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With the surging Birds coming home to play great weather baseball under new ownership, Luke Jones and Nestor talk MLB and the Orioles’ role in baseball as contender and how everyone is watching “The Next Chapter” and seeing the possibilities of all of this young talent.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

orioles, talking, people, team, baseball, year, yankees, david rubenstein, hit, point, player, ballpark, ravens, runs, friday, draft, baseball team, pick, weekend, game

SPEAKERS

Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn St. am 1570, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive we are positively taking the Maryland crabcake tour on the road this week. And it is a big week of the NFL Draft this Thursday night Luke’s gonna be monitoring that out of Owings Mills. The Orioles come on Friday we’re gonna be down at fade Lee’s in Lexington market live from two of the five. We will have the Pac Man giveaways on Friday. Stop by I have some other invited guests as well after that and then of course the Orioles taken on the a’s and the Ravens will have day two of the draft you always important second day with Eric to Costa salutes got double duty. I’m also going to be beginning it all on Wednesday afternoon. From two until four we’ll be green mount bowl that’s the bowling center next to remount station robbed on the show a million times. We’ll be over there having a crab cake at four o’clock. By the way, Luke Are you duck pen? Are you 10 pin please tell me because this would I mean you always claim s6 has been like a spiritual homeland for you. You better get this one right.

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Luke Jones  00:59

I mean, as a kid I love doc pin but when you move up to Pennsylvania there’s only 10 pins so I mean I’m not a big boulder one way or the other. I I absolutely enjoy duck pen but feels like it’s kind of going away a lot. Right? So the last few times I’ve bought full disclosure, it’s been 10 pin so

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:17

you know what I need to do. I got credit Heisman, I got to call Wiseman, our PBA 10 pin Hall of Famer. No one loves the Orioles like Wiseman dude, like Wiseman, he moved to Florida. He loves the Orioles. I gotta get him on and he loves animals. He did show yourself side two weeks ago, so I’ll get him on. I’m tricky for my coal roofing mug. I want to get Bill Cole some love because he is one of the narrators of the 25th anniversary documentary. I don’t know if he’s gonna be on this week. He was on last week. We did a long sort of segment talking about it. And it’s a very special week and we’re releasing the film at 508 on Thursday. I hope everybody’s online with that. We’ve got a lot of baseball on the West Coast right I’m going to be up at Green mount for the four o’clock first pitch. Inside green mounts. They should have it a crab cake might get some ribs I like everything on that menu looks like something I want, especially the dessert menu. And you know you’ve been there a bunch of times as well. It is widely featured in the film with Eric Weddle and Steve Smith and Dennis Pitt in all the people we ever ever took up there. This baseball thing it’s destination now. Right? And I talked to Linda Raskin about that last week, Bill Cole, he’s not a baseball family, per se. says everybody in his world it’s like when’s the next game? Oh, they play on the West Coast. We got to stay up late and they’re four o’clock way and they come home when and and they’re doing what a Jackson holidays this and that and that and it’s really opened the door I think for people to get back to baseball to knowing Yankees players to knowing who Bobby Witt Jr. is over the weekend or realize that Otani is not in that part of Anaheim anymore. He’s making his bet. I mean, his guys making his bets up the road in LA at this point. So, but we will go fishing for trout here the last next couple nights, right?

Luke Jones  03:03

Yeah, Mike Trout and unfortunately for the Eagles, which is a common theme for them from the moment he left DC to join them Anthony Rendon back on the IL an Angels team that had actually been okay. Until recently. I mean, they’ve lost seven of their last 10. They’re coming into this series on a losing streak and like I said Rendon goes down and we saw them the first series of the year, I don’t think expectation. I mean, they weren’t very good with Otani the last few years so I you know, there’s certainly a series where you’re hoping the Orioles take care of business and get a series win and come home feeling good about themselves as they settle into play Oakland over the weekend and then the Yankees after that. But, you know, I mean, it’s, I think it’s important, especially when you have the Orioles off to such a good start. In a previous segment, we talked about their bullpen a little bit. We talked about areas that team that could be a little bit better. I mean, it can always be a little bit better. But you kind of survey the rest of the league and you look around and you see a team like the angels that, frankly reminds me where the Orioles were for a very long time going back to pre Dan do cat where, you know they, they were kind of just there and they spend money at times and would have a higher payroll at times but never felt like they were spending wisely never felt like they were all in one way or the other always felt like if things went perfectly they were maybe setting up to compete for a wild card if everything falls the way you want it to. And that’s just it’s not a way to plan. It’s not a it’s not a way to go through long term as a as a baseball team. And I think the angels have reflected that. And to your point. You have Mike Trout who, you know has been one of the all time great players of the last 3040 years, you know a guy who’s going to be in the Hall of Fame and even with some of the injuries he’s had in recent years still put up amazing numbers over the course of the last decade plus And what did they have to show for it? And it’s really easy and, and people are oftentimes quick to point, the finger at set, you know, the Affer mentioned player when the problem is it’s not having enough around them. And that’s where the angels find themselves now, especially with Rendon back on the aisle, so, you know, this is an opportunity for the Orioles to go there take care of business, at least when two out of three. You know, that’s that’s their goal against anyone, let alone if we’re talking about a team that isn’t very good that you’re hoping you can maybe get a sweet but at least get two out of three. You know, they’ve got Albert Suarez go on Grayson Rodriguez and Game Two, Dean Kramer for that Wednesday afternoon. Afternoon game, as you mentioned, I mean, this is

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:41

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a minute. Craig Kramer needs to be better to write.

Luke Jones  05:44

Yeah, I mean, I think you know, it’s because you look at Friday night, when he pitched I mean, it wasn’t, wasn’t like he was awful in that game. But Alec Marsh was better. And you know, certainly the bullpen coming in behind him. did him no favors. So you look at the numbers. And you know, he’s got an era of 491. I mean, that’s obviously not great. But you know, at the same time, do I think Dean Kramer has been awful this year. Now I don’t. So this is this is kind of where we talk about this, wherever, when they acquired Corbin burns, we were talking about Dean Kramer being what their fourth or fifth starter. And instead, he’s kind of been their third starter. De facto, although they had Tyler wells technically start the third game of the season. But you know, it’s got to be a little more consistent. There’s no doubt about that. At the same time. Dean Kramer, you know, especially what he did over the course of the second half last year. I mean, he’s got a track record. Now, going back a bit, where I’m not as concerned with him overall, you know, he’d be the first you need to be a little bit better needs to finish a couple of these starts on a little bit of a higher note. But at the same time, you know, Friday night, you’ll look at the final score, you know, it wasn’t him who gave up the bulk of that. I mean, he five and two thirds innings, you know, he’s one out away from the official quality starts statistic for whatever that’s worth, but gave them a chance to win. But they, you know, they didn’t swing the bats until Adley rutschman, hit the Grand Slam. So, you know, he needs to be better. There’s no question about that. But I don’t I don’t look at his albeit small body of work so far this year, and say that it’s been some one of our problems that I’m really overly concerned about, I think, you know, Dean Kramer pitched well, last year, and, you know, over the last couple years has grown a lot from where he was, and, you know, even

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:35

if he’s mediocre, and he gives him some blank consistent, that helps things, right. I mean, if he if he can give you six instead of four and two thirds, and it’s for Ron, it’s okay. On a night when, you know, gunners got three hits and Jackson holidays got to and you’ve scored six runs. That feels a lot better handing the ball off in the sixth or seventh inning than the fourth or fifth inning.

Luke Jones  07:58

Right, right. I mean, you’re always looking for that. I mean, and for the most part, even even from their starters where it hasn’t been as good so far, you know, not talking burns and Rodriguez, but the rest of the rotation. You know, for the most part they’ve gotten that, you know, they haven’t had too many starts where someone’s knocked out in the third or fourth inning, you know, it for the most part, even their mediocre starts. There guys getting into the fifth getting into the sixth, you know, where you can manage that. I mean, look, I mean, around baseball, I mean, starting pitchers, and you know, getting into some big picture topics here, you know, with elbow injuries and max effort and velocity and spin and all the different things that people were talking about, you know, pitch clock, but no one. It’s not really set up for starting pitchers to go 678 innings consistently anymore. I mean, your roster is not structured that way. And that’s why you have so I have an eight man bullpen because you’re not expecting your starters to go that deep. So yeah, really, from whether you’re talking about Cramer, whether you’re talking about what Corbin did, I mean, Corbin it’s not like he missed a ton of bats on Sunday. But he pitched it deep into the game he pitched well, he pitched a contact effectively. I mean, that’s the core of and that they thought they were getting from Oakland. He’s not a stuff that guy that’s gonna allow you with this stuff. But if you can get starts like that, more often than not, that’s where you keep your bullpen. in a good state where you’re not overworking guys, you’re not having to call up guys on the Norfolk shuttle and doing things in that way. So, you know, from that standpoint, I mean, yeah, Dean Kramer needs to be better. I mean, for nine one, he’d be the first to tell you he’s not thrilled with that. But at the same time, even when these guys haven’t been, you know, even Corbin burns. It’s not like Corbin Burns has been Pete Corbin burns every single time out now. But you see what an ace looks like that even when he’s not at his absolute best. You have a heck of a chance to win still. And that’s the value of an ace. That’s the value of a number two and grace and Rodriguez who looks like you know, could be an ace for some other teams the way he’s pitching at this point early on, and really the second half of last cheer. So, you know, it’s you’re chasing, you’re chasing perfection, you’re chasing improvement. And you know, certainly Dean Kramer fits into that category. And, you know, really the back half of the rotation at this point. But to your point, when you’re swinging the bat the way that they are right now and look, the Orioles are going to go through some times where they don’t swing the bats quite as well. And we even saw that after what after the first series of the year, they had a week there where they didn’t swing it quite as well. So that’s going to happen. And that’s where you’re hoping at that point in time. The pitching will pick you up. But I mean, where they stand right now. I mean, it’s it can always get better. But the pitching has been good enough to support what’s been a top five kind of offense around baseball and number one for the home run department that’s for sure. Luke Jones

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Nestor J. Aparicio  10:49

is here he will be there at Camden Yards on Friday and with us at fade these I’m wearing my fade Lee’s gear around how was that shrimp salad and we never talked about i I only want to talk about because I haven’t had any of it like three months. So I’m not even going for the crab cake on Friday. I know it’s crab cake tour. And I’ll be giving away the Pac Man scratch offs. And people be coming up to me trying to get their $2 When they want from me. And I got to scan around. I got it all gone. I got the app downloaded, I’m ready for everybody to empty lottery. But on Friday, we’ll be down to families. I’m gonna go shrimp salad, I think this week, and I think I’m gonna go to the ballpark on Friday nights. I’m going to try to go to the ballpark you’re going to be drafting here this weekend when plenty of time to talk football draft. Were you with them. And the homecoming part of this. There’s the weirdest thing. And we sort of glossed over it a little bit in the last segment of like, we’re a week out on the Yankees coming to Baltimore and their fans too, right? I mean, it’ll be all of that. But battle for first place in the division early in the year. I haven’t checked the weather forecast to see what’s in the popcorn machine for that next week. But big series in April, big series for new ownership, big series for television, big series for Hey, it’s the Yankees and they’re the team and oh, yeah, they didn’t play last year, but they put into play this year. And you know, it’s a chance to see how big your muscles are this early in the year.

Luke Jones  12:15

Yeah, I mean, the Yankees are saying the same thing. Mind you. I mean, the Orioles are the defending Division champions. So really, it’s more so for the Yankees to show that and by the way,

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:25

it’s sunny on Monday, but fairly forecast at two and sunny on Monday. Next Monday. Get back get back to me at the end of the week for a week out from that. Ad one and Sunday, Sunday on Sundays when I got good. If you’re sitting in Sunday, with the A’s. It’s not my fault. You know, good,

Luke Jones  12:41

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good. I mean, especially when we’re having frost warnings in the final week.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:48

Listen, as long as my press credential is under review, I’m going to promote the baseball team at David Rubenstein and tell folks, they need to get down to the ballpark. I’ll tell them the same thing that Jeff Arnold is telling them. So

Luke Jones  13:01

well. Well, and keep in mind, I mean, in this new day and age where you have a more balanced schedule. I mean, you’re not playing the Yankees 19 times. So when you have your two Home Series or two road series against your division opponents, you want to take advantage and especially when you’re when you’re playing well. I mean, the Yankees are playing well have played very well to open the season. They’ve come back to earth here a little bit over the last week and a half as they were really off to a hot start. But I mean, Juan Soto has been terrific for them. You know, they’re mostly healthy, although Garrett, other than Garrett Cole, which obviously that’s a big caveat right there. But you know, but I think the question for the Yankees is will they stay healthy? Will they continue to stay healthy and guys in their lineup that they’re counting on to do big things beyond Soto and Aaron judge are guys that have had some injuries? You know, when you’re talking about Stanton over the last several years and Anthony Rizzo and go down the list of some of the veteran players they have, you know, there’s some questions there that any team faces but when they’re when it’s a more veteran laden club, I think there’s a little more skepticism compared to a team like the Orioles where they don’t have very many veterans I mean, their vet the Orioles veterans are 2829 30 years old, you know they don’t have these guys that are deep into their 30s So

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:18

you know, there’s a good this team would look with a Nestor on this Oriole team. You know what I mean? Nestor Cortez, one Nestor is

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Luke Jones  14:24

all they need. Hey, credit him. I mean, my goodness. I mean, you look at his story, you know, being a Rule five guy couldn’t stick for a lousy Orioles team. And you know, even after that it took him a while to get settled in. It’s not like he

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:36

wasn’t ready and we talked about Jackson holiday. It’s not there. This is not easy to do. I mean, we should watch it every night and admiration or in fandom and we remember our playing days and Little League pictures of mine I’ll have in his Goofy Movie this week, but man I’ve stood at the cage and watch these guys professionally for a long long time. This is it and the confidence level and injuries and this and that like all All of that bakes into this is really hard to do stick and stick well, so when you say, Whoa, Mr. Cortez should have stuck here. He wasn’t ready, man. I mean, we saw that right? It wasn’t he had an era of like infinity for a minute, which didn’t do well upon my first name, by the way. Right, right. So I’ll brag on him now.

Luke Jones  15:18

It’s tough. I mean, it’s absolutely tough. That’s why I mean when. Not that many people here in town, but when you’ll hear like opposing teams fans talk about the Orioles and say, well, they had all these number one overall picks, and it’s like, okay, noted. Adley rutschman was one one Jackson holiday. It was fun. Colton Couser was the fifth overall pick Heston curse dad, who we’re gonna see at some point, because he continues to hit it at Norfolk was, you know, second, but what about Jordan Westberg? Who was a, you know, sandwich round pick? What about Gunnar Henderson? Who was a second pick, those are two guys that anyone could have had. Right. And anybody could have had him read anybody could have Ray Lewis, literally but But that said, it’s really challenging to for these guys to not just get to the major leagues and not just succeed at the major league level, but to sustain that. And that’s why it’s been so impressive to see what the Orioles are doing. I mean that, as I noted in a previous segment, I mean, Colton, counselor and Westberg are hitting seventh and eighth on a lot of nights. And now I’m not sure how much longer that’s going to continue. Because if they continue to swing the bat like this, and we’ve seen it even a couple of occasions where kowsar has been higher in the order, but the point is any other team. And I’m not even talking like White Sox bad. Any other team in baseball where they don’t have this budding embarrassment of riches type of a farm system. They’d be looking at Couser and Westbrook and they’re saying those guys are hitting second and third in their order. And they’re like tickled. Whereas the Orioles, it’s like, oh, well those guys are hitting in the bottom half of the lineup, you know, and it just speaks to how impressive it really is how deep this lineup really is with more on the way at some point in time, and wondering how that’s all going to fit, you know, as we’ve talked about ad nauseam. But to your point, it is difficult and it is challenging, and that’s where it is important to have depth because I don’t think Colton Couser is going to hit 370 all year. You know I to your point, I don’t think Jordan Westbrook is going to necessarily slug 640 The rest of the year they’re gonna cool off. But at some point in time, Adley rutschman is going to start hitting bombs and Jackson Holliday Yes, we’ll start hitting at some point in time, you know, and hopefully it’s much sooner rather than than later. And you know, I mean, we were talking about it sometime there after he had that bunch of RBIs the first few games of the season he didn’t hit until really the end of the Minnesota series and then we saw him with extra base hits galore in at Kauffman Stadium over the weekend. So that’s how it’s gonna generally work you’re so rarely going to have all nine guys clicking I mean, you’re never going to have all nine guys clicking you’re rarely going to have seven guys clicking and that’s where it’s kind of been a rare start for this Orioles club.

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:06

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Do you mention so good and now castles been? Better mass has ever been he’s

Luke Jones  18:11

been good. Yeah, he’s been really good. He’s drawn walks you know? Yeah. Yeah, that hasn’t hit a ton of homeruns but he’s doubles in driving in runs and hitting for average and like I said he’s a drawing the occasional walk and that’s been a knock on him. Proud

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:26

through he’s kind of reminds me of like, you know, 277 Red Sox which opsins batting nine. And I’m like, all of these guys are a problem, literally.

Luke Jones  18:37

I mean, just we’ve talked about Jackson Holliday until he starts hitting. He’s the soft spot right? He’s the soft spot in the order. He’s the only soft spot in the order right now. I mean, you go down Henderson rutschman O’Hearn Santander mountcastle. Mullins, Couser Westberg. I mean, not just talking about eight guys there that have produced at least you know, even in Richmond’s case he hasn’t hit for a lot of power so far, but he’s hitting for average. I mean, he’s almost hitting 300 So it’s not like he’s been bad. So you look at that top eight and then you get to Jackson Holliday and said okay, well right now yeah, right now the kids the hole in the lineup. Oh, he’s won one. He’s the best prospect in baseball. I mean, you just think get a big picture sense. It’s incredible. And that’s before you even get to Heston Karstadt Kobe Mayo You know guys that are waiting for opportunities at triple A guys that for most teams in baseball would be in the majors at this point because they produced a trip away at that level but right now they’re blocked you know, right now there’s not a clear path to playing time for them. So that

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Nestor J. Aparicio  19:38

alias these guys is salvaging these players from other organizations like Oh, sure, identifying McCann as being the right guy and he’s behind the hydration system for crying out loud. That’s important years. But but can Oh, let me just identifying, you know, other abused goods and other departments that you can tweak and that’s one of the main Major League level when you have one ones and one fives and guys that are producing and guys that are already here and got you like I look at this again and I began the whole conversation as we stay up late with the angels and wait for the A’s to get here and look forward to the Yankees next week to get eight guys are gonna hit 20 home runs if nobody’s arms fall off, right, like literally. That’s the kind of power and production and as I’m doing this countdown for this movie we’re releasing on Thursday, all these single digit players. That wasn’t the case with Al Bumbry that wasn’t the case with Bill Ripken that was maybe the case with Melvin Moore, but it wasn’t the case with Mark Ballanger. Ripken at different points in his career was much more of a threat to hit a homerun than to hit a double down the line. But that that notion that and a great promotion for the lottery and homerun riches as well, because I tell John Martin, hope you’re ready to give some money away, you’re gonna give money away when they hit homeruns they’re gonna hit a hell of a lot of homeruns gonna give money away when they hit grand slams? Well, they already have one hit six last year, they’re going to eight or nine this year for it’s because they’re going to put runners on base. And I’ve never seen anything like it. Like I really do compare it to some bought teams that maybe the Yankees had, I mean, the Indians had some loaded teams with Ramirez and, you know, will often get hit 25 home runs. They had those by Erica, those teams. Man, I can couple hands in baseball. And all the years I’ve been watching. We’re a team as eight and I’m not even counting holiday. I’m saying eight guys that not can hit 20 will hit 20 home runs and a couple of minute 40.

Luke Jones  21:34

Yeah, look, I mean, everyone’s got to stay healthy. And again, guys are going to struggle with different times. I mean, they you know, are they going to lead the majors and homeruns all year? I mean, it’s looking like they could Yeah, I mean, no question about it. But I’m glad you brought it up because it ties in nicely with the lottery, you know, the Maryland lottery where you look at what they’ve done. Beyond the top draft picks even beyond the second round picks, and but they’ve also taken swings with lottery ticket type guys like a Ryan O’Hearn where they identify him and say, Okay, this guy hasn’t figured it out in Kansas City, and they’re done with them. We haven’t

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:15

failed Colton Couser type player, right? Yeah, yeah.

Luke Jones  22:19

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I mean, you know, even if it wasn’t that loft yet, but he was a prospect and it didn’t work out. And you look at someone like that, and you say, You know what, it’s great to have number one picks and first round picks and our own guys, but let’s also show that we’re worth our salt from a pro scouting standpoint and look for opportunities. You know, last year, it was quite evident over the last offseason, you know, two off seasons ago that they brought in Ryan O’Hearn, they brought in a couple other guys with similar profiles guys that had been prospects, interesting talents elsewhere, and it didn’t work out for whatever reason, you know, guys are hurt, guys get a percept. You know, they get the perception that they’re a quad a player, whatever it might be. But they brought in a few guys like that. And O’Hearn was the guy that didn’t make the club out of spring training. But he was the guy that I think it was pretty evident. They thought the most highly of of that group. And he got an opportunity and they ran with it. And he’s running with it again this year. This past offseason, for all the talk of Corbin burns and acquiring him and talking about trading for Dylan See, so or other pitchers that were out there on the free agent market. It was last September when the Orioles identified someone like Albert Suarez who look again, I want to be clear one start second start this and you might hear on Tuesday and things might not go as well. Monday, right? He might be all right, exactly. But the point is, you’re still looking for those opportunities you want. You don’t want to leave any stone unturned. And this is the Ravens for as much as we talk about drafting as much as we talk about Lamar is contract or just a matter beat gays contract or mark Andrews contract. They also do such an excellent job from a pro scouting standpoint where you look at guys and say, You know what, that’s a guy that we think we can make a couple adjustments we think bring them in with our coaches will coach them up and that guy will be a decent player John Simpson was a great example this John Simpson had been a starter for the Raiders cast off. I mean, the Ravens signed him to a reserve future deal last year. And he became their starting left guard and he played well enough now I wouldn’t have given him this money and it’s why the Ravens said bye bye to him. He played well enough that the New York Jets gave him real money to be there starting left guard this year. But that’s a perfect example. You know, it’s one thing you know even guys like clowny and, and Kyle van Noy where you talk about later in the season signings there at least commodities right there at least known their household names. How many times have we seen the Ravens go pick, pick someone up off the trash heap and suddenly Wow, that guy’s actually a player. That guy She helps them

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:00

and sometimes you need cornerbacks to, like really tough positions. Sure, sure.

Luke Jones  25:05

I mean, you know, Ronald Darby was a Nate was a guy that was a name, but he had been injured. You know, he had so many, you know, he was one of those guys that you didn’t want to invest a long term contract in, but for a one year deal when you have a need, and you need some depth works out great. So the point is, and they spent

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:21

money on the kid from the Colts, and he wasn’t any good.

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Luke Jones  25:24

Yeah, I mean, it didn’t spend a lot. But yeah, you’re not gonna bet 1000. Right. That’s why you want to, you know, you want to cast a wide net. And that’s the whole point I’m trying to make here with the Orioles as they get to a point where, hopefully, payrolls increasing, hopefully you’re at least extending a couple of your guys, you’re not going to sign everyone we understand that nor should you sign everyone. I mean, that would be bad business to sign everyone as, as I said, go back and rewind the tape and you’ll find people two years ago clamoring for Trey Manzini to get a three year contract. pretty mad scene. He’s out of baseball right now. I mean, that’s how it’s gone. So I’m not picking on Trey I’m just saying not everyone warrants another contract. But as you’re going to do more of that as you’re going to get more expensive from a payroll standpoint and hopefully a lot more expensive as it pertains to just keeping the guys you want to keep you still need to find those guys and you’re not going to be drafting in the top five anymore. So you need to find some of those Ryan O’Hearn. You know, some of those guys that are you know, Danny coulomb is another great example that Danny coulomb they got three days before the season started last year and he was our third best reliever. You know, you mentioned your Cano who was kind of a throw in peace in the Jorge Lopez trade so well, that’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:42

where you have the confidence level as we get to draft week with the caster and all that you have this confidence level that they’re they’re identifying some guy on the edge of the White Sox roster or the edge of one of these teams. We’re not more than the why White Sox fans aren’t even watching the White Sox. My last name is Aparicio man, like what is that? Do they are

Luke Jones  27:01

they are as bad as the Orioles were at their worst. And maybe a little maybe a little worse than that. I mean, they are rendus that, you know, obviously they were just in Philadelphia so they weren’t too far to up the road. And I joked with my brother in law, he said Phillies are gonna get right this weekend, that White Sox team is horrendous, horrendous.

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:26

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Well, then the Astros sort of on the edge of this flame that they’ve been in the last decade. I wouldn’t have known they were in DC, other than you know, I’m not wagering on it. But like I put massive Mid Atlantic sports and it’s wanting to that the nationals are going to pop up on my TV and they did on Sunday. And I’m like, oh, playing the Astros. Nobody’s there. Oh, look at the Astros. Oh, you know, like, it does happen quickly. And great example would be all weekend. You and I watching the Royals, right, all the improvements to the stadium. They have all the decks in the outfield, that they move the fountains back a little bit even though our guys can still get the ball into it, obviously. But I love that stadium. I have pictures of my parents in it that I was looking through for this 25th anniversary movie I’m doing this week, I picked the one from St. Louis, not Kansas City because it was a better picture front of Busch Stadium to use in the film. But I love I love Kansas City and you know, people are after eat barbecue over the weekend. And we’re arguing Q 39 and Jack stack and I’m doing all that. But then you see like I said to my wife, I’m like it’s 60 degrees on a Sunday afternoon. There’s nobody there. They just voted to give the middle finger to both the owners, right? I mean, they just won Super Bowl, another Super Bowl. And they’re the voters. They’re like we’re not paying for a stadium for you billionaires, the players that revolted on haunt on the football side to say we don’t like the way things are being done even when they’re winning championships. And you and I were there at a time when the Royals fervor was through the moon for five minutes. And everybody bought the busted out there. Willie Wilson and there Amos Otis in there George Brett gear in there Paul split off jerseys. But it does. They won they had the biggest parade ever and the football team has been so good there. But it feels like their brands like not good. I mean, after losing a little while after winning that it’s that hard. The Royals, the Nationals I see the caps are in the playoffs now and everybody’s all kept up again. But like these flares of sports fandom and support inside of buildings, boy Oreos, better get some people there when they’re winning. You know like literally because the minute you start to lose it it becomes a lot tougher and I think I see that move around it’ll be actually see what the what happens to the Astros if they lose a little bit because they’ve been the story over the last 15 years of having nothing to selling out to suite owners to doing it the way Rubenstein needs to do it here and I spent a long ride back from Syracuse with a great professor from Georgetown University discussing these things on Friday. Coming back from Springsteen beat because like it is first and foremost in my mind of like, how is this sustainable? Mr. Rubinstein? How is this sustainable through bad teams, good teams, good years, bad years, stars, injuries, all of that, because we’re at the beginning of something that I really want to see a renaissance here. That doesn’t look like the empty Stadium in Kansas City, or God knows we’re going to be talking about all week with the Sacramento A’s, you know? Yeah,

Luke Jones  30:24

yeah. I mean, a couple thing. I mean, Kansas City, I mean, they’ve lost 106 games last year. No, no one’s excited about an 11. And nine start, you know, I mean, anyone in Kansas City right now saying get back to us in June. And that’s fair. Right. And, you know, your point about the Royals and the chiefs in the vote, I mean, you know, by I haven’t followed that intimately closely. But my understanding was that was kind of haphazardly put together for a vote. And I think there was very much a perception of No, you got to, there’s there needs to be more thought put into this. That was my initial reaction to that. And look, I say this as someone who sports is my livelihood. I’m, I’m okay with a community taking a stand and saying, oh, billionaire. Oh,

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:07

yeah. Do you witness, the billionaire football owner running from me, and the general manager running from me at an event in Florida, because they couldn’t even face up and speak to me. So after taking $600 million to build what they’re building, and by the way, I learned a lot more about what they’re building. You know, you’ve sat at the 50 yard line for the last time right at the Ravens games. Yeah, as media. Yeah, I think fans don’t even know what’s going on. I’ve had fans write to me, I don’t care about me taking away. I don’t care about that, though. But fans care more about getting taken away and things are getting moved around down there. Yeah, building a stadium.

Luke Jones  31:50

This is what happens. And I think, you know, we’re seeing this trend, we’re gonna see this with Camden Yards as well. You know, I think there’s, when you’re seeing the stadium improvements, and this is a very general comment, I don’t, I’m not intimately familiar with every single renovation that goes on in every ballpark at this point. But it is really a lot of pandering and catering to the top tax bracket, right. I mean, you know, the, the exclusivity of a home home plate club, a 50 yard line club, you know, whatever it might be. And in the meantime, fans who are more of the middle tax bracket, you know, the middle class, so to speak, fans that, you know, it is quite an investment to have season tickets, you know, that’s a big part of your disposable income, where they’re getting moved further away from the action. They’re being displaced. And I think that’s where I’m familiar. I meant to but yeah, I mean, it’s but it but it’s unfortunate, you know, it’s unfortunate, you know, I understand the economics of it, but is that going to make for a better stadium experience, which is what everyone talks about? Well, if you’re really rich, and you’ve got a few 1000 bucks to drop it every every NFL game you go to then sure, probably, but for the fan who spends every last disposable nickel, that they have to have season tickets or to have a 26 game plan in baseball, then, you know, you kind of get priced out or you get moved out. Right, you get moved further away from the action. I mean, I think that’s probably, you know, as you’re seeing more and more NFL stadium renovations, I think the biggest thing, you know, you see these

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Nestor J. Aparicio  33:30

field level suites. Right. And you know, that’s great for the people that can afford them. And you know, I’m not sitting here trying to bash anyone. But is that going to lead to the best homefield advantage for a team? Is that going to lead to the best atmosphere for a team is that going to lead to the best fan experience in in the sense of having 70,000 rabid fans loud for this is why I don’t trust Sashi. Brown has been the decision maker with the $600 million of public money and then running from me like a coward and sitting with you and three other reporters and being relatively disinterested in offering any thing, you know, other than platitudes and stuff written on a legalese notebook that people should expect more it’s draft weekend everybody’s going to have to Detroit will have a good time, we’ll talk about it but too much is given much as expected and really should be demanded, given the amount of money because to your point, in my point, they’re playing in a slum. I tell you, I went to all the ballparks. You know, 2015, I’ve done something very few people have done I know these renovations, because I’ve sat in the ballparks I was in Cleveland in 1995. When I go in there now I see areas that used to be a club level that are now something different. All of these parks have changed because they’re 30 years old now. And they’re all going back to the state and asking for the money in Texas. They got a second stadium built you when I saw that we’re scratching our heads and we’re like, the hell are they smoking down here in Arlington? You know, too much oil money. I guess because and then they went to World Series last year sort of justify it by filling it up. But in other places, California where the A’s are coming in here and it’s it’s it’s an issue that Major League Baseball can’t figure out you and I drove past Tropicana Field, and you literally and you’re not even a mean spirited guy, you’re pissing unless we went by laughing at it, you literally were laughing that they play baseball in that thing. And they’ve been doing it for 30 years, and they don’t have a solution. And meanwhile, we have this palace here with this creek that owned it for 30 years. And now we have like a great team, fresh owner can riff gets back, they have all of this opportunity. But in other places, they’re not getting that in Kansas City. They didn’t vote that way for the football team or the baseball team. It’s not happening in California. And the revenue side of this really is at the heart of how the Orioles can improve. I keep going back to the same Why did I spent $14 on a beer at Syracuse the other night to see Bruce Springsteen because he’s getting most of it, like all of it. Oh, you know, like, and that’s what it demands when Adley rutschman needs $40 million and Gunnar Anderson needs $40 million. And Lamar Jackson needs $50 million and down the line and it it explodes in that way. The fans pay for it. They do whether it’s rich fans buying $800 things or, or my upper deck seat, the chat still threw me out have in the front row that once was a $35 ticket that now what rate as 100 or $110 tickets because they threw me out of it. And it’s in the front row. Don’t jack it up the two and a quarter when the Steelers are in town in house and call that a resale ticket which is garbage. It is the team scout their own tickets, because they all need to figure out revenue because they all have some guy like Chad Steele and Sashi brown sitting down the hallway in his suit trying to figure out like, we got to make numbers because we have to pay the next player the next round of money. And we played the game here with Angelo’s and doing it the wrong way for a long, long time. But I am really interested in what Mike Elias David Rubenstein and whomever the Sashi Brown of the Orioles is going to be is going to look at the payroll for base for baseball here with the renovations coming gambling all the things that are happening the city New MC maybe a new mayor, I don’t know maybe the old mayor will be the new mayor I don’t know. Still chasing Brandon to try to get him on. But where is this going to be five 710 years from now, as David Rubenstein 74 year old guy buys, this team has all this money and all this opportunity in the states shipping it at 600 million. Man it is it is go time for 9092 all over again. And that’s the thing that really excites me, Lucas, I’m a little older than you. But I was here when it was built the first time and 3.6 million people came and I saw 35,000 people come for wise run the bases day the other day. And I start to think about like, what is this when it’s done? It can’t be where Kansas City is where it’s empty again. It can’t not me. I mean empty, it can’t be empty. Again, it’s got a it’s got to be where a Cincinnati or St. Louis has been, which is vibrant, and they got to backfill people, like your sister and her kids. Because like old white guys is all it is. And and like it’s got to get better than that. And part of that is the money. And what young the young kids have to come down and they have to endure $14 beers to because that’s what’s going to fund it.

Luke Jones  38:26

Yeah. But I mean, it’s all encompassing. I mean, your focus, you know, a lot of what you just mentioned talked about attendance and stadia, but what’s TV gonna look like, Huh? I mean, seriously. I mean, that is, I’m much more interested in that. Because that can gotta

Nestor J. Aparicio  38:44

get me to game and make me feel good about it make me feel good about the price. And I 100% And think about I

Luke Jones  38:51

mean, look that at the end of the day, I know that the model has changed dramatically over the course of the last 50 years. But the whole idea of baseball games being shown on television was to be a commercial to get people to come down to the ballpark right and you watch a mass and telecast how many ads you know whether you’re talking about Kevin Brown doing a live ad read in the middle of the broadcast or their advertising for Brandon Hyde’s bobblehead night. That’s that’s coming up this weekend, you know, so, but but so much of that was always about how do you get people to come to the ballpark? That’s why, you know, to me, it was a missed opportunity, especially when the Orioles were really bad, you know, at the bottom of the barrel with the rebuild, to not have 20 games on WJC or 20 games on you know, ma or whatever it was to have some free advertising to try to get people to come out to the ballpark. Instead it was you know, you have Masson or look

Nestor J. Aparicio  39:48

man without Angelo’s decision making, it’s just like, the damage is done clearly. Right? I mean, is what David Rubenstein inherited?

Luke Jones  39:58

Right but but I guess for me, I’m not even. It’s not even to me just about the Orioles. You’re seeing that across baseball where that’s, you know, that was a missed opportunity at times but you know, now it’s a matter of okay, what’s massing gonna look like how profitable is going to be how’s it gonna be distributed? You know it’s on FUBU. TV now, which actually is a streaming package that my brother or my brother in law just got because he can actually get the Oreos and the Phillies games in southern New York County, Pennsylvania, which sounds crazy to think that that was a challenge to do. But it’s the first time that either one of us could pay for it legally without using a VPN to actually be able to get both teams games because he wants to watch the Phillies and the Orioles. How crazy is that? When you’re talking about a team that is in the primary Baltimore market and is part of Phillies footprint as it pertains to baseball territory. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  40:51

there’s an arrogance baked into this brother that I cannot you know, you’ve been around it. You’ve seen it. You mean the guy who runs the Orioles has never spoken to you and you’re my reporter has been there 15 years. I mean, like as long as they’re letting TJ Brightman and Greg Bader make decisions around there, they’re gonna get Angelo’s arrow. And I’m gonna go nuts about this, especially when we don’t have anybody covering the game on Friday night, because I’m getting a little bit. They’re getting $600 million. You’re new to town. You know, first things first, it’s Charles Steinberger. Say be nice to people. Be nice to everybody. There’s been a lot of trauma here. And there’s a lot of ways to build the thing back. But if at the end of the day, here’s where I really think about this as the A’s come to town this week. I think about how bad Major League Baseball has been at all of this. The fact that people in Pennsylvania can’t get Phillies game. This isn’t just an Angelo’s, but it is here locally was a major Angelo’s problem that there was such ineptitude, malfeasance malevolence, just all the males were here. All the bads were here for 30 years, but Major League Baseball has effed up. Miami, Tampa, Arizona to some degree, all the California stuffs been a mess, you know, beyond trying to figure out Anaheim’s a dead doorknob. Oakland’s kind of gone and they were trying to contract teams and ceilings era. They had drug problems forever. And now they can’t run their business. I mean, it’s the most important thing you have is your franchise. And they’re bringing this half assed show in here this weekend. And you mentioned Chicago. I mean, Oakland’s not even the biggest embarrassment in sports. Chicago is on the field right now. And that they allow this, it’s like the NFL, what’s the bottom? Mike Brown? What’s the bottom Al Davis? Like? What are we what are we going to allow to be the bottom and it’s got to be better for Major League Baseball, I think all the way around to get their act together. And and that would include, like, eliminating the Angelo’s types from owning franchises and wrecking them.

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Luke Jones  42:53

Yeah, I mean, yeah, bad ownership in any sport. You know, or the White Sox spent, you know, or they have a black mark on the game right now. I mean, I don’t know. I mean, you’re always gonna have really bad teams and look, the Orioles. For all this talk. We want to talk about tanking, it’s worked out really well for the Orioles. I mean, it has, if they had done it in any other way, I’m not sure they’d be sitting where they are right now. As it pertains to how the bottom had completely fallen, fallen out. And Mike Elias said, We got to rebuild this thing. And this isn’t gonna be a quick fix. So, but your overall point is well taken. And certainly when you look at some of these markets, yeah. But I think some of what David Rubenstein is walking into, isn’t just a product of the Angelo’s family or just the product of decades of mediocrity on the field and off, quite frankly, some of it is just, you know, baseball having to figure this out, you know, hockey and and the NBA are dealing with these matters to I mean, how do you reimagine what sports television looks like when the cable satellite model was cratering? You know, I mean, it’s not gone yet, but it is on that rapid decline. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  44:07

how does that has a solution? Nobody has?

Luke Jones  44:09

I mean, the solution is clearly direct to consumer options. But what is the price point? What’s the sweet spot to make that profitable, you know, you want to be in a position where you want to make it expensive enough that you’re that it’s profitable, but you don’t want to make it so expensive that you’re going to Galge to the point where only the diehard of diehards that I can that can actually afford it are going to pay for it because how are you going to grow your sport then? So you know, it is very much a challenge as far as how do you thread that needle? I mean, Major League Baseball right now. I mean, they have teams that are major league baseball is producing teams, you know that their games, you know, their teams that don’t have an RSN anymore, you know, in the sport the Padres? Yeah, exactly. So you know, you look at that at least man As soon as I guess at least Masson is functioning in that. I mean, I don’t know, you know, it’s a low bar, obviously. But

Nestor J. Aparicio  45:07

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these are the things that they have special on Monday night on the 83 Oriole, so I’ll give them, you know,

Luke Jones  45:12

are we sure it’s a special or is it just a rebroadcast of the celebration they did last year? That was my question when I heard I heard that too. And I was wondering, because, remember, they did the celebration. I was wondering if it was just going to be a rebroadcast of that.

Nestor J. Aparicio  45:28

DVR. Like for me, if it was the Angelo’s era, I would say, it’s awful. It’s putrid or whatever. I don’t know who the executive running the current Masson is, or whether they’ve exited the Angelo’s people from it all together. So in the past, it would always be something awful like some Oreo legendary game from 2008 with Chris Richards had some walk off against some, like, I don’t, I have no idea. But they sold it to me. And I’m thinking, I love Oreos, I love it at through Oreos, I want to watch you know, and I’m like, but but somebody asked me in the bar the other night when I was out seeing Rob Fabian, and keep her there, like, where do you live? And I’m like the first time you hear it. So if it’s the first time I see it, then it won’t be a regurgitated thing for me.

Luke Jones  46:16

I think, right? Fair enough. Fair enough. First time I’ve seen

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Nestor J. Aparicio  46:19

some of us, we’re rounding it at three to witness it. You know, I must say I

Luke Jones  46:23

was around. I was just, you know, two weeks old and had no idea what was going on. But But no, I mean, I look, as we’ve talked about, you know, with the Rubinstein group coming in, I mean, some of these things are going to take some time, and they do need to assess and survey and see where they are with maths and see where they are with basically everything other than baseball ops. I mean, that’s kind of I’m painting with a broad brush there. But it’s kind of the truth, right. And that’s what happens. I mean, whether you’re talking about new ownership for a baseball team, or a football team, whether you’re talking about a corporation that brings in a new CEO, that gets bought out by another company, I mean, there’s, there’s a period of time where there’s evaluating going on and they’re saying, Okay, this is what works, this is what we like, this is what we don’t like, these are the people that we think can be part of our new group moving forward. These are the people that, frankly, we need to move on from. And I think I think the Orioles are kind of in that, you know, they’re, they’re kind of in that period right now. So not saying that you take forever doing that at the same time. I don’t think David Rubenstein made his fortune by being, you know, being too brash, you know, being too hasty and to sit in decision making. And in the meantime, it’s got a really good baseball team on the field, you know, that’s winning and, and is bringing more people back to the ballpark, and you’ve got a really good floor to go off of if you’re Rubinstein. So it’s just a matter of now, how are you going to capitalize on that? I think we all would agree. Camden Yards is never going to get back to where it was in 1994. It’s a different time, right? It’s not 1994 Camden Yards anywhere anymore. Other than, I don’t know, maybe Dodger Stadium? You know, maybe I don’t know. But

Nestor J. Aparicio  48:10

I, but I really, if you think you said that in a meeting to me that there’s a ceiling to what we can do. I call bullshit on that, because that’s who I am as a person. So I don’t want to hear that it can’t be done again.

Luke Jones  48:24

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I have another baseball team 30 miles away.

Nestor J. Aparicio  48:26

I understand that. And that’s, and let me be clear, like,

Luke Jones  48:30

I’m not saying it can’t be way better than what it is. I’m saying I don’t think you’re going to you’re not going to sell out 81 games like you did in 1993. Well, the expectation who’s doing that

Nestor J. Aparicio  48:40

the people here they’ve never seen it because they’re not 30 years old, right? Like so the people that it was a long, long time ago in a galaxy far away. I agree with you. Now, what can I be? What can we be to a community where going to a football game is a phone. That’s why I’ve said this many times. I’ve given

Luke Jones  48:55

you my motto? I’ve said the St. Louis Cardinals, you know, instead of calling BS on me, even though I’m just speaking reality, because there is another team 30 miles down the road. And the Greater Baltimore is has a lower population than it did then for example. So there are challenge and it’s not going to be what it wasn’t 1993 That doesn’t mean it can’t they have to just go resell the game. Right? They do. That’s right. Sure. Okay. But, but I’ve given you my model. I said to me, I would aspire to be the St. Louis Cardinals

Nestor J. Aparicio  49:24

well into your point that much isn’t built with young people if they can’t get the games, and they don’t care about the games. Sure. Or we want to gamble on the games and they’re not into the players, which is where football is gone. Right? Football is gone much more away from we’re local. We’re Baltimore where the Ravens were for you. We’re a community team, too. We want to be everything to everybody around the world and our fans in London buying Lamar jerseys and betting betting bet bet bet bet bet bet bet and by the way, I’ll cut it off at this because we could go bedding you and I could do a whole week on bedding after like that’s all I see now on ESPN and all the talking heads is the jaunty Porter the situation with Ohtani mean Oh, All of that will be out in front. But that is where the funding is coming for all this in the minds of any David Rubenstein that put $1.7 billion out in front of us. And even Cal Ripken can acknowledge that as a businessman who tried to run minor league baseball and get out of that business, because it wasn’t good business. Can we take a break? I want to talk football with you, brother. We got it. We got to get some drinks. Yeah.

Luke Jones  50:21

Yeah. And just you know, one final point, like, you know, we, as we were just talking about it, I think we both are in full agreement that the Orioles have an amazing opportunity here. I mean, this is an opportunity. I don’t, I don’t think it needs to be framed in a way of you know, that it’s die or anything like that. I think they have an amazing, extraordinary opportunity. I think that’s why David Rubenstein and his group wanted to buy it, right. I mean, but they have some pivotal, very critical decisions that they have to get right here over the next couple of years, in order to sustain greatness. And I think that’s where all of us are on the same page that we want to see this thing. Not just be good in terms of just a year or two, but have this become something that people in this community can be really, really proud about in a way that they’ve been proud about the Ravens for a quarter century now, even though they’re not perfect, but they’ve sustained something and made something that has been really, really good and been class of the NFL, you know, one of the top model organizations of the NFL for a long time. I think the Orioles can be that, but it’s going to take a lot of work that extends beyond what they’re doing on the field right now, which is pretty darn good.

Nestor J. Aparicio  51:27

Here’s Luke Jones. I am Nestor Aparicio together we are wn st and Baltimore positive I’ll have the Pac Man scratch offs twice this week on the Maryland crabcake tour. We will be at pre mount station and green mount bowl on Wednesday doing the show and then watching some baseball four o’clock over green mount station. You can also bet there they have a whole like little mini casino with the parks bet and everything they’re doing their agreements they should so come on. I’ll also have a great crabcake haven’t had the ribs yours. I’m definitely gonna get I’m gonna sit and eat and hang out with the folks up in Hampstead. That’s Wednesday afternoon Friday we’re going to get fadeless Lexington market be there live from two of the five I’ll have Pac Man scratch off to give away so I brought to you by our friends at Liberty pure solutions, keeping my water absolutely crystal clean. And I’m appreciative of that as a well guy. It is well done. And also our friends at Jiffy Lube MultiCare also take care of the oil changes and do that well as well as Jiffy Lube, multi care Friday and fade the studio five Luke will be with us. We have draft coverage all weekend. And first and foremost, I’ve been really hard work the last two months with Greg Landry at Blue Rock productions on a documentary that I think everybody will appreciate 25 years in I get the stand up and brag for a minute 40 years into our career. You can go and it’s called No one listens everyone hears it is a complete telling of how I found you and how you found me and how maybe you found yourself on a road trip or a bus trip or at an event or free the birds or in the New Orleans March or wherever our paths have crossed. I am appreciative certainly my wife and I were very appreciative for all the folks who came up to us on Friday night we just went out soaking wet we didn’t smell good we came from the gym and we were like out to watch Rob Fahey and Keith Brewer and people came up made us cry saying somebody nice Thanks though so we’re really appreciative and, and in this segment, I just want to say thank you as well to keep John Allen Mike bro Hart, Mickey Coachella genus shock. Ray Bachman and I know I’m leaving somebody out Bill coal for coal roofing, and our friends at Royal farms as well for sponsoring everything we do and curio wellness, for putting together our 25th anniversary here at wn St. We’re really proud of that. It is draft day. I have pictures of me at our first draft a party in 1997 9899. I was up in New York and 96 with John odd didn’t have that. So draft days a big deal around here. We used to spell it Dr. Au gh t because we did it under a spigot at a firehouse but we’re gonna do it all Thursday night peacefully on the internet. Luke will be covering all that monitoring all that and we will have our 25th anniversary film ready to go. No one listens. everyone hears no respect. It’s a story of my life. We’re Baltimore positive stay with us.

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