him even going in. But he came over to the dugout when I had Tomlin there that day, but Tom would pick me up and he took me to that alleyway in Pittsburgh where all the pirates like where there’s Clemente and star jewel and like there’s this giant beautiful mural and I think to myself, like I almost came up there in 9293 to sit Breanne game I was sitting on World Series tickets. I want to sit bream thing happened up there and they never played that World Series bonds Binya that whole tray back that period of time. I think to myself like Baltimore Pittsburgh sort of mirror images but Pittsburgh a lot of winning and football. Not so much in baseball. I their heroes died right like Clemente. We still have Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer alive Cal Ripken like yet these larger than life, people that Elrod Hendricks was an ambassador of biblical proportions for the franchise, while Bill Hagee maybe had all its Clancy Clancy Clancy serving beer for his 50th year next year, and I had him on the show last week. So like we have these legendary baseball things. But the owner has been such a jackass his kid is a maybe a bigger jackass. For all we know, they don’t have a lease, they literally don’t have a lease. So all of this baked into this. But I always think like baseball here. If we had a new owner, there could be a heartbeat of Wow, I feel like the pirates are too far gone because of the penguins in the Steelers to ever be a number one there. Right. No harder crawl for the pirates than it would be for the Orioles in Baltimore.

08:15

8

Yeah, yeah, but I mean, the penguins, obviously with the success that they’ve had basically, for the most of the last 30 years. 35 years, certainly is a but I can say that like I’ve been here long enough. For the three years in a row, they made the playoffs and 1314 and 15. And then I cover two cups, you know in pens one and 16 and 17. And I can tell you that the city the defining moment for me in the city in terms of games played in the city since I got here was the 13th wildcard game against the reds. They ended up winning 6364 Something like that. That was the coolest moment in Pittsburgh. I think there is such like there are people much like if you went 30 miles down the road 40 miles down the road to DC and asked fans of the football team there they were like me that grew up at major fans in the 80s when they won Super Bowls and we’re one of the classiest you know franchises in in the league. You can’t even

Nestor Aparicio  09:13

say their name anymore, right like Joe Gibbs era or you can say the Riggins era but that was you that was you as a kid right

09:21

right. So so I think that you know, I think there is a class of fan a like a massive class of fans here that are just waiting for something to hold on to to really clean to and I think that if the pirates got good and we’re good, like kids like had a five to seven year stretch of where they were consistently good where the owner invested money I think I really do think that they would dominate the Steelers are like it’s too it’s too far gone. I mean, like they are the you know, they are a world their world. They’re a world class brand. This

Nestor Aparicio  09:56

oriels were to write I mean you when you like the or reels were that when Angelo’s bought them and he wrecked them like literally wreck them and allowed the Yankees and the Red Sox to sort of own the universe and all that but baseball is also that’s built into baseball and money. Right right i mean like the pirates and the Royals and the Orioles can only really be well I

8

10:16

don’t know I mean I think you know look Bob Nothing’s making his money you know pirates on or he’s making he’s not going broke anytime soon. What the fans are looking for and what you’re actually starting to see is him and Ben Cherington when he came on basically was told when we’re ready to win we’ll start investing money well, they signed Brian Hayes to what is a rich for the pirates but not rich for baseball, but as an extension last year, they signed Brian Reynolds or outfielder to a very reasonable eight year deal. Like a month ago they got McCutchen back on a one year deal there is in coach wants to keep playing here. I can’t imagine I can’t possibly imagine him leaving. But you know, they are see he is starting to put his money, at least some of it where his mouth is, which we’ll get some of the fans off of his back. I think that they’re getting close. I mean, you see the like the crowds have been for the spring or you know, have been very promising. They had 30 Plus in the ballpark on a Friday night. They did not have fireworks, they just came to come watch to the team which is a solid, but I look I mean it’s much the same way in Baltimore maybe like I love Camden Yards. And that is a that is on our list. Like we’ve been to Cleveland. We’ve been to Philly. My kids a baseball nut. He’s, you know, he’s a 14 year old baseball player and you want it your kids never been to Camden Yards. He’s 14 No, no. And that’s like literally, we’re going to Maryland I think first weekend in July and I’m like well, are they in town that weekend? I don’t think they are but like that is on our list this year. I have a lot of affinity for the I mean, I do think that the C one this is this is the Maryland Army sneaking like I respect the Ravens. I think they’re very classy franchise. I love hardball. I love the way they go up to Scotty I love the way they go about doing their business. I that they’re interlopers to me to to a guy that grew up in the 80s in Maryland. They’re interlopers I think if the Orioles got good I think the Orioles actually from from like the, from the city I’m talking about. I’m not talking about Lamar Jackson fans that are people that like football and like Lamar Jackson, and they like the Ravens. I’m talking like the heart of the city. It’s hard to imagine if they got to a World Series. Like I just say, We’re just certainly looks like it’s possible in the in the nearish. Future, it’s hard for me to imagine, I think it’d be much like it is for you. It’d be bigger than any singular moment than the Ravens would have had at home anyway. So

Nestor Aparicio  12:37

the Ravens have never really played important games here. Right? The Ravens were always on the road. They’ve always had to win or lose or die in Foxborough or Pittsburgh or wherever it would be. But well, I would say to you in the modern vernacular here when my my wife and I obviously were thrown out chats to google it right. From our seats, the whole deal when my wife and I talked about great days at a Ravens game in Baltimore now, I mean, we marched through New Orleans, I marched through Tampa, we had we’ve had I’ve written books, but we’re at home games, home games here. She and I talked about a snow game, a snow globe game that happened against the Minnesota Vikings. That was the most fun we ever had. When you talk about January in Baltimore, you’re talking about losing the Peyton Manning, you know, and oh, six, horrible losses, right. But the baseball people here, the modern baseball, not somebody’s 55 named Aparicio, that remembers 1973 And when Vita blue died, remember seeing, you know, catfish on Revita blue come in and hate in the A’s right? I’m talking about modern, they would tell you the Delmon young double the dome and young double. It was a division playoff game right where it was, you know, like but the stadium roared. I was in St. Louis that day go into a Pearl Jam concert. I watched that in a hotel in St. Louis. And but the people that were there that day, they talk about the dome and young double the dome and young double and that is in this century in these two stadia it other than the Cal Ripken. 2131. Right. I mean, I’m thinking of things that happened in the stadium. The the Pope came, you know what I mean? Like, McCartney played, you know, but, but things in the stadium the Delmon young double at home is the biggest thing of the generation. And I’m thinking to myself, Man, that’s kind of weak. You know, I mean, I think upon that, you know,

14:22

I know I mean, like the pirates, even the wild card game, you know, there’s famous moment, at least locally, where Johnny quedo was pitching for the reds, he dropped the ball. crowd was chanting his name. Next pitch Russell Martin hits for like a two or three run home run that basically decided the game. But then they lost the Cardinals in five games in the next series, and they’ve won never won a postseason series since 92. I mean, so that’s a long time coming. Right. So I agree with you, but I think that there, you know, there is a I think there’s a great affection for the memories that the baseball team can and creating like the reason that pirates get by much like the reason the Orioles have gotten buys because the ballparks so beautiful that even if the team is terrible and you know you have some place to go on a warm summer night and hang out your family and go get some boobs barbecue or go get some of Manny’s you know, meaning saying games barbecue out in centerfield you know, go get some, you know, throw vs go get some crab fry some icy light and go in and enjoy yourself. And that’s why they’ve gotten in they’ve skated by on it. I mean, they never really I mean they bottomed out but not really I mean, like, yeah, it’s April May not great September not great, but in the summer, like there is it’s hard to beat going to a pirates game just for so I think that there is a great family thing here. I do think there’s a deep deep respect they’re never going to catch the Steelers. I mean, I just think that’s we’d have to go 40 years where the were the experiences were flipped where?

Nestor Aparicio  15:54

8

I guess that would be my point will is that the Orioles and the Ravens man that ish flip quick. When Angelo’s was uttered, and the Ravens know and Billiken Ray Lewis like he just was he went from orange to purple overnight, it before my very eyes on my airwaves when I was the only guy doing this sort of work in the afternoon. So you’re 20 years ago, when things switch and I was a raving guy from the beginning, because the order was treating everyone like trash everyone and have for 30 years. And there’s some backing up that it has done here since the Wembley knee, and the Ravens and Ray Rice and everybody in the organization lying about Ray Rice and the embarrassment of all of that. So there’s definitely been, hey, the Ravens have plenty of empty seats, the Ravens market me to buy tickets that they took away from me that I was happy to buy for the rest of my life. So the Ravens have done some gross stuff. In addition to Ray Lewis and Jamal Lewis jurisprudence, you like all of those kinds of things that have happened, the Ravens aren’t the shiny star, they were here, because they have empty seats and people are like, aren’t as motivated to go down and give them money as maybe they are to be on their couch. That being said, it’s a Ravens town, and I don’t I’m trying to figure out what the Orioles do to catch that, you know?

17:09

Yeah, I mean, well, I think obviously, winning helps winning over a period of time helps, but I think they could be a I mean, because I view them as the I mean, it’s been 25 What they moved in what 9596 was six, yes. Right. So like, I still think of them as the I mean, I’ve there. I mean, I can remember going to a colts Redskins preseason game and like 81 or whatever, right? Like, so to me to the Maryland or in me who has not lived in Maryland since 99. They I view them as like they had like, yes, they have absolutely taken over and much like, much like the zealots. I mean, the NATs won a World Series like, what, four years ago, and it’s over, it’s empty. It’s over and like, and for the catch when a veteran is gone. Good luck selling their tickets. I mean, trust me, the second I do think, you know, with the with the football team, with the new owner, I do think that there’s a chance kind of what you’re talking about if Angeles ever sells. There’s, I mean, they it would take one seven game winning streak, by the football team to totally just be the behemoth that it was 30 years ago, one two playoff wins would make them the behemoth they were 30 years ago. Right. So so I’m with you, but it is refreshing, you know, to cover meaningful baseball. Again, I’m sure those of us who are the guys that are the the guys in the press box have the you know, no tourist or AP guy in Baltimore. And the rest of the beat writers are probably rocks and all those guys are probably happy to cover. I mean, the O’s are good, good. And they’re young, good, which is the best kind of good, right? I mean, that is the that is the most exciting kind of good when it’s young, good. It’s not like, you know, even intellect when they were the mid 90s. I mean, Peter spent a lot of money to make them good. I mean, he brought in Robbie Alomar and, you know, they, I mean, they made what’s the ALCS and 98 I got

Nestor Aparicio  18:59

to talk about the transplants on those teams. I mean, I look at those teams and I say all right, surhoff key of Alomar. Palmera. I mean, like all of those guys were top of class, top of market and then for a generation, we can’t afford to share a waste from down the street. I mean, we can’t afford Adam Jones let him go eat sushi and play in Japan and then ostracize him exactly what you’re talking about in the context so it doesn’t even matter generationally. I I am fully focused on the Angelou side of this of all right, you want a fresh start then stop lying at your press conferences on Martin Luther King Day about opening your books you know, move back into the community front face the community be a part of the community and then do the right thing with all of these baseball players because that the watching the LA Marathon and I guess this is where I can transition well gracious you’re

19:53

watching you’re supposed to talk about football half an hour that’s

8

Nestor Aparicio  19:56

fine, but you will be clearly both love baseball and that’s fine. It’s honest. Right? and these are unscripted these pieces, I would say, for the LA Marathon here and the weight of all of it right. And this summer has been a beautiful thing to be able to focus on baseball. But everyone comes up to me. Well, they’ve been good for five minutes. They’ve been good for six weeks. And everybody comes up to me and they want to talk about either Todd Monken or, or the Orioles can extend Adley rutschman. And I’m like, Whoa, dude, he’s hitting 268 Hold on, like, but Oriole fans are very concerned about the mismanagement of all of this. And they are at the point where Elias is going to want to do some of the baby birds off and say to John, this pitcher, he’s 28 million next year, and he’s 11 million what’s left on the two months this year, we’re sinking 40,000,003 prospects into winning the World Series in 2023. Now, whether John Angelos has a belly for that. And again, I remember John Angeles when he was picking players for daddy and picking Sid Fernandez and placebo. I wrote books about that, and the Peter Principle. So I lived through all of this. But it is interesting, these hard decisions that are made that the Steelers and the Ravens for all of my differences with the integrity of Eric to constant John Harbaugh at this point, as well as Mike Tomlin and everything that’s going on in Pittsburgh with the family. These are teams that have made great, great decisions. And it’s another summer where anybody, there’s 20 teams that think they can win a Super Bowl in the NFL, and that’s sort of the original sin of Major League Baseball, is that right? It’s not structured that way. But football I wanted to Steelers, Are you a believer? Are you a true believer in what’s going on there, especially in this division, where the other three cities feel aligned?

21:42

I think whenever I come on and do stuff like this, like I say, sort of the same thing. They I think they built themselves. They understand that, like they like Kenny Pickett, they they like Nagi Harris, you know, they liked George Pickens, they liked that offense, but they know that that offense is not that Kenny Pickens is not Patrick mahomes he’s not he’s not Allen he’s not you know, the kid with for the Chargers He’s He’s not a guy that’s going to go in and light it up and throw for 425 and five he’s not Joe burrow right. So they view themselves and I think the ravens to maybe a somewhat lesser extent although I mean look to the Ravens came in here last year with Snoop at quarterback could not throw the ball at all and they bullied the Steelers and beat them here, right where the third string quarterback, right was Snoop was Snoop one of the team in the second half. So for me, the Steelers have you we can’t win games 3530 We have to win games like last year. I said it was 20 to 17. This year, I think they can win games 24 to 17. I think that they view themselves what they done in the offseason. When you look into they today take the big tackle Broderick Jones at a Georgia they get Sue omalo from eagles to be their right to left guard. You know, they bring in Herbig to be sort of the backup to the Mason Cole and Mason Cole looks like he might not who knows what his status is going to be. They birthed the good draft Darnell Washington in the third round who’s just a massive human being it’s six foot eight, the tight end and it really considers himself a third tackle and looks like one. Although he’s skinny, he is he is skinny, I will say that but the way that they are building them, they’ve built themselves, they are going to control the ball, they are going to they don’t want Patrick mahomes or burrow or you know, these guys to have the ball for 30 for 30 to 35 minutes a game they want them to have the ball for 20 minutes a game. So now a lot of Nagi Harris, a lot of you know Pat fryer move a lot of Deontay Johnson in the slot. That is the way that they have built themselves that they know at least in the short term that they have to compete. This is not the big bang a be levy on Bell, you know type where they could light it up on any given Sunday. This is not that group. This is very much almost an analog version of football a 1980s 99. I’m not, I’m not saying it’s three yards on a clouded turf or whatever. But it is very much intentional the way they built this team. It’s to be the antidote to the burros of the world to hold on to the ball and have the defense be fresh and good enough to win games, you know, by three to seven points. That’s how they’re designed.

Nestor Aparicio  24:21

Are they the last place team in the division in your mind? Because I hear people talking that way. Tom Woods No, no, I mean, like, I don’t know why growl is getting this sort of credit. But I mean,

24:30

8

like if you watched and I was here when they came in late in the season, it was to Shawn’s fourth start. He was terrible. He was terrible. He was not good. I mean, he just he was not I did not see a guy and maybe the see get one pass. I mean, yes, I can. You know, but he hasn’t really played football for two years. It’s such an unnatural thing

Nestor Aparicio  24:51

to go all in on this criminal guy who wants to like how many playoff games is he gonna win the next five years?

24:58

I mean, are they good? if they if Divinsky is smart and just keeps running the ball and relies on the defense, they can be a competitive team, but I just don’t know. I mean, I view them as, and they were the last place team in the division last year. Right. So like I view them as the last place team. So that’s that’s how I feel about it. They they’re gonna have to show me I mean, they, I think when they came in and 20 and they beat the Steelers in the playoffs and been through all those picks, and they scored all those points, that with Baker and most advanced he wasn’t even Erie at COVID. You know, and I think that they thought that they were on their way and they’ve done nothing. They’ve done nothing since then. So whereas the Steelers like limped into the playoffs and bends last year, and then we never recovered from A to insects train wreck where everything that could have gone wrong went wrong the first half of last year from TJ getting hurt to the, you know, Trubisky being too afraid to Kenny thrown a bunch of pics. And then they went what seven, two down the stretch and we’re mathematically alive in week 18, which looked like it was never going to happen in week nine. So you know, I think the Steelers are. I think there is a notch below the AFC is a leap but I think the gap is a little narrower now than it was a year ago.

Nestor Aparicio  26:10

Well, grace is our guest he’s with the Associated Press in Pittsburgh covering all things sports up there with the ins and not all summer long the summer for both of our cities in baseball, but certainly the football thing awaiting. So I didn’t I intentionally didn’t bother any of you guys out of town back in January, February, March, April. You know, seeing the Lamar, the Lamar Athan all aspects of it, the social media part, the no agent part, the Ravens part the the tagging part, like all that happened, give me a little overview as to what you saw from 258 miles away in the division where this was like crazy turmoil here last season where the organization took this on and then in the end, and I guess we can debate this Lamar one big to me. No, there were no other bidders. They were bidding against themselves. They gave it basically everything you wanted, maybe more of a three year guarantee than a five year guarantee. But getting paid on the field in three years in January. Like I It really was an amazing thing to watch. And it’s amazing to see I always inspiration desperation, the Ravens had nowhere to go, and he had no word Oh, and here they are doing singing Kumbaya, but I don’t know that they’re winning a Super Bowl. And that makes me a bad guy in Baltimore to say that I don’t really believe that Lamar Jackson is going to beat up mahomes burrow, Roger, just name any of these guys in four games down the stretch in January, or whether he’ll be healthy enough so and they’re going to throw the ball more. So there’s a lot of changes here, man.

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27:44

I mean, I think that there was like a we I’m gonna do some TV here. I do some radio stuff here that, you know, we talked a lot about Lamar. The perception here was like, what is what are the Ravens waiting for? And what is he waiting for? Because it did not seem like there was any mathematical way that it was going to end up with him getting paid in another city. Like it just it didn’t make any it was just a bunch of needless time wasting drama designed to create content for people like us, right. I mean, like that is the marginal I asked for a trade. Oh, we were offering this I mean, sort of the back and forth in the media.

Nestor Aparicio  28:22

For him, was in the offseason to say, Watson got all that money and everybody bid for him. What’s going to be different a year later? Well, that I mean, that’s the shocking part of all of it, is that everybody went crazy for Watson who you’ve already said can’t play. And, and no, what’s the problem are,

28:39

but that’s the problem. I think, you know, people like the Browns ruined it forever. Like 31 teams should be suing the Browns for what they did with Deshaun. Watson, they should, you know, I mean, it was the anti collusion. I mean, it was literally like the one flyer there upsets the T card, who gives a guy who has never done anything in the playoffs, guaranteed to 150 whatever it was 58 million guaranteed money. And I think when you saw all the stuff, all the fallout of that and teams are like, I don’t I don’t care who it is outside of maybe mahomes or burrow. Like to your point. Lamar is electric as he is, you know, in January still has to prove himself so as to be healthy late enough in the season to be able to prove himself. They’re certainly you know, the NOC has been for years and look, look, I’ll be honest with you, it drives me nuts, because I lived in Louisville before I worked for the APA in Louisville before I moved to, to Pittsburgh. So I’ve always since I left in 2011. I still keep tabs on the football program, the basketball program there. I mean, Lamar won a Heisman trophy. I mean, he can throw the ball like the idea that he can’t throw the ball is always kind of annoyed me a little bit. It seems to be like, part of the problem is they haven’t had anybody that can really catch the ball. Right? I mean, they haven’t had an elite Elite receiver. So the idea that Lamar is somehow defective. I still think he is a really good quarterback where his I still think his best, his best playing days are ahead of him where he becomes a more complete quarterback. That being said, I, you know, it’s hard to blame him. When when the ravens are asking, Well, you know what you’re gonna ask for in return for a trade? Like, why after seeing what happened Deshaun Watson, it is a risky. I mean, it’s a risky bet for a franchise, you sell a lot of, if you go somewhere else, he sells a lot of jerseys. But who knows what they’re going to have around him. I think that he knew in his heart of hearts that he was coming back. And I think the Ravens knew that he was coming back. And it was just kind of, I mean, I view the whole thing is unnecessary. And it shows the importance of having like representation, like, the whole time, right? Like, like finding the professional to handle the this business for you. So that you can, you know, avoid this kind of like stupid by me, it was just

Nestor Aparicio  30:50

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in the end. In the end, he might have convinced Jim or say, or Miami or Tampa at some point. In the end, if he had the right agent, there were at least would have been a discussion that, to my knowledge never existed couldn’t couldn’t possibly exist. It like it just couldn’t be done in that maybe Atlanta Falcons. I mean, like, there would have been some sort of at least bid on him that if he didn’t want to be here, he could have at least gotten his escape hatch gotten a better tax situation in Florida, or pillar one. And I don’t think the Titans really wanted him. I don’t know, you know, I still think for Abel wanted to sign up for that kind of an offense. But I would say, there were options. So in February for you to just say, well, I forgot because I don’t know, man, I think I’m telling you that’s ready to live without him. And he was ready to live without the Ravens for real, if Uncle Arthur Blank would have written a $230 million check.

31:44

Yeah, but I think that, you know, I don’t know, like, I just never, when we talked about it here. And we’ve been I remember one very once I do a Sunday night show. And we were talking about, is it better for the Steelers, if Lamar is comes, you know, signs the tender or stays, you know, and, you know, stays for one year and is unhappy or isn’t another division? And they as dealers feel like, well, we sort of have we’re records pretty good against them, are we you know, I, I’d be happy if Lemoore stays in in Baltimore. And the problem is, and while that might be true on the surface, Lamar is really good against just about every other team in the league when he plays, right. So, to me, if the ravens are big picturing this, like they didn’t have, they didn’t have a backup plan, they didn’t have somebody in there that was going to be able to do what he did. So you’re going to eat two or three years, looking for another guy. So to me, it made no sense for on the Ravens end to get rid of him. I know you want to you want to get them at a you know, at a team friendly price. But I mean, like I said, You can blame the Browns for that. I mean, like the Browns gave a guy that’s not as good as Lamar more money. Right? I mean, it’s like an obscene amount of money. So, you know, I think it’s good for the division. I think it’s I mean, I think, you know, and I think to be honest, I think Baltimore and Pittsburgh, you know, we were just talking about, you know, baseball teams, you know, hitting peaks and then going straight into the valley. Like I love the swagger that Joe burrow brings, I do not trust that ownership situation at all in terms of getting the people in place to sustain it after they have to pay him. They’ve already lost guys on the back end of their defense, you know, what’s gonna happen? Are they going to find somebody to replace Higgins because you know, he’s gonna go get his money elsewhere next year? I think the I you know, I think the ravens and the Steelers are the best in the division to the best teams in football and playing the long game. And that is why it never made sense to me that they would have been willing to blow it up and start take a flyer on somebody and start over and basically say, You know what, we’re going to punt on the next two years. That’s not the way that ravens do business at least from my perspective, because it’s much the way that the Steelers don’t do business from my perspective they for better for worse they you know they’re gonna go for it every single year. That is just how they are designed in the Ravens I did not see a situation where Baltimore be willing to say, You know what, let Joey be and Pickett and Deshaun Watson fight over this bone for a couple of years and we’ll go five will go into the wilderness and hump we can come out with another guy that can do 75 or Senator the guy that we just replaced so that to me is why I just did not see it as a real plausible thing that the Ravens we’re gonna move on from the war.

Nestor Aparicio  34:19

Well, I appreciate your time and insights into all of this and professionally covering things up in Pittsburgh. I’m taking a deep dive for everybody or wondering I’m gonna get to Cincinnati get to Cleveland the next couple of weeks as well as we look at the enemy and know the enemy. Hey, I still have massive respect for the Steelers. I am not the guy that thinks the Steelers are the last place team but it it is a long offseason talking about all this right? Like, like, let’s get the camp and start playing some football here. And hey, the Ravens play on the road in all three places in the first six weeks of the season. So we’re going to find out what the Ravens have under the hood. Enjoy the summer. Bring down Superman he’s I’ll hook you up with some crab cakes. I got my pappy shirt on here. We’re famous crab cakes Oprah’s crab cakes so Come on back down to Maryland and bring the kid down here to Camden Yards. We got good baseball for you. Well,

35:05

I’m looking forward to it.

Nestor Aparicio  35:06

Well grace from the Associated Press, follow him out on Twitter and follow him at the Associated Press as well. For all things Pittsburgh sports, as we get to know our enemy, we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stop talking. Baltimore positive

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