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Luke Jones and Nestor discuss Orioles pitching depth and relentless schedule

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Baltimore Positive
Baltimore Positive
Luke Jones and Nestor discuss Orioles pitching depth and relentless schedule

Luke Jones and Nestor discuss the ever-thinning Orioles pitching depth and relentless schedule and elite competition ahead in June. A big month ahead as the Yankees continue to win every day.


yankees, orioles, point, talking, pitch, team, pitching, pitchers, kyle, day, month, povich, week, kramer, playing, bullpen, rotation, game, baseball, innings


Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home. We are wnst, am 1570 Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore. Posit hope you’re setting your dial ad at am 1570 give us a little place. It could be number six. Just don’t make it seven on the second screen over there. All are brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery. We’ve had a couple of crab cake tours this week. Gonna have a couple more next week. We We had fun up at Cooper’s North this week, talking about next week’s Fleet Week promotion. We will be down at Cooper’s in Fells Point on Friday, giving. I don’t think we’re going to be giving these that. I think I’m gonna have lucky sevens for the Maryland lottery, our friends at Liberty, pure solutions, keeping our water clean, as well as Jiffy Lube, multi care, making it happen for us out on the road. We will be at Cocos on Wednesday in laurelville. I’m really looking forward to that. And then we’re going to be at Costas on the 20th, and then before the Orioles in the Yankees game, and then the 26th or is it fifth? I keep messing that up. I got to get this right. Just for the ad I’ve if nothing else, I’ve got to make sure that I know it’s a 25th it’s Tuesday. I keep 26 my my step brother’s birthday, 25th of June. We will be last, but not least at Pappas. It’s never last, let me said, when’s a crab cake tour gonna end? Right? When the oyster tour begins? Uh, Luke Jones joins us now. He’s had a a week, um, couple ravens practices. Orioles away this week. Which, you know, I don’t know if you feel the pressure that they feel in the pennant race here, but, you know, covering the Orioles this year is like much more of a thing than maybe it was five years ago, mixed in with football, mixed in with all of this next week, it’s mandatory. Everybody will be here, the baseball team going up to Toronto, losing a couple games, bringing guys up. We’ve now got real injured guys, and we have up. I don’t see a pitching problem, but certainly pitching that needs more solutions. That needs that, that we need more answers for if this team’s going to win the World Series and lofty goal. We haven’t talked like that around here a whole lot in 30 years, but this is a real nice team. I think we’re all in agreement with that. We love watching them, but if they don’t get more or better pitching, especially in the backside, which is now just a question mark, maybe Povich steps up and is that guy? We don’t know. But for now, that’s my takeaway going into Tampa this weekend, Luke, fair

Luke Jones  02:18

enough, and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that, but I’m also not going to give the offense a complete get the offense a complete pass. I mean, they didn’t swing the bats well enough the last two games of this series. I mean, the bats come alive, I guess, late on on Thursday and make what was a six to one game a little more interesting. But yeah, they didn’t score on Wednesday night, when they got a pretty good effort overall from Albert Suarez and company. You know, Kimbrel gives up a run in the ninth inning, but, you know, I mean, you can’t expect your your pitching to be perfect. You know, you need your offense to which has been really good overall, but we’ve seen these pockets of inconsistencies, so they need to be better. But so much of this is just the Yankees are playing 700 ball. I mean, right now, as we go into this Tampa Bay series, talking about this over the course of the weekend, Yankees are on pace to win 114 games. The Orioles are still on pace, even after dropping the last two in this blue jays series, still on pace to win a couple more games than they did last year. So it is really difficult looking at it through that lens. But going back to the pitching. By the

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:20

way, it’s better 1980 I just want to point that out for anybody that was alive. You weren’t, but back then, you could win 101 and they could win 102 and you go home if you win a 97 and feel really bad about winning 97 games here, because it would be a step backward if you have the right pitching and the right matchups in October. And I hate to be you do this with Lamar. He can’t prove anything until February. You’re right. You’re right. And you know, but the baseball team’s getting to be there, right? I mean, getting to be, I don’t say early late, because it’s still way early, but there are only so many cracks you’re going to get at this, where payroll is low, new ownership is in whatever. But if this Yankees team is that Juggernaut, you better figure out how to beat them in five or seven games, you know well. And

Luke Jones  04:07

that goes for any team, and we saw this last year. I mean, the Orioles were the best team in the Al and the Rangers got hot at the right time, and they won it all. So I mean, look, there’s a long way to go between now and then, but for me, it’s yeah, they need to pitch better. But there’s also navigating this month of June where they have one off day. You know, kadepovich gets called up because, basically, they want to give Kyle Bradish an extra day or two. It doesn’t mean Kyle Bradish is injured, but they’ve been talking about the six man rotation thing since, going back to, I don’t know, the third week of May, and obviously since then, they’ve lost John. Means they lost Dean Kramer to the triceps strain. He’s going to be back later this month. John means, of course, underwent Tommy John revision surgery, so he’s done for the year and done for probably at least half of next year, whether he’s with back with the Orioles or not. So they clearly are in a position. Where they’re trying to navigate this stretch. In the meantime, they need to win games, because the Yankees keep winning and are losing so rarely at this point in time. But, but yeah, I mean, they they have to pitch more consistently. Sure, I agree with that. And so much of this, though, is just health. You’re just looking at it through the lens of health at this point in time, and we’re seeing this across baseball. We’ve been talking about it for a few years now, but really this year, it’s come to the forefront, and the Yankees are playing 700 ball with Garrett Cole just now getting into starting his rehab assignment and now looking like he could be coming back and rejoining that rotation. So it’s not an excuse, and it’s not, you know, it’s not throwing up your hands and saying, Oh, well, it’s, you know, this is just where they are right now, if they were playing, and look at even, you know, last year, but the rays were really good up until what happened to them. They had a massive run of pitching injuries, and that really cost them over the second half of the year as the Orioles overtook them. So, you know, it’s surely we’re going to continue to talk about the trade deadline and opportunities there, but at the same time, there’s still only going to be so much you can do to try to augment this roster. Yeah, you can add another pitcher, and I’m all for that, you know, if they need to add another starter, which I think is more of a likelihood now than it was two months ago. Yeah, I’m all for that. Certainly they need to add a couple arms to the back end of the bullpen. I’ve been saying that since February, you know, and many people have been saying that, but that said you’re still going to need the appropriate amount of contributions from guys that you already have, and that’s why adding Cade Povich to the mix this week? You know, you look at the final box score, you look at its final line. And as I said to you, full disclosure, I was out in Owings Mills during the Ravens last open OTA before mandatory minicamp starts. But I DVR the start. I saw the line score just like anyone else, and I thought, Oh, well, he didn’t pitch Well, having gone back and watched it, I think I would actually agree with what Brandon Hyde said after the game. I think he pitched a little bit better than what the line score indicated. Now, couple mistake pitches to, you know, one the big one being the Vlad Guerrero. A couple walks that, you know, came at an inopportune time, but Toronto did not square up many balls against him. I mean, there wasn’t a ton of loud contact. I thought for the most part, his fastball cutter combination worked well. Curveball wasn’t good early on, I thought he located and got some swing and miss with that as the game went on. So look, I’m not going to sit here and say pitch great. You saw the same score lines

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:39

rather see more strikes. But that doesn’t shock me when it came, yeah, you know, and, and

Luke Jones  07:43

honestly, that was something that was a knock on him, prior to this year at triple A Norfolk, that he walked a few too many. So, I mean, I think the big thing with Cade Povich is walking it’s going

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:52

deeper in the counts. To me, sure, just no balls. And once you throw balls, you’re behind in the game. And then we start to reevaluate everything when you’re two, one and two, oh and one, oh. I mean, like, once when you’re that, you’re just a different you can’t be the pitcher you want to be in those counts, you can’t well.

Luke Jones  08:08

And the difference here is we’re not talking about someone who has the stuff of a Grayson Rodriguez or a Kyle Bradish. I mean, he’s, you know, to make

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:16

that 92 when you’re two, oh and buckle knees. He’s not that guy. Yeah, not that big, left handed, wide open. Yeah, skinny Carlton looking thing. You

Luke Jones  08:24

know, really skinny guy too. I mean, 631, 85 and I’m not sure he’s 185 I mean, I guess you know, he’s tall, so that that helps him, but, but we’ll see. Put it this way, even though the final numbers, and you look at the era right now, and anyone who didn’t watch the game would just say, Oh, well, capovich stunk on Thursday. It’s like, okay, statistically wasn’t good. I’m not gonna sit here and sugarcoat it, but I saw enough pitch ability. I saw enough good things to at least want to see him again, especially knowing the Orioles have one off day until July 1.

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:54

So again probably means Atlanta next week, right? Yeah. Well, I

Luke Jones  08:58

mean, however you want to figure this out. And again, they’re, you know, when you have a sixth starter, you can kind of play around with your rotation a little bit. For example, corevin starting the opener of this game, as we know, you know, that’s the that’s all we knew going into it. It’s a lot of TBA right now, which Brandon Hyde even said a few days ago. You can expect that, because we’re going to try to keep these guys, you know, if someone’s a little tired, someone’s a little, a little slow of, you know, coming back from their previous start, you know, we’re gonna give them the extra day. I

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:27

don’t think that’s gamesmanship in the way we on hardball in the football season about it, because, like, they just don’t know, like, I don’t think there’s any, you know what I mean. Like, yeah, I

Luke Jones  09:37

think, yeah. I think the only thing that I would say, that I would count. I mean, I don’t know if gamesmanship is even the right word. I think they let they created a little bit of angst with Kyle bradish’s status. Because not just that, he didn’t pitch against Toronto on his regular turn, but then Hyde, a couple days ago, didn’t commit to him pitching again. Tampa Bay at all, and then people are starting to wonder. And I even was wondering Nestor apariciovich was going to get caught up, and Bradish was going to go in the IL then, even if it was like, Hey, we’re just shutting them down for a week and a half, whatever. So that was the only part of that. But I agree with you. I mean, at this point in time, and look, I’m not sitting here saying that the state of the game is good when it comes to pitching, or that this is preferable to what we saw 10 years ago, let alone talking about 3040, 50 years ago, when Jim Palmer’s throwing 15 complete games a year, you know, more than that at times. And so it’s a different era through looking at it through that lens, and I’m not saying it’s better. I don’t think it is, you know, from an esthetic standpoint, however, just seeing the environment that we’re seeing around baseball, with the number of pitchers getting hurt, you’ve got to be cautious. And even if Kyle Bradish isn’t injured or his elbow is not bothering him, but if it’s a case where, you know, he just felt a little more tired after, I mean, he had the amazing start in Chicago that he wasn’t so good in his most recent start. If you want to give him an extra day or two, you don’t have off days. That affords people

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:10

sources. You can ask them and talk to them, right? I mean, you exactly feel right, right?

Luke Jones  11:16

And look, there’s still Michaelia was asked about this last weekend when we found out that John means and Tyler wells were out for the year and we’re going to have respective surgeries on their elbows. Elias even said, and this is coming from Mike Elias and this organization, this baseball operation stat that uses technology and analytics and has drafted so well, and all these different things, and usually privacy beyond being candid, yeah, yeah, proprietary all that. But he still acknowledged, look, taking care of pitchers, and whether we’re talking about pitch counts, innings limits, all these different things, it’s there’s still more art involved in science and and I think

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:56

done on sports radio, by the way, either or on the Internet, yeah, or with fans. It’s done with real people and doctors and and, you know, look, we beat the Ravens up about getting Ray Rice onto the field, and they have to get them out there, and they have to get them out there. I’ve been covered sports 40 years. I mean, this has come a long way from Be a man. Suck it up, go out there, you know, toughen up to how much money they’re making. And look as we watch the NBA Finals, where they do load management and stuff for kids who used to play on the playground 14 hours a day, trying to get to the point where they play for the the Dallas Mavericks or whatever. I hear all of that that’s a little different for me. I’ve lived the hockey lifestyle. I see how those guys live in season where it’s, it’s madness, like from a physical standpoint, and hockey, specifically, because of how often they play football, it’s, you know, pain management, all of that, as well as trying to learn offenses in three days. Brian Bill Baldinger would always say the seven day fruit fly cycle and all of that. But the baseball pitching thing is unlike anything, and for 25 years, I’m on the inside of it, covering it, talking to Ben McDonald, talking to Mike Messina, talking to pitching coaches, all of that. I didn’t have a whole lot of guys talking about their arms falling off or worried about such a thing, even with, you know, Dave trevecki happened back then, where there were really weird things that could happen. And Jim Abbott happened too, which is that he only had one arm and was always okay. And he went, it was incredible, right? Um, what’s going on? My wife and I had a conversation two days ago, and she broke her ankle, and we’re talking about broken this and medical that, and we were talking about you and me and our Tommy John thing. And she’s like, oh, yeah, you know my buddy from work, his son just had Tommy John surgery. I’m like, How old’s his kid? She said, 17. I’m like, Yeah, dude, right. I mean, this is me bringing this into a conversation with you about it, but it’s pandemic II for pitchers, and you know, start to do the math around here with Bautista. And means the first time now means the second time like and Bradish maybe? Yeah. I mean, in other organizations with other doctors, he might have been out already and gotten caught on back in February, right? So this is a baseball issue, and Manfred can’t run from this, and the organizations can’t run from this. And every time a guy like Bradish says something’s not right. Their first thing they’re going to do is hit the red panic button, because they can’t rush him out there in two weeks from now, have him. And to your point, a week and a half ago, I’m here, like, should he have come after the eighth inning or not? You know? I mean, that that was part of the argument we’re making here, because he was so freaking good that day.

Luke Jones  14:36

Yeah. I mean, it’s, it really is tough because, you know, and I’ve alluded to this baseball had its issue at the time of game. So you add the pitch timer, you know, you do other things to improve how it looks, how it feels, how the game plays, you know, limiting the shift. And all the things that we’ve seen, and those were, relatively speaking. Uh, simple fixes, easy fixes, right? Uh, NASCAR, you know, with the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt, what did you see? And look, I’m not, I don’t know anything about NASCAR and Auto Race. I had

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:11

to learn a lot. I was gated. I was on the air the night he died. Restrictor plates,

Luke Jones  15:16

right? There is no such thing as a restrictor plate for a pitcher, elbow. Uh, well, maybe 100

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:21

pitches is for starting. I mean, we’ll start to get to the point where organizations aren’t going to let Curt Schilling go 146 pitches ever again. That’s not that’s not happening anymore anyway, right, to your point, but like you foul out in or, you know, you time out in other things, others, I don’t know, but to some point they’re not going to and agents aren’t going to want this. Parents shouldn’t want this for their kids, quite frankly.

Luke Jones  15:45

And this is where it’s so difficult. You just said it. Parents shouldn’t want this for their kids. This is where I look at it through the lens of it, and look i I have no affinity for Rob Manfred, I have no affinity for the decision makers in Major League Baseball. But you’re talking about something that’s starting at the youth level. When you’re talking about, you know, you mentioned that someone in your world, or someone that you know, at least indirectly in your world, 17 year old getting Tommy John surgery. That’s you’re hearing about, 13 and 14 and 15 year olds getting it. Even sometimes before they get to high school, they’re getting Tommy John surgery, so you have that, however, on the flip side, and it’s easy to just say, Well, okay, don’t have kids pitch with match max effort. Okay, agreed. At the same time, this is still an industry that, you know, and this has been talked about a lot with showcases, and, you know, I’ve mentioned driveline and different training facilities like that. Ultimately, these, whether you’re talking about a 14 year old wanting to be on his varsity team, whether you’re talking about a varsity pitcher in high school wanting to get a scholarship or to get drafted. Because obviously, in baseball, you have high school pitchers drafted very frequently. It’s not just automatically go to college like football, but they’re all trying to get somewhere. They’re all trying to succeed. And by throwing harder, by putting more spin on the ball, more vertical and horizontal break on pitches, you succeed in doing that, you garner attention. You get noticed. So it’s ultimately, these are the things that they’re doing right now that are getting them to this point. You know, whether we’re talking about the 15 year old who is slated for JV and suddenly is on varsity, whether you’re talking about the varsity pitcher who gets the scholarship to a d1 program or gets drafted in the first round, whether you’re talking about the low level minor leaguer who goes to driveline or or some, you know, some facility and and gains three miles per hour on his fastball and adds more spin and more break to to his breaking stuff. He graduates to becoming a better prospect. And then the better prospect gets to the major leagues, and then the major league pitcher like John, means back in 2018 circa 2019 who did something similar and added some velocity. You know, they get more they’re more successful. And more success means more money, right? So all of these things that they’re doing in this max effort thing, and this approach, and by the way, these teams, when these pitchers are healthy and doing their thing, they’re better for it, but at what cost? Right? The cost is that they keep breaking, and they’re breaking at every level. So, I mean, these are major systemic questions, and, you know, obviously the players union fixated on the pitch timer. I’m not going to sit here and say that the pitch clock didn’t, hasn’t had some impact on pitchers and recovery time between pitches. It’s not the only thing, because this was an issue. You know, this was becoming an issue long before any discussion about the pitch timer. But, you know, they’ve spoken about that, and I can’t sit here and say that less recovery time between pitches is contributing to some of these injuries. I mean, I think it’s one of many variables. So that’s a long winded explanation. Nestor for saying that there’s not an easy fix here. But you know, bringing it back to the micro in terms of focusing on the Orioles, and specifically the Orioles, that’s where you look at this and say, when you lose John means when you lose Tyler, wells when you’re there’s question about Kyle Bradish is longevity, even though, you know, I don’t think that necessarily, is sounding the alarm right this minute when there’s, you know, Kyle or Dean Kramer doesn’t have an elbow injury, but a tricep that’s arm related. Obviously, when you’re looking at that, the question becomes, how much depth Do you have? How many, how many reinforcements Do you have? And that’s where Kate Povich and chase McDermott and you know, even guys like Bruce Zimmerman, who, you know aren’t prospects or more organizational depth, but you know you might need to, you might be counting on those guys. So that’s where you do look at it, and say, Where’s your depth right now? And what can you do in terms of augmenting and fortifying this rotation and this bullpen? So. Yeah, you know. And that’s where you kind of bring it back to full circle, to the start of our conversation, where the Yankees are playing 700 ball without their Cy Young Award winner at the top of the rotation. So, you know, they’re that. And to be clear, that doesn’t mean the Yankees are going to stay healthy all year, either, you know. And that’s something that I was talking about a lot before the season, as far as some of these guys being older and having injuries and and all that. So it’s a long season, but yeah, there’s definitely some frustration, definitely some angst in terms of, you know, and that’s why I said, Okay, you know, John means, wasn’t the ace of the staff anymore, by any means. And Tyler wells, I still liked him better in the bullpen, but when you lose options, when you lose depth, I mean, it just makes your margin for error that much smaller. And then on top of that, you’re in the midst of this stretch where you don’t have off days and you’re just trying to manage your staff. But, oh yeah, you want to win every night, because the team that you’re battling in the division is winning every night. So, you know, I’m not making excuses. This is just the reality of where they are right now. So, yeah, I think Mike Elias, yeah, I don’t think you make a trade today or tomorrow just for the sake of doing it. You don’t want to make a bad trade and just do something for the sake of doing it. But yeah, you need to be looking but part of the issue, and we’ve talked about this, when you have three wild cards, yeah, it’s a good it’s good news, because you don’t have a 1980 scenario that’s possible for the Orioles through looking at it through that lens. But, you know, for example, the National League, I was looking at the standings on Thursday, you know, as play was wrapping up Thursday, because the

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:31

Braves in the Phillies are coming in here next week. Yeah, well, well, there’s that but, but

Luke Jones  21:35

there were at that right now, there are four teams in the National League that are above 500 however, I think there were only two teams that you would consider out of it from a division, or, you know, more so wild card standpoint, in your mind,

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:52

sellers, yeah, so, so And look, it’s

Luke Jones  21:55

only the, you know, we’re only talking going into the second week of June at this point. So there’s still, you know, lot of lot of baseball games to potentially be lost by some of these teams. But, you know, I mean everyone from what the Nationals on through the to the Phillies, you know, I mean, and obviously the Phillies that you know have such a big lead on own Atlanta already. But you know, even a team like the Nationals, they’re not that far out of the wild card I mean, the Cubs have been hovering right around 500 it was just talking to someone in the Ravens media who’s a Cubs fan, and all he was saying was how disappointing they were. They were in the second wild card spot at that point in time when we had that conversation. Doesn’t mean they’re good, but it just speaks to just the landscape of parody slash mediocrity.

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:39

Easily be playing in October and easily be that team that picks up a pitcher and makes noise and beats somebody right

Luke Jones  22:46

or but you also have those teams that will look at it and say, okay, realistically speaking, yeah, mathematically, we’re in it. From a wild card standpoint, mathematically, we have a shot. But realistically speaking, practically speaking, we’re not that team, and we need to set ourselves up for to be better in the future. And there will be teams that make that decision. But trying to Pat Gillick told Peter Angelus in 1996 Yeah, exactly, exactly. Well, but that’s the thing. How many owners will say, go along with that? And say fine, but others will say, No, we’re gonna, we’re gonna take a, take a shot at this. So trying to forecast that on June 7 or June 8 or June 9, when the trade deadline is still what, seven weeks away, you know, just off the top of my head, you know, that’s easier said than done. So yeah, there are some teams you can point to right now and say, Yeah, that’s a team you might be able to pluck away a reliever. You might be able to pluck away a starter. But there are many more teams where you say they would tell you, check back with us in a month, so you know that that’s kind of where they are. That’s why I think it’s important that they called up Kade Povich and assess in the same way that they had to assess Grayson Rodriguez after the all star break last year. And what did they find out Grayson Rodriguez settled into the top half of their rotation from that point in time. So I’m not saying Kade Povich is going to be that. But, you know, I’m not going to sit here and say Kate Povich couldn’t be a number four, number five starter for this team the rest of the way. You know, if he could, that’d be great. You know, that’s one less answer that you have to try to find out on the trade market. But so much of this is just keeping your fingers crossed. And again, if Kyle Bradish needs an extra day, you give him an extra day. If Corbin burns at some point in time needs an extra day, you have to give him an extra day. I mean, that’s just where they are. So they have to get through these next three and a half weeks, and then the schedule will normalize a little bit in terms and

Nestor J. Aparicio  24:36

they’re also, by the way, these next three and a half weeks, I looked at the schedule, my wife and I were like, hey, you know, she’s like, My foot’s in a cast the rest of the month. How many games are we going to be watching? Who are we? And I’m like, Oh, my God, by the way, I use the I word for Cleveland. So she corrected me. She’s like, I’m a radio um, Yankees, Phillies, Guardian. These are all all these are all the teams are gonna be playing in October.

Luke Jones  25:01

Of Yeah, I mean, it’s Philly and Atlanta, of course, you have to get to the World Series, but yeah, I mean, it’s, there’s, you know, we’ve talked about

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:08

this, these are good teams. My point, they’re gonna be these are the best teams. Oh, no,

Luke Jones  25:11

I of course, no. But I mean, that’s the thing. And, you know, talk about the Al East. I mean, you know, as much as the division, it’s Yankees and Orioles. I mean, unless Toronto or Tampa Bay or it doesn’t mean Tampa Bay can’t win three out of four this week. Oh no. And that was the point I was just gonna make, unless one of those teams really starts looking differently than they’ve looked over the first two months. It’s the Orioles and the Yankees duking it out for the division. And right now, the Yankees are, you know, the separating at least a little bit for right now, but, but to the point you just made, and you took the words right out of my mouth, these teams are still very capable, you know, these aren’t, this isn’t facing White Sox. This isn’t facing the Marlins, you know. This isn’t facing the Rockies, where those teams playing that, you know, in those divisions, you know, you kind of, you know, you kind of have a layup, you know. I mean, we saw this. The Orioles were reeling a little bit coming out of being swept in St Louis, and then they swept the White Sox, right? So, you know, they got to see that, and they got to benefit from that a little bit as far as what the Al Central is dealing with right now. So, you know, it’s not, it’s not doom and gloom, it’s not sound the alarm, it’s not panic. But, you know, this was definitely a disappointing finish to this series, because you take the first two in pretty convincing fashion, you had a chance to win on Wednesday, and you know, you just didn’t score. You scored two runs early, and just that was it after that. And then in the finale, you know, Kate Povich gives up the three run homer. Thought the defense let him down a little bit, but some soft contact. Yeah, he walked a couple guys, and at some times where he can’t do that. But, you know, for his major league debut, I saw enough to want to see a little bit more. That doesn’t mean for the next two months undisputed. But you know, I thought there was enough there to say, Okay, I want to see what adjustments does he make now? Because Brandon Hyde was, was complimentary. James McCann, you know, what? Was very complimentary. You know, backup catcher, and he’s not going to be negative, but very much made it sound like, you know, this kid will get better. So, you know, it’s, it’s got to command his stuff a little bit better. But I thought the fastball, you know, cutter combination, you know, his change up, wasn’t too much of a factor and that, and that’s a pitch that actually, you know, when you read some minor league scouting ports, scouting reports, you know, I think that’s a pitch that’ll be pretty critical and pivotal to his success as well. You know, curveball, like I said, was better as the game went on. And, you know, the sweeper, you know that that got him in trouble a couple times, but overall, I thought he pitched better than the stats showed, and this is just where they are right now. I mean, at least until Dean Kramer comes back. You know, I think Kate Povich or someone else is going to have to be a factor in that rotation, and that’s a rotation that already has Cole Irvin and already has Albert suara has in it right now. Now those two guys have, you know, especially Cole Irvin, have exceeded expectations to such a high degree, and you need that. But, you know, part of this is trying to just navigate this stretch, but you still want to put your best foot forward and win games. And for the most part, they’ve done that. I mean, again, they’re on pace to to win a couple more games than they did last year. It just doesn’t feel that way when the Yankees are winning every single night at this point in time. Alright,

Nestor J. Aparicio  28:27

so I’ve done my best this month to promote my my 25th anniversary film. No one listens. Everyone hears the I’m a blunt person shirt, obviously, from our friends of foreign daughter and curio wellness. So this is where I’m gonna, like, have a little fun with you, because my dad, when I put the stats in the paper, on the Sunday paper, you would always have the loop leaders. Google that one, Luke. I’m gonna keep doing that, because loop sounds like Luke, but all the old farts out there will know what the loop leaders were. Which was batting average, home run, stolen bases, top five of each one was the loop leaders, right? But on Sunday, we put all the averages in, we put all the standings in, we put the wide standings in. And one of the measurements that was always in the sporting news was month by month, you know, the measurement of how you are in April versus May, versus June. And I think, over the history of any team, you go back to some of those Hargrove teams that went three and 23 in September, or, you know, some Buck show Walter team that went 24 and five in July, or whatever the numbers were. But this team’s going to smell good in the end. You said they’re on pace to 100 304 games, right? So they’re going to have that sort of 17 and 718, and nine. You know, all of those numbers, and in my mind, are almost like when a football team is 12 and 410, and six. It sort of gages where you are, right? This is a month where they’re going to play a lot of games, 2829 games, whatever the number winds up being, they’ll have a rain out or whatever happens, right? I look at the Orioles schedule, and I see what’s ahead, and it’s. Is June, 789, 10, weekend, I’m gonna come home next week, and that’s good home cooking. Atlanta, Philly, Cleveland, New York, you know, all these teams then I’m like, I wonder who the Yankees are playing this month. You know, like, let’s, let’s, if we’re gonna measure ourselves, dude, you got me going a week ago. I’m like, I’m not, I know right schedule now. You got me at least evaluating this, because I, despite what the whistler or Greg Bader, I do this professionally here on the rabbin doing this for 40 years, so I look at this and I’m like, All right, what are the Orioles going to be given their circumstance, given no days off, given so so pitching. And I’m being kind, you know what I mean. This is not their best pitching. This is not the way they drew it up in January. We go through this with the cost every year. When Lamar is not playing in December, we’re like, this isn’t really the way they drew it up. This isn’t their real team and hardball and to cost to be the first one to point that out, if this thing goes sideways and Kramer never makes it back, and Bradish becomes a rumor, I don’t know what the hell they’re gonna do, right? Like, because these aren’t the names wells all the names you were talking about, not to mention burns we didn’t even talk about until the Super Bowl, right? So for me, with the pitching and where they are, and me being not a negative person, or I’m Baltimore positive, I’ve watched a lot of baseball, this is sort of where it gets hot and it gets crowded, and good teams are where they’re playing. They’re playing the best teams in the sport the next three weeks, every night, every night with no off, nights with not their best team right now, now they can hit the hell out of the ball. I have no doubt that they’ll they’ll be nice, they’ll score six runs, eight runs, 10 runs, and they’ll win games. And there’ll be nights when Corbin burns, sticks it you shoves, as they say the kids. By the way, if I go back to shoves, I gotta think that’s the Earl Weaver reference to shoving the bats up. But nonetheless, I look at this month and say, 16 and 1218, and 10? Really? Are they going to be that good? 14 and 14, I don’t know, but the Yankees, I looked at this and I said, Are you and the Yankees have played some they beat the twins up. They beat the Giants up. They had the angels in the padres, but the mariners are good. The White Sox aren’t. Yeah, they played a little bit of a mixed bag, like us. Their bag now is Dodgers. This weekend. I always love Dodgers, Yankees. It reminds me to be at 10 Royals at Kansas City, better team at Boston. Then they get the Orioles for those games, and we’re going to be a Costas for that the end of that. That’s the Thursday game. We’re doing the show Costas that day. And then they play the Braves, and then they play, they go the Mets Blue Jays. I at the end of the month, the Blue Jays are the end of their month. And I look at the Orioles, and I think to myself, if the Yankees, I’m not saying they’re gonna play 700 ball, but you gotta assume we’re seven days in, and they’re seven and oh, that that they’re gonna be 18 and 10 on a bed. They did have to go eight and 10 to be 18 and 10, right? This month, it’s gonna be a swing to where you better make sure you’re not seven or eight games back on July 1, because I don’t know that they’re going to pick up ground this month. I don’t know. And dude, if they do, if on the Fourth of July, they’re the ones with the two game lead, because they want to, they’ve got the New York and sweet, I like, this is a really pivotal couple of weeks because of the Orioles health, in their pitching, the question marks, the relentless schedule and the teams they’re playing. I don’t make too much of it, but I started to the last couple days when you and I have had a little Parting of the Ways, and you get to go watch football because they let you in, and I’m watching baseball because, I mean, by the way, Brad Brock and nah, nah, you know. I mean, like, it’s, you know, I don’t know Brad Brock now, and most of the audience was nah. But I sat and watched all of this, and I’m looking at where this is going to be, I am a little worried. They’re going to be eight back, and there’s going to be a perception that their second choice, you know, that they’re not filet mignon, they’re more down on the sirloin steak, and they’re still very good, but there’ll be a perception of that. If there’s seven or eight or nine games back, and I’m looking at it, I’m thinking they’re really gonna have to make some hay here with Kohler, you know, with some of these other pitchers, as well as the bullpen, and they’re gonna have to hit the ball against the best teams in the sport the next three weeks. Not that they can’t. They’re capable. But I’m worried about the pitching, I’m worried about the depth, I’m worried about the schedule this. This is this, if they get out of this at 16 and 12 this month, that still might the Yankees might be 25 and four. Yeah, I

Luke Jones  34:32

mean, and that’s, that’s part of it for me. I mean, at some point in time, you keep asking the question, are the are the Yankees really going to be a 110 win plus team. I mean, that’s, that’s my question. I mean, if they’re going to continue to win at a 700 clip the way that they have, then you’re not going to catch them. Yeah, it’s going to be extremely difficult. It’s going to be extremely difficult. And they do have better pitching. I mean, I you know. I don’t have any. I don’t think I’m being a hater, saying that. I

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:02

think okay, well, then admitting that I know that Mike Elias knows that that means they better get it better. The pitching better. Get better here for all

Luke Jones  35:12

but there’s also okay noted at the same time, are the Yankees gonna stay healthy with their pitching? I mean, look, I mean, we saw this with Tampa Bay last year, you know. And at this point last year, you and I, as much as we were talking about the Orioles being really good, Tampa Bay was better, you know, they were ahead of them in the standings. Remember, Tampa Bay got off to that amazing start over the first 30 or 40 games, we, you know, made a few comparisons to the 84 tigers. You know, that’s what kind of start they got off to. But the Orioles hung around, and then by July, they overtook them. So, you know, I mean, you never know what’s going to happen. But the big thing that really short circuited the rays was, I mean, look at the guys they lost. They lost McClanahan, multiple starters in the rotation. You know, they needed career years from guys in their lineup just to to stick with the Orioles the way that they did, and they did. It was admirable, but now you kind of feel like the other shoe was dropped a year later, where those guys that had career years at the plate aren’t having career years this year, and they’re still feeling the effects of those pitching injuries they had a year ago. So so yeah, I mean, and this is funny, because I’m laughing, just because you were so dismissive about talking about this in terms of the division race, this is where I’ll I’ll look at it from the other side and say, I think if you’re the Orioles, you just you need to focus on yourselves.

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:32

And, oh, no question, navigate this. I can’t worry about Johnny down just right now, right? We’re playing the Yankee 10 days. Let’s Yeah, exactly.

Luke Jones  36:42

And right, exactly when you get to that point. No question about it. But I think, and I will point this out, even though, yes, I have concerns about the pitching as well, but statistically, you know, their pitching is still held up pretty well. Statistically. I mean, it really has. I mean, I I know they gave up some runs on, you know, Thursday afternoon to, you know, settle for a split rather than three out of four. But, you know, go back and look the last couple weeks. And I’ll, I’ll be it. I know they haven’t faced a ton of offensive juggernauts here very recently, but you know, it’s held together, you know, and that’s why I said when, when you have Cole Irvin doing what he’s done, and what Albert Suarez has done and what Jacob Webb has done in the bullpen, I mean, those are huge contributions, because they weren’t necessarily contributions you were counting on. They weren’t necessarily guys that you were expecting to give you, that you know, to fill that kind of role, and they’ve done it, so you need that in the meantime. But yeah, I mean, Mike Elias at the very least. And I look at this rotation right now, I think I mentioned this to you the other day. I know I’ve talked about it with some other people as well, at the very least, if you sell me on burns, Grayson Rodriguez, and the big question being Kyle Bradish, of course. But if you sell me on those guys continuing to pitch, you know, Bradish, they try to give an extra day to here and there things along those lines, because you’re being mindful that, yeah, he had a UCL sprain, you know, several months ago. If you sell me on those three making it through in the late September and ready for October, I’ll take that top three against anyone and feel like I’ve got a really good puncher’s chance, you know. And you know, we could debate Yankees or, you know, whichever. And

Nestor J. Aparicio  38:19

we’re also 10 days off of Bradish, almost throwing a no hitter, of course, right, right. See how good he is, if you want to be dismissive of him, Oh, yeah. I mean,

Luke Jones  38:28

I have no questions in my mind at this point in time about Kyle Bradish is ability. I mean, he was one of the best pitchers in the American League last year. He really was, and he deserved to start game one last year, regardless of how it went or how it went for the Orioles against the Rangers in the Division Series. So it is not a question about the ability, it’s just the question about his health. Point is if, and that’s a big assumption, that’s a massive assumption. And I’m not saying that the Orioles should automatically proceed this way, but if you get those three healthy, and they stay healthy, and they’re pitching, well, I like that top three. So for me, the question becomes, and this is where I look at the rotation from a minimum standpoint, is there someone out there that can fortify the back half of the rotation, in a sense of someone who’s going to post up give you innings and pitch well enough to give you a chance every night that he goes out there. And you know, that’s kind of what Kyle Gibson was last year, right? I mean, posted up, made all of his starts pitch pretty well. He wasn’t great, you know, he, you know, but he pitched well, you know, he was certainly a positive rather than a negative on their 2023 forts. So look, it might even end up being Kyle Gibson, who knows, you know, depending on, I mean, you know the Cardinals and their fate over the next month. But you know, I think at a minimum, that’s the kind of picture that you’d be looking to try to add between now and the trade deadline, 30

Nestor J. Aparicio  39:55

something real, what the Rangers kicked our match with last year. Then, Oh, someone.

Luke Jones  39:59

And that that, you know, can give you, you know, at least a three, seven era, something like that. You know, not someone that’s that you’re gonna say, Oh, he’s starting Game Two, but someone that’s gonna really help you in August and September to get through to the finish line and to get to October 1 and say, Okay, it’s go time. And then that guy, he might be in your bullpen, or he might be your fourth starter in your rotation. I don’t know. So that’s where Kramer,

Nestor J. Aparicio  40:24

you know, that’s right, exactly. That’s where these guys, they have guys, but we don’t perceive them as such until they make that move. Right? Certainly. I mean, see a Povich the other day to say this is the best they have on the farm. All right? Well, I’ll say this because I did write this down a half an hour ago when this began, because you were talking about, I came into this thing. I’m worried about the pitching, right? That’s where this conversation started. Here’s the one thing about the bats. And you’re like, well, the bats could have been better and to write. And I’m like, but we don’t need new bats. We’re not we’re not thinking like we need to go acquire bat. We’re like, dude, if, if it ain’t Austin Hayes and it ain’t Cedric Mullins. Maybe it’s cursed at. If it’s not cursed at, maybe it’s cows, or if it’s not cows, or maybe, you know, we go down the holiday, yeah, or sours, right? I mean, we have those. We’ll figure that part of it out, right? I mean, unless rutchman and Henderson get hurt, then we got a mess. But, yeah, right. But like, if these are the players, and they’re healthy and nobody’s taking fastballs off their their ribs, like Hayes did the other day. That part of it, you know, we’re going to go with the bats we got. We don’t have to worry that the guide’s going to get us here. Isn’t here yet in the case of the pitching. And this is probably really disrespectful to Kramer and Irving, like all these guys, even Bradish, to some degree, I’m it’s not disrespectful to him. It’s just I’m not a believer. He’s got 148 innings in him, and 37 postseason innings in him, you know, over six star I just don’t, I don’t know that. I believe that right now that he’s shut down Kramer’s more interested in throwing sunflower seeds in the middle of in it. By the way, I hate that. I just want to say that out loud. If Greg Bader wants to fix something on the bro, stop that. Stop the only chance I get to see Colton cowser, I’m not clicking around on their little lounge. And I’m not I like it’s the broadcast. Keep it sacred. I’m a broadcaster. It me off. So anyway,

Luke Jones  42:19

but I don’t I think that’s such a funny thing to get mad about. But go ahead, sorry,

Nestor J. Aparicio  42:23

mad about it. I’m just like, you bring the player over to spend time. It annoys me. It infuriates me as a broadcaster. It infuriates me as a band broadcaster who’s not allowed there because of whatever reason. And this is what they put out for me to consume. Colton cowser, that’s all. That’s all. I’m really interested in Colton. I’ve never really heard him speak much like and I know he’s Mr personality and all this and the jumpsuits and like, I’m down with all that conduct the interview for six and a half minutes in the watch the game. We’re watching the game. We’re learning about Colton cows, or we’re not doing six minutes of annoyance while the game it I think it’s awful. And I haven’t said it all week, and I didn’t go online. It’s awful Now that being said, Dean Kramer should be worried about his next start, and he’ll be the guy I’ll be on like you’d have any problems spitting sunflower seeds. Get ready to pitch game three in October, dude. Because we’re not, we’re replacing your patient though. Like, I’m gonna, I’m gonna call you out on this is being a little ridiculous. Do we need more than him? Do we need because we’re talking about this spot. Kramer, oh, not just him, all the guys. Forget the spitting incident with the seeds I’m talking about, I’m talking about who’s going to pitch in October against the Yankees. I’d love for it to be Dean Kramer. I just don’t believe that right now. I’d love for it to be Kyle Bradish. I’m worried about that right now. And I love him with the dogs. And that’s the part of the Orioles I’m starting to love. I’m starting to love these guys, and that’s why I want to get to know the guys. That’s That’s my deal. Fair

Luke Jones  44:03

enough. Fair enough. I mean, I hear you on that. Look, I mean, there’s only so much you’re going to be unless you just want to trade away your entire farm system, there’s only going to be so much they can do. Look, I’m not sitting here saying not to add a picture. I you know the right deal. Absolutely. They certainly need to add a couple bolt pen arms, but some of this, and again, this is why I said, that’s where I still question, are the Yankees truly going to stay this healthy and be this good, this long, all the way in October? I mean, you know, okay, Garrett Cole you know, he’s starting to rehab assignment. Same, same questions for him as Kyle Bradish, right? He had an elbow issue, and there were concerns about him, and people were talking about Tommy John surgery for him back in March, in the same way that people were talking about that for Bradish. So, you know, do, does one of them stay healthy and the other doesn’t? Do they both stay healthy? Do neither stay healthy, and we’re talking about both of them having surgery come August. I don’t know. I mean, again. I don’t have a crystal ball for that, but you know, so much of this is just, I don’t mean you know that you don’t do anything to try to take care of your pitchers that you have, and I don’t mean that you don’t go out there and try to get someone but some of this is just, guys just need to stay healthy. I mean, if they don’t, then, yeah, they probably not, aren’t going to be in a position to make a deep October run. Then and say the same thing, if the Yankees lose two of their top starters. Or, same thing if Atlanta or, or, you know, Philadelphia, you know, best team in baseball, you know, if something happens to Zach Wheeler, or if Ranger Suarez, who’s having a career year and could end up being the National League starter in the All Star game, you know. And he’s, he’s the guy that you know is their number three, you know, on paper going into the season anyway, you know, if he doesn’t hold up and he starts to wear down, then the Phillies look way different. So, I mean, all these teams have these questions. So look, I don’t think there are enough answers out there on the trademark to not be in a position where you’re still going to have some questions, and you’re still going to be counting on guys to hold up. So I’ll hear you about Kyle Bradish. You know, I’m not going to make a bet on someone’s health. I mean, I just think that’s kind of gross, just to do that, but to sit there and say I’m fully confident that he’s going to pitch all year and not have an issue. And, you know, I don’t know how confident I am in anyone getting through a full season. And that

Nestor J. Aparicio  46:22

really right? For Lamar Jackson is a quarterback, right? Yeah,

Luke Jones  46:27

well, I mean, just the NFL in general, right? I mean,

Nestor J. Aparicio  46:30

you know, quarterbacks every December are injured eight maybe. Fair enough. Fair enough. Yeah, you got to make sure he’s not one of them, but, but again, I don’t forget that way with pitchers. A third of the pitchers are hurt at the end of the year, right? But that’s my thing. Like, I

Luke Jones  46:43

don’t know how much you can do to offset that, and some of it is just, you’re going to have to, you know, you just try to manage these guys. And you know, if someone needs to be skipped, you skip them. If someone needs to be bumped back a day or two, then you bump them back a day or two, like they’re doing with Kyle Bradish right now. And that doesn’t mean that they’re that they’re doomed. It just means at that point in time, they might need to be skipped for a couple days, or you might, you know, Grayson Rodriguez last year. I mean, there were, you know, debates about the innings limits and all the different things. You know, we talked about this a lot, and it’s something I even said to you at the time.

Nestor J. Aparicio  47:16

It was always an issue with wells for you, right? Yeah. But

Luke Jones  47:21

with Grayson Rodriguez and Dean Kramer and Kyle Bradish, you know, we talked about this last September, and we were so focused on October. I know I at least once or twice said to you, let’s revisit this in March and April and May, because when you talk about these pitchers that have these career highs and innings, a lot of times, if there’s an issue, it doesn’t show up until the following spring. And sure enough, it did with Kyle radish. Now, you know, John means wasn’t in that same conversation, because he was coming back from Tommy John. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  47:46

it was wells too. They shut down at the All Star, yeah, last year. Oh, yeah.

Luke Jones  47:50

I mean, they, you know. And some of that was, you know, he just lost some of his Velo and, you know, I mean, I wanted to see Tyler wells in the in the bullpen. But then the health issues they had in the rotation to start the year he was in the rotation. So does that mean he would have stayed healthy in the pen? Who knows? I mean, you know, you can kind of sit here and try to fit, fit the narrative the way you want to, but you know, at this point in time, it’s just they’ve they need to stay healthy. And it’s not again, I don’t think it’s panic, but they need to make do with what they have for the moment, and in the meantime. Mike Elias, yeah, does need to be surveying what’s out there. And the one thing I’ll say, and then you know, because I know we’re wrapping up, going back to what you said about the offense, the outfield needs to pick it up. I mean, from a standpoint of, you have all these options yet. Okay, Santander came, came alive here recently. Hayes kind of, sort of, maybe, is coming alive here. You know, you had the really good two home run game. But Cedric Mullins, Colton cows are, you know, got it has to start getting results again. You know, Kyle Stowers, I I’d like to see play a little bit more, quite frankly, but they’ve got to find more consistency out of that group. For me to just sign off on what you said about the offense collectively. You know, Gunner, Jordan Westberg, at this point, I have confidence in him. Adley, go down the list as far as our infield options. Jackson holiday is going to be back in the major leagues at some point, and I think it’s going to go way better this time around. But outfield, they need more consistency there. There are too many options they have out there for them to be getting the less than optimal production from that group overall. So that’s all I’ll say. But hey, this is still a really good baseball team. There’s frustration, because the Yankees have been great. The Yankees have been historically great as far as this start, just keep winning games. Keep winning series. Dust yourself off after a disappointing end of the Toronto series, go down to Tampa and take care of business there. Win three out of four, and then you come home and yeah, Atlanta and Philly, you better be ready, because you’re talking about, you know, the best team in Bay. Ball and the Braves, who are still very much a viable nationally contender, even if the division’s not looking so hot for them right now, I just

Nestor J. Aparicio  50:09

want to revisit the Dean Kramer thing. It’s not Dean Kramer. It’s any of those guys in any this isn’t about this is about every time they put a player on it’s worthless. It’s worthless. And they got to stop that, because they wouldn’t be doing that to sigma Dell or Mike Elias, who are great when they sit in for an inning and when they bring the owner in for an inning, or when they when they bring Greg Bader in, for anybody that’s going to explain what’s going on with the team, and I’m going to learn something about anything regarding the team. It is a broadcast, and it should. And that being said, I hate all the in game interviews in general, the coach hardball, on Brent Harris and just angry coaches. I mean, Howard chair did my show one of my life for friends. He was the original ballpark reporter 30 years ago with all those guys. We talked about Ben McDonald and the CHEO Martinez class and all that. And we were at State Fair doing the show. And we were, he’s a hockey first guy. I met him in a hockey game 40 years ago, and we were talking about why he doesn’t spend money with the caps and how he’s in Birdland insider club member. We were just talking about sports in general, and he’s a hockey guy. And he’s like, I cannot believe in the Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Finals that they’re grabbing Paul Maurice in a line change and trying to talk to him and Howard coach hockey, he’s like, it’s just, it’s mind blowing that that anybody could think this is a good idea. And I would say that for the NBA finals and Doris Burke and like she used to do that, going down and trying to grab these people in the middle of games. I don’t think, I think it’s an awful idea to do it. I think it’s an even worse idea when hazing is going on every single time it happens, and the people that own the franchise threw the broadcaster off for a month last year because they didn’t think he was professional enough. It’s insane. But like, that’s my feeling on it. I want to get to know Colt I want to get to know all of these players when they give me a half an inning and I get to see their personality, their brain, watch the game with them a little bit. Stop it. It’s sacred. And I mean that sincerely, it’s sacred. So as a broadcaster, Luke Jones is here. He’s not a jerk. I am, but I am a blunt person. He is Baltimore. Luke out on the interwebs. I am a blunt person in every in every aspect, out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, when they let me, when they let journalists and stuff like that, and I’m a little chippy. It’s summertime. We’re doing the Maryland crab cake tour. I’ve had crab cakes all sorts of stuff, give a little care to my wife, who broke her ankle last weekend. But we’re going to be back out on the road. We’re going to be Cocos on Wednesday. We’re going to be at Cooper’s and Fells Point during Fleet Week on Friday, we’re going to be Acosta on the 20th and I swear, by the time I get to Pappas on the 25th I’ll realize it’s the 25th and not the 26th It is Tuesday at Pappas and Parkville. We’re looking forward to that. So a lot of crab cakes this month, lot of nice weather this month, some concerts, and certainly some great, great baseball, with the Orioles coming back home, beginning against the Braves, and then the Phillies next week and Fleet Week, lots of good stuff happening here in the land of pleasant living. I am Nestor. We are wnst. Am 1570 Towson, Baltimore. Sometimes we’re even talking to rock stars like Thomas Dolby this week. Or politicians and people handle the money like Bill Henry, or people opening the new crab cake Emporiums like my friend Amy at fadelies this week. And it’s great to see Nancy in the news on Thursday night, too. So all of our sponsors, all the people to make it happen, have a great weekend. We’re W N, S t stay with us. We’ll talk some ravens after this. You.

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