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Feeling that first place feeling in Baltimore


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For the first time since the summer of 2016 the Baltimore Orioles are in first place in the American League East. Luke Jones and Nestor celebrate that achievement and look ahead to Tampa Bay and how the pennant race and the trading deadline are making this more complex – and fun!


orioles, pitch, year, coulomb, thinking, inning, good, bullpen, luke, night, kramer, team, day, throw, reliever, game, talking, win, ravens, baseball


Nestor Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

Looking back at W and S, T, Towson, Baltimore, Baltimore positive we’re possibly getting into a great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great summer weekend. We’re gonna be out of the Beaumont with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gina shock. On Thursday. Come on out. It’s gonna be a good time. I have just a handful of these left the instant lottery scratch offs. I don’t want to see all the lucky ones have been used because I don’t really know. But we had $100 winner at Coco’s last week with Dave, Sean and Microsoft Leon who came by come by say hello, window nation. We’ll have the floppy hat. I don’t have it in here right now because it’s in my packed bag. That’s, you know, eight 690 nation make sure you’re checking that out by to get to free. I’m loving my winters especially on the stinky old hot days. Go condensation inside because it’s sort of that moisture inside and outside with all the storms that are coming through. This guy knows about cheap hot dogs and really bad media food. He has been camped with the let me clear my throat. Hold on. Let me get my orange Kool Aid hold on hold on.


Luke Jones  01:01

The first place

Nestor Aparicio  01:02

Baltimore Orioles. Luke Jones joins us now from Parts Unknown, like the executioner’s back in the WWE. I get into that Abdullah the butcher thing I saw some of that on my timeline and Adrian Adonis, you and I could do some wrestling. But that’s what we usually do in July when the Orioles are 30 games under 500. The Ravens haven’t started yet. And you’re worried about get sunburned at ravens camp. You’re not even thinking about like Justin Houston right now. Because you got pennant fever, and we’re headed to Tampa, and we’re in first place. This is one hell of a carpet ride. Luke Jones. Let me tell you, buddy. It really

Luke Jones  01:34

is when you kind of think back to just two years ago, less than two years ago, this was the worst team in baseball. And yeah, there was thought had

Nestor Aparicio  01:43


been for a significant period of time. They didn’t just wake up one day is the worst team. When you start seeing Adley rutschman on the field, these guys, we paid the price for these players. Sure.

Luke Jones  01:53

Yeah. I mean, 2018, which, as we all know, was a year in which they actually were trying at the beginning of the year, and that was a disaster. And then a few years ago, hey,

Nestor Aparicio  02:03

Buck got a gig.

Luke Jones  02:05

He did. He that’s fine. Dandy cat did not. But that’s beside the point. But But boy, you really think back to we’re going on about 13 months now. 12 months, you know, the 10 game winning streak in early July last year was when this thing really started to take off. And it’s been a lot of fun. And how about this series specifically talking about losing two of three to the Dodgers and first inning Wednesday afternoon, Dean Kramer throws 37 pitches, you’re down to nothing and you’re thinking, oh my gosh, they’re gonna fry the bullpen for a second straight night. You know,


Nestor Aparicio  02:42

for a second. They couldn’t get the field ready to play. Let’s start with that.

Luke Jones  02:47

Oh, yeah. Yeah, I mean, it ended up being fine and ended up not being what it was a 3030 or 40 minute rain delay. It wasn’t that big of a deal. But they put the pier

Nestor Aparicio  02:58

on sale when they do that. I’m just asking for a friend. I don’t know. They open

Luke Jones  03:02


up the gates. Yeah. You know, I mean, the law can be there in

Nestor Aparicio  03:08

half price during rain delays. We pray for rain, Luke

Luke Jones  03:11

law. Sure, sure. But we’ve also seen three and four hour rain delays where you do have some some reason for skepticism but that in fact, I said this in the press box and I’ll get to the game in a moment and then we’ll be done talking about the field but of all the things the Orioles haven’t done well on and off the field for years and years and years. The field has always been Pristina and Nicole Sherry does a phenomenal job. The groundskeeper does a phenomenal job. And it was one of those nights that there was no rain in the forecast. At least that’s my understanding. They wouldn’t just be blatantly negligent about it. And you can’t Contrary to popular belief, you don’t put the tarp on the field every night you kill the grass. So this was a case of it’s summertime humidity, the Chesapeake Bay where you know, rain can pop up this time of year. And I could see I didn’t tweet it at the time because I didn’t think that there’d be a delay. But the time I arrived and it was 1030 something like that. I noticed they were really working on the field and they had the drying agent and all this sudden like, oh, that doesn’t look right. And I started to wonder like I’m wondering if I didn’t even know for sure there had been a storm. You know, I live in southern Pennsylvania.

Nestor Aparicio  04:23

It’s just kind of like at the Super Bowl in Dallas. My wife and I walked up to the roof and we saw a 500 seats that weren’t glued in. Yeah, it was like four hours to game time. I’m like, I bet this is gonna be a scandal.


Luke Jones  04:34

Yeah, yeah. So so it ended up being a delay but hey, to the grounds crews credit, they got the field in great shape. It wasn’t an issue. Once the game started, you know, the infield seemed fine and whatnot. But yeah, strange start to the day between that. Kramer having such a tough time in the first inning. I mean, you know, this was the afternoon after Tyler Wells had a 40 pitch second inning and was out of the game, you know, and what was a really miserable Tuesday. Night loss for the Orioles. So you’re not thinking that things are going well you’re not thinking sweep, you’re not thinking you’re gonna be tied for first place at the end of the day. And to the Orioles credit, they come right back with four runs in the bottom of the first inning and Ramona Reus gets the big, double. And they just they got the job done. And it is crazy though to think that they lost two out of three and how frustrating the first two nights were Monday, again that I think, yeah, they should have won. You know, I think Grayson Rodriguez pitch better than what his final line was. I think Aaron Hicks, not making the catch at the wall was so huge, so critical in the Dodgers turning that game around. And then Tuesday night was just ugly all the way around, walking batters kicking the ball around one of their worst performances of the year. So for them to come back Wednesday, and even have a shaky start on Wednesday. Come back and win. It’s a reflection of what we’ve been talking about all year with his team that, you know, it’s not always perfect. It’s not always blowout fashion, as I’ve joked about with you as far as how much strain they put on there.

Nestor Aparicio  06:06

To blow out then you got one on Tuesday night you didn’t like Yeah,

Luke Jones  06:09

well, I mean that that was a case of yeah, you needed an extra arm in the bullpen. And then unfortunately, Cedric Mullins goes on the aisle and they they bring back Logan glaspie for you know, at least for a couple of days or whatever, but never

Nestor Aparicio  06:21


about 24 or 25 or 26. Guys, is it? I mean, it really is an ensemble.

Luke Jones  06:27

It has to be in this day and age. I mean, you just look back in the day. You had four starters who would generally go 789 innings you don’t have that anymore. So you’ll need

Nestor Aparicio  06:38

Terry Crowley and Merv Redman. And that’s all you needed. And L Ron, that’s all you needed on the bench, right?

Luke Jones  06:44

Yeah, sure. So So I mean, it’s, it’s a much different game than it is now. And I’m not saying it’s better or worse, it’s different. It’s a different game. And the same way we talked about the NFL in 2023 is so different than Johnny Unitas in the Baltimore Colts.


Nestor Aparicio  06:58

Organizational depth when you lose a corner in week three or a left tackle for a year and a half, and you have to go play with whatever the organizational depth may or may not be at that point. And where you put that depth. And right now, I mean, the Orioles are just swimming in riches of being awful for a long time. And hiring people who know what they’re what they’re doing with baseball players, like they are at the apex have that right? They are at the cross section of holy cow. We’ve got a lot of great players, and we’re pretty good. But are we good enough? Are we healthy enough? Are we not seasoned enough? We had plenty of money are we should we should we be you know, we’ve been dark money for a decade now. They should have whatever they need, that would be a resource to go win a championship. But then the pragmatist in me Luke thinks and I’ve yelled about this earlier in the week, and I see more people on my side saying Rosenthal wants to get good Shohei Ohtani. And you and I did 10 minutes on that the other day, and I’m thinking to myself, no, just play this out at your play with the hand you got here to some degree, because there is a Calvary coming over the hill and we’re not happy with Colton cows are right now. We’re a little down on mountcastle right now. And, you know, we don’t know where we are with givens and Dayton. And means and this. We have all of these. We don’t know what we are. We’re bracing Rodriguez even after a couple innings the other night when he fell apart when he got hot, and they were one of them losing the game. But there’s something about where they are right now that they have something they haven’t had in a long time. Options, right, they have a lot of options. There’s a lot of paths that Dorothy and Toto could take here, down the yellow brick road toward trading, not trading trading a little bit trading in the middle of the night for some guy from Oklahoma. I’ve never heard of stonking who they’re, you know, trying to turn into the next year New York and LA who’s turned that around a little bit, right. So these guys are really smart. Like they put modelo on it during the broadcast with Brad Brock and these guys. I know you were at the game, but I’m watching the game. Maybe there is some benefit the Greg Bader throwing me out, I’m not sure. But we do double team that part of it. And these are smart guys, my delen and allies. And I knew that when they were hired, I knew that when Eric Decosta told me about these guys a year and a half before they were hired, I started researching what they were doing in Houston, I started booking the Astro ball guys on and all of that, thinking that maybe they would be the guys. And now that they’ve been hired. I don’t know what Jon’s paying them. But I hope he keeps him around because I know what they’re doing. And there’s a point in this in the next 11 days where if they make it a deal, I would say well, you know, I mean it’s not desperate. I don’t think allies none of these guys are desperate about dealing, but they have to win right now. And we always talk about that as a strength with the Ravens that you know Eric Ozzie the John Cena were desperate to win right now. They want to win now, but they never sell out next year for this year.

Luke Jones  09:58

Yeah, and generally peeking desperation does not spawn good decisions. I mean, that’s just and that’s not to say that you don’t make a trade or you don’t make a big move. You know, I’ve heard the show Hey, Otani speculation just like anyone else that look Shohei Otani is one of my already one of my all time favorite baseball players. So the idea of Yeah, the dream of him becoming an Oreo, even though each row

Nestor Aparicio  10:20

for me yet but I mean, I’m right there with oh, he’s better than from a pure talent standpoint, better than each row. I was trying to explain this to my wife watching the game. Let’s he’s the most talented player in the history of the game. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t mean the best, but most talented. I mean, I’ve already said he’s already exceeded what Babe Ruth did for a couple years. I mean, he’s

Luke Jones  10:42


34 races. It’s crazy. I mean, so. But assuming it’s not that because again, I’m still not convinced the angels he’s gonna be somewhere

Nestor Aparicio  10:50

and what I told Cheyenne and same thing I’m gonna tell you, same thing. I’m gonna tell the audience, why can’t we have nice things? Why are we allowed to have I bet back in the 90s, we were allowed to have the best players. You know, like he if he’s the best player, why can’t we have him we’re too broke to have him.

Luke Jones  11:06

Well, every team could say that.

Nestor Aparicio  11:09

You want to go beat him in New York or wherever. He’s not going to be an East Coast. I don’t think but nonetheless,


Luke Jones  11:15

I’m still not convinced he’s going to be traded. However, I want to go back to something that you mentioned. And you mentioned your condo and passing. How about on Wednesday afternoon, Danny Coulomb. The Orioles picked him up days before the season started why cuz he was going to make the twins opening day roster. I mean, this guy’s a 30 something. He’s got a career 378378 era nothing. Nothing that you would say is noteworthy. I mean, he’s been a nondescript lefty reliever in baseball. He’s, I mean, hey, he’s, he’s lasted. He’s endured. You know, he’s had some good years in the past. But look at what he did for them on Wednesday. I mean, you’re looking at Kramer exiting in the fifth inning. And what you’re saying at that point in time is okay, we have a lead, but how in the blue you know, what are we going to get to Cano and Batista late in the game and my thought was alright, if coulomb can give them an inning in an inning and a third. Maybe they go to Baker, someone like that for an inning and then you can kind of maybe get a couple extra outside of quinoa Batista, but lo and behold, coulomb, another guy that nondescript cast off by someone else, you pick them up. Maybe you make a couple of adjustments as the Orioles did with Cano as they’ve done with some other relievers here over the last couple years. And he goes to an A third scoreless innings in queueing part of this. So the rules changing and

Nestor Aparicio  12:38

he would be a guy who would get six pitches and get two outs or one out in the old days situationally gets there against you know, freemen or whatever whoever their best left hander would be at the time, right? Like the game has changed so much. And I’ve always thought such a guy like him, veteran guy, just the Rosco as I go back to thinking about how these guys were and, you know, whatever, Andrew Miller and these other left handers had been, they’re all capable of throwing 30 or 40 pitches, just because they don’t do what every day and they used to be limited to 810 12 pitches, get 15 pitches, get out whatever. They’re all capable of throwing 3040 pitches, I believe that the end very, very well. And especially when you’re 30 years old and do it. I think that there’s something about it that there’s a little part of you that always wants to go a little longer. I would think if you’re that guy that you get a chance to be a bailiff guy in a pennant race against the Dodgers. Good tip, my good friend. That’s why you stick around the big leagues as long. Yeah. And it

Luke Jones  13:37

really it doesn’t have to do with the pitch count nearly as much as you have to be a lefty now who can get right handed hitters out there. The loogies going away. I mean, Danny coulomb is not a loogie you know, and when I say Luke, left it left handed one out guy, you know, hey,

Nestor Aparicio  13:49


hold on one moment moment of silence for Kevin Hickey. All right, because that’s my dude.

Luke Jones  13:54

Ryan Mattis was that several years back? Yeah, sure, sure. So but what you have now is you need lefties who can defend themselves against right handed hitters, and Danny coulomb has shown that time and time again, he’s been our third best reliever this year. And I know that it’s Batista. And then a big step down that it’s Cano, and that it’s been a big step down and that it’s been everyone else but coulomb has been the best of the rest, and he was huge for them on Wednesday. So I guess to bring it back to the trade talk, and you mentioned them in passing, but let’s give Shin Tari our Shintaro Fujinami, a Japanese pitcher required by the A’s was 29. You look at the body of work 857 era, however, go look at what he’s done since the beginning of June. You’ve seen someone who clearly was making an adjustment to major league competition. You know, he’s coming over from Japan this year. So he has experience

Nestor Aparicio  14:47

that experience in Oakland where you feel like you’re pitching into California penal league to I mean, like Oh, Shouldn’t a good experience, you know, yeah,

Luke Jones  14:54

I mean, I don’t know. I mean, that’s sure sure. But you know, he’s pitching the Kal West against good teams and he got knocked around a heck of a lot early on and it clearly wasn’t working for him as a starting pitcher. So you know to me that sounds a touch reminiscent This is a lazy comparison because it’s the only other Japanese born pitcher the Orioles have had coach era originally was a starter didn’t work out very well for him moved to a relief role and was one of the great closers in baseball for several years thereafter. So if if Fujinami can continue what he had done over the last six, seven weeks with the athletics for Eastern Lucas who the Orioles acquired in the in the Jonathan VR trade a few years ago, you know, a guy that had some decent numbers, but wasn’t really considered a part of their future or anything like that, then God bless it sounds sounds like


Nestor Aparicio  15:45

you’re gonna hit on every one of these right? Like, like they’re gonna hit on every draft, picking cold gals is gonna wind up being the best player out of all these. It’s possible, but like, they’re not gonna hit on everyone. But I’ll tell you what, if there’s something into this, I keep going back to these guys. And just thinking that they’re magicians. I mean, we’re in first place is July. What’s not to believe in what these guys are. You know what I mean? Like, I’m the doubting Nestor, I’m the doubting Thomas of all doubting journalists here. If they dealt for the guy, they saw something in him that wouldn’t shock me if he’s out on the mound being a hero in August at some point, because that’s just the way these guys feel like they have it to me. The people that make these baseball decisions.

Luke Jones  16:25

Yeah. And look, they haven’t added 1000. I mean, the Michael given signing has been a disaster. He’s pitched what’s the pitch for innings for appearances, whatever it was, and he’s on the 60 day il right now. So, I mean, they’ve had some moves that haven’t worked out, but they’ve also had some of these under the radar moves, especially talking about bullpen arms where you kind of say, well, why did they want that guy? I mean, I remember you and I talking close to a year ago, it’s almost coming up on a year, as far as I’m trading Jorge Lopez, and you know, he wasn’t the centerpiece. But yet your condo was a throwing in that deal. And you say, Okay, this guy’s in his late 20s. His major league appearances, but numbers have not been pretty. And hey, he didn’t pitch well. But in limited sample,

Nestor Aparicio  17:10

if I had a production team here, and I were to rewind that conversation we had the day after, I remember you vividly saying what’s the plan here? What are they doing? Where are we independent race, are we not? Because we were thinking like, we need him in August that man Seanie at this time was sort of a foregone conclusion. I think there was a little bit of not shocking all but more like, Oh, we’re not going to compete this year. Right. And then the quinoa thing you beat him up most of the offseason about things they didn’t do right now we’re gonna judge them on what they’ve done their first place that the best team in the American League and what they’re trying to do which is get Grayson Rodriguez ingratiate into this have Cole Irvin survive have Kramer get through a crappy start on a hot day after a delayed starts to win the ballgame going away. I mean, they they got a little rocky and um, do you know what I mean? Like they really they do they’re, they’re worth our time right now there. This has been fun to watch. And that’s why I’m bullish on. No they don’t for this guy from okay. I mean, I bet he’ll be pitching here and I bet it’ll work out and if it doesn’t the other guy like him no GET IN THE NEXT 10 days. One of these guys will work out and that seventh inning thing that concerns you and maybe cool loves that guy. Right? Maybe Maybe. Well,

Luke Jones  18:35


the thing you need more than three relievers right. I mean, you need middle relief and we’ve seen this play out you know we saw this play out Sunday against the Marlins last Sunday you know where they have a lead and suddenly five nothing’s not five nothing anymore, then you’re you’re nervous about it. So yeah, I mean a Fujinami can come in and get them some outs in the sixth inning, you know, get on occasion get an out in the seventh inning because you know, Cano, or coulomb or whoever’s down because, you know, these guys can’t pitch every night. And that’s why I joked about the blowout thing, because the reality is, you know, Batista and Cano cannot pitch every single night yet, it feels like they’re in close games every single night. So you need more bullpen depth. I don’t think this is necessarily going to be it for them as it pertains to the bullpen, I think I’ll probably look to see if they can find another arm and, you know, maybe it’s someone that’s a little more established, you know, maybe it’s someone that will require a little bit more and, you know, this guy’s pitch well for six or seven weeks, that’s not to say that he’s going to come in and be effective now that it might just be that, hey, he’s pitched well for six or seven weeks, but overall, he’s, he’s not ready to be you know, he’s not ready for primetime so to speak so so we’ll see how it plays out but they have had an uncanny ability to leave no stone unturned and and they’ve been able to find some diamonds in the rough you know, we’ve talked about that for a few years now even gone back to years where they still were terrible. They still had some bright spots here and there where you know, we talked about Got a cold sore salsa, you know, at times, you know, we had a good season for them a couple years ago before they traded him. But, you know, yeah, you go back to that Lopez trade. And at the time, let’s be clear, they hurt themselves for the remainder of last season by dealing Jorge Lopez, but they got Kate Povich, who is a legit pitching prospect who could help them in the next couple years. And, you know, they were able to fix, you know, they’ve been able to fix some guys. And that’s something that you could not say about the Orioles for a long time from a player development standpoint, and, you know, even a major league coaching standpoint, you know, pitching coaches cycling in and out and all that. I mean, they, you know, you called it, you know, magic or whatever, but they clearly have some, some data and some tools that they afford guys that, hey, we can fix this, we can adjust, oh, mechanical flaw here that we’ve picked up or, Hey, your your best pitches is only the pitch you throw throw the third most frequently. Why is that throw that pitch more? Sometimes it’s as simple as that. And sometimes it’s just fresh eyes, new coaches, different analysts in the front office looking at some data and saying, Hey, try this. So we’ll see. And, again, Shintaro Fujinami, might get lit up. And we might be saying, oh, that didn’t work out. And sometimes that happens too. But again, very low cost here in eastern Lucas, and we’ll see how it plays out. But your overall prevailing point, though, as far as where they stand, I mean, we keep saying how fun it is. They finished play on Wednesday as the best team in the American League. let that marinate for a moment. You know, this isn’t just, oh, this is a fun story, or oh, these guys are over achieving the best record in the American League going into this race series. That doesn’t mean that

Nestor Aparicio  21:49

the American League, everybody’s trying, you know, like the Yankees and the Red Sox have given up go look at their payroll. They’re trying. I mean, I see doctors come in here loaded this week, right. You see the Marlins last week that were sleepy right? Because you talked about the Phillies in that division of the Mets felt like they were gonna have something right like this divisions loaded this, this lack of, of the unbalanced thing where you beat each other up. I mean, they go down to Tampa and we’re going to talk about that. Look, I want to take a break because I want to get I want to get on the Tampa. We have so many things we did we didn’t talk about Mullins with us on my Graysons we got things going on with more pitching. Luke Jones is taking a little bit of a break he’s lathering up the SPF because the Ravens camp begins next week. We got rookies in you can find him at Baltimore. Look, you can find me at the Beaumont with Gina shock Rock Roll Hall of Famer, but I’m wearing this for Luke I’m wearing my drug city. shirkers Luke stills never been to drug city. August 3, we’re going to be a cost of celebrating 25 years of wn St. I am putting together the 25 greatest moments in history of wn St. And I keep getting it down to like 3840 And then my wife’s like, Well, what about that night with Dion and party Hill got to put that in there. And then there’s road trips and like, I don’t even know where to begin. We’ve done a lot of things here over 25 years. If you have memories from you know, nasty wn St. dotnet or nested Baltimore Throw me know an add on I am social LinkedIn, Instagram, reds, I’ll find that stuff. We’re celebrating we’re gonna be a drug city on the fourth from 11 to four, we’ve now got the times 11 to four on the third it cost us 11 to four on the fourth at drug city. It’s all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery in conjunction with our friends at WIN donation. I had the lucky winning tickets at Coco’s this weekend. $100 Winner match things are going great we nothing’s gone wrong for the Ravens knock on wood. Orioles are in first place and are the best team in the American League. They’re headed to Tampa in the sunshine. Nobody there cares. We had a lot of loyal fans down there coming up from Sarasota. Who are friends window nation got by to get to free 866 90 nation. It is a good summer of baseball. We’re gonna come back talk some more baseball but Luke Jones stay with us. I am Nestor. We are WNS da 1570, Towson Baltimore and we never stopped talking. Or your magic in Baltimore positive

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