Sizing up the Orioles roster as Opening Day beckons

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With Opening Day right around the corner and the abundance of talents brimming from the expanded roster of the Baltimore Orioles, our Luke Jones discusses pitching, the outfield and how all of these guys aren’t coming north with the big league team.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

orioles, talked, feels, ownership, team, year, baseball, yankees, players, win, couple, question, big, john, farm, spring training, prospects, camden yards, roster, red sox

SPEAKERS

Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

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Welcome home we are wn S T A and 5070, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive we’re gonna be getting the Maryland crabcake tour back out on the road. Now where am I? Oh guapo shirt on the air here for the first time well actually fits nice. I must be losing some weight. At one point it was kind of tight on me. And then I think it shrunk in the closet. Maybe I’m my plan of fitness cards paying off for me. You’re at this point. Just a shout out for friends. It’ll go off. I got some chips two weeks ago. You know, I talk a lot about Beaumont. I talk a lot about state fair. And we’ll talk enough about El Guapo and the basement there and the sports thing they got going on. So we’re going to do more of that baseball season around here. We’re going to have more tequila, why not must tequila as Sammy Hagar once said, this guy and I don’t know if you’ve ever had to kill I think we have I dragged him out to a holy O’s in San Francisco. We have had to kill it together. Maybe even in in South Beach at one point or another. Luke Jones joins us now. It is almost baseball season sort of. I it always comes back to this I got a pitch about the games not being on mass. And so David Rubenstein years me so that it feels like baseball season next march in a way that it hasn’t, where you’re sort of stuck the game on the afternoon while you’re distracted in sort of a good way in some way. I think we’re all sort of distracted by whatever the ownership things going to be. I’ve talked to a lot of folks here this week, whether it’s John Eisenberg, or Rick Vaughn, or John Moran, or just lots and lots of stuff about baseball, but we’re a couple of weeks out, dude, it’s how it happens quick, right? I mean, it feels like pitchers and catchers. Oh my god, it’s St. Patrick’s Day. And that’s just wearing green Mexican stuff. And you want to get in Florida next week and boom, it’s gonna be opening day, man. It

Luke Jones  01:37

really Yeah, it comes up quickly on you. And I think for as much as there’s that early excitement, when pitchers and catchers report full squad, you get to the first few spring great games, a couple games that are on mass. And I think you do get to about this point, you know, as you approach St. Patrick’s Day, let’s say where, okay, it’s getting close to be in time. Right. And the Orioles over the weekend officially announced Corbin Burns is their opening day starter. Look, I didn’t send out the wn S T text alert because the news there would have been if Corbin burns wasn’t the opening day starter. So we knew that that was going to be the case assuming he was healthy, even if the results have been a little shaky. And look that’s part of the big discussion in spring training. I mean the Orioles have a great record what 14 and two I get, I guess a tie mixed in there as well. But for me it’s more of the individual you know the young guys performing Yeah, Jackson holiday hits a Grand Slam off of a legitimate left handed starter for for the Blue Jays. And you say Kikuchi over the weekend, I mean, on up to striker to pitch, lefty, lefty, Jackson holidays, hitting and hitting at a high clip in spring training and not

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:52

shocking to no one by the way. Right? I

Luke Jones  02:54

mean, look, I don’t want to know, it’s not shocking at the same time. I think anyone who has an appreciation for how hard it is to do, what he’s doing and what he did last year, as a 19 year old at all the way through the triple A level. It’s not shocking, but that’s a testament to what kind of special talent this guy is. And he’s going out and doing it. Look, he might be the

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:22

one that gets all the money. By the way. We’re all over Henderson and rutschman. We’re trying to figure out who’s getting the money. You’re hoping you’re here. Maybe although we get the money here with care. He’s 70 years old. What’s one World Series? Come on? Come on, Dave. Let’s go, you know, yeah, yeah. But I think what

Luke Jones  03:39

you love to see, even though I think it’s very, I’ll say it year after year after year, it’s very, it’s a slippery slope to make too much out of spring training stats, because again, who are they facing? are they facing major league pitchers? are they facing legitimate prospects? are they facing organizational arms? Or are they facing some teams guy that’s going to start the year in high A, and you’re facing him in the seventh inning when you hit your home run? So so there’s always that but I think as it pertains to these young guys, you’d much rather you know, and this is the captain obvious statement. You’d much rather see them performing rather than struggling in the grapefruit League and to see Jackson Holliday doing what he’s doing to see what Colton Couser has done. I think what has four home runs and he’s hitting at a high clip. Hey, how about someone like Kobe Mayo who maybe you and I haven’t talked about a lot, but he’s one of their best prospects. And all Brandon Hyde has talked about is okay, everyone has talked about Kobe Mayo’s bat. But the big question for him, probably in a way even though he’s always been perceived to have more upside, but perceived in a way that we used to talk about Ryan mountcastle As he was going through the minors the big question was always okay, Where’s he gonna play? And with Kobe male right and heights talked a lot about his defensive third base looking good. So now, let me be clear, I don’t have any experts. He and he’s gonna make the opening day roster. But for him to do what he’s done in the spring on the heels of what he did last year, being in triple A, and if he can go down to Norfolk and continue to play good defense at third base and hit the cover off the ball, he’s gonna be in Baltimore at some point this year. So, I mean, it’s just it really is a situation with the Orioles as far as their prospects go, the rich get richer and the excitement continues to grow. And yeah, I mean, there are question marks. And, you know, we’re continuing to monitor Kyle Bradish. And John means and I’m still not remotely in love with what the bullpen looks like, at this point in time, even though they’re you know, it’s not as though there aren’t, you know, they’re devoid of arms, but just a lot of question marks their right to

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:42

love the team when you don’t love the pitching, right. And we can all be excited about this. And that and prospects have some, you know, they gotta go take the ball and pitch and sure, if they’re winning nine to seven every night, that that’s sort of a new world of baseball, if they’re doing that, but I don’t think that’s the way they want to play. It’s certainly not the way Mike Elias wants to play it. But to your point, this wealth of bats in this wealth of depth means something in regard to getting pitching. I just just keep going through all these guys can’t play.

Luke Jones  06:12

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Yeah, I mean, to your point, it means something in the big picture, right? I mean, whether it’s those individuals get into the major leagues, you know, and obviously, we’ve seen Gunnar Henderson and Jordan and Jordan Westberg and Adley rutschman. And, and the young guys, you know, graduate and become major leaguers. We’re gonna see more of that this year. You know, we’ve been we’ve talked about it a lot last week, you and I spent a lot of time talking about the outfield and what that’s not that the starters that there’s any question about the the three incumbents, right? But we know Anthony Santander is a free agent after this year. We know that Austin Hays and Cedric Mullins have dealt with either injuries at different points or inconsistency, you know, in the case of Hayes wearing down in the second half, and Mullins case injuries and he’s dealt with a little bit of a hamstring this spring. But in the meantime, it’s okay. How does Colton Couser fit into that picture? How does Heston keirstead fit into that picture? I mean, Kyle sours has had a nice spring. So the excitement lies in having so many options, and what that means for your roster at those positions, but also what it could mean doesn’t mean today or tomorrow or even next week, but at some point in time, what that could mean in terms of going out and getting, whether it’s another starting pitcher, whether it’s another high end, high leverage back end of the bullpen kind of arm you have options you have depth

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:37

32 years here I’ve been every year we talk I’ve been on the radio, I’m doing this crazy documentary just going through all the ish. I we’ve never had anything like this. I mean, especially with new ownership coming in me, pitch me for crying out loud. Like I’m talking about baseball all day every day. We couldn’t do that for years. You couldn’t talk about any of these options. Find that all pictures of me and said Thrift, bro. I mean, like it’s crazy. And thinking about baseball conversations I had about, you know, the greatness of Alex Ochoa and rocky kompanija. And, you know, and these guys that weren’t. But at some point. I mean, Jackson Holliday, I sit here and watch all this. And I scratch my head and say, what’s, what’s the script here? What’s the book that Luke’s gonna write in 2028? Or 29? How’s this going to turn out? And I would have no hope for any of it. If John Angelos were still in control of this thing, you know, in the future, but because it feels like the tectonic plates are shifting in a lot of different ways. There’s almost like powder in the keg here. That was never, ever anything we could ever talk about or even think about around your and I’ll be honest with you, and I watch a lot of baseball, you watch a lot more in the modern era than I. I don’t know that we’ve ever talked about organizations like this where you have maybe the Yankees when they have more money than everybody else. And they could sort of do whatever they wanted to do years ago, until it got flattened out with luxury tax and whatnot. But there haven’t been the Astros in recent years, I guess. Maybe the A’s, the A’s. In the end, the rays always had these farm systems and always had players and moving guys around, but nothing like this. Yeah,

Luke Jones  09:26

I mean, the Cubs a decade ago that comes to mind. I mean, look, I mean, there have been good farm systems. But the Orioles haven’t been in that conversation. And you really have to go back to the late 70s, early 80s. I mean, since then, I mean, really, the Orioles glory days, they dried up long before Peter Angelos arrived even in the sense that the farm system started to dry up in the early 80s. And all those players save for Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray. Really and look at a couple others in there. But the rest of the core of that team got old And then in the mid 80s, as you know, they started dipping into free agency and Don Aussie and Lee Lacey and Fred Lynn and you know, guys like that. That’s when it dried up. And their farm system in the 40 years since then, until the last five years with under Mike Elias has never been in any kind of a position where, okay, there have been a couple a couple moments in time where they might have had a farm system one year in isolation that ranked somewhat favorably, but never in have they been in a position that they’ve been in the last few years where it’s been a few years in a row now three, four years in a row now and still going strong, where they’ve had the consensus top farm system in baseball or, you know, maybe a descending dissenting opinion would say, Oh, well, I don’t have them at number one, but they’re number two,

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:49

and they haven’t really dealt anything. And they got a number one starter out of at least rental standpoint. They haven’t dealt any of the guys we’ve not even mountcastle Not even whispered I mean guys we talked about early on, we’re like, Well, you know, this could bring a number to start or skip bring that they still have all the powder in the kick now. Last Batista about to lose Brad, you know, I mean, fine. But from a nutrition standpoint, you start to lose some of that. But there’s, it feels like a never ending bowl, and it feels like to what we talk about. And this speaks to the Ravens a little bit too, right and McDonnell getting this big gig out in Seattle is when you’re when you have good teachers when you have good trainers. Patrick Queens get better under different leadership, right. But players get better pitchers and hitters get better in this system. And we can start with guys they take from Kansas City scrap heap and put them in and they and they blossom like a prospect all over again. The pitchers that they the reclamation projects in Houston, all of that exists here. But you always like when we talk about trade you always like this is a piece in a deal this, they have a piece we never had any pieces. And I never talked about the word piece in 30 years other than piece with Peter Angelo. So that’s PAC, different kind of piece. But like they’ve never had pieces and deals ever, ever, ever, ever. Well,

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Luke Jones  12:13

because they needed though the guys that would have been pieces and I think recently you and I even I brought up the example of what 2014 When you know the year they got Andrew Miller, John Lester was someone that they were talking about and the thought at the time was okay, you’re gonna have to give up Dylan Bundy or Hunter Harvey? Well, the thought was the Orioles needed those guys to you know they were going to need those guys moving forward. Whereas you look at the system now. And look, they’re not going to trade Jackson Holliday, we know that. And we saw that last year with what the White Sox, I don’t know if it’s ever been confirmed. But the expectation was, they were asking for someone like him for Dylan Cece, and Mike Elias told them to kick rocks, you know, I mean, it’s like we’re not treating this guy for, for Dylan sees. But the point is, you have such an abundance of talent now and your system. But this is where things get more exciting on the front of new ownership coming in. Look, and you’ve said it begrudgingly. But you know if John Angeles deserves credit for one thing, it is that he that they hired Mike Elias, and that they have kind of sort of, you know, at least gotten out of the way in terms of doing what he did to build a farm system. But now as you get to this point in time, you’ve already had some success. You have a major league roster that won 101 games last year, that’s largely intact, albeit some injuries and look, you’re just going to have that every team has injuries that’s part of it’s part of the overall made, they added a number one starter, so at least, but they potentially lost their number. You know, they’re number one from a year ago. So so it’s still not a wash. But the net increase is a little more modest there. But the point is they have so many assets, they have so much organizational depth, they have this farm system that continues to get better. And look, I mean, Jackson holiday, as we’re talking about two and a half weeks to go until opening day. I mean, it’s got a 900 plus Oh, PS in the grapefruit League, and it’s got a couple of home runs a couple trips, or he’s got a homerun he’s got a couple triples couple doubles. I mean, he’s looked apart, in addition to what they’ve already done, and you made mention of their player development and you know, I still see it I even saw it over the weekend on Twitter, you know where I’ll still see some people make mention of okay, the Orioles have this farm system. They’ve been picking the top five how many years noted, noted, however, Gunnar Henderson just won Rookie of the Year, let this past year he wasn’t picked in the top five. You know, he wasn’t he wasn’t the first overall pick. He wasn’t a fifth overall pick. So they’ve also developed players so but to bring it back to then identify players sure to bring it back to the ownership question or solution as if looking more and more like you know, this could even be finalized by opening day or shortly there. After, but now you’re at a position where you’ve built this thing. And under the Angelo’s family, I think there was still going to be a question as to where as in the same way there was a decade ago, when things were going well under buckshaw, Walter and Dan, do cat think there was always a question of okay, what’s the ceiling on this thing? What are the limitations on this thing? I mean, the Orioles 10 years ago, we talked about the fact that they won in spite of ownership. Right. And Dan, do cat Trent, as weird as it was sometimes doing things that not everything worked out. But a lot of stuff did work out pretty nicely. And Buck show Walter doing what he did, and the players that they had working out and having a core that was really good, I’ll be at for a limited window. But now you’re at a point where you built this thing, you want to maintain it, you want it to continue to grow, and you want to sustain it for the long term. And that’s where new ownership can come in and spend money, when it makes sense to keep some guys to sign someone in free agency to you know, to go out and acquire a piece via trade and then extend that guy. And I’m not saying that they’re going to do that with Corbin burns, but it might be someone else, that they go and acquire and extend. So you have resources and you hope you have the wherewithal with new ownership coming in to take what is already something that’s becoming great. And to continue that and to be a good steward for that, you know, this ownership group has a coming in has a great advantage in in from the standpoint of, you know, imagine if this was five years ago, or six years ago, and the Angeles family was selling then then you were talking about, okay, new ownerships great. We can all dream, but you still have to build, you still have to rebuild an organization that so much is in place already. Now it’s a matter of okay, what can Rubinstein come in and do to help them get over the hump, you know, what can they do on the business side to improve ticket sales and to improve the TV situation, all those different things, but they have such a, they’re, they have such a great jumping off point. And that’s where things are so exciting that, you know, if you’re a fan right now, you don’t even have to focus that much on the ownership part of it, even though it’s very, very important because of where they are on the field right now. And that’s where this thing is so exciting, because ownership, the new group can come in and be heroes from the standpoint of, it’s not this Herculean task in terms of doing some building something on the field, it’s a matter of, okay, how can we augment? Who can we keep long term, guys that we’re not going to keep long term? Who Can we trade and, and, you know, go out and get a piece that we need for the bullpen or a number three starter, you know, because a couple guys are hurt, or whatever it is. So, I mean, those are the questions that were always going to be there, if this team was continued to be owned by the Angelo’s family, in terms of what the ceiling was going to be now feels like they’re, within reason, understanding that, I don’t think they’re going to spend like the LA Dodgers spend, for example. But you feel that that ceiling is so much higher now, even if there is a ceiling, let’s say. So. It’s just it’s really, really exciting. And, again, the focus is so exciting just on the field alone, but knowing that you do have new ownership coming in, and a group that presumably wants to make take this things to take this thing to new heights, and take the payroll higher when it makes sense to do it and make decisions on the business side that makes sense, and being good stewards and overseeing renovations of Camden Yards. And figuring out what Masson and TVs going to look like in general, as we’ve said, is a big challenge for every major league baseball team right now in terms of something that’s going to make sense and be feasible and viable for the big picture. So there are a lot of challenges in there. I want to be clear, this ownership group does face some challenges. But boy, they’re coming in with the Orioles kind of feel on the field, feeling like they’re on third base right now. And they just need a a sharp, sharply hit ball to the outfield to push this thing across the finish line in terms of having a chance to get to a World Series. So doesn’t mean that’s happening this year. Let’s be clear, you got to still go out and play and stay healthy and all that. But wait, I mean, this is exciting. And to your point that you made a couple minutes ago. I mean, I don’t care how optimistic you’ve been at the about the Orioles at any point in time, whether we’re talking 2014 or 1997. Or even going back to why not? 1989 Right. I mean, the surprise and magic of that and thinking okay, well, they’ve got this young core, maybe that’s to go to the new ballpark. We’ll see. That’s pre Peter angelos, even right there even then. Yeah, yeah, exactly. But but this is I mean, the Orioles haven’t been in this position in my lifetime. I mean, they just haven’t, and I’m 40 years old. So speaks to where they are from a farm system standpoint. And now it’s a case of new ownership coming in. How can you make this thing even better? How can you sustain it? How can you push them across the finish line, so to speak. And, you know, Mike Elias obviously made the big move with Corbin burns, and we’ll, we’ll see what else is in store for this roster, which I’m not guaranteeing a move. By opening day or anything like that, let’s be clear. But boy, I mean, they have the resources to make another big move, or to at some point in time here, as we get into the season, and certainly, as we get into the summer and the trade deadline, but in the meantime, a lot to like about this baseball team right now. And we’re seeing that with some of these prospects who may not even begin the season in Baltimore, but they’re common. And we talked

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:50

about everybody except Santander and Hayes and Motley we all we do is talk about the guys who might not even be on the team at this point. I mean, it’s kind of like in the preseason with the ravens, if you’re gonna win the Super Bowl, nobody plays you’re like, you know, look at that Kate Mitchell, or look at that, Bobby Rainey or whatever it is, Luke Jones is here, I think he was over at the Royal farms already just filling up the gas tank, because he’s gonna be up and down at three from Shrewsbury into Camden Yards. So I want to go kayfabe, your like, like stuff, shoot interview? Are you a little more excited, just in general, like you want to go to Florida next week. I’m excited about it. Because I said this. And I’ll continue to say it out loud. Because it’s lasted 30 years, I’ve been treated like an animal. I mean, I’ve been treated like an animal that would be abused, quite frankly, for 30 years. I don’t know what it would be like to show up and have people be nice to me. I really hope that that happens. I don’t know that that’s going to happen in Sarasota. I have low expectations, because I was in Arlington four months ago. And some of the same people are there. But I, you know, my expectation is for my wife and I because I have a calendar, my Google calendar and the Orioles game show up in my calendar. And I don’t put them in orange, I put them in sort of like a sort of a light brown like a tan. So they don’t like explode on my calendar. So I can just see that they’re playing and what hours they’re playing. And it’s already started, like I was, you know, making a plan in April with a friend and I’m like, Hey, let’s my friends in from out of town. Let’s meet because the Orioles are playing a one o’clock game. And you know, we’re gonna do a game and let’s go to the Hollywood casino and see a game and like, I’m getting into this, my wife and I were like, alright, what games are we going to win? I always say, the ones where the weather’s nice that those are the games I go to you go to them all. And you want to not all but a friggin lot of them when I’m your boss. And I didn’t tell you you had to go, you know what I mean. But there’s something about getting in your car in Pennsylvania going down there when they’re 3162. And they’re on their second manager this year. And it’s awful. And there’s nobody there. The good news is no traffic, right? I mean, I experienced that going to the concert two weeks ago to cfg. Banker. And I’m like, Yeah, you know, I mean, the good news is all the big bands come to bat is a lot of people and like getting in for journey concerts a little more, I would expect that some of the problems I had when I moved downtown in 2003, that we’re going to start seeing some people come I believe that and, and I believe these new owners are going to let me in and be nice people and like I just I want to believe that Baltimore positive. I really like other than John Angelos and Chad steel, I’ve managed to really kind of get along with almost everybody in the community. I’m looking forward to this renaissance, putting on my orange Jersey going down there as a fan, walking around having the air be a little fresher. I don’t know what that feel, I just can’t. You’ve walked in my shoes. You saw how they treated you in Arlington back in October, take that times 30 years. For me, it’s going to be different. And I’m looking forward to it for you. It’s same old same old press box, you go down into your thing, but I would think your pep in your step for your calendar. And maybe some Friday nights and Saturday nights where Nestor is not making Luke go and you got church and you’re Deacon Jones, you got family and you’re but you’re gonna go to a lot of baseball games this year. I’m thinking, I’m thinking you’re really more into it than the average bird and we don’t talk about it much.

Luke Jones  24:27

Well, I mean, to your point, I was going to a lot of games in 2019 and 21. And you know, where they’re losing 100 plus games. So yeah, of course. I mean, the excitement level. I mean, I think it’s important to you know, and I’m saying this more as a fan than anything, you know, from a fan mindset that it’s a long season. And I’ll say this much. This team could be better from a talent standpoint than it was a year ago and may not win 101 games. Let’s be clear about that because of the division. which you play, and it’s a long season and knowing that they stayed as healthy as they stayed a year ago, until Batista has elbow injury in late August. So so there’s a little bit of that. And I think that’s where it’s important to keep that in mind. And this is where it’s not, not completely different from the ravens, and from the standpoint of this team’s going to be judged on Yes, they have to get there first. And let’s be clear about that. And don’t take that for granted in the same way that Ravens fans shouldn’t take that for granted with the football team. But they’re gonna be judged on what they do in October in the way that the Ravens Now we talked about it, especially after this past year where it’s all about January, January, January and early February, you hope. So there is some of that going on. But just in the day to day, the excitement of the season starting and look on the first day of spring training when you get the news about Kyle Bradish. And John means isn’t going to be ready for opening day. It was a little bit of a buzzkill. We talked about that at the time. But I think there’s just such a sense of excitement. As far as just kind of limitless possibilities. I mean, how many times over the last 40 years, did Orioles fans go into spring training? Thinking? Got a heck of a job? Not? Okay, if if the stars align perfectly, maybe?

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:21

Well, the Yankees and Red Sox had been a big part of that the last 25 years now. And there was always a big bad wolf. Look in 79 it was the Red Sox. I mean, I remember taking the bus with my papa was Jim rice and Fred. I mean, they were the really good team at that point. Then the Tigers in 84. I’m just talking about areas where they could win. I mean, sure, dude, I, I got every baseball, I got a sports radio station for 32 years. I’m going through all these years of all of this and why the Orioles haven’t been a bigger part of this. It’s because they’ve had a clown for an owner for 30 years. And it’s all been kind of taken away from me and from us and from our community that we can win to and that it can be good again. But there have been so few years to your point. I used to put the Oriole section together at the Baltimore Sun back in the 80s when Earl Weaver came back in and the Orioles free preview section was like a big thing and a paper 8687 88 You know, and then 89 happens and what 89 happens you think 9091 are gonna happen? We’re gonna know new ballpark. And then it just it must have been like when Castro and Che came out of it. You know, it just stays 1951 forever. You know what I mean? Like it because that’s where the Angelo’s thing is to say how many March? How many St. Patrick’s day have I worn green? And thought they had a chance while being the best team. I mean, the Yankees or the Red Sox have always been the best team. And when that not them Tampa figured it out. They were a joke for a while they haven’t been since 20 years, they’ve been pretty good. And Toronto has always had money in the country behind him and like all that. It’s always been that division. Right? I mean, and that won’t be the question for me at this point. I see some people like the Yankees and whatnot and what’s not the like they got a lot of money. Right. But you know, last year we kind of got out of the way. And that would be kind of the case right now where Russell Wilson’s with the Steelers and the Browns don’t have a quarterback that they really know about and like burrows hurt. So we feel like we’re 13 and four where it doesn’t take much man that balance. The wrong team gets off to the 30 and seven start, because they’re just Tampa. And they’re just really good for a while and we expect to have a pretty good toe. We talked about how good we are these other teams are common and they weren’t like that last year. Really?

Luke Jones  28:45

Tim? Right. I mean, it was the Orioles in Tampa, right? I mean the Yankees were down. The Red Sox were down. Toronto made them you know they were a playoff team but they weren’t at the same level as the Orioles in the race. Right. And certainly the Orioles handled the Blue Jays in head to head last year. But But yeah, and that’s, that kind of feeds into what we were talking about as far as the hopeless feeling that was here for most of the last 35 to 40 years. And more specifically in the Camden Yards era where you did have the Yankees and the Red Sox and some years the Blue Jays and more recently, the rays been consistently good, but it wasn’t just that the Orioles had bad ownership or bad front office or bad farm system or all the above quite frankly, it was that coupled with the idea that they’re playing in the Al east, which objectively is really tough, you know, so,

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:40

so you’re operating with a gross national product of Haiti and you’re trying to compete with you know, Great Britain. I mean, it’s crazy. Just on a money level, as long as we’ve been talking about this, the original sin the 94 strike, but see a leg just the fact that it’s like Maryland trying to compete with Ohio State and Michigan in football, it does the economics just just get the math out. And especially if you’re gonna buy players in the NFL, you’re not going to be able to compete. Baseball’s had a real problem with that. And the balance for that is you gotta hire geniuses and you, Moneyball right, Oakland. And you have to be really, really, really good at developing young talent and getting everybody to play on the cheap contract.

Luke Jones  30:25

Yeah, I mean, you’ve got to be smart. And the Orioles have absolutely from a baseball front office standpoint over the last five years, have really figured that out. Now, the question will be, again, sustaining it and being able to pay some guys to keep them and the guys that you don’t pay, can you get out? Can you get value for them via trade? or what have you or some guys will just walk in free agency? I mean, that’s part of it, too. So. But yeah, the challenge is still there. And that’s why I said, I think it’s important as a fan, when you’re looking at this team, with all the excitement through the lens of the sky being the limit for this ballclub that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they’re going to win 104 games this year, compared to 100 won last year, it might be that the Orioles win 94 games this year, and maybe that’s good enough to win the division, or maybe they’re the top wildcard and maybe, you know, maybe they’re going to go on about it a little bit different way. But the point is, if this team does what you expect it to do, they should be in that conversation firmly in that conversation. And you’re hoping, based on the experience of last year, I’ll be in a very painful one, going up against the eventual World Champion Rangers that they’ll be better equipped then to, once they get back on that stage, they’ll fare better because one, they’ll know what to expect a little bit more. And to there’ll be more experienced, and presumably better a lot of these guys so so yeah, it’s exciting. But at the same time, that’s why I said, Yankees, you know, Juan Soto and some other additions they’ve made and I think they’ve got to stay healthy, certainly. And they’ve got some older players there, depending on but you look at that roster. I can understand why people and some of the projection systems and things of that nature like the Yankees. I mean, there’s there’s no question. Toronto is still a team that I’ll be it didn’t necessarily love their offseason, but still a lot of talent there. Tampa. It feels like the rays have taken a step back in terms of their roster on paper. But how many years have we said that over the year, so I’m not I’m certainly not going to write them off. And I, to me, the big one that looks underwhelming on paper, as far as feels like they could be the doormat now we’ll see because there are still free agents out there. And their name has been linked to them is the Red Sox. You know, they’re the team that feels lacking at this point in time. But there have also been some years where people have said that and then the Red Sox are playing in October. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:50

you stay down for long and the nation’s they don’t but there’s also

Luke Jones  32:56

some of the elements. They’re a little bit different. Oh, yeah, you look at somebody and make when they traded away Mookie Betts and some of the moves they’ve made over the last five years. I think there’s a lot of scrutiny there that’s justified. But the point is, it’s still the American League East. And as much as the Orioles looks so much better perception wise, and deserves all the credit, you know, you still have to go out and play. So that’s where these last couple of weeks, they’ll formulate the roster. And we’ll see who goes north and who goes to Norfolk and we’ll see if there is a move to be made. We’ll see where they are health wise with some of these guys. We’ll see where ownership is come opening day, whether it’s been approved or not. But boy, I mean, we continue to say and I sound like a broken record, but I’ll continue to say it I mean, it’s good time to be an Orioles fan. And there are few times over the last 40 years where the excitement level even comes close to where it is right now.

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:49

I’m not wanting to give a free plugs out to non sponsors but you can pick this up at wise markets. I just want to make sure that you know that I’m looking out for you. I’ve got some suntan lotion here for you. So you got a ball cap and Luke Jones and I are headed down to Florida for spring training. It is true turn into caps backwards might even mighty to get us one of them convertibles. They will ride around in southwest Florida so we’re gonna have a good time. That’s next week. In the meantime, there’s a documentary for our 25th anniversary that Greg Landry and Blue Rock productions putting together in the next couple of weeks. We’re really looking forward to getting that out. I’ve been going through a whole bunch of nostalgia and nest algea and wistfulness and all sorts of stuff. So I’ll be sharing a bunch of that stuff. The book on my pop is out each and every day. Peter principles is out. I want to say I’m taking an exhale because we’ve done a whole lot of conversation around here, but it does feel like I’m taking a little bit of a timeout and regrouping here a little bit as we get ready for opening day and sort of the daily grind of a pennant race with new ownership. I feel young again, I am Nestor. We are wn st am 1570, Towson, Baltimore. Well pep in our step. We are Baltimore positive.com. Stay with us.

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