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Local author and longtime sports columnist John Eisenberg tells Nestor about unearthing the lost Orioles conversations and tapes of the heroes Birdland from his turn-of-the-century book on Memorial Stadium and the legendary tales of Brooks Robinson, Earl Weaver, Jim Palmer and everyone associated with Orioles Magic.


talk, tapes, book, orioles, years, point, baltimore, john, interview, mike flanagan, people, team, sitting, good, brooks, ravens, live, eddie murray, jim, chronicled


Nestor J. Aparicio, John Eisenberg

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn st Hey in 1570, Towson Baltimore and Baltimore positive I’m wearing my favorite t shirt right now because plus me father for I’ve seen I’ve only had one new family’s crabcake at the new Lexington market and it was I would like to stand in line to get a second one they sent me out with some that cucumber salad we’re gonna be doing that on Friday the 12th and again on the 26th it is two to five live it’s all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery or we’re gonna have some scratch offs to give away 10 times the cash I’m gonna have to PAC man’s Liberty pure solutions which has given me fresh water on the set, which I’m very appreciative of as well and our friends at Jiffy Lube multi care bringing it all together crabcake tours back out on the road we’re starting at costus on Tuesday that knife will be there all morning up until two o’clock when I’m going to be like Clark Kent and slip on my Orioles jersey and ice cold beer that Mr. Coach does he always wants to buy me beer. Uber and home Mr. Costa so that’s my day. Orioles Red Sox at cost has come on by I will be there two to five for the game before that to a Baltimore positive. This guy came to Pappas with me back in November. And you know, I’ve only known him like a minute since like 1986 I think maybe 85 I met John Eisenberg at an Orioles game in the press box when I was at the news American or something like that. And he was always the big shot takeout Sunday writer and writing for the APSC awards chasing down Joe Don Looney and some shell of a Batcave somewhere in Texas with rattlesnakes. He’s always doing something and I love him. And he’s my mentor in many ways that he did. You know, I can tell him about he can believe or not so much so that I decided not to shave to honor you today. So I get gray bearded up. John Eisenberg is here. He has a new project that he has. No, it’s almost like a total honor that you unleash your project on my programming. You’re a Baltimore positive, longtime columnist, the Baltimore Sun and a Baltimore And author in many ways when we talk in Warren Moon and black quarterbacks and Lamar Jackson and NFL history, what do you got up your sleeve? Eisenberg? I hear baseballs coming back from what I hear here in Charm City. Yeah,


John Eisenberg  02:13

yeah, it is. It’s something that’s been sitting, I wouldn’t even call it in my back pocket. It wasn’t on me. I had nothing with it. You know, 25 years ago, you gotta go back on this one, which you’ll appreciate. I wrote a book about the oils. It was a history of the oils and oral history of the oils from their inception in 1954, up to that point, which was about the turn of the century. And in doing that, in writing that book, which came out it’s a big, thick book. And there’s never been another or oral history, by the way. But in doing that I went around the country interviewing pretty much everyone who’d ever done anything for the Orioles and players, coaches, managers. What’s the

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:56

timeframe of this? So this was 90,000. You dan in 2000. Okay.

John Eisenberg  03:01

book came out in 2001. I did the interviews and 9925 years ago, and 2000.

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:08


I asked you this was because I left the sun in 92. I don’t know what the tenor was in 99 or where your career was headed. But venerable columnist out on the B ravens were about to win a championship. You didn’t know that. But Billick was here. We had an NFL team back. Preakness was still the Preakness. And a cow was still playing at that time. Right right. So all the legends were still alive at that point to be able to storytel Oriole baseball in the way that to give juice to your book. But also did was this a respite from the sun? Was this a weekend project? Were you still beating beat writing? The I’m sure you weren’t because I wrote to Peter Prince was this is When Angela was just losing his mind that bell and Albert Bell and Mike Hargrove. I mean, all that was going on at that time. Did you stop everything the way you do now? And I’m like, no,

John Eisenberg  03:57

no, no, this was a strictly a side gig. I didn’t stop and just write books. I took a year off and like 2002 to write my book on native dancer, the horse. But until that point, and I think this was my third book. I’ve written a lot. And this was my third book. It was strictly on the side, I went around the country. I just folded it into my work routine. And at that point I do in so much oriels that it just felt natural. I went around interviewing everybody who’d ever done anything pretty much. And I kept the tapes of these interviews, taped him on a little micro cassette recorder. I mean, this is like the Stone Age, you know now a little micro cassette recorder with tapes, little micro cassettes. And so and I transcribed them and they became the focal point of this book and oral history, but I had the tapes. I did nothing with them. I put them in a shoebox put them in the closet and went on to other things for years for two decades. I knew those tapes were sitting in there But hang on a

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:01

second, I got to go back to 99. So I put together a book in Oh 809 That I never released. And I did sort of a similar thing. Mine was on Baltimore leadership. So I sat with Jim Irsay, I sat with anybody that had ever led anything in Baltimore sports where there was an angle, and I never wrote about it. But I have video of all of it literally, that I’ve never really unleashed and released. But that’s modern. In the old days, you’re in 99. Going to I would think spring training with the Orioles maybe doing a road trip to somewhere in Texas with the Oreos, or the Ravens or wherever you would go. Arizona where people might live, right? Where these Oreos probably live in the southern part of the world or even in Puerto Rico, Dominican, if you’re sitting with them, right? Tell me your pathway that year, year and a half where you’re on vacation with your kids or kids then like, because I did this to was free. I sat with seeing all sorts of people. I haven’t I still have it. It’s archived. And I never brought it out and ever put it on the air. But I have it it’s easy to find digital files, not what I have to do with 1000 transfers. But for you to go back and find all this stuff. I’m thinking like who’s alive? Who’s dead? Where did you go? Did you talk to MERV Redmond? Did you talk to Terry crown? I’m just thinking of like all these last people that like I haven’t thought about in a long time, in addition to books and food, which I’m sure you did all of that. I’m thinking about who else did you talk to? That might be cool?

John Eisenberg  06:29

Well, in terms of trips, I went to Arizona in the fall. And I got three people in the fall. I got Eddie Murray, who I got Frank Robinson for two hours at added air. He was the president of the Arizona fall league in 1999. He was between managing jobs. And I knew Frank had a good relationship with Him. Not everybody did. And so I sat with him. I have it on tape. I’ve been listening to it. It’s a it’s an interview two hours in which he’s going over everything and talking about how, you know he couldn’t get housing in bulk. You know, it’s pretty amazing stuff. He couldn’t get housing in Baltimore. They really liked his wife applying for housing until they found out it wasn’t Brooks Robinson is what? In 1969. And so I got Frank at an Arizona fall league game. I got Eddie Murray, who was a coach at the Arizona fall League and couldn’t stand me and hadn’t talked to me for years. And word had gotten around that I was going around interviewing everybody. And I mean, he was a coach for some team. And I got back to get him did you I was very iffy. I got like, 45 minutes to an hour of him telling me I don’t like you. And I don’t want to do this. But I have it. And he did talk about some stuff. He kind of you know, Eddie has mellowed. And may the first this was back in 99. It was pretty bad with the press. But I got him. And then I drove out into the countryside. And I got Harry Dalton living who was living outside Phoenix in this beautiful home. And he went over Harry, of course, you know, an amazing figure in oral history. And he’s there with the beginning of the franchise in 1954. It’s an incredible story. So I got that. So that’s one example. I went to Florida, I flew to Florida strictly to get Earl Weaver who was at his golf club.


Nestor J. Aparicio  08:17

I was gonna say you found him at the golf club. To find him, right. I

John Eisenberg  08:22

drove to his house. In the morning, we went and had breakfast. The whole thing happens over breakfast.

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:27

gone out to Miami Gardens come on out of here. I’m out my Exactly.

John Eisenberg  08:30


And of course, we’re driving to the club from his house. You know, it’s like a gated community. He goes on how much you’re gonna pay me for this. I said, Earl, I’m not paying you a flippin any. And he goes. So anyway, so stories like that

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:47

I got Oh, we can tell the stories about our own. We’re laughing we’re both smiling. And that’s what this is what this is about. Really, right. It

John Eisenberg  08:53

is. It is. I got a lot guys in Baltimore. I mean, you know, I mean, we’re, it all didn’t happen in person. Some of it was on the phone. I don’t have tapes of those. That’s just to prehistoric. I don’t have everybody on tape. Oh, wow. Okay. And so, you know, but, I mean, I have almost 40 I got 45 people on tape. And so it’s a lot. I got Peter angelos, two hours on tape. And Peter angelos, of course, turned out every interview request from the sun for years hated the sun and wouldn’t do any of this stuff. So I interviewed Joe Fosse, the president of the team at this time, and there’s a million controversies going on with all various topics still

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:39

run and he’s in the middle of it. I mean, I talked to Joe at length when I did the Peter principles, but we’re talking 15 years later, you know, like, he was right. He was in the sauce at that point, right.


John Eisenberg  09:49

Well, Joe was good. He was fine. He did a good job defending Peter which I said I’m going to put the I had done it. I pretty much finished the manuscript and I have this book and I said, you know, he’s getting ripped here, left and right. And by Brooks by everybody, and I said, I need I mean, I’m gonna journal I need both sides of this story and it’s an oral history, it’ll go in on varnished. And he said, Great. I’ll talk to you. I’ll take his side. I’ll do it all. So we did it. And then I think he went to Peter and said, you know, you’re going to look like a jerk. Because he’s talked to everybody, even people who hate him. And literally,

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:25

Keno is not in the Hall of Fame this week. They both die a week apart. And we have to sit here and decide what’s real journalism and what really happened, and that he saved the team for Baltimore, which is just not actually

John Eisenberg  10:36

not true at all. It’s just not true. They just signed a 30 year lease. But the so anyway, he agreed to talk shocked me

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:44


was just pre Cuba or post Cuba because we’re talking about the same period of time. My

John Eisenberg  10:49

knee I think polo right around then. Probably 2000. So AP, is it when was Cuba 1925 years

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:56

ago this week, opening day? I have Mike Flanagan’s poster from Cuba. I went on the trip, I got my press credential hanging prensa hanging from it, and it hangs in my production office, right? And it says on it marzo 2819 99, and I looked at him like opening day, March 28 2004 24. I’m like, Oh, my God, it’s exactly 20 was 25 years. And on that day, Rubenstein took over the team. So it’s 25 years. Did you make a Cuba trip? You know, that schmuck was on that trip, right?

John Eisenberg  11:31

Yep, schmuck. I think Mike Litwin was on that trip, maybe maybe it was just schmuck. I can’t remember. I was not on the trip. Too bad. But, you know, Angelo’s, he talked to me, I have it on tape. He defends himself. Whatever. I just wanted it for balance. And he was good. He was really good. I mean, it was shared a bottle of wine. It’s pretty funny to listen to. And so it went into the book. I have the tape. I have Mike Flanagan, by the way, two hours with Mike Flanagan, talking about everything. So I have all these tapes. And I’ve done nothing with him for years. I went on I wrote a bunch of books I worked for and worked for the sun. I left the sun and worked for Comcast. I left Comcast and worked for the Ravens I left the Ravens. And and I’ve just been sitting here wondering what to do with these tapes, if I was ever going to do anything, because the technology had had expired, really. And so then, and you and I were talking before we went on here. I don’t remember how I heard about Greg Landry at Towson transfers. But I did I think it was you. And so I contacted Greg finally last fall. I was decluttering at that point decluttering and I come across this shoe box all these tapes and I knew it was in there and I said you know you are you need to do something with this. It really is time these things. They’ve sat in here for so long that most of the people have died. And they are true. They are It’s the history of the team sitting in a shoe box in my closet and you need to do something so I went to Greg I gave him I’m sort of feeling out process I said here’s our a weaver. See if you can turn this into something. So he goes and yeah sure no problem. Technological wizard turns my micro cassette into a digital file. You can listen to Earl you know asked me whether you know whether have


Nestor J. Aparicio  13:22

you thrown into a transcribe yet I just I’m full shoot interview, have you thrown into a transcribe to get the transcription?

John Eisenberg  13:28

I have not done any of that yet. No,

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:31

we’re gonna have to talk off the air about that. Because that’s kind of some modern wizardry that I do with our stuff here, which within two minutes, you’ll have full transcripts of everything that was said, like literally, to do that. Yeah.

John Eisenberg  13:44


But what I’m going to do, and this is my project, I decide really thought long and hard how to do this. And there’s many ways to bring your material out in this in this crazy world we’re living in now. And so substack is a major platform media platform, a lot of sports writers of my age, you know, who have done their thing for many years and have an issue and no longer have a place to write have done it. And if you have a following to some degree or or something you want to do and you can promote it. It’s a good place for you. And the audio functionality is really good. So I said, Alright, I’m going to do this myself. I’m going to create a sub stack and I’m going to call it the bird tapes. It’s basically a franchise and I’m going to roll these things out. I’m going to basically explore oral history built around this archive of tapes that I have, and I’m going to do some writing myself and help people understand some of these guys, Paul Richards now just a foundational Oriole. I don’t have him on tape, but I have a lot of people he died he had died Louise talked to you. Ooh, Luis. Oh no, I did not get Louis see

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:53

me addict Gordon controlled a lot of these guys I did the last interview ever with Earl without realizing it when they did this statues because I lived upstairs at Harbor court and Dick said, Hey, Earl wants to talk to you. And I was like, I’ll give you 10 minutes. 45 minutes later, you know, I’ve got Earl talking about Elmira, and you know, just all sorts of things. But it’s a wonderful piece of my story that I would never want lost, I would always want anybody that wants to go click on that URL Weaver piece, to be able to see it out on YouTube. It’s available a Baltimore positive, that’s what I’ve done a Baltimore positive taken all these archival things, and thrown it together, I’m just so thrilled that what was lost in in gold as they would say, gold, Jerry gold that’s lost in your, in your closet, in a case comes out for the world to share. Because I think there’ll be a lot of people that will dedicate a lot of time to doing this. And I know that for a fact from writing Peter principles, and sometimes you feel like you’re doing this stuff, and then the real reward is getting the work done. But also the feedback of like that period, it’ll never come back again, you know, that that you caught? You captured? Really that the height of the oral magic, right as we would look at it a quarter of a century later, that hadn’t been much to write home about the last quarter of a century. And I’ve chronicled some of that, sadly, hope it’s about to change. But at that point, there was a hell of a story to tell about that franchise over 40 years. I mean, really

John Eisenberg  16:19

unbelievable. And a number of eras and I have the most recent Eretz I have Mike Messina, you know, this is before he was a Yankee. I have Carl Jr. When he’s still playing. And his interview, I have to say, I mean, he’s through the streak at that point. And that was sort of tucked out almost, but his his his depiction of growing up and with his dad, and what the oils were then and he’s a first person witness to spring training in the 60s when, you know, spring training consisted of calcine you would, you know, slap a decal on a decal on the station wagon drive down to the stadium, get the bats, put them in the back and just start driving to Florida. You know, you know, that was that was how they set up for spring training. I

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:06

was seven years old and Billy’s four years old. And there’s Terry Crowley at the cage and Mark Bollinger and Jim Palmer. Like I would never think to talk to Jim Palmer about when’s the first time you looked at Cal Ripken? He probably would say, I stared into his eyes when he was a year and a half. Yeah, you know, if I had to think about it, you know, calcine Your hat is little blue eyes in a station wagon when he was hitting me fun that, you know, fun goes in the outfield in in Miami when Jim was 23 or something right? Like literally, that that’s the familial part of the Orioles that the Angelo’s think really broke over 30 years and you came into Brooks was pissed at that point, right? Brooks was there, the fantasy camp and all that. John John Eisenberg is here. I just want to like give you full love on what you’re doing at substack. And you could follow John everywhere. John, I am thrilled you’re doing this because I had all of these rock star interviews from back in the 80s with David Bowie and Robert Plant all these Hall of Famers. And when my wife got sick, they’re all in little micro tapes. I literally took it to her bedside and transferred it. Now we have Greg Landry, who is helping me with my documentary you with this thing. It’s really an amazing archival thing that we were as journalists witness to all of this history. And if we don’t capture it off of these crazy little tapes, it’ll just be gone. You know what I mean? And I think certainly for the Orioles, part of it with the new owner coming in, and they’re already rewriting the history of Peter save the franchise. I mean, it’s almost it’s ridiculous. provde a ridiculous, but there’s the real history of what really happened in period pieces. And I’ll bring up my rock and roll tapes because I can think of two I interview Clarence Clemons when he had like broken up with the street you know way different time than the way it ended. Right. I interviewed Tommy Shaw from sticks when he was sideways with sticks and in bed in Damn Yankees with you know, it’s amazing how the period of time and when you find people in places how the statues in the softening and to your point, even Eddie Murray, who’s still alive and well and with us might have a different take on it 25 years later, but to capture that piece, it’s gone in your basement if you don’t bring it back out. So I’m I’m thrilled that I’m going to be able to listen to it especially the Mike Flanagan thing. Mike


John Eisenberg  19:30

Flanagan really quite an interview and well a couple of things. Number one, I did get have given my pause a little bit before I started this. I wanted to make sure I was respectful of the families of everybody. You know, a lot of these people have passed away and I and I gave it a lot of thought and talk to people when it talks to John maroon talks some other people well, what do you think about this? I’m gonna bring out how will the families feel? And he said, John, who knew mom of course ran the Orioles. You know, PR Are for yours and said that he says you are fine. As a matter of fact, how soon can you get them out? The people will love this, people will love this, you need to go full speed ahead, which I appreciated from John. And I heard that from some other people to around town. And so there may be a couple that I’m careful about. And certainly if anyone told me something, it’s on tape off, this is off the record. And Earl Weaver was off the record on a few things, I’ll edit it out, you can now do that easily. So Fair’s fair. So I did do that, I will be doing that, but it’s pretty much unvarnished, it’s gonna go out. And, you know, pause for an ad here it is bird That’s where you find it. Bird tapes is one word. And so it’s there. And I’m going to roll these things out slowly. But surely, I’m going to do some written stuff myself to to bolster it all, and just have some fun with it and try to teach people about history. I mean, when I got here in 1984, the Orioles that one had won the World Series the year before. And I was just sort of shocked Brooks is in the media. He’s in the press box. You know, you’re sitting there eating a hot dog and Memorial Day, and he sits down with you. And he’s just in the media. And so I got to know him pretty well. There. And he copy edited the book, by the way, he copy edited the book that came out in in 2001, which is a whole nother story. But the Orioles were like a family. It was like, say

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:26

that on this show. I just dropped that if they don’t like I’m not going to have you in fadeless for crabcake this summer and say all right, let’s get back to this Brooks thing again. You know, okay, okay.

John Eisenberg  21:37

Well, what happened?

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:39


You know, I’m doing my 25th anniversary documentary. I’m trying to find little things. There was a point where Brooks said to me the first time he met me to loosen me up. He said, How about I come back every night? We do the Brooks a nasty show. Wouldn’t that be something? And I’m like, how is that not going in my documentary?

John Eisenberg  21:55

Yeah. Well, Brooks is was just so great. So I interviewed him twice. I interviewed him in 1999. I interviewed him in 2000. And, and at the end of the second one, he and I don’t have this on the tape. Unfortunately, he goes, you know, that was great. It really enjoyed it. You got a lot of people. He said, You know, I think I know everyone who ever played for the Orioles. And I said, Well, that may be true. It said I got here not the guys that 54 Because I got here and 55 but I think I know everyone. And so how about it when you’re done with this manuscript, people

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:30

think that Ray Lewis might have been able to say that for a little while here. You know, it totally sort of disappeared and you know, less than yours. But like, you know, it really is amazing that these, these institutions have memory, the Baltimore Colts have a memory and a soul here to write for anyone that remembers. But this oracle thing has been so soured by the last 30 years in so many ways. I missed the beautiful and at some point well, I will rebound you out of this book into that was Cal Ripken on the field as an owner of the team last week, John Peterson said There’s a new owner since like you and I have never known a post Castro world of Cuba. Yeah. Russian world of Putin. I don’t know what this is. But cows are part of it. And I know you’re jumping in at this point. Brooks is gone. Earl is gone. Jim is still here and feisty from what I saw on the rain delay on on Wednesday night to which I liked feisty, Jim. I liked him. I liked Jim watching good baseball for the first time in 30 years old television. It’s awesome. And I love Ben Oh, they

John Eisenberg  23:32

had Grant Hill on the other night on the show. He immediately said who are you gonna extend? Thank you, Jim. Alright, so I


Nestor J. Aparicio  23:43

let’s pivot a little bit because I’ll have you back with the tapes. And I’ll have you on every time you release something. And I’ll probably wind up helping even more now that you’ve you’ll understand what transcription is in about 15 minutes, we get off the thing you’re gonna be like, oh, oh, okay, cool. So nonetheless, modern, bring me through your head. I think the last time you’re wrong with me was maybe 60 days ago, after the Ravens got eliminated. And you told me you’re on to this project. And we literally were discussing the concept that the Angelo’s family wouldn’t be here. And maybe somewhere along the line, I was pretty wise and saying this is all gonna happen real quick. Once that happens. Once it happens, it’s gonna be like, and it feels like it happen really quick. And here we are. And it feels like these guys don’t really know what they’re doing. And the don’t, I thought they would have an installation team and because they’re billionaires. This is a dude who’s a fan about the team and is gonna figure out Greg Vader and TJ Brightman and no no’s the baseball teams find and figure it out ticket sales in the business and he’s crazy baseball partners in the ownership, because I think he’s really, really new and green to the thing and I just love that Louis Aparicio was his favorite player that that’s my favorite part of the whole thing.

John Eisenberg  24:51

Ya know, it’s, it really is it should be parade every day. Because it’s, it’s fantastic. Stick. Just fantastic. And I you know, I preside over a family of serious Oriole fans and, you know, their extended family. And so I just look at how they are and knowledgeable fans and they’re all just like, oh my god, I bet I just can’t believe this happened. And what happened was the reason it happened quickly as who bought the team? You know, I mean, Rubenstein. I mean, there’s a reason why, I mean, he should be vetting the MLB owners, not the other way around. Yeah, there’s betting. Everybody should be like, Well, who am I going into business with here? And so

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:34

have you seen the Oakland A’s? Yeah, they’re our partner. Yeah. I mean, you know, my wife, my wife, God bless her. I was gonna run for mayor of Baltimore at one point, and you know, I was serious. And everybody that knows me knows I was really serious. I went playing games. And we would drive literally for the worst parts of town. And my wife would say, you get to be the mayor of this too. And that was her way of saying, Hey, man, you know that I had Citizen X in my passenger seat of the car or the driver’s seat in some cases. And I said, huh, and I’m thinking, yeah, you bought into this. Peter bought in running Raging Bull and Reinsdorf met him at the front and ceiling met him at the front. They’re like, No, they’re the enemy. You’re not on that you’re not with Cal Ripken, you’re against him. Wha. And the next thing, you know, there’s a strike and 30 years later, they can’t figure out television money. Uh, you know, and they have a litigious partner that just buried let, it’s crazy. He’s entering this club to your point. And the game’s not in good shape. And that way with regional revenue and trying to figure things out, it’s right for a genius to figure out how the Birdland club exists, and how they get the revenue they need for us to get what we need as consumers, because certainly, he has found a very, very broken franchise in a lot of ways. And I told his rep, or I told his PR guy that I’m like, You have no idea how terrorized and traumatized we are. I mean, John, you said the words Mike and Flanagan, to me in this conversation three or four times in this, and whenever that comes up, I’m traumatized by it. So I would not to mention my immediate past. So they have a lot of things that they don’t know what they’re into, including just the fact that lacrosse is played here. And it’s a generation later, and they got a lot of work to do. They really do.

John Eisenberg  27:20


They do, they definitely do. And the fact that the team is on sound footing, the organization is on sound footing on the field, it’s just a huge thing. Because I think you and I talked about this, the last time I was on, the most important thing is, is the team is winning or losing. And that was the biggest problem here was this losing for so long. And so it’s really as simple as that sometimes it gets a little complicated, you have a winning product, and you don’t just alienate everybody, which hopefully you wouldn’t when you’re winning, then you’ve got something and so they they have a nice team here, and young players, and they’re gonna have to follow it up for it not to go much better going forward, because they’ve done a lot, you know, and I will give the prior regime credit for setting that up pretty well staying out of the way for once, and doing a lot of things with the onfield product staying out of the way period. And so they have that, but then is there a ton of work? Is there work to do, there’s a ton of work to do. But, you know, I think we’re in the hands of a very sort of mature business. I mean, what a group of people I mean, Moon Burke’s in it, and Grant Hill and Alan Schmoke smoke tons of money and you know, influence just, it’s like, wow, it’s, it’s almost like it’s like, Okay, we’re gonna hold our hands together here. And we’re sort of committed to giving this to the city Baltimore because they deserve it. It’s like, did that actually happen? I just can’t believe it. So I’ve had to

Nestor J. Aparicio  28:55

pinch me moments. I must admit what you know, I told Mr. Rubinstein’s representative I gave him a hug after an hour long conversation, and the third and fourth inning on the club love and I said, no one has ever been nice to me here. You ever in like I can’t remember the last time anybody was nice to meet Bill stack. I’ll give him a pass. I now that Mr. Angelo’s has gone. I can say that Bill stack has always returned my calls. But like literally, I I’m I’ve been waiting for this. I lead free the birds for this. I bought an orange jersey and more like, like I went to Sarasota a couple of weeks ago. I even talked to Mike Elias dan in Fort Myers. Cute ballpark they have down there. John, I can’t I can’t think of a next 15 years of spending a week or two in Sarasota every year. And I found a hot yoga studio down there. I’ve got to a great Amish market. I can go and have some fried chicken. So like, I’m ready to be I’m ready. I gotta shuffle. Let’s lift it. But and I just think we’ve had this philosophy here for so long. That I’m always gonna I’m gonna say seal your line, dude, there should be a parade every day. Because I do feel that way. But I’m waiting for the signs of life. And I do feel like the team’s gonna be good, right? And I’ll get to the Norfolk box score with you in a minute. But the team’s gonna be good what what do you want to see done now that they’re in it now that you’ve seen cow wave and all of this? What signs of life as a fan? I mean, they had this long rain delay the other day Luke and I went through that and given free tickets out and whatever. But what will let you know that there’s more interest than just you mean wick and the people that love baseball?

John Eisenberg  30:35

Well, the first thing, let’s see some of these guys, I can’t get beyond extend that you got this young talent. They want to, you know, answer the questions to the fans, the concerns of the fans, sign them, extend them, invest in them, invest in what you’ve done here, start with rutschman the catcher he’s 26 right for I mean, I think Gunnar Henderson at 22 with Scott bourses his agent, that’s going to be tough, but I think you can get le Richmond sign, get some of these other young guys sign, you know, invest some money in the team. I mean, what was the story that came out? It was just this week? The Orioles operating profit? What do I have this right? Operating profit number one in the league? Something like that. That way,

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:20

they should not shock anybody that they burned the thing to the ground, right? Like, like Jana Murray was on this week before Larry passed, right. And we’re gonna get talked about you. And I could do three crabcakes just to Larry, right. But because you knew him and I knew him a little. But Sarasota needs a coat of paint. It hadn’t painted in 15. Like literally this beautiful ballpark January I it’s getting baked in the paint, the greens are off green. And like all of that’s happening. And all of it was just left for the next owner. And they were milking money out of it. John, I did the math on this. And I you know, and I don’t listen, Mr. Angeles just passed and John sitting in the Virgin Islands somewhere having a good time, count his money. $1.7 billion. And I did all of this for the damage that was done for the city and all the hurt feelings of everybody. And that whatever trauma there would be. I did the math, they own the team for about 16 150 weeks, give or take. They made $1.7 billion on this. They made $1 million a week. Every week, they own the team in the end, plus all the profit they took to your point, they probably took $100 million in profit last year. Like they were you know, right. So the modified,


John Eisenberg  32:33

quantified? I mean, yeah, you know, this is this is, you know, I can’t remember who reported it. But number one in the league more than the Dodgers or the courts, these teams that have spent money, but yeah, number one in the league in an operating profit. So there’s something there, there’s something there, there’s money there to sign these guys, and do what the Atlanta Braves are doing. And you know, you got this young talent, that is when Machado walked out the door. I thought, you know, if I had still had 700 words to burn somewhere, you know, at some publication that, you know, I was at the race. And so you know, but I couldn’t I said, Why? Why are you in the business of baseball, you have done what you’re supposed to do. And you’ve developed a superstar, fantastic player, you could build around him forever. Why are we not paying him? I mean, why? If you can’t, if it’s too much for you, then why are you in the business of baseball. And so that that just went unanswered. And so now you got a new group, and you got guys in the same situation, tons of get infinitely more guys to sign, do it, you know, start doing that. And I’m not just saying Oh, open the you know, open the vault, write a check. I understand there’s a science to it. And you have to be smart about it. But that’s the sign of life that I want to say and believe me, I speak for I speak for everybody, you know, you we got Adley rutschman Here, sign in, you know, extend him, you know, he does four things, you know, 20 things a game. There’s a reason why the team is winning. And so signing it, you know, you know, don’t go on tell the New York Times that your first goal is to make sure the concerts are good, you know, you got good players, sign your players. That’s the first sign of life that I want to say, See, I gotta

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:21

spank you now, because you’re being the guy bringing up the old regime in ways that like, they’re, they’re gone. It’s gonna be really hard to think of it that way, though, right? Because we really didn’t think I said this to you and everybody the last 90 days, like I never spoke to my wife, my child, anybody in my life, like one day he’ll be gone and they’ll be gone and we’ll have we will have a new thing. I only have one or two people in my life that ever convinced me that that was ever going to happen, that if I live long enough, I’d see it and here we are. And I’m so excited to put the jersey back on and watch it and see maybe The broadcast don’t aren’t so profitable, you know, take the gloves off the gym and let let the broadcast need to be fun because it’s how I consume 92% of it. Right? It needs to be available everywhere because I go places, and I do things, you know, yeah, they they need to get their business, right. Their marketing, right? Their communications, right. Their friendships, right? their relationships, their business, it’s going to take John, you can say disco sign all these. That’s cool. What is the payroll going to be? To your point? Are we going to be poor mouthing bottom 10 Are we going to compete, I don’t say we’re going to spend with the Dodgers or the Yankees are going to spend, but I’d like to think that they could spend somewhere between eight and 12. In in regard to you know, from payroll, maybe spend 150,000,200 80 million a year. But that being said, they can’t have 600 people at the ballpark either. They you know, a $9 this to get in. I mean, the $15 beers, the suites, the club sales, the sponsorships, all of that needs to grow to support the team that you’re talking about. You’re absolutely absolutely

John Eisenberg  36:02

well, there’s a whole business side thing and certainly the accessibility on television. That’s a big one. People need to be able to see it, it got it, they gotta get that side of it figured out. I mean, there’s a there’s a countless things to make rooting for the team easier and more fun. You know, that goes hand in hand. And there’s a lot to be done. And hopefully, there’s a checklist and just start going

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:27


well, they got the squirt zone. Anything you want to say on the Norfolk boxscore You want to do anything current at all, as they go to Pittsburgh for more rain and burns as an ace and like i The bats went cold the bats were hot like I but all that being said, My God, you have chronicled this for 40 years I have witnessed this for 50 years, from the very beginning of Coggins in Bumbry and my dad talking to me when I was four years old about those guys being rookies of the year, and how are we going to make room and we got Don Baylor and oh my god, Paul Blair, we can’t get rid of him. And like, I go back to all of that and every can’t miss Jim Fuller and DRONGO Hayes wood and KanCare hard and like, you know, I had John, Amiens wife on two weeks ago. So like I you know, I got the history of all of this. I’ve never seen anything like this. And this curse that would 10 RBIs. And, Mike, they can’t find room for holiday. And what are they going to do with mayo? And it’s, you know, hold the mayo and what is happening, man?

John Eisenberg  37:26

Well, that Norfolk team, that really isn’t correct. They’ve got that it is truly an embarrassment of riches. And yeah, they’re facing triple A pitching. But it’s a little tough to watch that when the basketball cold up here and you got Ryan O’Hearn and right field and Tony Kemp at second base are, you know, it’s like, how is this happening when you got these other guys knocking on the door, but I have to believe soon enough, this will be addressed. It’s an interesting inflection point, I think, for the onfield product for Elias and all those guys, because what they’ve done this year, it’s basically run back the team that won 101 games, good for them. They were they were loyal to the veterans, you know, ureas, Matteo, O’Hearn, all these guys, meanwhile, they got unbelievable generation of talent that is not just knocking on the door, they’re just slamming the door, and I ever made it pretty soon you’re gonna have to do something with these guys. I mean, Conor Norby, who nobody ever even talks about has done all he needs to do at AAA. He’s a major league player. And he’s a total major league player.

Nestor J. Aparicio  38:29

He got five guys that would be on the field, five different organizations just across the sport, right?

John Eisenberg  38:34

Just so they gotta figure that out. And they’re smart guys. And it’ll be interesting to see what happens here. If this this incumbent outfield generation, they’re great. Austin Hayes was in the All Star game last year I set her Mullins is like the heart of the team. Santander is a power hitter, the best power hitter 30 RBIs. You know, they’re all hidden below 200 Right now you got to wait it out. But they got these guys that are coming and not just coming. I mean, they are they are really, really dangerous. And so at some point, they have to make a decision and you have to hope they’re smart enough to figure out a way to do that.


Nestor J. Aparicio  39:14

I see you and me with big pretzels and ice cold beer and peanuts with our feet up sandals on second week of spring training next year, you know waiting for them to hang the bunting for the World Series championship of the baby birds with three Oreos under contract and burns with the Cy Young. Let me dream a little bit John. Just a little bit

John Eisenberg  39:37

right up. Fair enough that that I think a lot of people will will ride along on that one. If

Nestor J. Aparicio  39:43

while Bill were here right now he’d say give me an O is what he would say John Eisenberg is chronicled has chronicled the history of Oriole baseball. He’s bringing it back to life on substack you can follow him and Adult Social Media shout out and as my dad would say a gold star to Greg Landry over at Towson transfers for bringing this stuff to life as he has brought my documentary to life as well. So we’ll all get together for crabcake over Pappus and Parkville and celebrate all of that John the book too to tell me about the book was Father’s Day is coming up and all that to you, not just the book a bunch of books, but certainly if you love the Lamar story, you love your book.

John Eisenberg  40:19


Yeah, Rocket Man. My story in the history of the black quarterbacks in pro football is my most recent book. I spent the fall through the Super Bowl really promoting it that is ongoing. I’ll be at the Annapolis Book Festival on April 27. I will be at the gaithersburg book festival actually on Preakness Saturday. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  40:42

sophisticated a book festival you know, I’ve done a few in my day. And I feel like Am I qualified to attend a book festival?

John Eisenberg  40:52

Yeah, they’re great. They’re a lot of fun and the paperback version will be out in the fall. And so love smart people

Nestor J. Aparicio  40:58

you know, I don’t want to I’m not trying to get elected. You know, I love the the uneducated. I love the educated chicken. I say that. book festivals are good for the educated. So that’s good. Yes, we need more of that.


John Eisenberg  41:10

But I will and I appreciate the platform here. Yes, bird tapes thing is the thing I just kicked off bird And they make it really good. There’s an app and substack app and it’s a really pretty interesting writers environment you can get into a lot of different people and a cool thing.

Nestor J. Aparicio  41:29

Know anything that brings Brooks Robinson and Mike Flanagan and Earl Weaver back to life in in bringing it into context of like not reading about it actually hearing their voices. I think it’d be cool and never before heard the Lost Tapes, the bird tapes of John Eisenberg. We’re gonna get the Merillat crabcakes we’re back out on the road work cost us on Tuesday. We are at fadeless every Friday that the orals are home live from two to five come on down. Don’t feed the any beer anything to drink because I’m not gonna have time to pee. It’s live radio, walk in a tight rope like I did that week in February. Why? Because I’m ambitious. I am Nestor. We are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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