MASN — as in Mister Angelos & Sons Network

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There’s some talk around town that I’m going “soft” on the Orioles.

Yeah, I’ve written some “positive” Orioles stories this week – most notably in B today – because they’ve earned it by putting together an honest effort.

Someone over there at The Warehouse has decided to either read this website, or else they just simply decided to start using their heads for something other than a hat rack.

I’ve been saying for years that their manager should be out speaking to community groups. Their players should be doing it, too.

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Their players should be signing autographs at malls on weekends. Their players should also be participating in promotions to sell tickets.

Their players should also be participating on radio, TV, community events all over Baltimore to win back this city. But as long as John Angelos and Greg Bader want to continue this crazy policy of  “get even with the media who screw us” they’ll get what they get.

And so far that’s an empty stadium and mixed feelings about the team, even when they’ve enjoyed a strange “Oriole Magic” kinda start to the season.

Kevin Millar has unwittingly led a promotional push probably because he thinks it sucks that the stadium is empty every night, too!

They’re having as good of a season as you could imagine at this point and the stadium is still empty.

At least the players who made that crazy video “get it” that the people here want TO LIKE THEM! For many, liking the players = paying hard-earned money to see them play and cheer for them!

BUT…and I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THIS — the truth is, they’re doing a lot of stuff right.

BUT…the truth is they could still be doing many, MANY more things right.

All of those many, MANY empty seats speak volumes about how much more they could be doing right.

But, at least they’re TRYING again. It’s the first time in 20 years that they’ve reached out to the community.

It’s so apparent they should almost call a press conference to apologize for why this wasn’t going on a LONG, LONG time ago led by Mr. Angelos himself but it’s not his way to take any of the blame for this mess over the last decade.

But I digress…

I come tonight not to praise the Orioles, which I’ve done a lot of lately.

I’ve always been fair with them, even when they’ve been complete jerks to me.

(Remember this whole thing exists because I LOVED THE ORIOLES FOR 30 YEARS!)

When they do things the right way, they’ll get my praise.

If they continue to do stupid stuff (like my beefs tonight), I’ll continue to write blogs like this one.

I come tonight to bury them for the stupid stuff they continue to do that is just not “fan friendly.”

Let’s start with tonight.

I’m home with my wife tonight because she suffered a slight injury that made it impossible to go the game (please accept my major apology to anyone who came out to Camden Pub…I’m going to try to reschedule to go Saturday night with my son). She’s going to be fine, but let’s just say that it was the plan to go but we couldn’t get there.

Instead, I’m home watching the game on television and I’m kinda glad I am.

The game tonight is a “featured” game on MASN HD. And Gary Thorne, Jim Palmer, Don Sutton and Bob Carpenter (I don’t recognize his voice at all because I don’t ever watch Nationals games) are calling the action and it’s actually quite entertaining.

But the game is in HD, as in high definition.

It’s this new thing that makes it appear as if the game has moved literally into your living room.

EVERYONE in the FREE television world is using it.

How, why and whatever lie they would make up about why they don’t broadcast ALL of their games in HD is a ridiculous continuation of their pattern of disrespect for the public.

MASN went after Comcast and held every Nationals fan in existence hostage for the birth of their franchise. It was shameful, mean, clearly thinly veiled way of screwing the Nationals and the D.C. fans.

In the end, Angelos was the ONLY winner in the Montreal fiasco. Well, maybe D.C. and the fans down there who truly deserve to have their own team.

But Angelos got their TV rights and they will forever be “under his wing” because of it.

He bitch-slapped Bud Selig on every negotiating point and managed to parlay an historic mismanagement of a modern sports franchise into a crazy multiplication of his own wealth and a return on his investment.

And while he has destroyed a franchise’s history and the present heartbeat of this community, he’s in turn reaped tremendous financial gains doing it.

The result is this woebegone television network, which is at times embarrassingly sophomoric and Pollyanna in its coverage of the teams.

On its best night — like tonight — you see its potential despite its agenda.

But then comes the pending schedule of Hawaiian League Baseball this fall.

And it’s still done mainly in LOW DEFINITION.

While the product stinks, he’s got you and me and EVERYONE IN THIS STATE who gets MASN unwittingly paying him $3 a month via our cable bill.

And it’s not optional. We’re stuck paying it like a ground rent.

So, what do we get?

A Wayne’s World sham of a local television network and the lion’s share of our games coming in “LD” from the Mister Angelos and Sons Network.

If they can broadcast tonight’s game in HD – and they clearly can…and I mean VERY clearly because I can see the game now in the latest technology and it’s fabulous – then why can’t they deliver this product to us EVERY game?

Because they’re cheap?

Or because we’re stupid and accept whatever they give us while they make millions and millions of dollars? Upward of $550 MILLION over the first 10 years!

And we’re stuck because there’s no legitimate media entity or – more importantly, “competition” — to force them to do it “the right way.”

You don’t like the Orioles in their “normal” grainy glory, empty seats and all?

You want HD and think you’re entitled to it because of what you’re paying for it?

Well…tough noogies!

Because you’ll take what Peter Angelos is giving you and you’ll like it!

Tonight has been a mish-mash of MASN announcers. All sorts of pairings of Gary Thorne and Bob Carpenter and Jim Palmer and Don Sutton.

(I’m fascinated by the deeper meaning of Sutton and Palmer circa October 1982 but I’m convinced fewer and fewer of us even remember that glorious yet brutal weekend. I’m actually 100% convinced that one of the reasons Peter Angelos never shows his grill publicly is because some guy like me might start asking him simple “Orioles trivia” questions and we’d find out how very, very little he actually knows or cares about the team and its history. Because if he cared an iota, there’s no way he would’ve allowed this mess to happen.)

But, again, like Bob Haynie, I digress…

The MASN crew has given the public pretty top-flight talent to call the games — it doesn’t get much better than Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer, but 12 years later they’ve still never recovered from Jon Miller — for the most part (when they’re not cheerleading or “homering” it to the point of misery but we all know they’re under specific “orders” to call it like Mr. Angelos sees it), and has delivered it all in 1984 “Super TV” fashion.

Every game they do in “LD” is just more money lining their pockets.

They don’t even have enough pride to deliver their product in a modern fashion when we’re paying a premium to have it, whether we want it or not.

And we’re powerless to do anything about it.

They’ve done a lot of things right, but the distribution and quality of their TV product should be paramount. It’s how most of us see the games. If you had ANY pride in that, you’d deliver HD EVERY NIGHT at ANY COST because it’s “the best.”

And because virtually every other network (other than CBS and their woebegone NFL coverage) does it.

But the Mister Angelos & Sons Network chooses when we’ll get the best.

Three years ago we were told the network’s wealth was supposed to translate into buying power in the offseason in free agency.

“The MASN money will allow us to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox for the best talent,” Angelos crowed, after beating Bud Selig and his pack of idiots to a pulp and tripling the value of his civic disaster, sweeping under the rug every horrible thing he’s done to the franchise.

But, that money has not appeared on the field in the form of superstars.While they line their pockets, they’ve hired Andy McPhail to preach the virtues of “rebuilding.”

I don’t think rebuilding through the farm system is a bad idea, mind you.

But it ABSOLUTELY buys them time to roll with a minimal payroll while they get Comcast checks every week that read like a phone number.

Their payroll has actually SHRUNK dramatically since the network was launched.

Where is all of this money going? What’s the real plan here?

I’d ask questions about this to Mr. Angelos himself.

But he’s “unavailable” to comment on this matter.


Then, of course, there’s the jersey thing.

Just sitting here tonight watching the Nationals wearing the word “WASHINGTON” on their chests.

When the Orioles go down to Washington next month the crests of their jerseys will say “ORIOLES.”

Now, honestly, how freaking stupid is that?

The thing this town has cared so much about for so long – as long as I can remember – PRIDE in being from BALTIMORE, is gone.

What a travesty! What an embarrassment when you think about it!

We oughta put together a bus trip when the Orioles go down there next month and ALL wear BALTIMORE swag (Ravens, anything with a B on it!) and represent a little.

The Nats ballpark is beautiful, it’s in a weird/changing part of town and it’s definitely worth seeing if you love baseball. Just watching the goofy, inflatable presidents run the bases is worth the trip. (Watch video of them on wnsTV…see the “Baltimore and Washington make love” video.)

You can hate on Washington and love on Baltimore and protest Angelos’ stupidity on this issue all at the same time.

It would be a lot of fun and we’d probably even get discounted tickets. Maybe if we buy enough they’ll let us put our peeps in the Prez costumes? LOL…

And judging from the look of the stadium here, the Orioles could’ve used WNST’s help with that empty stadium again tonight to inject a little “Baltimore pride” on a night when a team walks into our city with the words “WASHINGTON” on its crest.

Maybe we can go down to D.C. and have some fun next month?

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Baltimore Positive is the vision and the creative extension of four decades of sharing the love of local sports for this Dundalk native and University of Baltimore grad, who began his career as a sportswriter and music critic at The News American and The Baltimore Sun in the mid-1980s. Launched radio career in December 1991 with Kenny Albert after covering the AHL Skipjacks. Bought WNST-AM 1570 in July 1998, created in 2007 and began diversifying conversations on radio, podcast and social media as Baltimore Positive in 2016.