The fresh start of a new era of Orioles baseball in Baltimore

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Luke Jones and Nestor discuss the new baseball season and the Orioles fresh start at Camden Yards with David Rubenstein and Cal Ripken in front of things after three decades of tyranny. What changes come first and what have we seen so far in the first hours?

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

orioles, games, people, baseball, team, week, year, terms, baltimore, point, play, bullpen, pitching, standpoint, nfl, opening, major league baseball, season, oakland, norfolk

SPEAKERS

Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn St. am 5070, Towson Baltimore. We call it Baltimore positive Baltimore positive.com. Hope you’re setting your dials out there on the the AFC. I saw the little PHL logo on the pitcher’s mound the oh damn like, yeah, it’s still come to am radio. Sure they do. They come to YouTube, they come to LinkedIn, they come to Facebook and Twitter and x and threads and all these other places. When you find us know about the Maryland crabcake tour we’re gonna be kicking this thing back off next Tuesday in time for the Orioles to go to Fenway we’re doing a morning into the afternoon two o’clock first pitch at Fenway we’re gonna be over cost this where they need you they need they need your help. The bridge is down there at the foot of the bridge for the most part. My dad passed there on the way to Bethlem steel many many years back in the 70s bringing me home shrimp and crab cakes from from Costa so we’re gonna go over there on the knife. It’s all brought to you by the Maryland crab cake tour and our friends to barrel the lottery and Jiffy Lube and liberty pure solutions we’ll be telling you about all of our sponsors, you’re going into the spring also have a 25th anniversary documentary that’s coming out a little later on in the month. I don’t know exactly when it’s coming out. My friend Securio Well, Mr. Teasing me that maybe we should do it on for 20 We’ll see might not be done. I think if i As long as I get it out by April 30, which is the anniversary of Bruno Sammartino losing the belt to Superstar Billy Graham because I remember these things. And it is WrestleMania week here. And Lucas and I had a glorious time on opening day and we’re gonna have a glorious time on the 12th That’s next Friday. We’re doing live radio. So there’s one more thing I could check off after 10 years people live on radio new, more nasty. So a two to five next Friday. Fridays fade Lee’s live for saying that a whole bunch. I’ll be giving away off some Pac Man scratch offs by then cuz Roz over the Maryland lottery hook us up with that. He will be there from two until three. He has a media credential he enters after three. I said from three until five and like a crab cakes and drink beer and get ready for baseball. First place baseball didn’t look that way so much on Sunday, but decent start to the campaign despite the fact that they couldn’t hit the ball on Sunday, Luke and this will happen across the course of a 162 game campaign. How are you only happy post Easter? Happy pre WrestleMania we’ll talk about the Ravens but we don’t need to right now. Like we can just let that go for a little while and just get into this baseball team. But the heartbeat of baseball is back man. No question

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Luke Jones  02:36

about it and lots and lots of other things going on. And Final Four and WrestleMania as you astutely pointed out is I’m looking forward to that this coming weekend. But it’s every night the Orioles. So it’s settling into the routine that is a 162 game baseball season. The dream of an undefeated season came to an end on Sunday afternoon as the Orioles who all they did was swing the bat on Thursday and on Saturday night in support of Corbin Bernsen Grayson Rodriguez, but Tyler Wales got off to a shaky start and actually finished the start very well over the final four innings. He was out there. But they didn’t they didn’t hit they didn’t swing the bats. I mean, it was just it’s that simple. Sometimes I hate to sound so flippant about it but to your point. This is when you need to get into the baseball mindset. It’s not the Ravens where you’re living and dying with every win and loss. It’s a they lost on Sunday. But in the grand scheme of things, the big picture, you take two out of three, if that’s your goal, if that’s your objective, play 667 ball. And you could do that over the course of the season they will be in really really good shape.

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:42

So if you’re just an Oriole fan and a raving fan, and you bet on sports or whatever your deal is in watching marksman like like the Terps lost a lot this year. You haven’t really lost in a while. Right? So like winning, winning and spring training and nothing matters and it’s all fun. And then like hey, you know my dad would have said they should have saved some of them Rollins for Sunday is

Luke Jones  04:03

totally totally I mean, you score 24 runs over the first two games which believe it or not, I think was the second most in franchise history of the first few games which funnily enough I think was the 2006 Orioles so we go figure on that. It’s not like they were any good. But it’s just a reminder of Yep, you can score 13 runs one night and the next night you finished with what three hits which they had on Sunday so didn’t really even mount too many threats. So over the course of the game other than you know it’s second inning where they had some guys on base but you know hit hit a lot of lazy fly balls. I full disclosure, I wasn’t watching the broadcast intently. I had the game on and was watching it that way but entertaining family for Easter Sunday but they just didn’t swing the bat. I mean it was that simple. When you saw the at bats were not very good, but it happens. It’s what we’re going to see over the course of 162 And for me, I’ll go back to as much as scoring runs was fun on opening day and on Saturday. What I was most encouraged about by this opening season was indeed the starting pitching. I mean, Corbin Burns was as advertised. I saw you made some comments about it on Saturday, Grayson Rodriguez, not far behind burns in terms of dominance. I mean, he was really, really good. He was

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:19

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the great hope here He is the great hope here. comparisons to Palmer and we kind of sort of forgot about him a little bit because of what radish has gone through means getting socked around and in Norfolk over the weekend, I mean, they’ve had these flashes of other people. I mean, fresh cut, I don’t say came from nowhere, but certainly was not expected to be the Cy Young contender, and the perennial horse and the guys gonna get the $200 million sort of arm. That’s Grayson Rodriguez and exclamation point, right? I mean, hey, I’m not your opening day starter. Okay. Okay, here we go. Like you know, and honestly, hearing McDonald in the booth, and especially with Polymer, and let me just let me exhale for a minute, because I’m going to say something relatively profound the start this whole thing, because I have been in touch with David Rubenstein people on the inside, I’m not going to say anything more than that, other than I’ve met with them. And they, they know who I am. And they know what I represent. And they know who you are. And we’ll see. So I’ll begin with that. But there are two shows going on here. Right? There’s the show on the field. And there’s a show off the field, right, like with the new ownership, everything. You know, I see Rob long and Melanie Newman in the pregame show. I see Palmer and McDonald together, which never happens because it’s opening day weekend. And that was just like awesome. You know, like Palmer McDonald together. Awesome. Apart. Awesome, fine, good. You know, I mean, I’m, I, you know, I live to the Angelo’s here. I’m, that’s the first time I said that. I’m gonna say that a lot. I live to the Angelo’s era. And there was a lot of awful and a lot of everything. But I’d like the broadcast to be open. I’d like when Jorge Mateo Jason on a triple that they get all antsy about that. I want to see a real bro, I want to know what a real thing looks like. And I don’t know if it’ll ever come back. I watch what’s going on. I pass Michelle Andreas in the halls at the Ritz Carlton last week. And you know, I see the show they’re putting on out there 365 which is fake Rhea. It’s The Real Housewives of the Potomac. You know, it’s fake reality TV, from the Ravens perspective. But from the Orioles perspective, empty seats over the weekend. Teams really good. Tickets are really cheap. I look tickets are nine bucks. And I don’t have that sort of like, I’m not going to give him 20 bucks. I mean, I paid to go opening day. You know, I paid full price. I walked around, I drank a beer because somebody gave me one. But like I’m trying to wash away. And I’ll keep using this a lot of terrorism and a lot of trauma. In regard to some of the people I mean, Lucas Soros is still running around TJ Brightman still run around, like all of that, but the team on the field and the broadcast. And this is where I wanted to start with Palmer and McDonald. Like it. It’s a pleasure to sit at home and watch it on television. When it’s good when the team’s good when they’re losing by a couple of runs when the pitcher is getting his head beaten in the first inning and the second inning and you have real baseball strategy and we’re gonna go to the bullpen and the Royals are coming in and who’s pitching tomorrow and who’s up and who’s down. Like, I love baseball and I like the heartbeat of it. Now a lot more than I liked it two weeks ago with you. Were Angelo’s owns the team, and I’m rolling around Sarasota and the games don’t mean anything. Like this means a lot now like now they’re up for a second division, ownership change everything about it. I’m watching. I’m finding in the first five days more than I then I have in a long time. I’m really interested. I’m really interested now. This could resurrect the city. I saw what it did to the city on Thursday, I was in the middle of it driving pica home and the traffic pass where I used to live for 20 years. So I’m emotional about it. And I’m, you know, I’m waiting for the pregame show and I want it to be good. I’m rooting for these people. I’m rooting for all of it in a big, big, big way. I’ve waited my whole life. For this. I’ve waited a long long I’m looking at the pictures from what I look like back in the 90s when Angelus took over the team who was lying to me over at the barn. Like they got a real chance here. And every empty seat angers me now every every empty seats and opportunity. And I hope they feel that way because the team is really good. And I was a little disheartened that there weren’t more people there on Easter Sunday. And yeah, my wife said it’s Easter Luke’s not even there. Relax, relax. It’s cool. And I’m like, All right. I want to see some gusto. I want to see some momentum. Because dude, you and I are gonna get together five days a week. They’re gonna win baseball games, right? I mean, you don’t think there’s any way they that they’re not going to be really good based on the first two starts we saw. I mean, the pitching is better than we think I bet.

Luke Jones  10:13

Well, they won 101 games last year. I mean, let’s not act like and it’s not that terribly different have a team. I mean, you okay, you subtract Kyle Gibson, we’ll see about Kyle Bradish, obviously, and John means was not a good opening, rehab start at Norfolk. It’s one start, you know what we’ll see. Let’s see at least a couple more of those before we press the panic button. But by and large, it’s really the same team. I mean, it really is. I mean, Aaron Hicks was running around for the angels, striking out three times against Grayson Rodriguez on Saturday night, but it’s mostly the same team. So yeah, I have every expectation, they’re gonna be really good. Does that mean they’re gonna win? 101 Again, does that mean they’re gonna win 104 It’s baseball, you know, and this was a team that won a ton of one run games last year. It’s why I’ve expressed as much concern as I have about the bullpen and let’s face it, the bullpen really didn’t come into play a whole lot over the course of the weekend. It’s just it’s what happens when you have two blowout victories and then in the finale, you’re behind for one and you never bullpen kept a close at the very least give them a chance in the late innings. But we haven’t really seen what that looks like. But beyond that, and when I say I’m concerned about the bullpen, it doesn’t mean I think it’s the worst in baseball, it just means you’re replacing Felix Batista. You did it for a month last year and it was admirable to the degree that they were able to step up. But that’s different than doing it for 162 games. And that’s that’s where my I don’t know if I’d say trepidation as much as I’m taking some Paul’s about this team. And they’re also playing in the American League East Yankees looked really good down in, in Houston, disposing of the Astros over a four game set really impressive

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:54

if we hadn’t talked at all about the Yankees or the blue chases, right? We don’t talk about anything here. But us, us, us. Me, me. Me. We like you. And I don’t ever talk about who’s coming to get the Orioles. Right, including the rangers who came and got him last year. I mean, it’s a little bit of worry about that in October, let’s just let’s beat the team in front of us. Let’s worry about the Royals in the pirates right now. Right?

Luke Jones  12:16

Exactly. And some of it is just you have to let the season breathe a while. You know, I mean, at this point, there’s, I’ve seen it and we’ll talk about this at least in passing about the Kansas City Royals coming to town, I saw some offseason predictions of them being better. You know, I in fact, I even saw one or two of them winning that division, which I don’t think is about the Royals as much as people being bled about that division, although I think the Tigers are gonna be interesting this year. With some, you know, some interesting young players on that team. I still think the twins are very much a factor. But point is, we don’t exactly know just yet, who’s good, who’s bad, who’s really good, who’s really bad. And some of that is just he got a lot of play out. So in the case of the Orioles, why wouldn’t you expect them to be really, really good, they want 101 games last year, and that that might mean something like, okay, they don’t win as many games as they did last year. And I I went on record saying I think they’re gonna win 94 games and but I also think that’s going to be good enough to win the division because I think this division while it’s competitive, while you certainly can’t count anyone out, although the Red Sox, I’m pretty close to counting them out. I’m not a big believer in Boston at this point. But the rest of the division, I think you can make cases for them, any of those other teams to win the division, but I think any of those other teams also have question marks even the Yankees who for no and feel like they’re on top of the world right now top of the division through the first weekend for whatever that’s worth, which is nothing. But they have their

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Nestor J. Aparicio  13:47

payroll in a while and need to go do that figure out how much money they’re really spending. They’re right in there. Yeah, but at the

Luke Jones  13:53

same time, look at how much money they’re spending on older players who are coming off of down years. Injury plagued years. In some cases like Giancarlo Stanton, for example, multiple years where you’re looking at them, well, they have their

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:05

own Chris Davis situation. I mean, they have, they have all kinds of situations

Luke Jones  14:09

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where they need guys to bounce back. Now. It helps when you acquire Juan Soto, and we’ve seen him at his best early on. But I don’t want to belabor the point about the Yankees, but it’s a tough division still. So even from the standpoint of the Orioles, you might be a believer in them from a true talent level standpoint of, dare I say even being a little bit better than where they were last year. That doesn’t always equate to more wins, though. We know how that works with baseball, especially with close games. I mean, this team go look at what their winning percentage was in one run games last year. That’s generally something where you see regression to the mean, you know, when you’re playing close games, over the long haul, your record is going to you know, even the good teams record it’s going to be closer to 500 in one run game. So that’s why we go back to the point that I made last year to you about you want to win some blowouts and not have to lean on your bullpen and the Orioles were able to do threw that on opening day and they were able to do that on Saturday night although they lost CNL Perez to the to the IL so right off the bat you know, an injury concern there but you know by and large why wouldn’t you love this team and the reality is they have so many reinforcements at triple A Jackson holiday off to a great start at Norfolk coming hits a home run and in Norfolk’s opener off a lefty nevermind you so just kind of

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:27

the also make an error Can I point that out? He did. He did Yeah, well, that would be Mike Elias and you know the good cop bad cop like let him Let him go feel the ball

Luke Jones  15:37

we’re both using small sample sizes that’s what’s fun about opening day right i mean you could talk about you when you’re going 162 Oh you lose that the sky is falling but

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:46

when I know guys are making errors in Norfolk, you know my radars up right?

Luke Jones  15:52

I mean, if your radar is not up on Jackson holiday it’s never going to be up on any anyone in the minor leagues. I mean, that’s how talented this kid kid is. That’s why so many people were so passionate about their decision one way or the other. So but

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:05

well I remember where I was when I saw him bat for the first time in Sarasota out and right field with a beer. You know what I mean? Sure, sure. Just

Luke Jones  16:13

like you probably remember him with Gunnar Henderson took his first major league at bat and Cleveland. What was it his first at bat but later in that game hits the homerun is batting helmet flies off and he’s running around the

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:24

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air with Curt Schilling took the ball after the big tray, but Boddicker you know, so like, I got it, you know, I was there when Tippi Martinez and Rick Dempsey came over in the big trade, you know, like I dude, I I’ve been here for all of them. Except ownership changes, which, you know, I’m keeping an eye Luke Jones is at Baltimore, Luke, He has looked at wn St. dotnet. If you want to find him, we’re out on the socials. This week, Jeff mcommerce coming up, we’re gonna talk some Royals baseball, and I’m doing a lot of baseball this week. And I’m gonna wind up doing a lot of politics later on in the month because I ran into tons and tons of politicos and obviously with what’s going on with the Key Bridge and what’s going on with an election. So a lot of things are happening and tectonic plates are shifting around. There’s also a 25th anniversary documentary that I’ve been working on the Blue Rock productions this month to accurately portray true history and I’ll probably entertain you for about 30 minutes before it’s all over with as well. Hopefully we’re entertaining you around here sharing the word that we’re on the beat for all things Orioles baseball on a daily basis. What thing I would say we keep talk about the CNL Perez and the injuries in the bullpen. I think about that Cano Batista thing that happened last year, and I even think about like the Orioles getting eliminated in 14 by the Royals, where they had three of that with Davis in the bullpen that they had in Kansas City where you go 789 to six inning game. The Orioles played maybe six weeks a ball at a really important time in the history of the franchise in May and June of last year where they were moving from being a team that was on the come to being a team that here they come. And I don’t I don’t know that that’s replicable. You know, I remember when Orel Hershiser nobody could score run off him for six weeks. Like there there have been these pitching. Well, Maddox had 10 years of it, but it Patriot had about four years. I mean, there’s some guys that you can’t hit ever whatever, but bullpens and the ups and downs of how good a guy can be one year and not the next year. And then you know, given Kimbrel a billion dollars and having him come in and having to be the guy in those situations, to your point, all of those high leverage situations last year. I mean, every game is a one run game, and they got through with you guys, they were paying nothing to one whose arm fell off. The other one is just a you know, a guy like a guy that won the Kentucky Derby once that wasn’t that kind of horse literally. Right? And, but we’ll see. But I don’t expect that right and, and I think that that’s part that I’m in through this year with this team and this ownership group, and this sea change for whatever their philosophy is going to be. And again, I think they’re gonna win, and I’m going to be bored with them winning. Like literally, it’s I don’t mean that to be I want to watch what they’re doing to lift the city. That’s, that’s what I’m doing. I mean, literally. So when they’re asking me I’m watching what they’re doing to get more people to I was treated well by several Oriole employees on opening day, dude, help me get my ticket. It was very like, like, I probably should be putting more of that up on social media, but it’s just sort of happening to me that I bought a ticket I walked to the box office I wanted to get in I didn’t post much, but the team’s gonna be good. And you and I are going to be on the team every day and pitching changes and stuff like that. But I expect a completely different narrative because I’ve been a baseball fan all my life. This is my 53rd 52nd Season of watching baseball. all the way through my 32nd 33rd year on the radio. It’s my 41st year with a media credential started in 1984. So I’ve watched a lot of baseball this year is different than any other year, because of what this thing could. I’ve seen what baseball is the St. Louis what it is the Boston what it used to be here. My last name is Aparicio. You know, watching all of this unfold and watch people come back downtown and all of that the narrative of the team, and who you fall in love with and the scored zone and like all the things that they’re doing down there, to try to get people back and I still see all these empty seats. And somebody said they should put a tent over the the upper left field, the seats that I love, the free the bird seats, the the upper left field seats, they’re always going to be empty. And I know I had Janet Murray on this week talking about all of this. But the narrative of the team and who hits what who pitches what, the bullpen to your point and the pitching. Every day, we’re going to be measuring that as baseball people. Because dude, they’re going to hit the ball that like these guys are going to hit there might not score 13 runs every night. When they get behind for nothing in the second inning. It’s not turn the game off and bring it back in the fifth inning, it’s every at bats a walk in a double and a homerun and it’s, you know, like, and that’s always the kind of fireworks the team will have. And for that they’re gonna get my nine innings every night, right? Like, they’re gonna get a full effort from me as a fan. Because I there, they can win any game. I mean, they got behind early, they didn’t catch up on Sunday didn’t hit the ball, but they’re gonna hit the ball. And this is a really, really compelling baseball story for everybody in baseball, not just guys named Aparicio. And Jones and Baltimore, we do sports media.

Luke Jones  21:51

Yeah. I mean, and I’ll continue to go back to what I said about last year’s team. I mean, they were really good. They weren’t 101 games. They’re not coming out of nowhere this year. I mean, and that’s where it is different. And you made you made the point, as you were talking about. Yeah. And you know, as far as when they kind of had that jumping off moment from all right. End of 2022. They played well, really well in the second half. And they were in the wildcard race until about the last week of September. That year. Unexpected, I mean, wildly unexpected. And it was

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:23

so so clear, when rutschman came up the leadership that he brought, right, even a bad team that was coming on literally the leader. Yeah.

Luke Jones  22:31

And even early in that 2022 season, even when they were losing games, it still looked different. If you’re watching it every night, it was much more competitive. It was not these games where you’re just saying these guys aren’t major league players, or this guy on the mound is not a major league pitcher, it started looking different than and then when Richmond arrived, right, they took off. But there was still that sense in April in May of last year of okay. They’re going to be competitive, they’re going to be in the playoff race, because you have three wildcards now, for example, I mean, you go through all the reasons why, but for them to play at the at the level that they did last year, to win over 100 games for the first time in over 40 years, to be the best team in the American League. That was you know, you don’t do it. That’s not a fluke, right? You, you can Fluke your way into maybe winning at seven games. If you’re fantastic in one run games. And you sneak in as the last wildcard. We talked about this a lot with the NFL, I mean, look at where the Steelers have been the last couple of years where they’ve gotten lousy, lousy quarterback play, but the rest of their team has been good enough. And they sneak in as the number seven seed in the AFC you can do that. But you don’t sneak your way into 101 wins, right. And that’s what this team did last year. So you look at them this year. And by and large when you say that they’re a year older, sometimes that has a negative connotation like for the Yankees, for example right now, despite the fact that they did well in Houston. They’re all a year older. And that’s, that’s not a good thing for Stan. And that’s not a good thing for Anthony Rizzo. That’s not a good thing for some of their older players. But when you’re a team like the Orioles were just about everyone other than what Craig Kimbrel and James McCann, let’s say, although it’s not like he’s 38 years old or anything like that. These guys are a year older, that just means you’re a little more experienced. And that’s a good thing for just about the entire rosters. So I’m with you on that. I mean that it’s an offense that they didn’t lead baseball. You know, they weren’t the best offense in baseball last year. But when you have Gunnar Henderson and Adley rutschman One, two, I mean, you’re starting off every game like that. You’re starting every time through the order with those two guys. And then you throw in mountcastle the way that he’s swinging right now knowing that he’s streaky, but right now it’s a hot streak for Ryan mountcastle and Santander and Hayes and you know hope hoping to see more from Westberg this year. You know fro Colton Couser into the mix. Cedric Mullins. You want to see him bounce back from the injuries last year. Yeah, there’s a lot of depth there. Now Get to the bottom of the lineup. And this is where we get into Jackson holiday watch or Kobe Mayo watch or Heston curse dad watch, or throw Kyle sours in there, get to the bottom of the order and you have a Reus. And Matteo. Okay, that’s a little bit different, right? I mean, those, those guys don’t have as much long term upside, certainly. But it’s a lineup that to your point, you’re not going to score 24 runs every two games like they did in the first two of the season. But you’re against bad pitching. Yeah, sure. Sure. And, by the way, since you mentioned that, how about the fact that the angels had a team meeting after the second game of the season? Ron Washington, God bless men, I think it’s gonna be a long year for the angels. But that’s, that’s not exactly.

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Nestor J. Aparicio  25:44

Here’s a long year for the angels, and they lost their best player, which may have been a blessing for them. By the way, dude, I can’t help but get fascinated, because I love Tokyo, and I love Japan. And I love baseball. And, you know, I’m fascinated by this world of gambling and players and how they’re gonna lie and get up and lie. Dude, you’re standing with Ray Rice. Look, you in the eye told you to punch his wife, right, like, so they all lie, and then the receipts come and who knows who covers up what and investigations, we still have oral reports being given to commissioners of the NFL, by legitimate people, you know, over all sorts of tawdry allegations that later on would be shoved under the carpet. And I actually had a billionaire run for me on a veranda last year after taking my press credential away. So all things are on, you know, are on board about how the reporting is and who’s massaging what but it’s trouble for baseball. You know, I’ll just say that start the week. I mean, the angels were here without Otani, who I’ve still never seen play, by the way, like so. I mean, I was in Yankee, I was in New York one night, he was pitching like, I never saw him. And I want to when I was making a big deal about whenever I did it, now he’s with the Dodgers and Lord knows he might be behind. He might be imprisoned before it’s all over. You know, like, it’s crazy. Whatever happens here. But then there’s nobody in Oakland. What are they doing? Like, I mean, the season begins, and they have scandal in LA, right? The angels can’t compete now. Oakland is terrible. And we have this great story here of new ownership and like all this awesome stuff that could happen here. Boy, Rob, Manfred ‘s office is on fire in a you know, by the way, it’s not even April Fool’s. That’s, that’s real. Yeah. Yeah.

Luke Jones  27:36

I mean, it’s what? There’s no such thing as bad publicity. I don’t know if I subscribe to that. But I mean, it’s the NFL has, I mean, Rashid rice for the for the chiefs.

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:48

I mean, you bring that up? Yeah. But um,

Luke Jones  27:51

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I guess my point is not to deflect. I mean, when you’re talking about Shohei, Ohtani, and any link to gambling, and when you think about the connotations of that, Pete Rose, go back to them. Julius Joe Jackson have been there’s a long history of gambling being what it was in terms of the unspeakable act. And now and it’s every other commercial when you’re tuning into the Orioles or a national broadcast on ESPN, where they’re, you know, they’re, they’re promoting their own, you know, their own content as it pertains to gambling. I mean, I’m not deranged, welcome

Nestor J. Aparicio  28:26

their players onto a couch on a show that is a gambling show, before they ever wear a uniform. They’re under a gambling shield now. So like,

Luke Jones  28:37

you Yeah, I mean, it’s one of those where you look at it. And look, I’m not gonna sit here and say that I expected it to be Shohei Otani or his interpreter or whatever the story is ultimately going to be with that, but I’m not gonna sit here and say that I’m surprised to see there be some troubling concerning link of a player to gambling. I mean, Kevin really was suspended. You know, in the NFL, a couple years ago up, high profile player just got big money in Tennessee. So the

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:05

ESPN story over the weekend on Otani, his relationship with that guy that you read that piece, I did not, I saw some bits and pieces of fantastic, fantastic beasts. If anybody wants to understand that I’ll probably share it out on my social because I probably should. But it was, um, I mean, this is a this is a big, big alarm for baseball, while we have good stuff going on here in new ownership, and I’ll be all about paying attention all the stuff going on here. I mean, that thing in Oakland, the fact that they’ve eff this up again, after two decades ago, they play games in San Juan with what became the Nationals. And you know, the amazing thing about Rubinstein is if I were really to sit with him, like Ryan Ripken did last week and had an exclusive you know, whatever. It’s unbelievable to me that I wrote the Peter principles all these years ago when I stopped in 2006 because of the mass and thing and That was 10 years ago, it was an eight year fight, then it’s been an 18 year fight. The last time they moved the franchise over the television rights, they that’s how effed up these people are. They never got that right with Peter. They never got it right for DC one a had a bad title has been blown up. And they still never got their television money, right? They’ve been two franchises that have been a mess from the very beginning for two decades, despite pumping out money and good teams and book show Walter and all that this Oakland thing has been a steamer since Charlie Finley, like literally it’s been, and they can’t fix it. And they couldn’t fix Peter. They, I mean, they let this thing sit here and rot for two decades before they would do anything as an entity to clean it up. Because they can’t take out their laundry in Tampa and in Oakland and it I mean, and the season begins and they got these games. I mean, like the overall issues for baseball. I mean, they need better leadership, dude. That’s all that’s all I’m gonna say they need they need to do this better. Yeah,

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Luke Jones  31:09

I mean, we say that in every sport, though. I mean, there’s there’s good stuff. And there’s stuff where you say, Well, how was I mean, you mentioned Oakland, when the Raiders played in Oakland, in a lame duck fashion for what two or three seasons? I mean, it you know, they announced they were going to Vegas, and that didn’t happen over and I mean, it’s just that that whole dynamic is just, it’s sad. And for the fan base, you know, what, on opening night, the A’s had more people out in the parking lots tailgating as a protest event than people that were

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:40

clear. They had no plan. You know what I mean? Like in November, nobody knew when they were gonna play. I had Maury Brown and Eric on back in January when the word leaked about Rubinstein. And I’m like, where are they gonna play? Like? There’s a million baseball fields in this country, right? Like, there’s places they could go and play and maybe somebody would show up and it wouldn’t be rats running around. I’ve been in that building, dude, it should be condemned. Like, it’s disgraceful that they’re they’re putting the major league baseball in the faces their shield, it really does.

Luke Jones  32:15

It does. Well, just the fact that they’re still playing there. But then even from the standpoint of you have made it clear you are leaving that that is your, you’ve said it’s no longer tenable. But then you’re going to continue playing there for I don’t want to say an indefinite period of time. But some yeah, there’s some it’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:34

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not fair to the players, man, you know.

Luke Jones  32:38

And I guess, I guess, the mindset and you know, since I brought it up, I mean, you look at the NFL with what they did with the Raiders. I mean, and we’ve talked about this, I always found the Raiders to be a really unique fan base, beyond the black hole dressing up like Darth Vader and looking like it’s Halloween, but just the standpoint of people still supported the team knowing they were leaving. And, you know, we’ve talked about that in for decades now, in terms of how the culture perceived, still proceed to this day. I mean, you know, we’ve even had conversations recently about you know, what Indianapolis is what that franchise is what it means to Baltimore now all those different things, but just that dynamic that the Raiders played there and they still ended up drawing pretty well those couple years now that’s not happening with the A’s and part of it’s the a stink to this point in time. And everything about it is the bottom of the barrel, right. I mean, payroll, all everything, you know, they

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:35

not stink. That was my point. I mean, but I guess I guess there’s it’s made major league baseball uncompetitive in that way, because they’re like a minor league team, literally. Yeah, I

Luke Jones  33:44

mean, it’s just, you know, I mean, there have been, there are teams, I’m the Orioles are a good example of this recently, where, you know, you can be bottom of the pay or bottom of the barrel in terms of payroll and still have good players. But I just think it’s a weird dynamic. When you say you’re going to move, yet. You hang around then for an indefinite period of time. It’s very much like a couple that separate and say, Okay, we’re done. Now, we’re getting a divorce, yet. They’re going to live together for another year or two, like, I mean, that’s kind of sort of what it is. Yeah, it’s kind of a lame analogy, but that’s the best I can think of, in terms of just how odd that is. And I guess, from an ownership standpoint, from a Major League Baseball standpoint, and maybe not Oakland, because I haven’t drawn. I mean, no one’s gone to the Coliseum for years. It’s part of the reason now, at least one of many reasons why it’s no longer going to be there. But, you know, there’s probably a sense of what we have a fan base that has a history with us. We know we’re not going to sell out the place, but there might be a large enough percentage of fans that will still come to games compared to just arbitrarily placing the team and I don’t know, Sacramento, you name your city where, you know, Nashville Yeah. where people know if they’re not going to be there long term that they’re not going to come watch them. So well, they

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:06

also know it’s fairly compete with the Albuquerque wizards or wherever they go. Right. So right, right, just plop down into round rock and play.

Luke Jones  35:15

So that’s yeah, the right. I mean, you’re exactly. So that’s part of the challenge here. But yeah, in the meantime, that you’re going to continue to play there. And that kind of a broken down facility in that kind of an environment. I mean, think about these guys. It’s opening day and there was no one there. I mean, I’m not talking about recent opening days in Baltimore, where I get it the Orioles 110 losses. It’s not as though there were only 10,000 People in the ballpark on opening day, it was still mostly filled, right. I mean, even even at the leanest not talking about the COVID year, but I mean, that’s a case where people are actively staying away, there are people making a concerted effort to show up and be in the parking lot and party as Oakland fans. But saying to the franchise, forget you guys, I am not going into the ballpark. I’m not even gonna go into the ballpark to use the leaky pipe bathrooms. So I mean, it’s just, it’s just, it’s uncomfortable from that standpoint. I mean, I admire the fans who are trying to express and make their voices heard. I mean, we got one of those guys,

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:16

by the way. On the club level, it was wearing a free the bird shirt on opening day pretty good. Am I so I had to share that picture. But so I’m appreciative. So yeah,

Luke Jones  36:25

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so So I mean, look, to bring it back to the Orioles because, you know, leave. You know, that’s there’s a lot that new ownership has to tackle here. As I said to you, as we were recapping opening day, and since you brought up NASA and I mean, one of my very first questions if I had a chance to sit down with David Rubenstein for a few minutes would be what’s your outlook for mass and you know, how do you see Masson working for you in terms of for the Orioles in terms of disagreement in place with with the Orioles and the Nationals and ownership of the team and percentage of that in terms of you

Nestor J. Aparicio  37:00

have a television station that can have my show on at lunchtime and Ryan Ripken is on for breakfast. And you can be you know what I mean? Like it’s a television network, you could do something with it. If you chose. You

Luke Jones  37:09

can, you can but you also need to figure out what that looks like. Because believe me, there are plenty of regional sports networks in Major League Baseball,

Nestor J. Aparicio  37:17

Kevin figured it out. It’s there’s not a model because there’s 10,000 channels, and I’m getting people onto my channel and having to pay cable television. Sure, but the point in my show. Yeah,

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Luke Jones  37:26

but I’ve seen some of those regional sports networks that had lots of a really compelling original programming. I saw it I’ve used Pittsburgh as an example where I live in Pittsburgh, I can’t even remember what it’s called, because it’s had so many name changes and ownership changes and all that in terms. I don’t think it’s rude anymore. Yeah, but whatever it is. Right. But the point is lots of really good original programming, like you just suggested it didn’t work. You know, it didn’t work for what so my very first question for Rubinstein or one of the first questions would be what what is your outlook for mass and and what’s your level of urgency? And how do you plan to offer direct to consumer viewing options in this market? Not talking about MLB TV where if someone is living out in San Francisco, they can watch the Orioles every single night, other than when they’re playing the San Francisco Giants? Because you don’t have blackout rules apply. But how are you doing that? What are you doing in terms of offering streaming options, whether that’s being on YouTube TV, whether that’s being on Hulu, whether that’s being on whatever it might be? Or and I think this is still where big picture where things are going to need to head for not just the Orioles but all the major league baseball, how are you going to package direct to consumer options where I can say I’m going to pay $200 a year to have access to watch the Oreos on my TV with my fire stick or Roku, where I can stream it, whether I whether I can stream it on my phone, my tablet, they get a free bleacher seat for you know one game this year with free parking to get me down to the ballpark for free as part of being a subscriber you know, like but however you want to package that because we know that subscribing to direct TV or XFINITY or whatever it might be that model as it has existed for the last few decades is going away. It’s going away. It’s not dead yet, but it’s going away it is in rapid decline. So I’m not saying you kill that today. But boy, you better be thinking about the future you better be thinking about how that’s going to look because I’m 40 years old. Everyone younger than me other than your most hardcore baseball fans and by the way, there are plenty of hardcore Orioles fans who can’t afford satellite to the price that they’re paying or the the premier package that you have to pay that mass is one for your cable subscribers. So they’re listening to games on the radio and they’re watching game stray games when they can but yeah, that’s a problem. That’s a long term problem and that’s not

Nestor J. Aparicio  39:55

to bring the people to your bring the game to people. Separate

Luke Jones  39:58

one that That’s all 30 teams are dealing with that right now. And I don’t think it’s as simple as just well, we’re going to, we’re gonna broker it all out. So okay, you’ll you’ll get an Apple TV game at every three weeks, you’re gonna get a game on peacock every other. Yeah, you can have some of that fine. You know, we’re seeing the NFL do that now with playoff games even. But, boy, you better have some direct to consumer options, and good ones. And again, you want younger people, especially to engage. I’ve even seen some recent statistics Nesta, youth baseball, I’ve seen some encouraging signs that it’s actually participation is actually trending up after being weighed down for a long time. But that doesn’t mean that you’re going to automatically get them to sit there and watch 50 Oreos games a year or however many games they watch when they’re home or in the evening for younger people. And, and we’ve talked about it.

Nestor J. Aparicio  40:51

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Next time, I paid somebody a half a million dollars to sit in in the ballpark paid some. I don’t I don’t I don’t know who it would be. You know, I think it’s somebody like George Henderson. We just lost recently. So I want to give him a shout out because he loved me and love my show. He was a baseball man. But that kind of person to Bill steca Go out into community and do nothing but encourage people to play Little League Baseball instead of lacrosse. encouraging parents like that would be a really difficult position. It just if you were the czar of getting kids to play baseball in Baltimore, under that umbrella of a Cal Ripken league. And a there’s an interesting guy. How about make Cal Ripken that guy it’s pretty. I think he already is that guy. It’s gonna say yeah, I think he is that guy. So Cal Ripken fund. Okay. I mean, all these encouraging statistics I Call Kaka on that, you know, because I do that almost statistics, which pisses off people, but because I think they’re fabricated by people who want to make them smell good. I still pass lacrosse fields everywhere, you know, living in Baltimore County, everywhere I go. And that’s all I mean, but it’s one or the other. You know what I mean? It really is a one or the other. So every one I see there, I know that’s not a baseball opportunity anymore. And I think that would be an interesting thing to put in front of Rubinstein from a you know, something interesting that that they will be doing here that maybe they don’t do everywhere else is like trying to get kids to play baseball. Tom Libero came on last week to talk about. And we’ll break because you and I got to like talk about what’s going on?

Luke Jones  42:24

And let me just go Sure. I mean, it really comes down to this. Look, there’s not one initiative, it’s casting as wide a net as you can. I mean, it really, truly is. I’ve focused a lot on the TV side of that from the standpoint of because I know, I know what my direct TV bill is every month. And honestly, I probably wouldn’t have it if it wasn’t for the fact that that’s the easiest, most practical way for me to legally have Masson Could I could I go the MLB TV route and get a VPN and to change my IP address and make it look like I’m in Colorado and get the Orioles games? Yeah, and I believe me, I know people will do that. I know a lot of people will do that, quite frankly. But the idea of cast a wide enough net, create enough interest. And look, I am not expecting it to go back to 1989 where half the Orioles games are on broadcast TV, that ship has long since sailed. I am perfectly willing and happy to pay a fair price to have Masson. But when it’s lumped in with having to pay, you know, I’m just throwing out a number. It’s not quite this high, but $200 a month for an overall satellite or cable package that I’m not watching enough to justify that I’d much rather pay. I don’t know what I paid $200 Just in isolation that I would have access to watch every game that’s flown masked and just that but have no one had the commitment to have to pay for cable or satellite. I’d probably do that. In fact, I probably do that and won’t even think that much about it. I mean, it would have that kind of value to me. But that option is not even I wonder

Nestor J. Aparicio  44:00

how many people might have that value too. And that scares the living bejesus

Luke Jones  44:05

out of Sure. I mean, of course, but but that’s where we’re heading and looked at the MBAs thinking about that. Oh, say no, it’s the NHL, the only one is not as the NFL because the NFL is its own. I mean, there’s pro sports in America. And there’s the NFL.

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Nestor J. Aparicio  44:22

Man had to think this through 10 years ago, right? I mean, you’re wrestling fan it’s wrestling week. Like how do I serve wrestling fans, right, literally? Yeah, I

Luke Jones  44:29

mean, they’ve already gone from having their own streaming network to now it’s been hosted by peacock over the last few years. And now starting next fall, right. Might be starting. I think it may be a starting beginning of 2025. Monday Night Raw, which has been on either USA or front I think what it was even called back on tnn whatever it was, that it’s been on traditional cable TV. It’s gone to Netflix, and I mean, they’re getting billions of dollars to put their flagship what are their two flights? next ship shows on Netflix. It’s gonna be fascinating to see what that you know how profitable that is? I mean, they’re gonna get their money, it’s gonna be fascinating to see how profitable that is for net Netflix in terms of, do they get a spike Gripton? Or does that end up being something that maybe isn’t, you know, they’re all figuring it out, because it’s changing. It’s changing. And I think specially for older, traditional billionaire baseball owners, or any of these sports owners, thinking about how people have consumed games on cable TV, satellite TV for the longest time, and to think that, that’s in rapid decline. And to think that not just 20 Somethings, but 30 Somethings and 40 Somethings, and even gonna go on up, more and more people are streaming and consuming their TV way differently. So you got to figure out what the sweet spot is. And yeah, you’ll probably take, you’re gonna take a hit, at least from a short term standpoint, in terms of revenue. But if you want to maximize your long term, potential in terms of not just revenue, but growth, and to your point, getting more and more people interested in baseball, Boy, you better be creative. And you better be thinking as many different ways that you can cast a net to attract fans, and it’s not going to be a one size fits all easy fix. But I think if you’re, if you’ve got enough of a grind and the hustle to do it, and to come up with enough ways, yeah, I think you can absolutely spark a lot of interest. By the way, it’s really going to help from the standpoint of locally, you have this team that is coming off of 101 wins and should be really, really good again, and should be for the foreseeable future. So they got that going for them. But they do have a lot of work to do. And like I said, these are not just Oreos exclusive problems. These are major league baseball issues to tackle and to reimagine, as we get deeper and deeper into the 21st century.

Nestor J. Aparicio  46:54

I mentioned Tom Lovera was piece, just talking to Angelo’s and the history and all that but he does a thing with kids for cigars and curveballs about getting city kids to play baseball. And that’s the RBI program as is known here. So I wanted to throw that in because that was where I was headed with that you could find that everything else at the bottom or possibly find Luke and on social media at Baltimore, Luke, you can find me us we I cost this next Tuesday in the morning with the Maryland crabcake Tour presented by the Maryland lottery as well as next Friday at fade these the 12 as well as the 26 will be fade these live from two until five o’clock and baseball and other things political season. I got some concerts coming up some musicians coming on. I’m Nestor we’re wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore and we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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