The most perfect Orioles Opening Day in Baltimore baseball history?

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Pinch us! The Angelos era is over at Camden Yards, Opening Day was packed and the Baltimore Orioles are contenders to win a World Series. Luke Jones and Nestor Aparicio discuss the most perfectly perfect Opening Day in Baltimore baseball history.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

day, talking, baseball, press conference, years, ballpark, opening, week, people, run, peter, pitches, franchise, win, good, baltimore, point, ownership, rubinstein, baseball team

SPEAKERS

Luke Jones, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:02

Welcome home we are wn St. Am 1570 tasks in Baltimore and Baltimore positive it is. It’s after opening day. It’s what we do now that you look forward to baseball for five months finally get down there and decent weather. I mean, it could have been a whole lot worse on Thursday for opening day. We are taking the Maryland crabcakes we’re on the road I had. Look, you’ll be happy. No, I had my first ever fade Lee’s crabcake not really first ever fade these graphics at the new location. So it really was the first crabcake ever at the new location, all new equipment, all new space. It’s 50 yards from where the other one was. packed, packed. I showed up, you know about a quarter to one one o’clock, a little bit of a line. It was the most delicious crab cake I’ve ever had to fade these all new equipment, like it was it was delightful was delectable. So get down there, get some coconut juice me cucumber salad and get some french fries. And get that mac and cheese. We’re gonna be there on Friday, the ninth and that we’re shooting that Friday night Friday, the 12th. The ninth we’re going to be a Costas on Tuesday. Next week. We’re still hiatus Singh just because of April Fool’s on because I’m trying to settle in to the fact that look, I just wanna start with the people ask me all over the stadium. Did you get into it? No, I did not. I actually had someone from David Rubenstein group be very, very kind to me on opening day. So I’m just going to begin with that and say that it was the first time and you know this to be true. The first time an Orioles employee has spoken to me and well over 18 years. So I am pleased about that. I’m pleased about the outcome. I’m pleased about the enthusiasm. I don’t know I don’t know what what would I not be pleased about on opening day? What would you find a complain about other than it could have been a little sunnier.

Luke Jones  01:51

There could have been a little sunny or although I did see the sun peak out just as it was setting at the ballpark as I was wrapping up postgame coverage after an 1130 when the press conference with David Rubenstein was a little clunky. But look, there was a civic tragedy. The Governor was there. There were non baseball, local media and maybe even some national media for all I knew that were at that press conference. You know, they didn’t have a lot of time for questions. Their early indications of Rubenstein and this ownership, you know that this partner partnership group is we’ll have some opportunities for more of that because there are lots of questions that face this organization in the long run. And in 11 Different on a day in Corbin burns looking just incredible. But you use the word delightful in describing your experience at fade Lee’s and I think that really summed up most of the day. I mean, there was not a whole lot to complain about. Corbin burns didn’t throw a single pitch with a runner on base and six innings Mike Trout homerun literally the only blemish and just a dominant performance. The bats were alive early on they score 11 runs every want to

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:08

see my trout play. How about that just for that we got to see Mike Trout play Mike Trout

Luke Jones  03:12

and Anthony Rendon. I mean who has played next. I mean his play time has been next to nothing the last couple of years because of injuries. You forget what kind of player he can be, but he hasn’t been on the field.

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:23

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So even say I bet that you know it was okay that Otani wasn’t there, you know, so yeah,

Luke Jones  03:29

yeah, well, and that was what I tweeted out after trout hits the home run with two outs and the first thing I said okay, Shohei Otani may no longer be in Anaheim, but Mike Trout still is. Lo and behold, that was the only highlight for the angels who, okay, they scored a couple runs in the eighth inning when they were already down. 10 runs but a great day at the ballpark. I saw you make the comment I saw some others make the pose the question? Where did this rank among opening days for Orioles? Fans? I mean, it’s certainly way up there. I mean, I can’t sit here and say that I have a recollection of every opening

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:05

day after winning the division 101 games to start with that they never had an opening day with like a human being who’s an owner who comes out in waves that people put goes over to pickles and buys people beer. So like, yeah, there’s some weird issues going on here. You know, like it. I said to my wife, I came home and I’m like, somebody from New Orleans was nice to me. Like it’s never happened. I mean, love it. And literally, I got tears in my eyes. I don’t. I told you. I did not ever and you know this. I mean, you’ve known me a long time. I never ever spoke of the day after Peter Angelos died and the day after he sold the team. I just I never thought like that. I never did. I didn’t think like that two months ago for crying out loud. So this is one of those. Can you imagine if there were a new owner, can you imagine if the team were really good? Can you imagine if there were a new day can you like can you imagine if there were new lease? Yeah, No, just all of that we had had any of that in 30 years around here. So, um, I don’t know, it’s a, it was a beautiful thing to witness. And it was beautiful to walk through the ballpark and have people yelling at me and saying things and being enthusiastic and high fiving. And I don’t know, it’s it’s a demarcation point, right. Like, it’s you mentioned very much when Steve Khashoggi and Eric de Costa were hiding from me and darkness and running like cowards. The other night at the hotel, he said, I’ll change and Ray Rice punched his wife in the elevator like that, that changed everything for New York changed everything about the way they communicate. Well, I you know, I feel like new ownership should change everything about the baseball team, but we never envisioned this. And I couldn’t it couldn’t come at a better time for the city. For the tragedy for our fans for just, it’s just, it’s beautiful. It reminded me you asked me this is my favorite opening day. I was there when Sorento hit the bomb, right? You know, I was there. When Sutcliffe took the mound I was there, you know, I was there in 92. That’s pretty amazing. You know, and I’m thinking about getting a little get a little something going on here with you know, my skin. But, you know, opening day That day when the stadium was new and fresh? I don’t know, it almost felt like the thing was new and fresh in some way. All over? Yeah.

Luke Jones  06:17

Yeah, I think it’s, that’s that’s a fair assessment. And look, I mean, the excitement was already there for the club, you know, for the team on the field. And they certainly performed in a way that you would hope will on opening day, and it’s one to know and you hope it’s the first of many, many, many wins, whether it’s 101, or whether it’s 95. Or what, whatever it is that lands them in the postseason. But I’ll go back to something that I mentioned. And look, as I said to you, the the press conference, it was clunky. It is what it is at this point, I don’t think David Rubenstein is the one who’s sitting there planning that out. And again, amidst the the aftermath of the Civic tragedy, and people who had questions for the governor and whatnot. But I’ll go back to something that Rubenstein said during his press conference that really resonated on the heels of everything you just said about how special opening day was. He was very blunt, very direct, he did not mince words and saying, I don’t want today, I don’t want this moment. I don’t want me buying the franchise to represent the high watermark. And I thought that resonated in such a way because you just expressed so much optimism that yes comes with every opening day to some extent right. Hope springs eternal every maybe other than Oakland right now, all 30 franchises, there’s some semblance of at least a little bit of hope, even even if you’re not expected to do much on the field in 2024. But, uh, he flat out said like, I don’t want this to be the best memory of our group coming in and buying the club, although certainly, they made it a memorable but memorable, memorable day, even with what you’re talking about with what happened over pickles with the investor group buying around for everyone over there. But he flat out said like, I want the high watermark to be this October or some October in the very near future where we’re winning a World Series. And again, goes back to what we talked about, what, two months ago now, this idea, just being able to imagine raising the bar for this franchise, on the field off the field, baseball, business, Masson, or whatever TV’s going to look like in the coming weeks, months and years. All of those different factors, presence in the community, all of those different things, just being able to dare to raise the bar. It was a great start on opening day, it really was in a lot of ways. The energy play on the field, new ownership, group, fans, enthusiasm, everything you mentioned, people lifting each other up, honoring some of the emergency responders as far as the tragedy with the Key Bridge. I mean, there was you know, there was a there was an appropriate, somber tone that needed to be struck in the aftermath of what happened to early Tuesday morning. But I think at the same time, there was so much optimism and just such a feeling of a rebirth a reawakening for the franchise, and and you hope for the city, in a lot of ways as well. It was a great day, it really was and, and that’s before we even get into what happened on the field as I mentioned. I mean, how about the fact that the Orioles had a guy that we knew when they acquired them two months ago, it’s legitimate ace, arguably the best pitcher in the National League over the last five years, coming to Baltimore and lucky kind of statistically speaking didn’t have a great spring to the point where you know your most diehard of Orioles fans who pay close attention to spring training, were kinda suggesting like, Hey, what’s going on? And he

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Nestor J. Aparicio  09:47

said over and over the days with you last week, I think you brought it up three times that he didn’t look good, just privately in the car with me in conversation. And and you said on the air last week. Let’s see him touching majorly I mean, I used to go down I listen I used to hang out with Messina, Dan at Spring training you know this and, and like he had taken all that seriously. You know what I mean? Like ever, ever, ever, ever ever on the field off the field whatever he was just working things out it’s practice it’s a chance to go throw. I think Corbin wants you to sigh young and you got some money in the bank and you’re pitching for our contract. You’re not laying it on the line in Fort Myers or in Dunedin on a Tuesday night if we’re, you know, 42 pitches or whatever it is on in March. You know, Corbin birds look like he had some serious business take care of on here for the fans and for the American League and for a new franchise. And for him saying he won anything in Milwaukee. I saw some Waukee brewers jerseys which are always really good looking jerseys by the way, even though I still hate him getting ripped on money and Bobby out and Gorman Tiger. I love Sisto. We’ve never never talked bad about Sita lezcano ever not on this program. But the Brewers unis were out guideline in front of me in faith. He said it burns. Blue, you know, powder blue going on. And I thought man, you know, when’s the last time we imported a picture like this? I’m thinking like, key. You. Go ahead. It’s

Luke Jones  11:13

funny. You mentioned that because I was just trying to think of debut and we’re not talking like, you know, Mike Messina is first talking

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:20

about important debut that opening day starter is you’re talking about? Yeah. And Jimena. We had Palmer forever. He was ours. Right. You know, we didn’t have to go by him for a long time. Right. Right.

Luke Jones  11:31

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And it’s funny you mentioned it not that Jimmy key was dominant against Kansas City. 97. But remember, Messina, what was it was that the year he had the blister, I didn’t pitch opening day. He had Jimmy key had to start on opening day he went six innings I think gave up two runs something along those lines. And but this was that was a good start. That was a nice Hey, way to step in and start on.

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:53

He was at the end. Yeah. Burns is about to get the big contract in the middle if he can keep his arm on, which is always an issue for pitcher. Right. So exactly. I

Luke Jones  12:02

mean, even last year, I mean, Kyle Gibson started on opening day, you know, I mean, it was he pitched well, I mean, it was fine. But this is this was different. This was holy cow used to do. So. You saw the cutter, you saw the curve, you saw the slider swinging mess with all of that stuff. 11 strikeouts, I mean, he was dominant that I always go back to something and Buck didn’t coined this term, but he used it a lot. You hear baseball guys say? That’s what it looks like. Right? When they’re talking about a dude, whether you’re talking about an ace, whether you’re talking about a bopper in the middle of the lineup, that’s what it looks like. Well, you talk about an ace. That’s what it looked like on Thursday. I mean, Burns was dominant. And many threw at two pitches. I mean, high took him out early, because he knows hey, I want him to make 32 more starts and he guys aren’t fully built up coming out of spring training. So I mean, he could have gone at least another inning, you know, I would have if this was late April rather than late March. I mean, he was he was terrific. And I’ll say this, it’s probably one of those half dozen starts where you literally have everything going in and he flat out said that in his postgame comments as people were hearing as they’re listening to us today and through and over the course of the weekend as he reflects, but he had everything going and the movement, the curveball was biting a slider. His cutter has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for the last five years now. He was excellent. I don’t know if his stuff itself will be that dominating every timeout and he’ll have full command of his pitches to that degree. But you see what it looks like when he’s on and I get it. It’s the angels expectations are very low for that club on the heels of Otani making this short trip down the road to to Dodger Stadium, but that’s exactly what you wanted to see from burns. It’s exactly what you wanted to see from the Orioles on opening day and now we look turned to the remaining remaining 161 games and the optimism is as high as it needed to be on opening day that’s for sure.

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:12

Well Luke Jones can be found at Baltimore Lucca I got a hold up my Maryland lottery 10 times the cash tickets, I probably should have like hung out of faith and given some of these out and done a promotion. This documentary has been eaten me up being out on the roads eating us up having the bridge go down has just been I was downtown all day on Thursday and I drove home through the tunnel and when I came out, for whatever reason I never looked to the right. I went I grabbed food I took Chris pica home to his beautiful a State and Federal Hill through traffic I fought traffic to get pica home. And then I went through the tunnel and I realized when I got like to my home like at Eastern Avenue that I didn’t look up Just to see the bridge being gone, so I still have not looked at the sky and seeing that the bridge is gone. I and I’m getting cowardly about it. I like I started to drive on 95 right there past cane street going north toward the split. And I thought I haven’t seen it yet. When am I really going to go? Look, it’s just gonna be mortal stadium or I just avoid it. Yeah, can’t avoid it. I drive the Dundalk all the time. I kid lives there. So at some point, it’s gonna hit me even harder. You know, I guess for all of what’s happened here, you and I were away. We’re in a hotel room was screaming Disney Kids in Lake Buena Vista. The bridge goes down, we get home. It’s crazy. Everything has been crazy the last couple of days. The baseball the healing part of baseball that we talked about where baseball makes you feel good and completes the city and completes. I talked in those terms all of my life. And so Peter bought the team, right? Like there has been very, very little hope Hape, as we’d say here. In recent times. I don’t even know how to handle it. You know what I mean? I don’t even I don’t even know what to say about it. I mean, I, I am an optimist. By nature. We’re Baltimore positive. Sometimes it doesn’t come across that way. But certainly if you speak to me in private terms, I don’t speak about the end of the world. I speak about what great things going to happen next. For you with the team and whatever the ceiling would be through this. What did Rubinstein get asked? And what is there anything you clean from the ownership side that you want to say about that? Because you and I are gonna talk baseball a lot. I don’t know, do you want to talk ownership a lot. And I don’t know that. I mean, this guy’s not going to be Peter Angelos. He’s not going to be on the phone yelling at George Steinbrenner. And up in the middle of the night drunk, yelling at Peter Schmuck, and like, you know, firing people and torturing Kevin Brown and like, I don’t vibe that this guy is going to do that at all. I also, from talking to some of his people, I don’t find that he’s really put a whole lot of thought into what it’s gonna be like to be a baseball owner, like literally like, he’s a billionaire. He’s done other things in his life. This is a piece of a portfolio that’s supposed to be fun for him and community spirit and all that. i In the same way, when Peter bought the team, five minutes in, he had fired everybody tortured, everybody. Luchino was gone. Rick fall? No, he was leaving. I mean, everybody needed to get out. And they did. I don’t know how the people that work there feel or like they’re going to stay or whether I don’t think he’s come into this with any great, like, management team, or this or that, or major changes, or who is COO is going to be or who is CEO, like, we haven’t heard any of that. And, look, I found out for a fact that the wire transfer happened Wednesday night. So the money just landed in the account. And he woke up and went down and was buying beer for everybody doing press conferences after a tragedy. So I don’t know what the big picture is. I’ll be on I have that. But what what do you think or see or feel? Or was there nothing different for you? Look, I ran into TJ Brightman, I saw Luca Soros running around in a suit running the place like working. I mean, I saw all the Angeles people were there. I saw George stainless. I mean, I saw the Angelo’s everybody but John and Pierre and I didn’t see Peter in 20 years. The answer was people were still running the team. I mean, that’s very, I wasn’t at the press conference. So trust me when I say that, but what did you sense about it? Because I sense? I don’t know, I never know what the transition is gonna feel or look like Right? Like you never know. But I do sense that this guy. He loves baseball, but I don’t think he knows much about the business of baseball, you know what I mean? Like in nor did Peter nor did Steve, when he bought the like, like how this really well, I probably know a whole lot more about it than he does. Because I’ve been around it for 3540 years, certainly knew more about it from the person from his group that I spoke to, who didn’t know a lot of baseball, and I’m just thinking like that there’s a lot to learn. But if you’re a good person, and so far, so good. You have to know the history of the unraveling of what’s going on the last 30 years and I’m not even really sure that they know how bad it was, or and how nice it is just to have somebody like stand in front of you with a straight face and tell you they’re not gonna lie to you.

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Luke Jones  19:18

Well, first of all, I mean, a couple of things there. Look, I mean, the optimism is there. I mean, that’s stating the obvious, right? And, and the basic fact about it, the baseball and the baseball team is really good. Right. And that was true before this transaction took place. So that has been true much at all. Oh, no, no question about it. But it was I mean, if there’s one thing you can credit John Angeles for its hiring Michael is and largely getting out of the way, at least from a baseball standpoint, better than he found

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:42

it in that way. No doubt about it. He did.

Luke Jones  19:45

But that said there’s the business side there’s mass and there’s ticket sales. There’s there’s a changing media landscape. I mean, the question that I wanted to pose to David Rubenstein, and again, there was next to no time. I think there were five question cuz total, a couple were about the bridge pose to Governor more, even though there was, from what I understand a press conference that followed, that was specifically for that that was not communicated to those in attendance. I mean, again, from a production standpoint, the press conference left a lot to be desired. Again, I’m under I’m understanding there’s a lot going on beyond just the future of the baseball team this week, especially in these coming weeks and months, especially. But the question that I had, which you and I’ve talked about, I mean, hey, we know the state of regional sports networks in baseball and around the country. We know the state of subscribing for traditional cable and satellite is in rapid decline. I wanted to know, what’s your outlook for mass? And what’s your outlook for the need to provide more direct to consumer viewing options for people in this market, not just MLB tv where you can watch it out of market? So that was one of the first questions I had. That was not even asked, let alone answered. So look, everything feels great right now. And understandably so justifiably so. But you just laid it out. And I think that’s why it’s going to be so critical to see Reuben son, and this group hires to run things, you know, whether we’re talking about the CEO, whether we’re talking about, hey, some people within the organization are going to be retained and are going to be here. But I’d also say, and I think I said this to you, as I bumped into you in the club level, also, ever so briefly, on Thursday, a year from now, I’m guessing the infrastructure, the organization is going to look different, probably not as much on the baseball side, but everything else, it could look very different. And, and frankly, it kind of needs to win. We’ve talked about the ways in which the the organization has been run poorly for a long time. So I think it’s important to recognize there is going to be an evaluation period here that I think Rubinstein and the partners and whoever he ultimately hires to, quote, run the place, whoever is his dick TAs, when Steve Bashaud, he took over from from art modell, you know, bought the remainder of the franchise 20 years ago, there’s going to be that transition in place. So I think some patience is in order, I think it’s important to recognize what you’ve just said that it doesn’t appear that he has, or the people around him necessarily have a great idea of how things need to be run. So there’s going to be a learning curve to this. So I think that’s where I go back to what I said at the beginning of our conversation. And this is why this comment resonated for me so much, all these good feelings we’re talking about right now. It’s great. And much needed, given what’s happened this week here in Baltimore. But I go back to what he said, I don’t want this to be the high watermark for our partnership group, you know, me and the partners coming in today, I want this to be the start of what’s approaching a high watermark of winning a World Series, cultivating good relationships and the community being successful and profitable from a business standpoint, because ultimately, to your point, it’s an investment for him. He loves the Orioles. But he didn’t sign up for this to lose money either. Right? I mean, he wants to he wants to

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:21

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thank you signed up for this to have an office in the warehouse and be there 10 hours a week and counting paper clips, and you know all that, but I have a feeling. He’ll be at 60 baseball games this summer at the ballpark. I have a feeling going to the games when you get to be that age, and you own the team. I mean, Peter hated the team hated everything about everything. I mean, literally he didn’t never went to the games you never like, like, I think he wants to enjoy this. And I think you’ll be a part of it. I don’t think he’s going to be opening day. And the next time you’ll see him at the ballparks. August 21. Like, I think it’s a new fun toy for him. But I don’t think he’s gonna get involved in any way, in day to day, he’s gonna have a guy, you know, I mean, somebody’s gonna sit or a girl or he’s gonna sit in that seat and run it. I don’t envision him being a guy who’s going to be having a lot of press conferences around the tea. I don’t know, I think in the early going, there’s so much work that needs to be done. And I hope he understands that I hope his guy did not understand trauma and terrorism of Peter Angeles. Like literally, when I was speaking to him, he really didn’t let alone a grasp of who I am or what we do or any of that, like, did not have a grasp of the history of baseball did not have a grasp of like, how bad Peter was and I was a little shocked and I’m like, Okay, I mean, I’m happy to tell you it’s not happy stories. I mean, but I don’t I don’t know much about this guy. I mean, I really don’t like as much as he’s well. Guy and whatever. I judge people based on what I see from them. So far, so good in that. You’re he’s here and cares, but I don’t think this is going to be an absentee ownership. But I don’t think it’s going to be sort of helicopter in and out either. I don’t I don’t believe that.

Luke Jones  25:08

Yeah. Well, I mean, and you just said it. I mean, all we have to go off of is what he’s done. He’s been a philanthropist. He’s been very charitable. I, I think it was evident and I know I didn’t get the chance to hear but I know he was on the mass and telecast and was talking about his love for baseball mentioned what? Who his favorite player was which I think you you’d probably enjoy mentioning, but

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:27

I was wearing 11. Yeah, yeah, I was.

Luke Jones  25:32

We Aparicio and

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Nestor J. Aparicio  25:34

Tom are no less. Don’t patronize Ballmer. I’ve already called Palmer, the greatest Oriole, they say he’s the greatest pitcher. Now. He’s the greatest Oreo, but don’t tell him that his head’s already big enough. So, you know, let somebody love Curt bluff free more or, you know, Blanche, or something like that, you know, let let the owner of the Orioles be an Aparicio fail at that point. It’s all a favor, you know?

Luke Jones  25:56

Yeah, absolutely. So but you pointed it out, there is a lack of experience here in terms of owning a baseball team running a baseball team have it knowing what you want in the people that are going to run things for you. So that’s where I said there is going to be a learning curve here. And that’s where it is important to pump the brakes a little bit. And that’s not to be negative. That’s just to be realistic with where they are right now. And I shouldn’t be patient, right? I think patient is the appropriate term here. Now, look, that doesn’t mean they can’t do things in terms of if they need to go out and add another pitcher, go out and add another bullpen arm, extend Adley rutschman, for example. I mean, you asked me what could have made opening day better, maybe it would have been announcing an extension with Adley rutschman, or Gunnar Henderson, whatever it is, but the point is, some of those things can be done but in a big picture sense in a global sense, what’s going to happen with the franchise in terms of the leadership team who’s gonna stay who’s gonna go, because that’s, that’s inevitable, change is inevitable. Whenever you have a change in ownership, that person or those persons, presumably are going to bring in some of their own people, some might stay. And I’m not going to wish any ill will towards any individuals that work within the organization. But there are going to be some changes. And that’s why I said, maybe not in the midst of a season now as it’s often running. And you don’t want to necessarily be swimming upstream and making changes in the midst of a baseball season, over the next six months. But there’ll be some changes at least. And really, I think the opening day next year is going to be a much better litmus test in terms of what the vision is for this new ownership group. So lots of optimism, lots of excitement, but also lots of unanswered questions. And again, that’s where, as a journalist, I was a little disappointed in how the press conference came across. But I’m also understanding again, patience to your point.

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:46

What we here’s the thing at a press conference like this, when they do this stuff like Leone’s us and they go run off into the distance, or pachadi, who ran like a cockroach in the middle of the night when the lights went on from me the other night for afraid of me when that so when they’re running, except the last Rubenstein press conference, you know what I mean? Like, I think he’ll be around. And I think once there’s a level of what all of this is, and he realizes how little media there really is in the city, and people like me that want to put on an orange shirt and come down that he seems like a pleasant enough guy to be reasonable enough. I mean, it’s just been a very unusual thing after the Ray Rice incident and Ashati because shoddy the first 10 years, was around and was pleasant came, put me in his limo and took me to his home. He had to pee, I let him pee. But I’m like, it wasn’t weird. Until Steve made it weird. And Peter made it okay to be absent in a town like Baltimore. Giving people like me the middle finger. When all I’ve done support the team and been here while they’re on a boat, and Bimini and have disappeared. So we haven’t done an NFL owners meetings thing. I think we’re doing pieces of it in here. And we’ll do that next week. But, like, if it’s a press conference on the heels of a tragedy, well, let’s just go back 14 months ago, right? John Angelo’s had a press conference purposely on Martin Luther King Day purposely to write a $1 million check purposely to sit next to the African American Governor purposely to invite media and then screamed at Dan Connolly and then was never heard and said, come down and check out the books and never was shown up again. That’s the last act of the guy who owned the team before this guy. So this guy shows up to questions and he’s out the door. You’re like what but but but but but but but Well, okay. Right? If he comes back a week and a half from now and says I’m here or if he’s holding court with you guys in the back of the press conference at five o’clock because he came to the ballpark early and right I mean, and not just rock and the employees and the you know, the people that are there to to pat him on the back and keep their jobs like TJ Reitman like I’m talking about like if he’s available. Peter, Peter Angelou said to me, people still come up to me. I had five people say this to me on Thursday. I’m a very available individual. You want to meet with me? You call me anytime. I have plenty of time for everyone. If Rubenstein if the next press conference Rubinstein’s next opening day, that’s probably, you know, I’ll put that out, right. But I mean, I believe he will not be that guy. And until he’s that guy, I got an open heart and visa and mastercharge to buy the Birdland package and come down, provided I get my media pass back, because that’s first and foremost for me. But I want to participate, I want to play I want to have fun, I want to report on the team, I want to take you and me to Kansas City to see games and eat big steaks and barbecue. And like, I want to do all of that. And time will tell but to your point. So far, so good. I got there’s zero complaints after day one. I mean, it’s only 36 hours.

Luke Jones  31:09

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And you just said it. I mean, large parts of this are TBD. And that’s okay. Right. I mean, based on what we’ve seen so far. It’s really, really, really promising. And I’ll go back to something that you said a couple minutes ago. I mean, the idea that he’ll be there for 60 games, or whatever the number is up, he seems, at least very willing, whether he’s truly comfortable or not. I mean, this is he’s been in the spotlight performing this guy. He’s a billionaire, right? I mean, there’s a certain amount of Yeah, you’ve have to be in the spotlight to reach, you know, attain that kind of financial success, at least, and different things that he’s been involved in. But we’ve seen him and look, the cynic would say, Okay, those are photo ops. And yes, they are photo ops, but he’s still doing them. He is still going to the Oriental store. I mean, the fan that ran down the orange carpet as the 10th man, so to speak. That was a young boy that he met at the Oreo store about a month ago. Now he was in there and met him and his mother, and they picked him to be the fan of this of the year.

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:11

You could do stuff like that. Yeah. But it should be Willy Wonka.

Luke Jones  32:15

Sure, exactly. Especially early on, right. I mean, build up that.

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:19

Well, the Postal Service thing with his dad, I mean, it’s, I can’t wait to talk to I would say I can’t wait to talk to him, I hope that I do get to sit down and have a beer with him and talk about his love of my cousin, which would be great. I think a lot of fun look on my baseball cards.

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Luke Jones  32:32

And look, going back to what I said. Because again, I don’t want people to think that I’m sitting here, standing on the table stomping and moaning about the fact that only a few questions were asked at the press conference, I don’t expect him to have perfectly conveyed answers to Masson in some of these different issues, you know, that he was asked about the naming rights to the ballpark, and there probably is going to be a corporate name attached to Camden Yards at some point and look, it’s that’s everywhere now, right? I mean, people will still call it Camden Yards in the same way that whatever they’re calling Heinz Field down in Pittsburgh, they still call it Heinz Field, because that’s just what it’s called, What is act for sure, stadium or whatever it is. But look, what you need revenue, right? I mean, teams need revenue, especially if you want to spend more money on baseball players. I mean, that’s part of it. They’ve got to figure out TV. As I mentioned, I wanted to ask about Masson did I think that David Rubenstein was going to have the solution? To my question, no, but it needs to be posed. Right? These are issues that the baseball team very much faces, like every baseball team faces mental issues about the operation, team and media. Exactly, exactly. So to your point, I don’t think they have all that figured out just yet. That’s why it’s going to be so critical for him to hire the right people. And for there to be the proper vision. And for them to voice that vision in the coming days. And it doesn’t mean that the next press conference needs to be Tuesday, before the Kansas City game, but you’re hoping it’s at some point in the not too distant future sometime in the next few weeks or the next month or so something like that. He doesn’t need to be Jerry Jones and speaking after every game or after every week or anything like that. I think that can be counterproductive as well. But be visible. Be present. show people that you care, go out and meet people or talk to fans talk to media, get get an idea of what fans and media think about this to your point, if you don’t have a lot of experience in terms of how the day to day in baseball operations and how to sports television works. Look at all those things. Survey right I mean, it’s go out and talk to people and really get a grip get a sense for what how people feel about certain topics. And if you do that, I like his chances he’s not gonna bat 1000 You know, he’s not gonna get everything perfectly right. But I think if you care if you hire the right people, you come in with the idea that you want to make this Great, you’re seeing what it looks like on the field right now. And you want to make it great in every other way as well. And I like their chances, because he certainly has the wealth, right? I mean, his net worth and all of that. There seems to be an enthusiasm. I mean, see, seeing him and the three other primary partners of this investor group, standing on the top step of the dugout watching the Opening Day ceremonies, they have their 24 Orioles jerseys on, you know, for 2024. Let me just tell they’re excited. They’re having fun with that. And look, you and I can never imagine what it would be like to be an investor for a major league baseball team, to have that kind of financial wherewithal to be involved in something like that. But we, but we know what it means to be a part of something like that, that is part of a community and part of something that people really care about in the wake of a civic tragedy.

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:51

And what I said once, it’s funny, you say that I said to Steve shot, he has said to him, and this is back when I was a little more invested and not mistreated. I said to him, I said, you know, it’s crazy. You’re a billionaire. And when you when you get that emotion that you love that the team when we all get the same feeling. You know, when the team wins, and I, I know, I know this from taking buses back from New England all night. And from flying in airports at four o’clock in the morning, upside down in Detroit, and having people come up that when they win, and taking phone calls on Monday morning here for 30 years, when they win, everybody gets the same feeling that the owner gets when they win, right? I mean, like, it’s, you know, you don’t have to be a billionaire to feel good about the team winning if that’s what makes you feel good, right? He doesn’t feel a billion times better. He made he’s making money on and he’s he might beat filet mignon tonight, Urich, salisbury steak, but like, whatever. But the feeling of winning and the feeling of being involved in the feeling of community, that that’s what baseball is meant for. That’s why the bleachers were out there, it’s meant for everybody. And that’s the part that Peter got so wrong. I mean, I remember I had Shannon Murray on talking about the stadiums this week. And was unbelievable conversation also about the Cambridge and she’s a Baltimorean. So you know, even more so but just talking about the stadium and the money and what he’s got $600 million to do something with the stadium. Right. And, you know, I guess I think about all these the the years that have gone by with ownership, and all of these things. Charlie Steinberg came in here, maybe 2000 988, or nine, and Charles Randy oriels. PR and was famously Edie Murray’s best friend and like all of that he runs the Wooster polar cats, whatever the Worcester, Massachusetts Red Sox team is that they took from Paul takut, he has polar Park, and like all that stuff. And he came into my studio, and he’s flipping his Boston Red Sox World Series rings, like literally right. And he said to me, for Peter to call you a very unimportant person. He’s like, there are no unimportant people in baseball, everyone’s important in baseball. And he said, that’s got to be like for have to have an owner call anyone unimportant. Speaks to wasn’t I was unimportant. We were all unimportant to Peter. And. And that went on for generation. And some people felt and some people didn’t, and I walk around when they’re losing 115 games, and people are paying full price. And I’m scratching my head. And you know, Al and I are fighting, you know, and I said, like, he doesn’t care about you. He doesn’t care about anything. He’s shown that over and over and over and over and over again. And this guy is shown day one, he cares. He’s there. He’s present all of these things that if I would have said, I could never say that about Peter, because Peter could never change and we, but if I could have changed anything, you know, if I could make things differently. I would say that day one, you know, having kids you meet in the team store run out having a smile on your face being available, not lying, yet, hopefully never. But understanding that the community that it really is about that kid in Harlan Park, that may like baseball and you have to may not be able to afford baseball right in a lot of ways. That’s a big issue for all of them is the affordability. And because it used to be cheap, my dad would take me out there was never a financial hardship for my dad and it got to sit in the bleachers. We didn’t have much. But my dad had a $10 bill. And we literally we get on the bus. We had a pass to the bus was free for him because he took the bus to work every day. He had that monthly pass. So it was free for him to go to the ballpark. It was a quarter for me to get on the bus. And the tickets were you know, bucket a quarter bucket what bleachers you know, and we would get our hotdogs in Highland town save a little bit of money, but part of it is can you afford to go to the ballpark? What kind of family Are you do you want to go to the ballpark 30 times a year and can only go five Do you want to go 80 times a year in a perfect world you go every night if you could If you could, and you financially can’t, you know. So there, there’s that spirit of enthusiasm that baseball has always had to be a television sport at home, that getting people back downtown not just to stimulate the economy and the money, but to fill the place up, because who makes the magic of Oriole baseball happen, Luke, who makes the magic happen? It’s the fans, you make the magic happen, you make the magic happen. So that that would be a message that I always had for Peter that was never heard. But the fans are the one. They’re the reason you’re here. And right. It’s been a long, long time, since anybody said that. Ever in that organization, like literally, it’s been a long time. So for that, I’m grateful. I’ll just say that. I’m very grateful. Couple

Luke Jones  40:45

things. I want to go back to something that you mentioned just a couple minutes ago, where you talked about you want him to be as excited about winning, as the fans are, I’ll turn that on its head. I want this ownership group to also take the losses hard to write. I mean, look, they’re gonna make money on this thing. I mean, we saw what individuals who’ve owned franchises for just a few years, we see how it appreciates in value, right? So David Rubenstein, and the partnership, whenever they cash out, whenever it happens, they’re going to be better off financially for it. But I won’t matter how you operate it exactly. So. So as much as he’s talking about wanting to win World Series, we’re a World Series, we also know they’re gonna lose, right? We know that they’re not necessarily going to win the World Series this year, they might lose in the ALCS, they might not make the playoffs if if they have a couple untimely injuries to the wrong, guys. But you want there to be that that sense of living and dying with the club as well. And look, I mean, ownership and those that are in charge, they have to make difficult decisions. And we understand that there is it is a business side. And, you know, to your point about the financial challenges of some fans trying to go to the ballpark, I mean, that’s always going to exist to some degree, right? I mean, that’s just same way that groceries or gas or anything else we’re talking about. Park is

Nestor J. Aparicio  42:08

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expensive. So it needs to be awesome. It needs to be special, it needs to be something you look forward to. And that’s already, right.

Luke Jones  42:14

And there needs to be an imagining of ways to make it less expensive, at least at times, right. And we’ve talked about that. I mean, one thing that they had done in recent years, you know, the kids chair free program, they did you know, which kind of got mess turned on its head by by the pandemic, and you know, the bleacher seats, you know, during the week, much cheaper the last couple years. So they’ve done some of that, but you need to do more of that. And then the other thing that I do want to mention, because you had mentioned to me or you had posed the question to me take away from the press conference. And, and maybe we touched on this briefly, but I just wanted to reiterate it. I mean, Rubinstein went out of his way to call Michael is the best general manager in baseball, he went out of his way to call Brandon Hyde, the best manager in baseball. And right off the bat, to your point talking about wanting there to be honesty, integrity and making good decisions, letting the right people run the right aspects of the organization. You know that that’s, that’s putting a spotlight on his General Manager and Manager in a positive way and saying, I trust you. I’ve come in here, and I’m brand new, but you guys have done the work.

Nestor J. Aparicio  43:21

I’m not firing you. Nobody’s in the newspapers or in the media saying, Mike Elias and Brandon Hyde are a problem not at all.

Luke Jones  43:27

Exactly. Or the or the owner was non committal in a big picture sense or anything like that he flat out called them the best in baseball at what they do now, whether that’s actually whether he truly 100% believes that or whether he’s just wanting to give up an appropriate and deserved vote of confidence to the the general manager and the manager. It was good to hear that. Right. And I think from that standpoint, that’s where, look, I’m excited about new ownership. I’m excited excited about the potential, but I’ll say this, the last thing I want is, and I’ll even say this about someone that is one of my all time favorites. The last thing I want is Cal Ripken, Cal Ripken to come in and start meddling with what Mike Elias is doing. And I don’t I don’t mean cow in terms of having a report and having a dialogue with these guys, because it’s a Hall of Famer same same I’d say about Palmer, Eddie Murray, whoever I mean, I want them to be present. I want them to be involved. But you don’t want them to metal. You don’t want them to try to fix something that isn’t broken. And look, I’m not. I’m not being accusatory here of saying that. But that’s crazy. Cal Ripken owns part of the Orioles today. That’s right. But I’m just saying you want that to be harmonious because things on the baseball side are working so well. That doesn’t need to be fixed. That just needs some augmentation, right in terms of payroll and going out and fortifying the roster if necessary. Extending some of your young players that you feel are worth extending for the long run. And to just make something take something that’s already really good on the yield, and do what you can to make it even better. And that’s where, you know, that’s not a, I don’t want to convey that as a concern. But I’m just saying that’s something that the new ownership group doesn’t need to fix. There’s lots that needs to be fixed in this organization and lots that need that will need to be figured out. TV and stadium renovations, the land lease, surrounding, you know, the ballpark and any potential development there. You know, they’ve got to figure all that out. But there isn’t a whole lot to figure out on the baseball side right now other than to, can we take something that’s very good and make a great, can we take something that might be great already and make it super great, you know? And what can we do to sustain it? What can we do to make sure that this is going to be something that isn’t just great and fun, and really good and 2023, and 2024, but two years from now, five years from now, 10 years from now. So that’s just something I wanted to throw out there that he was so complimentary, and I get it, it’s kind of a captain obvious thing to say, about the defending Manager of the Year in the American League and Elias, who was recognized as an Executive of the Year at least By some publications out there and what have you, but it was good to hear it nonetheless. Because, again, when you are talking about new ownership, they will have a vision for how this is going to look and chances are and better not quite frankly, it’s not going to look the same as how the Angelo’s family viewed things and you hope that that’s going to mean much better in other aspects of the organization moving forward.

Nestor J. Aparicio  46:34

I’m gonna let you drop the mic on that because if you said better than the Angeles family did, I can’t put it any better than that. Oreos are perfect. So far, it’s been a far less than perfect week around here. I still haven’t had the guts to look up and see the Key Bridge missing. Driving on the east side. I went over to cost this to a whole vigil the other night and it was cloudy, you couldn’t see anything and raining. So we’ll get over there this week and trying to lift the city baseball teams trying to lift the city, Luke and I spent three days chasing NFL folks around one of us had a delicious Ritz Carlton breakfast with fluffy eggs and crispy bacon and perfectly cooked up potatoes. One of us had like Oliver Twist you know I had the oatmeal I had the porridge well I can’t I had to porridge at the Holiday Inn on the buffet line there in the morning. It was It was delicious. Once you pasty I added a little extra hot water and I had some they had some golden raisins on the on the buffet. We’re talking the Maryland crab cake tour. I was at fade Lee’s before the game on Thursday. We’re gonna be a cost that’s on the knife. Probably doing some sort of Key Bridge relief in some way. The Peninsula’s trapped down there. I’m going to be talking a lot about that and people who live and work on the animal the county side not being able to get across the bridge quickly and vice versa. Just it’s been it’s been a week that’s all I’m gonna say. We’re gonna be on the knife it cost this there is an Oreo game that day two o’clock euros play the Red Sox. We’re gonna be there early in the day. We’re gonna watch the Warriors play the Red Sox. It’s next Tuesday. And then on Friday the 12th We’re gonna be continuing our live you are live it fails. It’s failed these Friday’s live show brought to you by the Maryland lottery. I will probably have some PacMan scratch offs to give away. They showed me there’s no Mrs. Pacman not this year. That’s for next year. I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. Enjoy a beautiful spring weekend here we’re added at Baltimore positive.com

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