Celebrating the Kevin Willard era before the Terps go dancing

Taking a shot on Kevin Willard in College Park Raskin Terps
Taking a shot on Kevin Willard in College Park Raskin Terps
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Even as the Terps stumble on the road, Luke Jones and Nestor can appreciate the new era of Fear The Turtle in College Park as local energy flows when a Sunday night bracket draw is sure to send Maryland on the road to the Final Four.


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Luke Jones, Nestor Aparicio

Nestor Aparicio  00:00

O, W, N S, T, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive we are positively almost into baseball. So maybe it is baseball season. I don’t know when spring training begins and people are pitching about the games not being on on it. With a franchise that owns a television networks specifically designed to show us baseball games. We talk about this each and every year and I don’t know that it’s ever going to change. But lo and behold, we did have basketball, you know, so the Terps put their games I remember in the Terps you can never watch Terps games back in the Raycom era, the Jefferson pilot error and all that with big 10 network now. We got plenty of basketball right? So for the lack of excitement we might have of games on the field, although the Lamar Jackson sweepstakes are its own trauma unto itself. Luke, this has been three years ago. We’re doing plague talk around this time, right? And then two years ago was played tuck around this time. This feels like old times again, you know, they’re rocking down in College Park and the Orioles are hitting baseballs with cross our fingers and promised to be a playoff team this year.


Luke Jones  01:10

Yeah, I mean, there’s lots of excitement. I mean, I think for the Orioles, there’s still a sense of it’s it’s a little ways away, right are still a month out from opening day and not being able to watch the games on TV, as you mentioned, although maybe the silver lining is least there are a sense not going away as it is literally, for other teams right now as you’re seeing that model completely collapsed. But as it pertains to the Terps. And you and I talked about Maryland, early in the season, when they got off to the great a nonconference schedule start. And then we saw the law and December, you know, they hit some bumps in the road. We’ve certainly seen them have their struggles on the road, which is continued, you know, as much as you look at Maryland, and, you know, after Sunday’s win against Northwestern, I mean, they’re 11 and seven in the conference tied for second place, you know, right on the heels of Purdue and a lot for the NCAA tournament. They haven’t been good away from College Park. And that’s what’s interesting about this final week of the season, they have an opportunity now, I’ll be not against great teams, but an opportunity to go on the road against an Ohio State team that is not good. And then finish up the regular season against Penn State who is desperate for wins after a bad loss for them over the weekend against Rutgers as it pertains to their NCAA Tournament hopes it’s a chance to win a couple games away from College Park, understanding you’re not going to be playing in the NCAA Tournament in College Park. And no, it’s not road gate. It’s not a road game. But neutral site games be a good opportunity for Maryland to finish on a high note here. So much excitement. I mean, let’s face it. Let’s be clear. Before I went into talking about winning on the road, and and all that pertains. I mean, Kevin Willards just done a fantastic job with his basketball team. And when you consider where Maryland was at the beginning of the year, and talking about guys transferring in and what this is going to mean for the program, and can they get to new heights, and I can remember so many different media types and fan types, people whose opinions I respect, really talked about, be careful what you wish for Maryland had it so good. And under Mark Turgeon, which I didn’t buy, but people at least made that argument that there was a high floor. And you look at what Kevin Willards done in year one, understanding that still hasn’t fully, you know, this still isn’t fully his team in terms of recruiting classes and all the different things and figuring out NIHL and all of that, and the transfer portal and everything that has changed the landscape of college basketball. It’s been fun. It’s been a fun season. And I mean, this is a basketball team. That’s good. And it’s interesting, and it’s exciting. And as you pointed out, when you see some of these, whether you’ve been down to College Park or whether you’ve just watched it on TV, I mean, it’s been a special atmosphere. It’s felt like the old days a little bit, as you mentioned, I don’t want to they’re

Nestor Aparicio  04:10

playing the old songs, they’re playing the older play in the classics. They’re playing rock and roll line is what they’re doing right

Luke Jones  04:17

rock and roll part two, and the Hey, you saw that whole thing which you know, had gone away, but it’s just fun, and it’s exciting, and it feels like it’s a place to be again. And I want to be clear. It wasn’t all bad under Mark Turgeon. And as you mentioned right before the world shut down three years ago. This was a Maryland team that looked very interesting going into the NCAA Tournament in terms of sand they would have made it to the third weekend or anything crazy, but they weren’t bad. But this is this feels like such an exciting and promising jumping off point for Kevin Willard and this program. And for those Maryland fans who have dreamed in recent years and pushed back against the idea that Mark Turgeon was the best that Maryland could do. And to stop thinking about 20 years ago, and Gary Williams in the Final Four in Atlanta and won Dixon, this is a fun, exciting, promising first year under Kevin Willard, that I don’t know how far it’s gonna go, I think this team has the chance to get to the second weekend. I don’t know if it’s going to be beyond that. Because Sunday aside, I don’t know what they shoot well enough from outside, and they have enough depth to make a deep run in March. But there’s a part

Nestor Aparicio  05:34


of me that thinks into a weird gym, it’s that they don’t do well outside their own gym. And that’s not a typical 19 year old men, right? I mean, literally. And I think we’ve seen over the history of the game, when they put the games in the blimps, nobody shoots well, when you don’t shoot well, in odd places, it makes it really kind of hard to win in March, it does it really, if you’re not that team, because you’re gonna go into buildings, and at two in the afternoon, it’s gonna be empty, it’s gonna be weird. There’s gonna be a cheer section for you, depending on where you play. But if you’re playing in Spokane, not right, so there’s that they don’t do that as much anymore. They try to make it so fans can come. But everything about the march games and you’ve been to them, they’re really weird. They’re really, really, they feel different. And the game feels different in your building. When everybody’s yelling, you suck in the same way that when you’re playing in Duke, and they’re throwing condoms in Indian Head and telling you you suck.

Luke Jones  06:26

Yeah. And, and let’s be clear, we’re not picking on Maryland being, you know, being a bad road team here. As much as look at the entire big 10. I mean, that’s just how it works. Right? Other than Purdue, Northwestern. Oh, Sunday aside, Northwestern has been pretty good on the road. Beyond that. I mean, you’re talking about accomplished teams like Indiana, they they’re five and seven on the road this year, you know, counting some nonconference, Maryland’s 10 And oh at home, and they’re one and seven on the road going into this final week. I mean, it’s go down the list, I mean, Michigan, three and five, Iowa, three and seven, Illinois, three and six. I mean, none of these teams. And, of course, when I list out those skills, those road records, it’s almost all conference games, it just speaks to how competitive and difficult this conference is. Now, how does that translate to getting into neutral site, which is not the same as playing on the road. But of course, it’s not the same as playing in the friendly confines of XFINITY center and College Park. So how do they adapt to that? We’ll see. And that’s the same question that any team you’re asking of right now, whether you’re talking about a team that’s, you know, in the top five with Final Four, aspirations, or a team that Maryland like Maryland, who’s comfortably in the tournament field, but you’re playing for seeding and you’re seeing how far you can go, you know, you’re hoping that you get the right draw, you’ve got a chance to make it to the second weekend. And I think this team does so. I mean, what more can you ask for when you’re talking about where we were talking about this team, going into the season with Kevin Willard understanding where they were, you know, a few holdovers from the Mark Turgeon era, but let’s face it, you know, the cupboard wasn’t exactly. It’s not as though they were overflowing with talent. And that had been well chronicled over the last few years with recruiting and how much work was being done there. But, you know, I mean, Jameer Young has been a godsend. He’s been so good for this team. And he’s been so fun to watch.

Nestor Aparicio  08:28

And local in a way that always is different. Oh, no doubt. No, doubt it. Well, oh, two years later, it’s different because bias was a kid from down the street. I mean, it just is.

Luke Jones  08:39

I mean, yeah, you want you want some local kids. And we’ve talked about I mean, that was a big criticism of Gary Williams at different points in time not being able to keep the best of the best of the local kids. And look, you’re always gonna have some local kids who want to go to


Nestor Aparicio  08:51

was left his original sin, right. And Original Sin is that Wingate and Ross and all these guys went elsewhere. Mugsy they all played somewhere else. Oh, those guys weren’t Maryland, Lefty would have won a championship would have given Michael Jordan Hill, right during that era.

Luke Jones  09:07

Sure. Yeah. I mean, so that’s always part of the narrative, that’s always gonna be part of part of it. And you’re not going to keep everyone but you won’t be able to keep some of them right. You want to get some at least one and

Nestor Aparicio  09:17

go there. That’s all even if they choose, choose to go to Wake Forest or choose to go wherever they go. You want them to say I would at least consider playing at Maryland. I’m I’m not anti to coach or entity institution or, you know, anti the conference or, you know, whatever that would be for a 17 year old kid in 2024. I’m talking about and especially with the NFL and the underarmor money, that you really do have visions of sugar plums to some degree seeing it get off to this kind of a start, because you’re thinking to yourself, I like this guy. I mean, I’ve I’ve met him once seen him speak. I watch them on the television. I haven’t done press conferences or any of that stuff. You know, he seems like a guy that would be a good enough guy to come on my show and hang out for an hour. to talk and be an interesting human, he’s a light that would draw me there were Terjun was always disinterested in everything. And I coached Pino, you know what I mean? Like, surgeon never cared much to put down a flag in Baltimore, whatever it feels like Willard is on his way here to earning the confidence of guys like me that have Buck Williams stuff in my closet.

Luke Jones  10:24


Well, how about the fact that they come off this huge win over northwestern on Sunday, you know, one of their most complete performances of the season. And then just a few hours later, he’s downtown watching the high school championships. I mean, that that says something right, you know, and I’m not saying there aren’t other coaches who do that in their respective markets or regions. But he a few hours after a win where he could have felt and should have felt really good about what they did against Northwestern. He’s watching high school kids down at the arena, you know, downtown, recruiting it. Watching being there being present, those kids that are playing and playing for championships and coach, watch me play, I saw her looking over and they see Kevin Willard sitting in the front row behind, I think you sit behind the basket. I wasn’t there. I’m just going off of social media and all that. But that says something. And for me, it’s not to say that Kevin Willard is going to make this perennial final for contender or

Nestor Aparicio  11:24

UCLA, the East finally, you know, I don’t know if

Luke Jones  11:27

it’s gonna be that. But he has aspirations to be that whereas Mark Turgeon, and I don’t want to pick on him too much. Because it’s, it’s in the past. I mean, the guy’s gone now. You know, there’s no point in continuing to dwell on it. But for me, the thing that constantly rubbed me the wrong way, and I’m not even saying this as much as covering them. I was down there sporadically. This is talking more is just sitting back as a longtime Maryland basketball fan was just felt like there was too much of a sense of self self satisfaction that that what he was doing was good enough. And you just you don’t want that. I mean, Lefty was before my time, but having grown up watch Gary Williams and seeing where this team was, you know where this program was in the early 90s. And how Gary was not satisfied and just kept pushing and working and grinding and seeing what they did when they finally you know, you kept you capture lightning in a bottle when you get one Dixon and Lonnie Baxter and Chris Wilcox and go on through the entire list.

Nestor Aparicio  12:27

Go to Atlanta, Atlanta, Atlanta, Minneapolis to there was the I mean, I don’t we don’t want to think about that. I was a put down your station and I I have tried to forget about that. But it wasn’t some one time stop and some thing that happened. And I don’t look I was down in Knoxville with Stevie Francis, right. I mean, I was there for some bad endings. I wasn’t there for Rex Chapman. But I remember it I was in Robert to pieces basement watching that. I mean, I go back to all of these disappointments and sleepy Floyd and there, I’m not just off the reservation. So if you’re if you’re tuning in around here, I mean, I’ve got a long history with this, as well as having to run around half a college park to claim a press parking pass and parking somewhere, you know, in Kensington, like crazy stuff that I’ve endured in being a fan and in traveling around and in seeing Joe Smith, you know, fall on his ass out in Oakland in 1995 courtside where Jerry Rice was watching these guys play. So I go back to all of this, it feels to me and I’m an old guy. And I don’t want to say I’ve given up on it or whatever. But I’m not as vested. Everybody that knows me knows I’m not as vested or vested I’d be sitting down there at this point. I have been disinvested by the humans that had been involved in this over the course of time, and the distance, the age all of that. But when I’m watching now and thinking and seeing on my timeline, Greg’s a Pontiac taking his boy to the games, seeing people take their children to the games and finding this fresh thing that was College Park for me and sweat on the walls and Mark alary back when he had hair, barely recognize them the other day looks like David Simon. I didn’t want you to look college hoops, as you can tell. And this is invigorating to me to see the beginning of something that might be beautiful for people to have fun again, that there might be a Minneapolis for worse cases. And there might be an Atlanta on the other side of that. And there might be cutting down of gnats. And there might be like all that and there might be a big 10 Championship next couple of weeks do right. I mean, there are things that could happen here for this team, that they’re good enough right now to beat when they shoot the way they shot the other day and I don’t know how they’re gonna do that right in we’re gyms. But when they shoot well, they’re they’re gonna beat teams and I think, to some point, Willard after the game talked about the big victories of 30 and 20 point victories earlier in the year. I mean, they they clean the floor with a top 20 team, right? I mean, like literally They beat a really good team and they, they beat him bad on senior day and made everybody feel good. That’s what it’s about. It’s been a long time since everybody has felt good about the Terps. Right? I mean, a long, long time.


Luke Jones  15:13

Yeah. Well, I and I think it’s the the meeting of feeling good about it in the present because of we can talk about the future and promise and maybe getting back to a Final Four at some point, maybe being a national champion, contending kind of squad. But don’t let that distract from their good right now

Nestor Aparicio  15:33

now now than it was last year, right. Same thing like, don’t wait for it. It’s here, like, be this good. Again, they might get to the eight and a couple. I mean, it’s possible that they could do that. And I think believing in that is half a Gary seems we sort of like new, right? I’m in charge and only had one team that really had the talent. And they didn’t have the Moxie the Suleyman team, that was the diamond said, that was the best team, they had to be able to win a championship because of the what you need to do to win six basketball games in March all over the country, right? Like, he didn’t have the horses. I don’t know that this team as the horses, but I’ve also like look at the field, and Cl and iOS changed all of this for a lot of places. And I think because this team shoots well, because this team has a little bit of whatever that Id factor, they like each other and they’re fun. They’re fun. Right here. And right now it’s fun. Like the Orioles were fun last year.

Luke Jones  16:31

Yeah, I mean, it’s, I think you just look at where they are right now. I mean, going into the season. And I remember talking to some wasn’t even on the radio, I was just talking to some people in my life that are Maryland basketball fans. And I flat out said that at the time. I thought if Kevin Willard can take this team to the NCAA tournament, and it wasn’t a ultimatum, it was more what would be a reasonable goal. And considering this, this was not a team that was picked to finish very high in the big 10. I mean, you look at where they were, you know, a few players returning, but certainly no superstars mean, Jimmy Young was a nice story, being a local kid coming back, but you know, he’s at Charlotte, I mean, what are you going to get? You know, it’s one thing playing at a mid major or playing in a lesser conference and, and saying, Okay, how does that translate to the big 10. And so my thought at the time was, if Kevin Willard can get this team to the NCAA tournament, which I didn’t think was impossible goal, but it was going to it was going to take some work, it’s going to take some things fall in their way, then, what a great way to start. I mean, just what a fantastic way to start. And for him to have now done this, they’re going to be in the tournament, it’s just gonna be a matter of where their seating is going to be. So bracketology from Joe Lunardi, over the weekend, before Sunday’s win had them as I think a seven seed plan Auburn or something like that. But now you just look at that. And you can do that in the first year. And you see the improvement from someone like Julian Reese, another local kid who going into the season. I’ll be honest, Nestor, and look, I’m not a basketball savant. I’m not like Mr. Expert, X’s and O’s when it comes to basketball. But I wasn’t sure he was a legitimate big, 10 big man. And look, he still has his times where he has some struggles, but you also see the flashes. And you’ve seen how well he’s played down the stretch. And it’s exciting. You know, it’s exciting to see guys improving, it’s exciting to think about the possibility of some of these seniors who actually still have a year of eligibility left. Now, I’m not going to sit here and speculate and say that I know what they’re going to do. But the idea that’s the way that some of these guys have been able to thrive and blossom under Kevin Willard. Whereas How many times did we see guys come through college park under Mark Turgeon, and kind of feel like they either didn’t get any better, or they would leave before they had a chance to get any better. You know, it just it feels different in that way. And that’s not to say that they’ve quote arrived. I mean, this is still a team that’s flawed. They, they shot well, on Sunday, yes, but they don’t consistently shoot well, from the outside. I mean, defense has really been their calling card. And that’s why they’ve had a chance so often, and that’s why they’ve played so they played so well, overall, but there’s things that still have to go well for them things that have to go right for them. And that’s the case for most teams going into the tournament talking about postseason at this point is we’re on the precipice of March. But the fact that we’re even talking about this right now just speaks to how successful this first year has been. And it speaks to the potential for where they could go over the next few years, knowing that he’s going to be bringing in his own recruits, and he’s going to do the things that are necessary. And as I mentioned Sunday, just being an example of, you know, he’s down there at the arena a few hours after winning a huge game, watching high school kids play for a championship and that’s that me ain’t something to be present to be in the community and see these kids. And, you know, that doesn’t mean you’re gonna land every top recruit, but you’re gonna be in the mix for those guys. And then all it takes is landing the first one and then the next guy and then the guy after that, and then those guys haven’t success. And those guys go on to NCAA Tournaments and playing in the sweet 16. I mean,

Nestor Aparicio  20:20


that’s how he talked about the kids to having fun. I don’t carry ever talked about the kids having fun, not even when they want Gary was not fun. And Mark church him was miserable most of the time. And this guy seems to be like, you know, you’re gonna have fun playing defense. And they Oh, that’s the key one being disruptive to the other team. I know that

Luke Jones  20:41

it is. But he also said they have fun, but they work their tails off. And he said that they’re having fun and that they’re so tired, because they play so hard that their natural talent shines through. And look, there’s some code speak involved there. I don’t want to take that as though that’s something unprecedented that Kevin Willard would say, but you really get the sense that these guys have bought in. And when you think about a Dante Scott, Hakeem Hart, guys that have been around you know, guys, that were Mark Turgeon guys, so to speak, you know, whether they loved everything about Mark charging or not, they were charging guys and to see them buy in, and to succeed in the way that they’re succeeding now, and to see this mix of other transfers, and using the portal and all that, to put this thing together. And to have a team that’s in second place, and the big 10 entering the final week is going to be in the top four, you know, barring, they need to take care of business. That’s why I said these two road games, you better beat Ohio State. And that’s gonna be a desperate Penn State team that’s again, coming off of a bad loss against Rutgers on Sunday evening. But that’s a team that they’ve they’ve had some rock fights with Penn State. In recent years, we’ve seen some ugliness and some games where they’ve gone up to, to stay college and it hasn’t gone well. So if they can take care of business, and you win a couple games on the road this week going into then the big 10 tournament and march and the postseason. Yeah, it’s exciting. You know, you start to think about, okay, if they get the right draw, if they’re in the right region, if they’re playing in the right arena at the right time, and enough fans travel, you know, I wouldn’t be stunned if you told me right now that they could play in the second weekend. On that, I don’t know if they’re good enough. But boy, again, compared to where they were last April, you know, what, when we’re talking about all right, surgeons gone, and who are they hiring? And what’s this going to look like? And who are they going to have on the team this year, and you have to be talking about them being a lock for the NCAA NCAA Tournament, as the calendar turns the march, I mean, it’s really exciting. It’s exciting for the present. And then you start to dream about what this could be over the next few years. And just to have those thoughts, as you mentioned, it was quite fleeting. In the Terjun era, you had the diamond stone Suleimani team. And I do want to give a nod to Anthony Cowan and the team from 20. Before everything was canceled, you know, because they were a team that, you know, regular season champs and there was a thought that they could make a run. I wasn’t convinced they were going to be a Final Four team or anything like that. But they were at least on the higher end of what we saw in Mark Sergeant’s team. So But beyond that, it was a lot of frustration. Even years where they made the tournament, you felt like they were fading at the end of the year, whereas this has felt the opposite. Now they went through their little they had a red hot start in nonconference. Then they went through the law and got blown out a couple times and who you’re starting to wonder. But yeah, they found their footing in the big 10 At least playing at home. I mean, my goodness, Ted it Oh, finding your footing. I mean, that’s the understatement. But that’s why I think this final week is such an interesting opportunity for them to not just get a couple more wins, but and be that to seed in the big 10 tournament, but a chance to win a couple games away from College Park, which no, you’re not playing on the road in the postseason, but it’s neutral. You know, you’re not, you’re not in the friendly confines and you don’t have the crowd 100% Behind you the way that they have. So if you can do that, that just makes you think even more about the possibility of if the chips fall right that not just making it but wait a game or two and make this a wildly successful first season for Kevin Willard and really have that arrow pointing up at the end of year one.

Nestor Aparicio  24:32

Luke Johnson is all things baseball, a little bit of basketball and a whole lot of Lamar Jackson these days out of Baltimore positive. You can also find them out on the Twitter thing and if there’s any breaking news anywhere along the lines, you’ll get first in the wn S T tech service brought to you by coons Ford security Boulevard of course Dennis will be here on Thursday from three to five driving home. And again on Sunday I am taking the Maryland crabcake tour to drug city and Dundalk on Friday the third then on the eighth to be at Faith these I’m wearing my faith these gear right now man I’m geared up for some crab cakes Maryland crab cake Tour presented by the Maryland lottery celebrating 50 years I’m going to have some really cool throwback scratch offs to give away at York City this week as well as it fails next week. It’s a great guest as well as her friends of winter nation 8669 The Nation make sure you’re checking them out as well. Beware my window nation gear around here the Buy One Get One Free, do all that stuff buy to get to free excuse me, all the good stuff. We’re talking about 866 90 nation all month long here at March. Orioles? Is there anything you want to say in the beginning of this because we we don’t talk much. And it’s sort of weird. Games aren’t on whatever. But the Lamar thing is just such a, you know, gorilla in the room. Like, you know, it’s it’s the biggest story in sports right now. And then we have the Terps, which is a nice story. And that’ll bake in the next couple of weeks. Oreos aren’t doing much for a month. But they’re a little out of sight out of mind. But they are doing right now.

Luke Jones  25:57

Yeah, I mean, and look, let’s be clear, and we talked about this at length last week. And I wrote about this a Baltimore positive and was underwhelmed by the offseason, I think they could have done more, they should have done more. But that’s not to say that there isn’t still a lot to be excited about. And when you look at the young players, I mean, even over the weekend, and caught a little bit of it on the radio, you know, you’re here in Jackson holiday playing and some spring, early Spring Games and some of these other names that guys that we’re going to see, you know, Jackson holidays, still, at least a year or two away, I mean, the kids 19, let’s be clear about that. But when you look at some of the other guys that have played, and we’ve seen them do some things in the early games, I mean, it’s fun. Now, it’s not front of mine, because the games aren’t on TV. And it makes it more difficult. But there’s still a lot to be excited about. And when you look at the upside with rutschman, with Gunnar Henderson with guys that have been here, you know, the Cedric Mullins and those guys that have been here now for a few years. And you look at the starting rotation, as much as I’d like it to have a higher ceiling, it has a much higher floor than it’s had in a long time. You know, I was talking to someone the other day about this Nestor. Think about someone like Bruce Zimmerman who was kind of penciled in to be in the rotation a year ago, no one even talks about him anymore and look at Part of it’s unfortunate, because, you know, he just kind of had a lost 2022 season. But it does speak to how the pecking order has changed in guys that you were previously counting on by default. Now that are either just one of the one of the other guys that are competing or, you know, they’ve kind of fallen to the back of the pack. So there’s still plenty to be excited about, you know, a little bit early concern with the health of the bullpen with the news about dealing tape with his forearm, he’s gonna miss the first month of the season. You know, I feel expertise, the other bring it along a little slowly, based on some of the health concerns he had at the end of last year. But by and large are still a lot to be excited about. And I will say this, we’ll get into this a little more as we get a chance to, maybe you get a chance to even check out a game on MLB Network or what have you. But some of the rule changes the pitch clock, some of the you know the elements of the shift and limitations on pickups, the first base and you know, the bigger bases and all of that the early returns specifically with the pitch clock, faster games, you know, people who have watched and had a chance to watch just a brief portion of a game over the weekend on MLB Network. But seeing games that were previously three hours be two and a half hours, you know, that’s what you kind of realize, or it kind of dawns on you that how slow the game has become in terms of time between pitches, and that just getting progressively worse over the last 20 or 30 years. And now to see it being of some some effort to speed it back up. And to see a quicker pace. I think the early returns even from some people that I saw on social media, some pundits who were kind of against the idea, you got the sense that people enjoyed it. So hey, it’s one weekend of spring training games, that’s a small sample. It’s not the same stakes is when the season starts, but be interested to see how that all plays out. And as much as I’m skeptical about some of the rule changes, I do think there’s a potential to make the game better. And ultimately, if you love baseball, we want the game to be better. You know, we want it to we want it to grow. We want it to thrive not to be something that becomes unappealing to people. So that’s where I look at this thing and the early returns on the pitch clock, I’d say without myself experiencing it a whole lot. But just briefly seeing some of the early reviews seems to be a positive.


Nestor Aparicio  29:35

Well, I mean, playing the game at a pace is something I’ve been talking about for 31 years on radio. So you’re like I don’t know what they can do other than to do this. And they’ve been years instituting it like baseball is glacial pace and changing anything as we all know around here but you know it, it has a lot of value your opinion and your words about they could have been should have done more My wait and see for them, and I don’t believe they have any competence at all competence I have, I have no confidence in their competence. That if the notion is on August 1, they could make a play and deal into a $12 million pitcher to rent or you use some of this, this code, these A, the AE lower ball players that they would have that would be attractive, they’re never going to want to give those kids away, though, if they believe there’s a ceiling, or they believe they have them under control. I mean, that’s the hardest thing in the world to do is to pull the trigger on those trades and say, I’m going to give the Dodgers three prospects for a pitcher or not the Dodgers because they wouldn’t deal out but that that you would want to do that there’s so much less of that going on now. Because of the value of the clock, they’re not going to deal Jackson holiday for anything or anybody ever no matter what,

Luke Jones  30:53

well, Jackson holidays, one thing, but if you’re talking about guys that are well thought of, but not the cream of the crop, not the best of the best. We know. And we’ve seen it, you see it every year guys that are former top 100 or top 20 prospects around baseball, and then you see them flame out. And they’re traded three different times. Why? Because there are some, there’s some confirmation bias that, Hey, that guy was a first round pick, that means we can fix them. And that means he’s really talented. Even if there has been four years of evidence since then, that suggests the guy isn’t very good. There can be some of that. And that’s not to say that I think that there are Oreos prospects that specifically that aren’t going to work out. But you know, of all the guys that are on the top 100 list right now that you’re seeing around baseball, not all those guys are gonna make it. So you do get to a point where if the opportunity presents itself, and you do have certain individuals that might be very highly thought up around the game, but your secret sauce, your proprietary information, because he’s your guy, you might now you know what, we’re not so sure that this is going to translate to him being a great ballplayer at the major league level. So you know what, now is the time to do him to go get that pitcher or go get that bat? And can there be some of that? Absolutely. But I am in agreement with you, if you’re talking about Jackson holiday, you know, I mean, Gunnar Henderson is going to be in the opening day lineup. But if you’re talking about those Cream of the Crop Guys, yeah, you’re not going to want to trade them. But they have a lot of depth now. And this farm system is still you know, even having graduated Adley rutschman is still one of the very best if not the best in baseball. So I fully expect and frankly, I hope, because of what you just said, I don’t know what payroll is going to look like I think it will continue to go up. But it’s going to be books quite gradual based on what we’ve seen this past offseason. So if you get to a point where you can trade a Colton cows or let’s say, to go land that pitcher in July, if you are in great a great spot to make the playoffs, then by all means go do it. So and I think we’ll see some of that because Mike Elias was witness to the Astros, having done that at different points, you know, when they were ascending and becoming, you know what they’ve all

Nestor Aparicio  33:11

come from time to time.

Luke Jones  33:13


So I mean, that’s, that’s part of it. It’s not just having a farm system of your own guys to play. It’s having enough depth that, yeah, you’re gonna pick and choose which guys that you think are gonna graduate and be your next stars and be cheap, controllable talent for you. But it’s also using that to go make a trade. And, you know, some and sometimes it’s prospect for prospect, but so many times when you’re a contender, it’s you go and trade, your number three prospect and your number 11 prospect to go get a whether it’s a rental or whether it’s a guy who has a year or two left on his deal. And

Nestor Aparicio  33:49

then the the $10 million, and it’s 21 million left on the contract coming

Luke Jones  33:54

out. Right, no doubt, I mean that those are parts parts of the conversation. So we’ll see how it plays out. But they certainly are in a position from a farm system standpoint that yes, you know, we get into July, and they are right in the thick of it, and they have a really good chance and, but they have a very specific need. And the right deal comes along, then by all means pull the trigger on it. So you know, it’s, it’s gonna be fun to see how it plays out. There’s a lot of optimism, there are still some very legitimate questions that I have about this team. And part of that is just, it’s a young team, there could be some guys that there could be a little bit of regression. You know, we’ve heard sophomore slump, how many different times specifically you hear it a lot in baseball, but you know, that that said, you know, there’s a lot to be excited about. And there’s a lot of talent on this team. And, you know, I’m not ready to say they’re gonna win 95 games or anything like that. But, you know, especially with three wildcards, I do expect them to be competitive and I expect them to be right in the thick of it. And as we hopefully find some answers to some of those questions about pitching are more consistency out of the offense, you know, whatever it might be. You’re hoping you get a clearer picture and that this team has a great chance to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2016.

Nestor Aparicio  35:14

It is baseball season almost. It is a March Madness. It’s here and the Lamar Jackson sweepstakes. Always in season. Around here you’ll be at Baltimore positive.com and wn st am 15 Semi find Luca at a Baltimore Luke he’s out on all the social media places I have become a little bit more active. This week’s put the Maryland crabcake tour back out on the robot will be at drug city on Friday. The third celebrating my dad’s birthday will be Calvin stadium. And on the eighth though, will be a fatalist Analects in the market. So I brought you by the Maryland lottery conjunction with our friends at window nation and taking it back out. I you know, I’ve been away a little bit I’ve been in I’ve been out. We’ve done a lot of radio row stuff and a little bit of this and that, but I’m really looking forward to getting the crabcake mojo back together and maybe even having a beer to along with it. I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. chirps, baseball, football, all sorts of things. We’re Baltimore positive.com. Stay with us.

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