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The Orioles farm that keeps producing legit big league phenoms

With the promotion of Jackson Holliday and the emergence of Colton Cowser and Jordan Westburg to go with the already-arrived Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson, the Baltimore Orioles are loaded. It’s the dawn of a new day of Orioles baseball. Luke Jones and Nestor discuss the maturation of Orioles system and the solid start to season despite some obvious pitching deficiencies.


orioles, years, baseball, point, win, game, elias, team, bad, peter, corbin, players, weekend, sign, prospects, draft, long term vision, colton, people, gunnar


Luke Jones, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn st Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive and a fresh homestand for the Orioles and a fresh Merlot crabcake tour for us. We’ll be back down at fete Lee’s next Friday before then we’re going to be at Greenmount station in Hampstead and green male bowl. That’s going to be next Wednesday the 24th and on the 26th we head back to fade Lee’s where this guy got a PacMan scratch off as well as delicious crab cake and I think some shrimp salad to go I never checked in on the shrimp salad but I know how good the shrimp salad is a fade because I didn’t really need to check back in in the fifth inning. Look, Jones joins us now he was at Oriole Park at Camden Yards all weekend. He is our official appointee and representatives to cover Orioles baseball. I’ve been watching Billy Joel get shut off in the middle of the night. What’s going on? Lucas? How are you how a nice weekend down there. And certainly the young man finally got a bass hit. I you know, let’s get that off of on a Sunday afternoon. Start the week fresh right?


Luke Jones  00:59

Yeah, no question about it. I don’t know if I’d say it was a nice weekend. I think it was really rough weekend for the Orioles quite frankly until Sunday afternoon where they did salvage the final game they did avoid a sweep. I think I came away impressed with the Milwaukee Brewers. I think they really hit the baseball I caught in burns on Sunday after Sunday’s game and which was, you know, pretty uneven performance for him actually compare them to what we saw with the Royals with the last homestand and we’ve seen the Royals play really good baseball overall since leaving Baltimore to conclude that last time or that first homestand of the season, so they were able to salvage the final game did not pitch well on Friday night to your point. The shrimp salad was the highlight of Friday night’s game for me because there was nothing else to write home about. From an Orioles perspective. Saturday, not much better, with Dean Kramer getting knocked around and the Orioles losing that ball game, although they hit a little bit better at the very least. But on Sunday. Burns wasn’t bad, but certainly labored. I think that’s probably the best way I would describe it. The defense you know, it’s been choppy, as we’ve talked about with these opening couple of weeks of the season. But we can’t have your

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:09

pitcher throwing the ball in the right field with the game online either. That doesn’t help either. Right. Yeah, exactly.

Luke Jones  02:13

I mean, like I said, I mean, the defense has been choppy and specifically Corbin burns defense was choppy on Sunday. But you know, they they rallied. And it was great to see Jackson Holliday after a rough start, albeit four games. Let’s pump the brakes here. Let’s not lose our minds here, about a 20 year old being called up gets a hit right in the middle of a seven inning rally and the Orioles able to come away with the victory. So again, overall was not a good weekend be tough to say that after losing two out of three, but a nice finish to the weekend. In avoiding being swept and I said it last October. I’m not going to talk about this long sweep of of regular season series without being swept when you get swept in the postseason. But I will at least note that, that it was good for them to come away with at least one game after a rough start to the series against the Brewers who, like I said, I was I came away impressed and very much looking like a team that pitching a little more of a question, but they hit the ball and that was even without one of their big guys as Christian Yelich left the game early on Friday so impressed with the Brewers but nice to see the Orioles at least salvage the final game at a set. I

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:27


was literally talking about the weather being nice over the weekend. It was certainly I didn’t think the baseball went real well on Friday night and felt like a long time ago. But let’s talk a little bit about tech she left me Friday night with families with trip salad and you were going down there that was kind of a special occasion on a night where there was a lot of energy and all of that got taken out then you lose Saturday come back Sunday when fine the thing I would say to you if I were beginning this from the top aside from the weather and the weekend, which just sort of like they’ve been punched in the nose a little bit to start the season you know, they didn’t they’re not going to start the season 15 and two and jump out to a six game lead and everybody you know it’s not going to be that kind of race for them and I think their pitching is not good enough right now for them to be 101 When team as constructed unless they hit the hell out of the ball.

Luke Jones  04:17

I mean, at the same time they’re on pace for I think 97 wins right now they’re fine. They’re fine in the sense of anything we’ve seen to this point has really made me change my mind about how I felt on opening day I guess is what I would say and to that point we talked about the pitching in a big picture sense it’s not as though it had been bad going into the first two games of this series but when Tyler Well struggles when Dean Kramer really struggles then there you go I mean you’re gonna you’re going to have some issues when you get short starts for guys are getting knocked around a little bit. So I mean the Yankees are off to a good start. Let’s call it what it is. As they played really, really high level baseball early on now, are they going to stay healthy? They have all these veteran guys that are depending on. So that’s the big question for them but for the Orioles and I don’t think there’s anything to it to make a sweeping conclusion other than things that we already knew, right. I mean, the bullpen for the most part, has held up pretty well. Probably better than I thought it might have. Will that happen for the next five months after that without some reinforcements at some point, you know, who knows? I’m guessing they’ll still need that. You know, that’s something I’m not going to change my mind about after two and a half weeks,

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:35

and better start pitching leads to not needing as much relief right? I mean, that’s right. And right now my point on the 101 wins. I’m not being flippant, I just don’t think they’re gonna go with this five man rotation the whole unless they get Calvary, right, like and there’s plenty of Calvary out there they could get but i i see Irvin and I see wells. I see where Cramer is, and I’ve never been the biggest believer in Kramer on his best days. He’s looked okay. But I don’t think he’s ever going to be a saw young candidate. I think he’s a three maybe a four, right? I don’t think he’s ever going to step up and be one or two. If he is, this is the time to do it. He’s certainly gonna get some offense. They’re gonna hit the ball, but especially as it gets warmer out, but I just don’t think they’re gonna need help to be an October team. And that’s okay. I think we knew that in March. And I don’t think holidays gonna be overwhelmed at all. But I think, you know, they’ve, they’ve suffered a little bit hasn’t been as easy as it was most of last summer, at least in the early going, where you just expect them to win every night. They’re gonna win. I mean, it’s not going to work that way. It’s baseball.

Luke Jones  06:33

Yeah, I mean, they’ve scuffled a little bit, but they’re not in six. I mean, not in six over a full season is 97 wins. So how much have they really struggled? You know, it’s it’s baseball we, and not you in general. We all have to adjust to this every year because everyone, you know, it’s on the heels of ravens and other sports. And then we come into baseball. It’s like, oh, yeah, they don’t win every night. They don’t win every single series. They don’t sweep every single series with Big


Nestor J. Aparicio  07:02

Papi has with the host that you’re gonna win every bet and they’re gonna win every night because it’s worked that way. Yeah,

Luke Jones  07:07

exactly. So, you know, from that standpoint, yeah. I mean, we, we know this, but the current state of their rotation isn’t how they planned it and drew it up anyway. Right. I mean, act on, John means has already made three rehab starts, he’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:20

up to about 60 pitches. So his, there’s incredible optimism on those guys, right? I mean, they’re not Tommy, John, they’re not where Felix Batista is, these are guys that you and I, if we had put $1 in right now, we would bet at this point with Bradish. I mean, I feel it feels like he’s gonna pitch at least a little bit to his arm falls off. But it feels like both of these guys are going to pitch in Baltimore by June 1. Does that sound right? Yeah.

Luke Jones  07:45


I mean, Bradish I still want to wait and see on a little bit, because I want to see him, I want to see him in a fully competitive environment, which he’s gonna make his first start this week, you know, first rehab start this week, a buoy from from the way it sounds so, you know, means is closer means at this point, it’s not imminent, but I think if he’s making a start within the next few weeks, that wouldn’t be surprising, you know, at the very end of April, very beginning of May, somewhere like that. And Bradish I think it’s more let’s see what it looks like says he feels good, says his velocities good. You know, we’re taking them at their word for it right now. I mean, he wouldn’t be in the clubhouse and throwing bullpens and getting ready to go on a rehab assignment if Tommy John surgery was imminent, for example. So we’re just gonna have to see but he could get out there in a fully competitive professional baseball environment, even at the minor league level, and the elbows start to bark. And then they look at imaging and maybe they say the UCL is not in great shape. So but the point is, they are nearing at least a return for John means. This is to me much more of a meaningful checkpoint inflection point for Kyle Bradish. Does that mean Bradish is going to come back and give them 120 innings this year? We got to wait and see. You know, I think that very much remains to be seen. But the the overall prevailing point here is, I feel like the rotations been about what you’d expect, right? Burns, although he wasn’t great Sunday has been Corbin burns. Grayson Rodriguez, for the most part is looked like a number two or number three starter, you know, even Dean Kramer. He was bad Sunday, but his couple starts before that he pitched pretty well. So I’m not I’m not ready to replace him. And I’m not suggesting that you were saying that either. Corbin and Tyler wells been the guys that have looked like question marks, which is what we thought going in. So I have said, you know, going back to the offseason, I’d like to see Tyler wells in the bullpen. Eventually so, you know, because I think he can help fortify them there and I think he can be better there. So in the meantime, they’re they’re doing what they’re doing. And you know, it’s been choppy, there’s no doubt I mean, we’ve talked Jackson Holliday, obviously off to a slow start. I’m not concerned about that just yet. Austin Hays off to a really slow start. I’m not concerned about that just yet. All right. So the way Colton Couser is hitting, he should be concerned about that, in terms of his playing time, but even someone like Anthony Santander who had a really good first four or five games of the season, since then he hasn’t hit the ball. So you’re gonna have the ebbs and flows of 162 games season, you know, right now we’re talking about guys struggling that at any other point in the season, would maybe be a footnote. And that’s about it. I mean, everyone’s going to have their two for 20 kind of stretches over the course of 162. So, from that standpoint, it doesn’t make for great radio, but I’m not going to sit here and really say that I have these grave concerns about them. Right.

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:38

I don’t think there’s any concern about them at all. I just think there’s been a humbling part of the beginning of the year for everybody that they had to have a couple of walk offs. They won a couple of close games, right. You talked so much later there.

Luke Jones  10:49

They did last year, though. I mean, that’s where they were last year, right? I mean, they could they came back that I mean, we saw this in the second half of the season, big time Nestor how many times we say like goodness, just to go how great this team could be if they actually swung the bat to the first four or five innings. And that’s kind of carried over. So yeah, I mean, everything about this team right now other than maybe Colton cows are looking like for all this talk of Jackson Holliday and him being on the opening day roster and service time and him winning Rookie of the Year and getting the Orioles a draft pick cone calendars looking like Rookie of the Year right now. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:24

say Is there a point with Couser? Where I get over my skis because we’re talking about a real lottery pick here, right? Like we look at him and look at Henderson and look at, and rutschman and maybe a year and a half from now. He’s the best of the three of them. And that’s not to take anything away from the other two guys. But like, he he’s got some i don’t know i in real power. He looks George Brady. I don’t even know how to say it. Like just he looks like a guy that’s gonna hit like more cake is but with power. More power. He looks like a guy that get it 35 hormones and yet $55 Yeah,


Luke Jones  12:01

I mean, I think the question with him and look, I think I brought up Marcus at different times. Couser definitely has more swing and missed in his game and in his offensive profile. But to your point, and I wholeheartedly agree. Definitely you see the power. I mean, we saw the power with the home run. He had it on the three Oh, pitch at Fenway last week, and we saw it over the weekend as well. Look, I think it’s with any player when they’re as hot as he’s been over the last week to 10 days. Yeah, we’re gonna make those comparisons and wonder but he’s at the very least, including with a home run off of lefty on Sunday. He’s looking more and more like a guy that Austin Hayes should be concerned not because I think Austin Hays is going to continue to struggle to this degree. But Colton Couser is hitting at a level including against left handed pitching where it warrants him being in the lineup not in a platoon situation.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:55

Decision with Elias, he plays it his way into life. Because we’ve talked a lot about where the bats come from. Is it a random key Loewenstein thing Toony. What happens to Santander what happens to Mullins? And to all of these guys? When the young guys come up and they look just hours what hit the ball beat to begin with all of this? They’d have a bigger problem a year ago, because this time a year ago, it’s how can you send him down? And like cows come from nowhere. And this line of plays like I was out at Chaucer having having wings on a Sunday afternoon Oriole baseballs when everybody’s tongue. And they’re talking about players and talking about who you know what the will. And they’re mentioned in May. I mean, they’re talking about Norfolk players at lunch, as though nine and six isn’t good enough as though rutschman Henderson now holiday along with cows, I mean, it’s an embarrassment of these ones that have come along in a way that you and I watch football and all of these years, there’s the ED reads and Jonathan’s in the Ray Lewis is that sort of pan out, and I’m doing this for the 25th anniversary, some Kyle bowlers and some are Clayton’s and some Travis Taylor’s that don’t pan out with the baseball team, because the odds are different and because baseball was a harder thing to project all along. And because fans but frankly didn’t pay attention to the draft for the first 80 years of baseball the last 20 years there’s at least baseball America. The TV network is a little bit more into it, but it’s certainly not what we’re going to see from the NFL next week in regard to looking at these players. But when they get picked for all of these years I go through. I mean I’ll go in the Wayback Machine I’ll be real old guy but you always say Geoffrey Hammonds, but I think about the mark Smiths and I think about just all of these first round picks the Orioles had for 30 years and he couldn’t pick a drop other than Machado and Mark Acas right like all of these years. And and even that was 15 years ago now 20 years ago now with waiters but I I would say this, these ones working out and this. This doesn’t happen in baseball either, right? I mean, correct me that we’ve come a long way that if you’re taking eighth in the draft that you’re just willing to at least be a major league player because the flameout right in the first round as much as we beat up these NFL general managers about flops. Oh my god and baseball the last 50 years first round draft picks that doesn’t mean much being a top 10 draft pick means more, but that still doesn’t mean that you get up the mountain. This last five, six years of alias, what they’ve managed to do in selection of players, keeping them healthy and getting them to the big leagues. I mean, it’s why they’re nine and six right

Luke Jones  15:40

period. Yeah. Oh, sure. And really, for me, it’s not even about the guys being picked one one like Adley rutschman or Jackson holiday, or even someone like Colton Couser was what fifth overall look at Gunnar Henderson who was a second round pick look at Jordan Westbrook who was technically a first round pick but it was at sandwich pick. Right I think it was 30th overall picks. So it’s not just hitting on the top five picks but even that to your point. teams don’t that 1000 I mean, go back and look at the Houston Astros. They had a couple top five picks that did not work out right I mean for for every Caray on Bregman. They had what up it was Mark appel, and I think I’m trying to think the other pitcher. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:26


appel was a Camus guy, appel was the Strasburg kind of guy, right?

Luke Jones  16:33

Yeah, um, yeah, he was absolutely viewed in that light. So I mean, you, you just you have some of that, you know, that you’re gonna have some guys that don’t work out. And look, we still don’t know exactly. Who’s going to pan out in terms of being long term, dudes, long term MVP candidates. So there’s still some unknown, but the hit rate at this point, the way it’s looking at this point is extraordinary. You know, I mean, we

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:55

are the number one ones in the next five years around here. You know, David Rubin, not part of this ownerships not going to be getting any one once. Well,

Luke Jones  17:03

the one thing I will throw out there if you do have an offseason, I mean, now that there’s that lottery system that’s in place now. So, you know, if you have a down season, you could hypothetically still win a one one, you know, we’re playing that to everybody. I’m


Nestor J. Aparicio  17:17

familiar, but barely. It’s a lottery.

Luke Jones  17:20

I don’t know all the numbers off the top of my head, but it’s no longer just a guaranteed you’re the worst team. And you know, it’s like the NBA. You know, the worst team in the NBA isn’t guaranteed to get the number one pick. It’s a lottery. I don’t have the numbers in front of me that don’t tank with the percentages of it. Yeah, the point at this point that was done to deter tanking. Right, so so so that’s where we are at that point in time. But your overall winning

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:42

team is fielding three one ones. You’re like, did you take or were you you know, was that the plan? Because we certainly talked about it around here. So yeah, to some degree, if you feel the three one ones, it feels like you’re doing it on purpose. Well,

Luke Jones  17:57


I mean, Adley rutschman wasn’t a wasn’t done on purpose. 2018. They try. They wanted to try to win one last time with that core. So not that not so much that won the Jackson holiday year, you know, the year after 2021 when they lost 110 games. Yeah, we can talk about speaks volumes

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:13

that you’re trying and you finish last week, the payroll?

Luke Jones  18:16

Sure. Sure. Yeah. I mean, like I said, I mean, that’s why whenever they received criticism from national media and types that have talked about tanking, the Orioles weren’t a great example, quite frankly, because that all started with a team that had designs of winning in 2018. And they were just so terrible. It was so over. I mean, you could see it was over the last couple months of 2017 or the last month, I should say, because they were decent that August, but it was very apparent that it was over and they decided to keep the band together for one more run. And it was a disaster. So the Orioles were never a great example of that because the system at that point, had you know Cedric Mullins, Ryan mountcastle, Austin Hays, Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall as high school prospects were like 19 at that point in time. So you know that that was never a great example, in terms of the overall question of tanking. Now, did Mike Elias rapidly tried to build the Major League roster from there? No, of course not. And frankly, he would have been dumb to do that. Because, okay, they could have lost 95 games rather than 110. What does that get you? What does that really get? Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:37

the headline says intentional or incompetence, I’ll go with incompetence for at least a little while until allies got here.


Luke Jones  19:42

Yeah, no, it started with that. You’re right. It did. I

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:46

saw the signs up in Korea that their scouts weren’t allowed there. You know, there was incompetence. Sure, sure. I

Luke Jones  19:52

mean, there was no question I mean, we talked about the height of the Buck show Walter Dan do kid era felt like a happy accident. You know how to borrow what what uh, Bob Bob Ross his lines way back when but they were deliberate with what they did when alias and sigma Dale and the baseball operations side arrived in 2000, late 2018, they did not look at it through a lens of we’re going to try to make this a quick fix and try to be competitive and try to win at seven games. Two years later to try to win a wildcard they looked at it and said, We’re going to invest all of our resources into building up the farm system, building an analytics department, looking at it from a technology standpoint, building up an international market presence, which is starting to bear some fruit over the last year or two. And to really be methodical about it. And if some people want to criticize that mindset, I mean, knock yourself out. But where they stand right now speaks for itself. And I think where we need to go back and recognize here and again, this is a compliment to Elias and the current regime that the Orioles for all of the losing under, you know go all the way back to the mid 80s. You know, even before predating Peter Angeles’s owner go back to the late or the mid to late 80s When the farm system really dried up. And the Orioles were at a point where that their resource for talent for three decades was no longer there was no longer bearing consistent fruit. From that point through the arrival of Mike Elias, they never really committed fully to rebuilding, you know, they’d have a couple of years here or there. You know, Andy MacPhail did a good job, for example, for a three four year period that did improve the farm system a little bit, but they never fully committed to rebuilding the right way. It was always, you know, three toes into the water in terms of okay, well, you know, look, we’ll sign Jay Payton or what we’ll sign Kevin Milan, you know, like it

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:56


was always those types of Jeff Kona. David say we go through the whole era. Right, exactly. They tried. They tried

Luke Jones  22:02

to sign those guys. I mean, it was, was it just an error? I mean, again, it was 25 to 30 years of that where they never really fully committed to that and they found themselves too bad to make the playoffs but not bad enough to say this.

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:19

You know, at some point, I may get the Rubinstein’s year and I met with the one representative who didn’t know enough about baseball, to like talk about baseball. comes from the financial side, right? What would he know about baseball. But if we’re going to talk about baseball over the last 30 years and about, you know, we’re going to give Angelo’s the roses after he died two weeks ago for whatever good he may have done in the world, and whatever awfulness he did to humans and people and all that, that’s all documented, but for the team, for the team, for the franchise, and for the team on the field, aside from the way it was managed, and the way people were mistreated, and whatever the payroll limitations and managing paperclips and all of that. I would still say if you and I are just having coffee and having a beer, and like really talking about this from an insider’s perspective before they threw me out. All you needed to do was fly down to Fort Lauderdale and fly down to Sarasota where they had their training three and a half hours away in spring training, and to go down and see that that shithole in Fort Lauderdale that they would bring Cal Ripken, Willa Clark, Roberto Alomar, Scott, Eric’s and Mike Missy go through any of the names of these guys that have million you know, $50 million arms or $50 million bats, whoever they would be too hot. Pick any of those guys, all great baseball players, all of them and they would put them in this jail cell in Fort Lauderdale ship them around on buses for six weeks. There’s there was no Academy’s there was no Caribbean. There was no Asia. There Was You weren’t even allowed to take the best players. Peter fire Mike Flanagan right after weeders was drafted because Peter told him not to draft leaders because leaders was aboard. We can’t sign him like all of that stuff. And this is where we were 20 years ago that you couldn’t even pick the best players. Here wasn’t the only one the other owners did that as well. So for the team on the field to stink, I would say the for all of the years because you talk about 30 years of stinking and the things that were bad. Well they have money and they have a nice logo and they had a beautiful stadium and all that. They had no semblance of behind the shell on developing baseball players that they made even had some good people I love Gary Kendall. They had they had you know I love Alan mills. They had a lot of guys around Jack we talked about Jack Boyd was a part of they’re the kinds of people that were involved in training there. buoy Aberdeen Delmarva, we talked about all these places where these Frederick before that were all the players played that so few of those guys made it through and really broke through, or even broke through later. And another organization after the Orioles dealt them off or something like that. They didn’t develop much of anything. They didn’t have any commitment Peter never really understood. Certainly, John Liu, whoever was running the place. And I don’t know that the baseball people Marvin Lewis had a hard time with this in Cincinnati trying to explain to the Brown family that like practicing outside the snow and January’s really bad to try to win a game that like, whatever that synapse is between baseball and and, and investment and a facility and the things you need not to compete because you want gold plated bathrooms or airlines that you know, have first class seating, but just stuff that helps you become a better baseball player. I never saw any of that going on in the organization for years and years and years and years. I haven’t been into the Sarasota complex. I don’t know much about their Latin American thing. But I would think that if I really were having a deep drink and a deep dive with Mike Elias off the air, I would be fascinated. He told me what he found. And more than that, even what Mick fail found, when they went to Sarasota 15 years ago, Chris MacPhail really got that thing sort of started by just having a spring hub that starts everything in January, February and March. And then what you leave behind for all the kids to go to Norfolk, Frederick all those places, is, it was substandard by a lot. And I think that John Eisenberg or Peter Schmuck, or somebody that’s covered baseball for a long time, Dan Connolly, somebody for long, I don’t maybe Connolly was around at Fort Lauderdale air I think he was. But like if you saw that and saw where they came from, you would look at the organization differently and say, That’s why they could never develop talent, they and they weren’t good at picking it. But I think from the minute you pick it you come in, it was really, really a bad bad workplace for a long line. That’s not Peter, that was before. That’s all the way through, they never fixed it.

Luke Jones  27:05

There was no long term vision, on or off the field. You know what, whether we’re talking about the major league roster, whether we’re talking at the minor leagues, whether we’re talking about spring training facility, whether we’re talking about any kind of a presence, internationally speaking, there was no long term vision, it was a year to year what can we do to I don’t know when eight, if everything breaks perfectly to win at six games or something along the side, Chris Benson and maybe we are lucky. Yeah. So So I mean, and that would be the biggest thing Mike Elias would tell you and you know, he’s not going to say these things publicly. But he’s, he’s been up front, at least to the degree of saying, Yeah, we had to build this thing from the ground up. And he wasn’t saying that to knock down do cat or Buck show Walter, or even really to knock Peter or John Angelo’s. It was just how it was right? I mean, that’s how you get to a point where you go into a 2018 season after signing a couple pictures, as the Orioles did at that point in time. And you know, Alex Cobb, and Andrew Cashman and or Andrew Cashner. And you couldn’t, couldn’t win, you couldn’t beat anybody. Right? I mean, you lost Europe, when you’re in that territory where you’re approaching 120 losses, like the Orioles were, then in a year where you went in and thought, oh, maybe we can win a wild card. I mean, that speaks to how much it had fallen apart. But it also speaks to there never really being a long term vision to your point. And I say this with no disrespect to Buck show Walter Dan do cap because they did great things, you know, relative to the overall state of the organization at that point in time, but Andy MacPhail, to your point, coming in and doing the things that he did, lay the groundwork for that five year stretch where they had the best record in the American League for a five year period. That that was really done on the back of Andy MacPhail and then Dan, do cat doing some things to supplement that and you’re doing a good job for a few years. I mean, let’s call it what it was. But beyond that, you’re talking about a 25 year period and going back even longer, like I said, It predates Peter angelos, his tenure, where there wasn’t that long term plan, there wasn’t that long term vision. And so much of that came down to you mentioned facilities and things of that nature. How about just the fact that you didn’t have a general manager that was in place for longer than two or three years at a time? I mean, it’s really difficult to operate that way, even with the payroll that the Orioles and Peter Angelos had in the mid mid 90s through the early part of 2000. So yeah, it wasn’t good enough across the board. There’s no doubt so we said it was


Nestor J. Aparicio  29:45

spent 30 years saying this isn’t sustainable and it wasn’t.

Luke Jones  29:49

Yeah, well and nothing sustained, right? I mean, they were good in 96 and 9797 looked like a year where they could win the World Series and they came up short against Cleveland and it was all downhill after that for the next port. 10 years and then they had a had a bump and but but even then and 12 and 14, it after 14 I even wrote at that point I remember sitting in a Kansas City hotel room with you doing postgame mortem radio on that team where we said at that point, this feels like the last best chance for this era. And it was so you know, they made the playoffs a couple years after that. And, you know, Zack Britton was in the bullpen for the wildcard game and the rest is history. But that was very fleeting, where they are now, even if people want to say, well, they tanked for a few years. I mean, okay, fine, if you want to say that, but where they stand right now, on the heels of this, this process being forced on them by bad decisions, and being in a position where they were really bad even when they didn’t intend to be, then yeah, Michael is was was wise to say, we’re going to do this deliberately, we’re going to be very methodical and how we do it. And now you see where they are, where they’re not just really, really good right now. But they’re in a position with a farm system that they have and with new ownership and everything in place, that there is no reason to look at this current group of the Orioles meaning Major League roster and farm system and say that they won’t be really, really good for the next 567 years. And, and the way that Mike Eliason and his crew have operated, no reason to think it can’t extend beyond that. If you’re well run. And if you have the backing of new ownership, which I think everyone’s very optimistic about moving forward. Yeah, the

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:29

new ownership piece can’t be understated because Flanagan could sit in there until he’s blue in the face with with Peter and say, we can’t not take the best players Peter, it’s the draft we we can’t just say these the best end guys, we’re gonna go like Go play somewhere else somewhere else. At this point, getting these three one one’s right. One thing you have 311 It’s one thing to suffer and your fan base and television ratings and sales and revenue and all that goes into the can when you suffer that but to have them all on the field and have them not just make the field but to be all star caliber players. I’ll just put that out I would say at this point. Colton Couser looks to me to be an all star caliber player he can be that player that’s a ceiling right and they see what’s probably the Hall of Fame but he’s he’s been in the league five minutes, but the way he’s hitting the ball and it goes back to I said George Brad or I said he looks like he could be better than Mark aqueous or I don’t know what the comparables would be for any of this stuff. Ruben Sierra without the steroids, I don’t know. But But I would just say when you get these three, one ones, and it works out and you’re not going to stink anymore, because to your point, this is sustainable. And they do have an owner that has money and they do have a stadium and they do have $600 million to come into this. And at some point when all the additions happen to the stadium. Two of these guys will still be here rutschman Anderson cows or whoever they decide that holiday whatever they decide to give the money to and that’s where the sustainability is wherever they put the money that has to be good money it has to be great money not good money has to be great money because I don’t know that they’re gonna be able to sign off for these guys have all four of these guys wind up playing like one once? Well,

Luke Jones  33:13


a couple things want to clean something up. They haven’t made three one once it’s three number one overall prospects Gunnar Henderson was a second round pick Correct again, that’s no I knew what you meant. I was just cleaning clearing that up for anyone listening. But Gunnar Henderson being a second round pick illustrates how well this has gone. Jordan Westberg being where he was, which is a sandwich pick at the end of the first round illustrates how well this has gone. I mean, that’s what we’re talking about here. And now, you know, one thing that you said in terms of you always have to take the bass player, there is still some strategic, there’s a strategic approach. Go back to 2020 Heston Karstadt was under slot, they drafted Kobe mayo in the fourth round. And Kobe Mayo is one of their very best prospects and he’s on the on the cusp of being in the Major League. So there’s still some strategic value to knowing how to play the draft because of your pull up bonus money and all of that, but your overall point is spot on in terms of if there’s truly a legitimate one one, you know, in the case of Adly rushman, even though Bobby Witt Jr. has turned out to be a heck of a number two overall pick and I think if the Orioles had drafted him, it would look different right now. But the overall point is, if you’ve got a transcendent talent that you can take whether he’s a Scott Boras client or not you do it and then you figure it out after the fact and look, are they going to five years from now or are we going to be talking about Jackson Holliday, Colton Couser Gunnar Henderson and Adley rutschman. Pro Grayson Rodriguez in there for good measure. Are they all going to have long term contracts here? I’d say absolutely not. That’s not how it typically works. But I trust in management at trusting ownership that they will have the combination of signing a couple guys that they feel are good long term investments, and handling the other guys, whether it’s trading them at some point in time before they just hit free agency, or maybe it’s holding on because you feel like you can win that World Series in 2027 or what? Not 2030, let’s say and wouldn’t be 2027. But they’re going to be strategic about it, there’s going to be a long term vision about it that yes, there’s going to be a roster churn. And that’s where it actually brings us full circle here. And I’ll wrap up my point here in a moment. But look at the Brewers this weekend. They just traded Corbin burns, I think there was an absolute absolutely a perception of them, that when they dealt burns, they were going to be doing what rebuilding? Well, they don’t look like a team rebuilding this weekend and that offense. And yeah, I have some questions about just how good that are pitching is going to be how will it be good enough. But there’s a perfect example of, you’re not going to hold it hold on everybody. But if you know how to manage your assets. And again, it sounds cold and calculated. But this is how Mike Elias operates. So I think it’s appropriate to bring it up in this way. You have to view all of these players from a value and an asset standpoint and not be sentimental about it. And they weren’t sentimental about it with Trey Manzini, for example. And they traded him. And they got good value for what Trey man Seanie has gone on to be and I say that with no disrespect. I love Trey, but not really majorly ballplayer anymore, right. I mean, goes, Look what roster he’s on. I mean, he’s got so happens quickly. So that’s the case. So you have to you have to be able to manage that whether you’re talking about a guy who might you’re projecting to be out of the majors in a couple years, or whether you’re talking about someone like Adley rutschman. Look, I hear people say all the time, they want to give Adley rutschman, a 10 year contract, you know that I’ve taken some pause on that idea just because it’s a catcher. Corbin burns the amount of money that it’s going to require to sign him whether it’s the Orioles or whoever is ultimately going to sign him. Mike Elias may look at that and say even if David Rubenstein is willing to give Corbin burns a blank check, mike Elias has the mind and the discipline to say that might not be the best investment for someone who’s already going to be 30 years old. So we’re putting that money aside for Rodriguez in case he doesn’t. Or we’re going to just continue to invest in other invest in our player development and do things that way. So we’ll try to prospects next year and get it and rent the right one. Right. Exactly. Exactly. And I think that is probably the most likely scenario

Nestor J. Aparicio  37:42

prospect you would never get at bats in our big league team because they’re, they’re blocked, right? I mean, that’s part of the job by somebody making 30 or $40 million soon is one of these guys will get some money.

Luke Jones  37:52

Yeah. And, and oh, by the way, not just prospects, but you might be able to mix in some current veteran major leaguers, right. I mean, we’ve talked about it Austin Hays could be not the centerpiece of a deal. But he could be included in a deal for a pitcher or something along those lines. But I’m just using Hayes as an example right now again, let’s not throw too much dirt on the guy just because he’s off to a bad

Nestor J. Aparicio  38:14

it’s not even that bad. Don’t need any more. It’s it’s, you know, they have not they have nine spots they have, they have a roster and then they have deep depth. And as means comes back as Bradish comes, you know, as they start to get guys back. It makes other things expendable, I believe.


Luke Jones  38:34

Sure, sure. And now you want to maintain depth because you’re gonna have injuries and things of that nature. But it’s all about this roster turn I think we talked about this long before David Rubenstein and the new ownership group came along. But I think the vision for the Orioles is very much like the Tampa Bay Rays in the sense of viewing players as assets and understanding that guys depreciate as they get closer and closer one to arbitration. And then obviously, the big one being free agency, that you’re going to have a roster turn the difference, I hope. And this is where I want the Orioles to have a vision that’s much more in line with the St. Louis Cardinals as I’ve used as an example, is having the financial wherewithal the financial backing from ownership to say, No, we don’t have to operate like the rays, we want to use the rays best practices. But we want to be in a position where the gods that look like they are good long term investments as well, then we can invest in them long term and the guys that we say You know what, probably not going to be a great value beyond club control beyond those first couple years, and if you can’t sign them for that kind of a deal that fits how you value them, then you trade them. Right. So So I think you’re going to continue to see the Orioles operate with a player development mindset. I mean, that’s not changing just because David Rubenstein might have a checkbook that that Mike Elias could pry open that John Angelos was never willing to do. But that doesn’t mean they’re going just become I, you know, the Yankees and how they operate, I think it’s going to be a much more measured approach. But the good news is that hopefully you can invest in some of your, your young talent from a long term perspective and put them in a position where you can keep some of those guys, the other guys, you’ll get the value that you get out of them. And then they move on, you know, whether it’s via trade, or maybe that it is, you know, some guys just leave via free agency. So we’re gonna see how that all plays out. But we’re getting way ahead of ourselves in that regard. I mean, Adley rutschman, still here for at least a few more years. I mean, Gunnar Anderson is in his second full year in the majors, Jackson holidays, played four games, you know, so. So that’s where it’s so exciting that even even with the pondering of those long term questions. In the meantime, boy, they’ve got a chance to do some really special things here on the field in the next few years. And right now, like we’ve said, it’s a little choppy early on, but, hey, if choppy means you’re still playing at a 97 wind pace, then think you’re doing something right compared to where this organization was, for a very long time.

Nestor J. Aparicio  41:10

Good weather and bad news for the Minnesota Twins who also have great uniforms and great uniform history, so that Milwaukee Brewers logo and the glove and the and the ball and the M and the B and as much as I hated it from 1982, I had to really start to think if there’s a better logo on baseball or in sports, so we’ll talk about that. Luke is here. We’re talking to baseball. I will get some football we get some football families. You’ll hear that we had some great conversations with families. Mayoral Candidate and former mayor Sheila Dixon joined us as well as Shannon Sneed. We opened the new families and talked about the history of families. John Allen joins me to talk about Charm City devils and M three which is coming up in a couple of weeks with some other rock’n’roll this week. Rob Fay he’s partner man Keith Brewer, who is the voice of God in the 25th anniversary documentary no one listens. everyone hears the documentary will debut or day but a few hours before the draft. So next Thursday, the 25th it will debut at five await to honor Cal Ripken and Brooks Robinson and and Joe Flacco who’s won a Super Bowl around here since the time we did free the birds 18 years ago. So all the free the bird stuff I’ve released a little Vinny Testaverde snippet so I will be a bread crumbing the 25th anniversary travels and travails and journey of what we’ve built around here at wn St. Even Luke’s in the video I threatened him that with the other days, a lot of a lot of good looking slides when Luke was was young and sexy and back when I was young, I am Nestor. We are WNS TA and 1570. Tacit Baltimore. Stick with us. We got some baseball around here. We never stop talking Baltimore positive

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