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The Orioles and Yankees the way it oughta be in April


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It’s been a long time since we’ve anticipated an April home series like this one. The Orioles are reeling after losing their closer and a pair of bad beats at the hands of the Oakland Athletics at Camden Yards this weekend. Luke Jones and Nestor discuss how the Birds will regroup for four games with the Yankees in a budding AL East rivalry.


nestor, talk, yankees, players, baseball, bullpen, luke, cortez, pitchers, contracts, years, week, ball, horse racing, case, rubinstein, give, big, opt outs, boris


Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are W N S T A and 1570, Towson Baltimore and Baltimore positive or positively getting the Maryland grab gate door back out on the road. Our friends at the Maryland lottery have given me these PacMan scratch offs to give away. They’ve been very popular. Maybe because they’re bright yellow, like the jacket of that kid that the bills drafted who gave the funny press conference over the weekend. The NFL draft is in the books. The oral season is very much in the cooking. At this point we’ve discussed at length, Craig Kimbrel. We’ve discussed at length the bullpen situation feels that we’ve been discussing for three months, the deep depths of the organization, how good they are, you know, playing 650 ball on this clip for a long, long time now and they’re on pace to win under two games. But the one thing we haven’t talked about that we haven’t really experienced is a big series. The New York Yankees come to town. It is 85 degrees in the Charm City. Luke Jones has his golf shirt on he looks marvelous. And after a long weekend of baseball, losing baseball, tough losses in baseball up all day all night with drafts. Well, two or more chalk, I would say offensive line aside. But the Yankees are in town Luke, a big series and questions about the bullpen. And by the way, these guys hit the ball. I mean, lost in over the weekend, in losses in one run games and blown saves and Greg Kimbrough is just these guys really hit the ball. My friends at the lottery know they’re given out these homerun Richards grand slams, you know?


Luke Jones  01:42

Yeah. And I want to keep throwing out the caveat. It’s big for late April. I mean, there’s got five months to go. But these head to heads, especially when you’re talking about tiebreakers, it’s important. So it’s certainly a big series, they played big series last year, this team is used to this at this point in time. I mean, it doesn’t get better, bigger in the regular season than what they did with Tampa, mid September last year in Baltimore. So I think the Yankees are a team that, you know, in some ways similar to the Orioles they’ve hit the ball. They certainly have some questions, you know, with health of pitchers, and things of that nature, but they’re off to a good start. They have some guys that are really hitting some other guys who haven’t hit. And I think the big difference and we’ve kind of talked about this before the season even started was the Yankees, depending on some veteran players, you know, guys that have either been injured haven’t been as productive in recent years. Certainly that and will

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:37

throw that in there to make sure you point that out. Not just veteran welcome. Sure.

Luke Jones  02:44

But well compensated doesn’t mean anything when you’re between the lines and you’re playing right. So no question. They’re off. Yeah, they’re off to a good start. And I think for where the Orioles stand right now with some of the questions about the pitching, although, as we mentioned in a previous segment, Kyle Bradish, I assume is going to get the ball on Thursday. John means toss seven shutout innings on Sunday at Norfolk which, you know, his his 30 days just about up so he that move would have been coming anyway. But you know, you’re going to have some reinforcements here. And then what does that mean for the trickle down effect with the bullpen? What’s going to happen with Craig Kimbrel? We’ll find out. But in the meantime, this is a big series. And I think for both these teams, quite frankly, the Orioles and the Yankees I think they’re both probably viewing this as a measuring stick to say, all right, where are we right now, as we’re going up against the other perceived heavyweight in the ALCS not to discount the other teams because it’s not as though everyone else is out of it. But it’s been the Yankees and the Orioles since the start of the season. Right there at the top. So we’ll see how this plays out. But certainly what the Orioles they’ve hit the Yankees have hit. And I think the questions are certainly more on the pitching side in terms of how these teams know, profile moving forward. Let’s put

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:03


it that way. Well, if I had my press credential, there’s no question I go talk to Nestor Cortez so the other nasty nominee this give him the title now that we’ve done the 25th anniversary and I’ve explained all the nasty nasty stuff and Vinny Testa verde has come up with a testimonial a test the Verde testimonial as part of the 25th anniversary I need their hand the mantle I want to find an old get nasty shirt present one to Nestor Cortez and say here you can have it but he’s quite a story and I think as much as we talk about the well compensated this and that and you already said Mariano Rivera, his name in regard to Kimbrel and what you’re not getting and I think back to the glory era and I have some Derek Jeter pictures. I have some Tino Martinez pictures I left out of the out of the documentary as well as some might statins and some Chuck knob blocks and some Roger Clem mins from all that era. But when you talk about those players and I think Knobloch is a twin and Clemens is red sock and Paul O’Neill is red and those names Bernie Williams, you know, you know, Mariano Rivera, there were homegrown Jeter that sort of started the party for all of that. This version of the Yankees. I don’t want to say it reminds me of the mid 80s Steinbrenner sort of old and tired and just a whole bunch of Jack Clark’s hanging around or whatever. But it’s certainly not glory era Yankees and for the money they’ve spent and you talk so much about value and value picks over the weekend and wherever we’re going to spend our money. I don’t know I mean, if you’re importing your one Soto’s and you’re importing your dream Carlos Stanton’s and you’re paying those guys it is a little different than your cheaters in your RIP skins of that era and certainly the Orioles go into this thing with all right you got five guys now that you have God Couser to somebody we got to pay by the way another guy we got to give 200 million to this week. Rubenstein I met you Yep. And I’m spending your money. I’m you know the Yankees are built a little differently in importing some blood and having some Nestor Cortes. Rule five will take him back. No, you don’t want them no. Okay. Now they give them T shirts even I want to give them a t shirt Luke.

Luke Jones  06:30

You will sir Cortez. Understandably so and look he’s been a good you’ve had a lot

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:36

of Luke. Luke since since Skywalker that. Not even true that many Luke’s Oh no, no. It’s not the name John. Looks a biblical name. No, it

Luke Jones  06:49

is but it’s not like it. There are that many Luke’s out there. But I agree. It’s more popular than Nesta. I will say that God many


Nestor J. Aparicio  06:55

of you met there was Luke Perry ever I’ll go to curls wanted a data Luke. There’s the Luke Bryan country bumpkin. There’s Luke’s everywhere. They come on it was

Luke Jones  07:06

everywhere. Well, okay, Luke Scott. That was over a decade ago at this point named, not

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:13

named Cortez or Aparicio. And I’m going to Regis Philbin, yo and then I’ll give you 10 seconds I’ll let you call your sister if you want name another Nestor Go ahead.

Luke Jones  07:22


Go ahead Nestor the donkey right the Christmas the Christmas year long year Christmas.

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:27

Correct. Keep going. That’s not real care. I studied

Luke Jones  07:31

to talk about baseball. We get to talk about names and stuff like that.

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:37

A couple Nestor Torres is a an accomplished flute player flutist, I met him on an air Jamaica flight one time he told me he had never met another Nestor. I met Nestor Shylock when I was a boy, a Hall of Fame type of umpire had a great reputation. Even Earl Weaver. I probably said good things about Nestor Shylock, which probably gave Earl an inside track on me, by the way, John Eisenberg on this week talking about the other URL or a weaver. And then there’s Nestor Kirschner, who was the longtime president of Argentina, who died his wife kind of took over because that’s the way their politics work there. We didn’t vote for Hillary here, but that’s sort of the way it worked there. And so if you Google Nestor, the number one Nestor that shows up is not the Greek god of wisdom. It’s probably Nestor Cortez if you’re anywhere near Yankees, but Nestor Kirschner there’s the there are these great images with the Argentinian Beatty Blue Flag like the Houston Oilers blue, and it says Nestor Bieber Bay v i v e with it. And that means Nesta lives so I just Nestor Cortez is going to pitch so I’m just throwing that out at you and you know Have at it. Nestor terrace. I say Cortez I mentor us, but go ahead. Yeah. Mike Torrez.


Luke Jones  08:56

Yeah, I don’t have I don’t have too much to add on Nestor, Cortez. I mean, we’ve talked about them. But I think for the point you were making Yeah, I mean, obviously, the payroll and obviously, Juan Soto has been fantastic for them. But let’s also not overlook what Anthony Volpe has done for them. I mean, who has arguably been right there with soda as their most valuable player a month into the season, but he’s still really important. And he’s a homegrown guy. So you still need that. And that’s why I’ve said, you know, looking at this through a big picture lens and what’s going to happen with Rubinstein in the payroll and who they’re going to pay, who they’re going to, you know, who’s not going to be paid, who’s going to be traded all of that, you’re still going to need your organization to produce young, cheap, controllable talent. And a lot of that is because the youngest players are the best players. You know, there. For the longest time there was a perception that the prime of a major league baseball players career was like age 27 through 30. And the statistics just don’t support that anymore. I mean, I’m not saying that it’s 20 And Jackson holiday was a good example of someone who wasn’t quite ready. But you know that a big part of what, why the economic system in baseball is so through. So off, for lack of a better term is these guys that are the very best players in baseball and some of the best talents in baseball, are under club control for such a long period of time, they’re under club control for their prime years. So that’s why, you know, you see the free agent movement or lack thereof. And, you know, a big reason why is some of those most lucrative talents, you know, they’re already past their prime by the time they get the free agency, depending on when they were brought out, or seen any

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:41

of those Boris plans or 15 years ago, where he would come in with the slide presentation and a binder full of statistical stuff about the next 10 years of Alex Rodriguez, his career, or the next eight years of his pitcher if his arm doesn’t fall off, and he has Tommy John surgery. Now that statistics on the other way. And listen, I’m not going to sit here after having Maury brown on last week after having Susan fallen off on talking about having a rat delivered to her door. And you know, all the history of baseball in regard to ownership, and the Players Association and money. But this is where they can brainwash you. And Elias can brainwash the fans and make a case that we shouldn’t sign any of these guys to $300 million, over 10 years and their agents being unreasonable. And I’m fine to buy in for six years or seven years or whatever the industry thing is, but this would also backing up a month or two ago, when there were some really serious players out in the marketplace, trying to get deals. And again, I do not want to cry for Mr. Rubenstein, who I have not met or Mr. angelos, who has left us in regard to ownership and how the Lords of the Realm have operated for all these years. But you’ve made a hell of a case a baseball case, that sign in any of these guys for $50 million a year when they’re 3031 32, especially pitchers is a different gig and the owners and the baseball people and the nerds and the statistical but they’ve all they held the line a little bit this year. I don’t want to say that’s good for the game or good for your wallet, or it’s going to change how much the beards they’re going to charge me once Mr. Rubinstein does give me my press credential, and I come out there and I buy a beer that it’s going to change any of that. But it does change the psychology of all of this right? Like when the best players hit the market and can’t get signed when there used to be crazy ass money and justification on the agent side and holdouts and all of that. I don’t know where rutschman Couser. Holliday, Henderson, like all of the Westberg throw them in there, you’ll get a lot of money if he’s that kind of player. A lot of money might only mean 120 million, not 250 million. But we are a small market until otherwise proven and nice crowd out there over the weekend to they brought the kids out on Sunday. That was lovely. But the revenue and where all this goes That’s the difference. I was in New York all day Saturday. You know what I saw all day Saturday, Luke, you’re gonna love this. I walked 20 miles in New York, beautiful day flat. I saw Rangers everything. I saw Nick stuff in lots of places. I didn’t see a whole lot of Yankees or Mets it was all Ranger up beaten up on the capitals with my cheap shot at utensilios. Just take another seat. But in the case of the Yankees are always going to have more money and what they do with it. But BAM when the Orioles finally feels like they have flexibility and all of this stuff, you know, here come these case cases, as every team comes in and out. And we already talked about Josh Hader, and what do you want to do in the bullpen? And where do you want to spend your money, there’s a hell of a case being made that spending money. The long term money’s, you know, we all want to give gunner this and we all want to give Adly that and all of that. And then you you wind up with Chris Davis, or whatever, and you hope that’s never the case. But you also would think that they have to be smarter. And I’ll give Rubinstein the benefit of doubt because he had nothing to do with Charlie Finley or George Steinbrenner. Any of that he’s new to the party in a lot of ways. But the game has changed a lot. And the way Mike Elias if he’s going to be the sheriff here, the next 10 years, like the caster is up the street where he makes long term decisions. This, you know, this is a case study watching the Yankees and how they’re trying to do it, and how they could at any point by any of our guys if they wanted to.

Luke Jones  14:58

I mean, they could I mean Look at I’ve said all along, it’s not about spending money. It’s about spending money wisely. And I think there are certainly players who weren’t those kinds of contracts. They absolutely do. Gunnar Henderson is one of them kind of Henderson’s 22 years old. And it’s very much looking more and more like he could win MVP of the league. I mean, that’s what kind of player we’re seeing in his second full year in the majors. He’s the kind of player where it makes perfect sense to do that. It’s 22. And look, is there any chance of them extending him before he gets the market? I mean, can you give me an example of what

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:35


you would expect? But what you would expect is he’s a Boris guy. And that never happens. Right? That’s what typically

Luke Jones  15:40

doesn’t. You’re right. Yeah. I mean, that’s usually not the case. It would have to be

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:44

an industry, Mr. Rubinstein and Mr. Elias would have to lead the industry, in giving that kind of contract to make Boris stand up and say, take it 22 year old young man, it would have to, it would be sort of monumental, would it not be if that were to happen.

Luke Jones  16:01

I mean, if you’re going to give them a 15 year contract or something like that, that would be monumental. I mean, you know, when you’re talking about someone, of his ilk, at his age, still years away from freedoms, he’s still still a little bit away from even arbitration. You know, it is a little bit different. If


Nestor J. Aparicio  16:22

it was 10 years for under million change. I mean, life right now makes you an Oreo. I don’t think Boris takes that deal. And I just threw a lot of numbers at you. But I said, I and that’s just a flat out 400 million and right now your whole game, just come and play baseball and be the best baseball player you can be and work the rest of it out later. I mean, for whatever mahomes This deal was and how in the football side after he won in the beginning, and Leigh Steinberg massaged it to make it sound like this or that all of a sudden, Lamar is making more, they’re three years later, they’re all chasing it. Baseball, typically, you don’t start ripping contracts up five years in, you know what I mean? Either way, and, and it is interesting, we talk about money with both of these sports, because the money is so weirdly different in how its allocated and salary get. I mean, it really is apples in and vegetables is what it is.

Luke Jones  17:18

It is that’s why I’m saying I mean, the NFL like I’m not even bringing it up. Because it’s you know, it’s completely different. I mean, even for quarterbacks other than Deshaun. Watson, I mean to the Deshaun Watson contracts, the only thing that’s comparable, because these deals are all fully guaranteed. And oh, yeah, they have opt outs for the player. So even if you sign Gunnar Henderson and and you know, I don’t want to belabor the point, because it’s just a hypothetical anyway. But even if you signed him to the deal that you that you just threw out there as far as the hypothetical numbers, it would probably have opt outs after three years, five years, you know what? So, but that’s always player driven, right? It’s not like it’s, you know, in the NFL, it’s the opposite, right? The opt outs are for the team, basically, you know, basically,

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:01

five home runs in year four, you know, he’s the Yankees are saying we’ll give you 85 million, whatever it is, I mean, soccer players get all that kind of money. I mean, the numbers must boggle Cal Ripken ‘s mind. I remember he was just trying to get 6 million a year. But But

Luke Jones  18:19


again, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. I mean, I completely disagree with you that now they have five or six guys to extend. No, I mean, Jordan Westbrook is under club control. For five, we don’t claim and Seanie, two or three years into his career look like a guy you wanted to extend. And then we saw how that played out. So most of these guys, you just look, you play it out. The you’re going to get really good production compared to what they’re going to get not obviously arbitration change, it shifts the dynamic a little bit, but not completely. But you’re just in a position as an organization that has done so well, from a player development standpoint, you’ve drafted so well, obviously, it needs to continue knowing you’re not going to be picking in the top five with regularity anymore. Hopefully, you know, hopefully, that’s the case for a long time now. But, you know, you’re in a position where, yeah, you have new ownership. And yeah, you hope to have some financial flexibility, but it’s not going to be a blank check. interminably where, you know, just indefinitely where you just sign guys left and right. You’re gonna have to be judicious with who you sign. I mean, I’ll tell you right now, Nestor, and this is the more relevant point and yeah, we spent so much time talking about Adly and Gunnar and Jackson Holliday, all the young guys who are still years away from free and see, you know, let’s talk about Corbin burns. I mean, what he’s going to get on the market. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not enthused about doing that. Because go look at the biggest contracts in baseball right now that are out there for pitchers and how many of those guys are hurt or have been hurt during that contract? And I just I really question whether it’s a great investment. I really do it So now the problem, and that’s where the Orioles here need to start catching up. And I think they’re starting to make some hay in this in this way. But we know that most of their player development and drafting has been focused on the bat size. But I would be much more of the thought that I need to develop my own pitchers, or I’m going to trade position talent that I have in excess and surplus to go get Corbin burns, or you know why they were trying to get Dylan CeCe a year ago? You know, maybe that’s, I think that would be the way I try to play it more so than saying, Well, I know these lucrative long term pitcher contracts usually don’t work out very well. But my guy’s gonna be different, right? I

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:43

mean, that’s there’s always going to be good pitchers on bad teams and contract years that they don’t want to pay. So you know, you don’t want to make your hay on that. But I would agree with you, there is this plethora of position talent. But on the pitching side, we don’t hear so much about that. And that should be disturbing for 25 and 26. And 27. When you know you, they hit the ball, man, they’re gonna be good baseball team, the next couple years on the field, and they’re gonna feel the ball, they’re going to catch the ball, they’re going to hit the ball, you know, where the where the rest of the division really is with Tampa in Boston and Toronto, they’re going to be okay, but who’s going to pitch and we’ve started that on the bullpen at the beginning of the week. And we’ll be talking about that three weeks from now, if everything’s fixed, and they have for starters, at the top of the rotation at Dean Kramer, that turns out to be the fifth guy. And we go back to that January pipe dream. You know, I mean, maybe Kyno settles in as a closer, he’s a better closer when you’re up seven to two in the ninth inning than when it’s four to three. And it’s 92 degrees. And Jim Palmer is complaining about the strike zone and the ball get up in the air.

Luke Jones  21:54

Yeah, well, we didn’t even talk. I mean, the ball was flying on Sunday. There’s no doubt about that. But look, I mean, it’s all related. I mean, it’s all. It’s all part of the puzzle. And I mean, you know, again, just to finish up the thought on starting pitching, and whether you pay for it and all that. I mean, that’s I am not at all, implying that there, I would never sign a starting pitcher. I mean, that’s that would be ludicrous. But at the same time, when you’re looking at pitchers, you know, who are 30 or especially guys on the wrong side of 30. Now, Corbin Burns is 29. You know, what is he going to command on the open market? I don’t think he’s gonna give the Orioles a hometown discount. Maybe I’m wrong on that. But I doubt it. So is this chance to go get paid? Like, exactly. And that’s he should, he should now that said, does that mean the Orioles should give him whatever he wants? That’s where I look at this and say I’m not sure about that. So part of that is how you can pitch in October young man. Well, sure. That’s part of it. And also part of that is where’s Grayson Rodriguez at that point. Where’s Kyle Bradish you know, where’s Dean Kramer. You know, they have guys like Kade Povich at AAA who are getting closer, you know, so it’s not as though the cupboards bare. But yeah, I mean, Corbin burns, it’s, it’s very tempting. I’m not I’m not saying I’m a 100%. No on extending him. But we’re seeing it around baseball over and over and over now, these guys break this, regardless of age, wear and tear all I mean, they break they break at every level at every age, every kind of every circumstance. So is that something that you want to invest in long term? That’s the big question. But to bring it back full circle. Cronenberg’s is here for the rest of the year, the Oreos are hitting the ball, they have all these young players, the Yankees are coming into town. The Yankees have some young players, but a lot of veteran players that are making a lot of money, some of them making too much money for what their value is in terms of whether it’s a good value or not. But we’ll see how this plays out. You know, to your point, it’s a big series, as I said, with a caveat, a big series for late April, early May a lot of baseball to go. But I think with the way the Yankees have been swinging the bats, I think, you know, buckle up from a pitching standpoint, especially with the bullpen if you know, Kimbrough whether he’s gonna be on the shelf or not, you know, certainly struggling and, you know, we’ll see how this holds up. And as I said in a previous segment, you know, if I’m Mike Elias, I need to be looking right now for bullpen help I need to be looking for that. I’m not panicking and making a dumb move just for the sake of doing it but at the same time, you know, this might not be something that you can wait until June or July to do let’s put it that way.

Nestor J. Aparicio  24:43

I hobby watching nasty Nestor pitch from from here maybe I’ll break out my get nasty shirt to honor him this week. As he comes back to the original of Camden Yards. We’re think his era was infinity when we let him go but Gopal Lesson he’s back. So we had a beautiful conversation about nesters past, present, and future and now you have me googling Nestor the long year Christmas donkey to see if there was a part two. I am Nestor. He is lucky to find us at a Baltimore positive. You can find us also at Phase Two in the Maryland crabcake Tour presented by the Maryland lottery in conjunction with our friends at Liberty pure solutions that’s clean water, as well as Jiffy Lube, multi care, lots things going on around here this week. Certainly Kentucky Derby is happening. We’re doing some horse racing conversation about past, present and future. And man I had a heck of an education last week up at Greenmount bowl of David Richardson and Alan Forman, on everything about horse racing. And you know there was some roots in the 25th anniversary documentary were Clem Florio shows up in the documentary even in the video with John Buren, and my roots go back to doing this 32 years ago and Clem being my original racing insider, but a guy I knew from the track and certainly a guy who was a guy that makes me think about this time of the year when I see Calum Florida so all you baby doll. So it is it’s a big horse racing week, you’ll hear from and I’m wearing my state fair. And don’t be like John Rollo and go to Timonium looking for state fair. That’s where the state fairs held. If you want to go to the State Fair, where you eat breakfast, lunch or dinner, you have to go to Catonsville, or that’s Catonsville for the folks at Mass and I don’t know how to pronounce it. And we will be we’ll be talking to horse racing this week. And I’ll certainly be doing that two weeks from now when the Preakness comes back. But if you want to know about the future of the Preakness, you want to know about the future of horse racing. The shutdown Laurel, there’s all sorts of stuff I didn’t know. Or Lorelle as the goes to Charlie Ekman would say, go watch my 25th anniversary documentary laugh a little bit, send me a note and certainly, if you have any old VHS tapes, or old weird stuff, like where my hair was different, back in the era, John period, and he called me Erik Estrada, my pal Greg Landry. Does that work at Towson transfers. He’s also Blue Rock productions and was the executive co producer of holdings. No one listens and everyone here so please go watch it. Laugh throw me a note and you’re probably in it somewhere. If I’ve stumbled upon you, anywhere over the last 32 years of doing this. I am Nestor. He is Luke we are wn St. am 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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