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Dave Sheinin of The Washington Post discusses a new day in Baltimore baseball for Orioles with the new ownership group of David Rubenstein about to take over the reigns of a franchise with unlimited potential.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

orioles, years, baltimore, baseball, team, ripken, ownership, camden yards, stadium, dave, game, losing, franchise, city, player, good, ravens, parade, live, skepticism

SPEAKERS

Dave Sheinin, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Come home. We are WNS TA and 15. seven eighths house in Baltimore and Baltimore positive if I sound like a shot out of a cannon in this segments because I haven’t haven’t done a lot of radio last couple of weeks, especially because I’ve been eating cereal I haven’t stuff stuck in my teeth and it’s just been Luke and I and sort of my internal group after I did 78 charities for a cup of Super Bowl. And our big week for crabcake row, I’m back out on the beat we are going to be at fade Lee’s doing live radio. On Fridays, when the Orioles are home we’re gonna call them families Fridays, brought to you by the Maryland lottery have 10 times the cash. Our friends at window nation are friends at Jiffy Lube, multi care also Liberty pure water solutions that keeps me in delicious, safe drinking water out on the well out yonder way. So we’re appreciative of all of our sponsors. The last time I got together with this guest and he’s one of our favorite guests. And if you are a WNS T am 1570 listener, the beautiful music that you hear coming in comes from this very multi talented musician, writer and author. But you know, it says Washington Post every time I see Dave shine and I think that two lives in Canton I don’t know maybe Fells Point maybe pick to offer. Excuse me a butcher’s Hill Park, you put your sales probably there at the right neighborhood but you’d have to be a real young old timer to want to know that day shine. And it’s been my friend for a long, long time and covered the Orioles back. Oh, man even you know before maski or were you after mask your aftermath? Yeah, well, okay, late 90s. But he sort of came into this when the Peter Angelos thing had already sort of metastasized. And we’ve we’ve waited for a better day Dave shot better downtown a better Camden Yards, a better baseball team and all that. And damn, if it hasn’t arrived since the last time you went to I got together my phone blew up and like that the the Rubenstein thing happened. I’m a four or five weeks out now trying to process it. Where are you, brother? No, I

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Dave Sheinin  02:05

mean, I’m, uh, I’m on Team positivity. I mean, I think it was the, it was the absolute best thing that could have happened for the franchise. I mean, you know, short of winning a World Series, I suppose. But like, if you asked me, you know, what is the perfect ownership scenario for this team going forward? You’d say number one, let the Angelou says get out from under it. Number two, you’d want local ownership. Number three, you would want deep pocketed ownership. You know, and, and a commitment to staying in Baltimore, of course. So I think you have all of those things with with the Rubenstein group and Gus, I mean, what you would also want Cal Ripken with a major role in the direction of the organization you’ve got that too you know, the jury’s still out for sure. I mean, this is too new to say that you know, this is this is the gonna solve all the problems around this team, because there are many of them. But it’s it’s the right mix and it’s I mean if you’re an Orioles fan, I don’t know how you can be anything other than just over the moon about the direction

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:22

well, listen, I can ask you to give your background or history people don’t know who you are Dave covered baseball forever Dave’s a musician, very accomplished musician, but also you’re in the Olympics guy now so people don’t necessarily even acquaint you with day to day that you’re like uh, you know maybe in the way that one in your previous life it was done fear and Bud Seelig and and all of that at the Washington Post the highest level trying to get a team I mean you were covering Orioles because anyone have a team that is right as many years into this bro and they can’t get a centerfield camera to not shake on the spring training debut. On the television that work they’ve had for 20 years like we I rereleased two books that I’ve written in the last month I released a Peter principles about Angelo’s last month and then my father’s birthday were on the eve of that March 5. Every year I celebrated my dad died the first year was on radio. So I’ve been on radio 32 years. My dad died 32 years ago, and I celebrate his birthday every year and I wrote a book for free the birds because everything you said we need a new owner. Well, I said that 2006 I let a walk out 18 years ago got thrown out but I didn’t do the math. I’m doing a documentary on all that. But in the meantime, like the whole notion of this prescription for fixing them has always been the wrong people own them. Right. And we’ve waited for this next thing and you said problems they have many you said that a minute ago you said that the Orioles as a franchise has lots of problems. Dude, when you got on on this board back in the day and moved to Baltimore, three and a half million people they had Cal Ripken they had money. They had Camden Yards. They have this cathedral of baseball. You live in a city we’re in a different place. But you said problems in many start at the beginning for me because like unpacking this is what Ripken and Rubinstein, these guys, when they get in, in the halls of justice and all get together, try to fix this. Guys like you and me. I’ve been writing about this talking about this every day of our lives for 30 years and saying, What if, you know, what if the Emerald City and the wizard, so what do you think? What’s the prescription man? Well,

Dave Sheinin  05:37

I mean, I look at it this way. You know, I came on the Orioles beat in 99. And it was it was, you know, the end it was the end of the glory era, the most recent glory era. You know, that was 97 was the last, you know, was that the playoff appearance. 98 was when things started to fall apart. I came in in 99. It was the end close to the end of the Ripken era. But, you know, that franchise was still pulling in three, 3 million plus fans for a couple of losing seasons. And, you know, it’s it that could have been that was a turning point, you know, that could have been a self sustaining thing. Because once you become the thing for young people to do in your city in the summertime, that that’s that has a long lease that that goes on for years, even when you turn the corner and start sucking, which they did. Like you look at the St. Louis Cardinals, and when you think about great baseball towns of this size, I mean, it’s St. Louis Baltimore, things like that. Well, I mean, St. Louis has been sustained, you know, because they’ve committed to excellence over the years. And even a last year, like a downturn, they still packed their stadium every night. So when the Orioles lost that, you know, it was hard to lose that because you had a great thing going you had momentum you you were the thing to do in the city in the summertime, for families, young people of all ages, three generations.

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:04

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66 in the 70s, when I came along, I came along because aparece you’re 66 into the 70s I’m here into the 80s I’m like rip skinny and why not. And here we are Camden Yards. Oh my god, Brady, he’s so cute. And cows a legend and, you know, here and look at the stadium they play.

Dave Sheinin  07:23

And they lost that right. And I mean, and that was hard to lose, because you had everything in your in place, all the elements were in place is gorgeous stadium, you know, a great team, you had an owner that at the time was still spending in the top, you know, 10% of teams in the league, you lose that, and it’s probably 10 times harder to get it back. And the reason is, because you know, if you’d no longer have that momentum, people are down on the team, people are down on the owners, nobody wants to go to the stadium, they’re losing 100 games every year. And you look at even last year, you know, the the attendance numbers were better, they’re not back up to the late 90s levels. And again, that takes sustained excellence. So that’s where this franchise is that they’re trying to build back to something that they had 25 years ago. And even with this core, even with all the great things you see 100 wins season, they’re still not there yet, they still have something to prove to the city in this region.

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:28

So how do they do that? I like I’m gonna go down to spring training in a couple of weeks, right? I mean, Luke and I are gonna go down and the NFL owners meetings are down in Orlando, we’re gonna we’re gonna come back, it’s boom, it’s gonna be opening day, right? And it’s gonna be fireworks on opening day. It’s, it’s it’s an exciting time. I don’t know if they’ll have the keys to the New Kingdom or not like, whenever that day is I have a bottle of wine that I got over drug city a month ago. It’s called the prisoner and I know you’re good wine drinker. And I figure we’ll release the prisoner being we we’ve all been the prisoner for 30 years, that whenever this happens, I’m wondering what the checklist is and also what the transparency but like if they let me in to everybody in my world to everybody that’s ever met me or known me? That would be like, Oh, he went Nesta and they are different, you know, but that’s for me, that’s my personal thing and free the birds and like all that, how will you know it’s different? How will anybody know and feel the oxygen that changes and I would ask you this as a guy that also covered the Washington football team in the burgundy and gold over the course of time. Yeah. And whatever that regime was, you know, how will we know Russia is ever fixed? Or Cuba is ever fixed? Or you know, like, I don’t know, but I want it to feel different. When whenever this happens, whether cows out in front of it or how they PRT or whatever orchestra they because they’re gonna be good on the teams on the field. Right? The team’s good. Now, what do you do around it to deodorize? These three decades of everybody having a rough ride at one point or another with the Angelo’s family? I

Dave Sheinin  10:13

mean, the simple answer is they they’ve got to spend, you know, they’ve got to build up the rest of the roster around this core, the more complicated answer, I mean, look, I mean, that and that, and that goes back to this skepticism and this this sense of this, this fatalistic outlook that Orioles fans have developed now over the past couple of decades. You know, that it we have thick skins now we come to expect the worst we come to expect aren’t the superstars to walk away at the end of their when they reach free agency? Because the Orioles aren’t going to keep them you know. So that’s a well earned skepticism. So you’ve got to beat that you’ve got to conquer that. To me. I mean, the critical test is going to be when all of these young superstars reach free agency, or are you going to keep them I don’t even need to see them going out and spending on on major free, I don’t need to see them signing Shohei Ohtani. You know, I don’t even need to see them signing Blake Snell unnecessarily, but you need to keep at least five of the six, you know, four of the five, the Gunnar Henderson, Adley, rutschman, all of these, you’ve got to keep some of them. And I understand you can’t keep them all. That’s that’s the way of as the way baseball is, when you’re a size market of Baltimore, but you need to keep most of those guys. And that will be I think, the critical test of this ownership and do it now. I mean, do it now while you know you’re still ahead of the game. Don’t wait till Adley rutschman hits free agency to sign a long term extension with do it now. And that I think more than anything else would show fans that it’s okay to embrace this team 100% to because we’re in 100% there’s their skepticism out there still and that’s got a long way to overcoming that

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Nestor J. Aparicio  12:05

day shine and he’s a longtime baseball insider expert and now does tons of stuff on the Olympics as well as the English Premier League. But he resides here in all Ballmer in trying to get the ship turned around. Last time we responded with Dave we were drinking beer and eat crab cakes. I believe that the Coco’s with my co host with a que micro SIG Liana and we kind of had this flippant conversation about because the Orioles were like in first place and cruising It was August I think is we got together then. And the Ravens were going to training camp and you and I had a long conversation about art and cartoons and Rosenthal’s stories get no receipts aren’t getting Rosenthal pushed around in locker rooms. And so we had fun up with all of that. But I said to you who’s gonna have the parade first? And you said, and this is such a journalism thing, dude, neither, you know, neither. I like it’s hard to win one, let alone. We’re right, right. I mean, and you said that and it resonated with me. I heard your voice when they were losing that AFC Championship game at home because it’s close, right? I heard your voice when I was sitting at the kids table and drinking out of the other water fountain in Arlington. When I didn’t have the clubhouse badge when I got my final mistreatment from the Angelo’s family flying to Arlington, with Luke they got for John Blake. But I would say this, that, you know, the notion that we’re closer and you’re thinking parade and whatever way new ownership begets, like a whole bunch of thoughts that you’ve already given me in the first six minutes of spend money, spend money, spend money, but I’m sort of looking for the bigger better idea in all of this. Because I think when smart people get involved in the cities involved, and you got government that wants to make the city better, and and everything that they’re doing, you know, I look at this as a dawning of a new day that it’s really taken me weeks. Literally, you’re one of the first conversations I’ve even had about this because I made a whole long list of all Santas list of all the things we’re going to fix and how it’s going to lift the city and all of these things that really were the promise of building the stadium 30 years ago, and now the promise of giving two billionaires another billion to to come up with the next big idea that for the Ravens sounds like a gold plated bar. And I caught that press conference that I’m locked out of where the smarmy guy gets up and says, Well, we all know the beers colder inside the perimeter and the hotdogs taste a little better inside the perimeter. And I’m thinking well, what’s the Orioles? Big Idea in all of this? They you know, for the Ravens. They play they play 910 games a year at home you know the Orioles is a heartbeat thing. Baseball to your point St. Louis Boston in places where it matters San Diego where they built around it. It’s a heartbeat thing that was lost. tear, you know what I mean? And to me the possibilities of a parade winning, I feel the way you do things have to really go right in the Corbin Burns is in the, you know, everything has to go right for a parade. But to get the franchise, right, there’s so many things that they could do that would not involve a parade because that’s so hard to do. If that’s your measurement, you’re 41 years and it’s still waiting, you know? Yeah,

Dave Sheinin  15:23

you’re right. I mean, you know, I live about a 45 minute walk from from Camden Yards as as you’re a lot closer than that, or are you still in the Inner Harbor? I used to be I mean, yep. So I mean, you know, I walked through the town to get to get to Camden Yards. I mean, you know, you you cross over President Street, and you’re going through the Inner Harbor, and you see how, you know, how sad harborplace is the, you know, the, the Inner Harbor itself, you see how decimated downtown is? You know, there’s a lot that that needs to be done down there. And I know that you know, some of its already in the works, you know, the the new harborplace development is in the works. The Orioles need to be part of that you mentioned just a minute ago, the Cardinals, the padres, the Red Sox, I’ve been to every functionality

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:19

is another one where they are than where they built it.

Dave Sheinin  16:23

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Right. I mean, I’ve been I’ve been to all of these say I’ve been to every stadium in the majors, I’ve been to like 30 stadiums that don’t exist anymore in the majors. And what you named there with all of those teams are places where baseball is part of the fabric as part of the lifeblood of the urban center. You know, I mean, I think about walking from my hotel to Busch Stadium at three o’clock in the afternoon, because the clubhouse opens at three and in the streets are already filled. I mean, this is a weekday a weeknight, and in the past 30

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:57

places on the way out where the postgame shows on, like, Washington is built, and their town came from nothing, right? Like they pulled back stadium or like, What the hell was this? And now it’s like the one of the 10 most desirable neighborhoods in the world to live

Dave Sheinin  17:12

in. Right. Right. But, you know, obviously, a huge part of that is putting a competitive product on the field, which, which we haven’t had here in Baltimore until just recently. And and then the other component of that is putting in place, you know, a scene that people want to be part of, you know, I mean, gosh, man, you know, and the COVID pandemic, I know, decimated a large part of the business. Certainly, there’s people who are business owners downtown who tell me they still haven’t recovered from the Freddie Gray situation. There’s a lot, there’s a lot going against us, right. I mean, there’s a lot of things that’s working against this. But, you know, I think that this is the moment, you know, with new ownership harborplace underway, this is the moment to create something out of nothing, and make this back to what it was, you know, the thing to do in the summertime. Yeah, we’ll get to

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:12

deep with this. And maybe there’s a song in this for you, or some inspiration for something in the way you look at this. But I mean, look at us, dude, we’re like 50 Something hippies and rocking out. And like, you know, we’re holding on the Rolling Stones, and Bill Dylan and Willie Nelson getting together up in Hershey Park, you know, amongst our thanks, but like, we’ve watched this thing kind of deteriorate. And I lived at the harbor for 20 years. And you speak of like, the harbor places, this sort of no offense, that scape kind of weird place. And I left and I didn’t leave because of that. And I lost hundreds of 1000s of dollars in real estate downtown just because I lived I made the offense of investing there and believing in there and fighting with the baseball owner on all of this and I’m still trying to come to the dawning of the new day to say Alright, these students pumped $2 billion in and you can’t even get the freaking game on your app. And when you do the camera shaking, you know like and I’m thinking to myself, this is the prince a core part of your business you’re gonna go into business with Leon’s is on the television side of this trying to figure the national side out whenever learner gets his sea legs under him and Ted moves the team’s over out of the district into maybe they’ll win a basketball game this month. I you know, I gotta kick them in the balls every chance I get because like, I don’t want to say we’re on top now the baseball the football team came this close to going through a Super Bowl has the most electric player well, maybe the second most electric player in the sport in Lamar at this point and they shall rise again. But this is such a time for the baseball team. The minute you know season ends 48 hours later. We’re like at the rock bottom of rock bottom of losing it AFC Championship game at home. First game takes at 71 and new ownership comes in. It’s like the sunlight over my shoulder, Dave, and I can’t. I have never thought about this, like, and I’m still five weeks and scratching my head saying, what are they going to do? What are they going to do to make it feel and smell? What are they going to do with this $600 million? What are these guys are smart, and they got like Bloomberg involved like they’re not in this to flip this. This isn’t Eli Jacobs, this isn’t squatter stuff. This isn’t even Rubenstein, like saying I’m gonna come home and save the city in some sort of Detroit, you know, way that we saw 15 years ago, but there is a there’s a path and what Detroit has done in Cleveland and other municipalities as well as Nashville and other places where they’ve grown from nothing. But this is such an asset that’s been pissed away from the time you and I were young and sexy in our 20s and covering it, and it was the toast of the town to now like, Alright, I know the guy that owns it. And here we go, Hey, bring David Nestor, and they live here. They’re smart guys ask them for their best ideas. I don’t even know what the best ideas are. Because they’ll always come back to crime, the city, Freddie Gray, I’m afraid of the city, how much it costs for a hotdog, how much it costs to get the cost to ensure all of that is there. But like, how are they going to make this thing? Awesome. Again, other than the things we talked about having a centerfielder. And like on the field, bringing people back and making them pay for it and the orange club and getting the games on TV. And like I always talk about cracking crabs with Chuck Thompson back when I was a kid, Natty Bose and all that. But the heartbeat of the city. They don’t have that Dave, you know, they don’t have it.

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Dave Sheinin  21:37

But, you know, I mean, all of the problems that that Baltimore has, I mean, the you know, COVID pandemic crime. I mean, look, they’re not, they’re not unique to us. That’s, I mean, the pandemic happened other places, right. Brian happens in St. Louis. And yet they still packed their stadium every night and they still have their downtown is a sea of red on a Tuesday night in June. You know, it can be done. I think what you have here is a blank slate in a lot of ways. You know, you’ve got new ownership, you’ve got a team that’s on the rise in a big way. You’ve got Cal Ripken back in the fold. You’ve got you know, MLB support behind you. This can be anything they want it to be. I mean, this, this has all the potential in the world this can be. I mean, this can be, you know, the 1996 97 era again, where the Orioles were one of the biggest spenders in the game, and and a serious threat to win the World Series every year.

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:52

How can they be that if they don’t generate that revenue? Dave? Well,

Dave Sheinin  22:55

yes, that’s the thing. You, you, you have to generate the revenue, no question. And it has, but but it’s not going to happen overnight, right? You’re not going to convince, you know, the 75%, let’s say, of this fan base that’s jaded. That cynical, that’s fatalistic, you’re not going to convince them overnight that all of a sudden, because we have new owners, now everything has changed. You have to build that right, you have to regain the trust. And as I said it from the first part of this segment, that losing it was hard. Gaining it back is 10 times harder, because you have to overcome now all the skepticism and fatalism of your fan base. And all you can do is show it show good faith, and then let it build over time. It’s not going to happen in 2024. Yeah,

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:49

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like I released the Peter principles thing, and I released the book on, like, my love of bass, because it’s what I have in sort of my arsenal, because the last 1520 years, there hasn’t been like a lot in the arsenal to like, move me toward 162 nights a year, where I stop everything in my world to focus on 24 young men in the city who sort of come and go and guys like Aubrey Hoff, who call the city a shithole, and you know, and disappear off into the abyss with the money one way or another. I think there’s, there’s something about this young group of players that doesn’t know from any of Peter principles, or, you know, bad vibes, that they’ve come into this honestly, and I mean, on the field, and this is for another day, because our times a little short. They have too many players, like in a sprint training sense. Cows are cursed that set hours you know, what are we who’s moving where what are they going to do? How are they going to do on the pitching? Oh my God Do you know the brightest his arms so your brightest, his arms? No good. Like, it’s like real baseball conversation again. We haven’t had that since 99.

Dave Sheinin  24:58

That’s exactly what Right, yeah, I mean, you’re talking about this team as, as a contender from day one. You know that that wasn’t even the case. Last year, on opening day, I don’t know that anybody saw this, you know, nobody saw 100 wins coming. And it now you feel like, like this, this is this is this is real. I mean, this is what you, this is what you, you, you buy in for as a fan. And it’s what you dream of as a player. And so all the pieces are there, finally, and now really what this new ownership group has to do, I think is prove itself to a fan base that is hurt, you know, a fan base that is jaded and needs some reassurance and needs to see it needs you to put your money where your mouth is. And this is the time you’ve got everything heading in your favor right now. Shines

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:57

column says spend money, and we’ll we’ll we’ll spend our money. Exactly.

Dave Sheinin  26:03

I mean, I think that’s right. I mean, there’s a there is

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Nestor J. Aparicio  26:07

an eight by and the team GC, you know, I’m thinking you better have a plan, you know? Yeah,

Dave Sheinin  26:13

I mean, there’s a there’s a packed here, right? I mean, whether you’re a player, you know, you if you do your part, ownership needs to do their part. And when you’re when you’re a player and you get yourself into contention in July, you need your team to open up the wallet gets you the players you need for the stretch run, you get to that offseason, you’ve put together a core, you need your ownership to step up. And because you’ve done your part as a player, as a roster as a coaching staff as a front office, now, you know, the last step is spending the money. And that is where I think the fans are waiting to see, I think that’s what’s going to prove to the fans that this is worth my loyalty, my money. And my you know, my fandom my love.

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:00

They got a guy every fifth day, it’s gonna take the ball now who’s an ace? Right? So, right, that looks like a real commitment to us. Right?

Dave Sheinin  27:07

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And that’s also a huge opportunity to step up and extend him right so that he’s not a rental for one year. Man, you know, the possibilities are endless here. I mean, there’s so much you could do. And you could get started right now. I mean, you know, it’s time to make a big splash before opening day. You know,

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:27

the biggest splash will be when that bottle of wine gets opened for me because then it’ll be official you know, you don’t expect anything to get in the way right like you’re you’re on board with this is really I’m still at a pinch me moment. I really I

Dave Sheinin  27:43

mean, if there’s if there’s a skeleton in the closet or something I haven’t heard word one about it. So I think this is a slam dunk. And you know, it’s it’s a it’s a great new day for this franchise. Yeah,

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:57

I’m looking forward to go into a game with you. Having one of those cold beers around the perimeter and a hot dog and or maybe we’ll get some on the outside. We’ll walk around the city. David, always pleasure to visit with you. It’s good to crabcake next time, how’s your music career? You got a new thing going on anything like happen in there? No,

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Dave Sheinin  28:13

I’m in semi retirement while I get my kids through college because it cost too much money to make music. So semi retirement. Was

Nestor J. Aparicio  28:24

it a Carrie Ziggler had his expensive hobby is when he got in. Right exactly. Dave can be found out at the Washington Post. He is working on some EPL stuff as well some Olympic stuff. I mean, I didn’t even get to any Olympic stuff with you or I didn’t do any Mary Lou right. I did nothing with you other than baseball baseball, which is what we should be doing is what we’re born to do live in in Baltimore, right? They shine for The Washington Post my good friend. We’re gonna get back out on the road with Luke on Fridays. And Dave’s like a perfect kind of guest for this on the family’s Fridays will be live from two of the five on days when the Orioles are home broadcasting from the new Lexington market. I’ll have some ravens or some some lottery scratch off tickets to give away. I have ravens and when we’re in the playoff race in September, no doubt about that. I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore positive

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