The real value of a “fresh start” Baltimore Orioles ownership for MLB

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Longtime author and baseball historian Barry Bloom of Sportico provides some historic perspective what the new Orioles ownership could mean for Baltimore and Major League Baseball as David Rubenstein and Cal Ripken step forward to unleash of the potential of a franchise that is blooming on the field and about to blossom with fresh energy.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

baseball, year, team, money, oakland, owners, orioles, people, players, build, rubenstein, market, ballpark, baltimore, dodgers, revenue, franchise, barry, game, talk

SPEAKERS

Nestor J. Aparicio, Barry Bloom

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn St. am 1570, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive we are trying to hold it together after the collapse of the Key Bridge over my neighborhood we are going to going to be putting together the Maryland crab cake tour for the first time. In a long time since we did cup of Super Bowl back in February with our friends in the Maryland lottery, we’re gonna be a Costas next Tuesday, the ninth of April before the Orioles Red Sox two o’clock game. We’ll be there all morning into the afternoon. I don’t know what we’re doing in regard to relief and conversation and dredging the bridge and getting a new bridge. But our friends over the peninsula are a little trapped right now and want to make sure we give them some love. We’ll be there on Tuesday, Friday, we’ll be at fadeless downtown and the new Lexington market all new location Luke’s gonna be there. We’re gonna be live from two until five that is on the 12th. And again on the 26th It’s all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery has been a little while since I’ve had this guy on. I almost bothered him in late January into early February when the word came that the oils would be sold. He covers the business of a lot of things, but I know him as a long, long time. baseball writer, my dad bought the baseball digest when Barry blooms name was in it a million years ago. I was kid Howard balls are about that with football digests as well. And the Associated Press and headlines and newspapers and all of this stuff. All these years later, he’s become my friend and I’ll also a cancer survivor and a guy who documents one of my favorite teams the McDonald’s mustard and brown of the San Diego Padres of my aunt Jane of the mid 1980s. He is currently working for sport a co covering baseball and all sorts of things final for Phoenix and and he’s into the coyotes and has moved out to the Phoenix area from his original hometown back here in the East Coast. Welcome. Boom, ski Barry bloom, longtime Associated Press now at the sportcoat. What’s going on? We have new ownership, Barry, I was going to reach you in the early excitement. But I’m like, you know, let that let the contract get dry. Let the money get into the Angelo’s account. And then I’m going to talk to you about the future of the Baltimore Orioles.

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Barry Bloom  02:11

Well, thank you Nestor. I mean, I’m gonna have to hire you to do all my introductions. That was fabulous. You know, I think what’s great about it is that the Angeles’s left them with a pretty darn good base. They’ve got a great young team. And now as you saw with the addition of Corbin Burns, who had a great start to start the season. I mean, now with an influence of an influx of money, you know, this team has a chance to be one of the powerhouses of the of the a at least at a time when it’s the sum of those teams are down. I mean, to me, Tampa, Toronto and Boston, are not quite Alberta, they may be playoff teams, but they’re not going to win the division. The Yankees kind of surprised me this weekend sweeping the Astros, which they never do. But I guess the worm was going to turn with that eventually after all these years because the Astros have dominated them for a while. But I’m excited about just saying that you know, the Orioles are really the team to beat in the in the at least right now. Barry covered the

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:21

the business of sports better than anybody I mean, strikes and going back to Lords of the Realm now 30 years ago and understanding the dynamics of ownership and understanding just how incompetent at times the Major League Baseball people can be right. I was nationally syndicated back at the turn of the century. And it was contraction and we were going to lose Montreal we were going to lose Minnesota like these things were good. None of that happened. It greatly greatly affected my franchise Peter Angelos and Masson and the Washington Nationals. And now they’ve got this eyesore with the Oakland franchise. I was down in Tampa for spring training this time last week and just it never came. That blimp sits there at the end of St. Petersburg. They’ve been trying to fix that for a long time. But this Oriole situation, they let this thing atrophy, Peter and his kids just making money and money and more money to get 1,000,000,007 to cash out last week. And the team never returned. The only time it’s turned now is because they were so bad for so long. And they had so many high draft picks. And John hired a genius in Mike Elias to come in here and bringing great baseball players. Now we had the Jackson holiday debate on the field. We’ll talk about rutschman Anderson and what Corbin burns represents any immigration Rodriguez now what he could represent, which was the original hope before they bought burns. Somebody has to pay these players, right. And in this market where tickets are nine bucks tonight and it’s raining and it’s cold and the Royals are in town and nobody’s going. I’m trying to figure out from a revenue standpoint and look man, you were there when attendance mattered back when I was a boy and I would read your work in the late 70s early 80s It was always attended Philly had at the Dodgers at the Yankees at the angels added. They had our players, they got all of our players back in the day. And I had to learn tier A and B and wanting to free agency and Charlie Finley and Stuart George Schneider, I came into journalism in 1984. Having losing my football team, because we didn’t have money, money, money, money, money, money, money, right. And I keep thinking about these players in this court and where it is right now. And Rubenstein bought this team and where they are and where the revenue is. And it’s been really, really poorly run for so long that I can’t, I don’t even know where to track it back to when it really got awful. But from a revenue standpoint, they’re gonna need to make money here to pay the best players. I keep going back to that, like you don’t want to settle for being world champ and we draw 12,000 fans, and that’s what we are. I think that the Baltimore Orioles can be more than that Barry and I know you’ve seen them do a lot more than that. Well,

Barry Bloom  05:54

I it that’s a whole lot to cut into there, Nestor. But I look at where baseball is right now on the regional sports network problem. And that’s really an off growth, an outgrowth of all the things that you just mentioned. You know, you go back to the mid or early 60s When Pete Rozelle went to the NFL owners, and they said, he said, Look, we’re better off if we nationalize our, our television package. And we’ll evenly split that money among all the teams. You know, obviously, there was a lot less teams back then. But he knew that having been a Los Angeles Rams PR guy, that that the big markets like Los Angeles, and New York, were just going to grow. And they were going to outgrow the Green Bay’s and a lot of, you know, the Baltimore’s in a lot of other places in the country. So they, they nationalized it, they evenly split the money. And it turned out to be the bottom line growth project for the, for the NFL, where every year, they their salary cap is pretty much met by their national television money, and then everything else is, is an expenditure. So now you have baseball, which is a non salary, the only major non salary cap league because of how the owners have been able to kowtow to the Union over the course of the years. And you know, you’re in a situation where if in the 1960s, Major League Baseball had the foresight to go to the 16 owners at the time before even expansion, and said, We’re gonna buy your television market, your local television market, and give you a million or two each, it would have cost like $32 million dollars. And then we’re gonna take it up, we’re gonna run your local television market, and then that money is going to be evenly split among the 16 teams. You would not be in this position you’re in right now.

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:55

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The original sin in the Garden of Eden, right? It’s sort of a it’s Mr. Smith, right from 73 on Oh has nothing

Barry Bloom  08:03

to do with Messerschmitt. This is just the three agent system, every sport dealt with how they were going to come to, to a compromise with their unions and their players on the free agent system. This is purely the money you’re talking about. That needs to be generated for teams like the Orioles to make more money to be able to substantiate buying more players. And you have a lopsided television market now, where teams like and there are probably nine of them, because I’ve been looking very closely at this. You have teams I’ll just give you Yankees Dodgers, Mets, cubs, giants, even the A’s have got a huge television contract, which they don’t want to give up before they go to Las Vegas, and they’re gonna lose when they got to Las Vegas. But the point of the matter is, you have a messy mess and situation, which was created by Angelo’s with bud for him to agree to move the Expos to Washington. And instead of a 5050 split with both teams on that money. Baltimore took over that, that that that rar SN and it’s been a mess and in court ever since. So they’re one of the head not teams, in terms of the amount of money they have. And Angelo’s was an old time owner who didn’t have those kinds of deep pockets that Rubenstein and learner and all the people coming in to MLB now have anybody who’s going to buy into a professional sports franchise in the in the big four leagues to me and I don’t include soccer in this at this point. They have to have billion dollar pockets, too. To be able to, to grow and compete in those links. So now you have a chance. But the problem is, and this is going to be a fight, because I’ve been talking to people about it, there’s going to be a fight on on revenue sharing these. These are lessons that are left, like yes network and SM why and what the Dodgers have going on. And then those big market teams are not going to are not going to want a revenue share. And you have 75% of the owners that have to vote on this for it to happen. And the perfect example for you is that when they nationalized the internet, and created mlb.com, each individual team owned their own internet site, much like the RSS, but that there was a vote to create mlb.com and eventually the NFL B network. And that vote, there wasn’t enough big market teams to block it. There were too many small market teams that just wanted to revenue, share it, and say the Yankees have a bigger market, their network is going to be worth more, or their internet is going to be worth more we’re going to want them to revenue share evenly with the league. And it’s been the best thing that baseball has ever done. Now they need to figure out a way to do it with the RS NS to give everybody an even playing field. So they can negotiate every year. And then you take a look at what’s gone on and the fight with the union recently, which Tony Clark seems to have survived. And Bruce Myers seems to have survived. But a lot of it is that big market teams like the Yankees and Mets didn’t go out and spend this year Dodgers did. But in my area and the NL West, it’s now created the strongest division in baseball, because Major League Baseball spent $2.9 billion on free agents this year. And the Dodgers, the Giants and the time it back spent 1.6 billion of that. And you have two of those teams with great artisans and the Giants and Dodgers and the and the Diamondbacks that lost their RSN and are trying to build a new network and parlay off their National League Championship. And this is where attendance does mean something. If you don’t have any place to go where you’re money has dissolved on your local television dollars, then you have to build up your attendance and put seats in the ballpark to spend money and people spend money on concessions and merchandise and parking and all those and ciliary items which can bring up your revenue, which is starting to happen for the Diamondbacks. So it’s a long complicated answer, you know, to your multi prong question.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:59

Barry Bloom is here. You know, I mentioned the Mr. Smith thing because I mentioned free agency and I mentioned how have said no problem with free agency Yankees ate that up because they had the money. And I think the original sin is really the owners fighting with the owners. It was always rich owners versus poor owners. That’s what all the Players Association all the union people will be telling you all of these years is that they never could organize that as our moto once said a roomful of Republicans that act like was it the liberal vote socialist or whatever we whatever his his phrase phrasing was done, the politics of that would be Roselle. That’s been a missing ingredient baseball. And if you know, Steve shot, he wants to add them. It’s the reason he didn’t want to buy a baseball team. He didn’t think it was a fair system to

Barry Bloom  13:45

your point. You know, I remember one collective bargaining agreement in the early 2000s. I think it was 2002, where they were trying to figure out how to remedy and share money among the haves and the have nots. So that money filtered down from the Yankees and the Dodgers and the Mets to the smaller market teams. And they basically went to the union and in collective bargaining, and they said, we can’t figure this amount at this app among the owners figure this out for us. And fears, Don fear at the time said, That’s not our job. But ultimately, in that collective bargaining agreement, they figured it out. And the revenue sharing system, among all of this, you know, is money that is shared that’s come out of that agreement from 2002 and 2003. The drug agreement came out of it, the revenue sharing model came out of it, and it was supposed to be it was an anti Yankee thing at the time. But now the Yankees you know, they sit back and they do what they’re gonna do, you know, within their market and the amount of money they’re gonna make, and they’re gonna be successful, revenue wise. Well, Did they win the World Series? Or they don’t, there is a ethos is, yeah, we’d like to win. And it’s a disappointing season. And if we don’t, but in essence, they’re gonna make $600 million a year in revenue, no matter whether they win or lose, because people are gonna go to the stadium and watch that team play. And they win every year, at least, they’ve had 30 years in a row with a winning record. You know, it’s, they’re not putting a bad team on the field in any year. So, yeah, that’s exactly where it comes from. And if you go back to, you know, where to start with Curt Flood and Marvin Miller, and how the union broke the owners down, you know, at that time, you know, there was it was owner against owner what they wanted to do. And, you know, Charlie Finley probably had the best idea when the Messerschmitt decision came down, and McNally decisions came down. And, and, and the, the reserve clause was, was, you know, term mute you. You can’t you couldn’t use it anymore. So that every player was a free agent. And Charlie Finley said, Fine, let’s flood the market. Everybody every year becomes a free agent. And Marvin Miller says, no, no, no, no, we don’t want that. We don’t want too many people out in the market. And he put the deal in place, which still exists today, where you have to be a six year free agent, where the owner is really lost it was they tried to put in the arbitration system before free agency, thinking it would put a stop on free agency. And that turned out to be the greatest pain in their system, because they really don’t have any control of that. That’s an either or you. That’s what

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Nestor J. Aparicio  16:41

I said, there’s a long history of sort of owner incompetence and failing up. I mean, I tried to express to Mr. Rubenstein sky that Peter angelos, put $29 million of cash up in 1993, using money and collateral that Bob cast aleni and build a wit later use to purchase the reds in the end the Cardinals in this deal that Larry Lucchino was originally in and then got thrown out of them, what the San Diego, as you will see, and then the Boston and you could document all of that. But you know, as I pointed out that $29 million became $1.7 billion for his kids, and all they did was wreck the franchise, like, It ain’t like they didn’t do anything of any positive measure, you’re in 30 years in regard to winning, investing, making things better in any way. And

Barry Bloom  17:29

small fry owners to be able to do it within the system, the way it grew. It you know, they, they couldn’t, it would be as if Charlie Finley or his, you know, heirs with that amount of money. We’re still trying to compete with the big boys in the league. Mark

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:50

Davis failed up right into the biggest deal in Vegas, right? Like at some point you fail up, there was no saying he would want national with the franchise.

Barry Bloom  17:57

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How many times did he you know, he he and his father moved the team. from Oakland to La back to Oakland out of Vegas, how many years did that take? That was over a 30 year period of time. In a league where you have a salary cap and a floor does not you know, anything you can do about it. In baseball, you have no salary cap, you have no floor. And in some cases, there’s no incentive for you to spend any more money if you know you’re going to lose than $30 million a year on your payroll, even though the top team in the top echelon is paying like the Padres did they were number three last year or 256. And they couldn’t absorb that kind of money in that market. But they did it anyway because, you know, my, my long friend and cancer patient, you know, the late Peter Seidler, you know, wanted to buy a Diem that would win the World Series for the Padres before he died. And it was with the greatest of intentions. But he didn’t, he didn’t make it. He passed away after numerous battles with non Hodgkins lymphoma. And you know, and now you’re left with a situation there where it’s the same Padres with Mexico to the South Pacific Pacific to the to the west, the band’s to the east and Camp Pendleton to the north. And they only have a limited market to sell that team to, and they’ve saturated the market. You know, all you can do now is raise continued concession prices and ticket prices to bring in more money. Plus they lost their $60 million a year television contract to So where did they go event? They’ve got $100 million off their payroll this year, but they still have an expensive central team for what he spent. And now they’re going to have to make some decisions about their own ownership and where they’re going to go. And so you can’t complain about Angelo’s buying a team for 29 million back in the day and that the everybody in the Orioles got taken along with it. valuations of MLB franchises, and they cashed out at 1.7. I mean, it’s 1.7 billion. Every team is the Players

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:08

Association argues all the time, they’re making plenty of money.

Barry Bloom  20:13

Scott Paris just said that just quoted him in a story today, he said that they’re going to make more money in the league this year than ever before. At nine teams went and have a lower payroll this year than they did last year. But that’s their choice. You know, it’s like, imagine

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:31

if they fixed Oakland, you know what I mean? Like that, you know, they’re doing that with this eyesore. They

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Barry Bloom  20:37

can’t fix Oakland. They can’t fix Oakland, because, you know, I haven’t covered that. I’ve been writing about it. And I laugh about it because I broken in San Francisco, when Barb Laurie sold, what saved the team, and to Hearthstone and sold it to law bots, and it was supposed to move to Toronto, and the National League. Next it, Bob Lurie bought it and save the team in 1976. And then started work on a new stadium for the Giants. And it took 25 years. You know, it’s like I, I feel like, my entire career aside for the Padres is been dictated by the giants in the A’s and what their imaginations are in that bear community to remain outmaneuver each other. And the situation in Oakland is, they were pretty close to that ballpark, building that ballpark, at the Howard station, Oakland had come up with the money, because of the grant situation coming out of COVID. They were right there. And when it came time for Fisher to put the money in for that ballpark, he pulled the plug. So they did everything they possibly could. And if I were them until you know what the future of the Coliseum is going to be? Why would you even put a time into it, they won’t put a time into it, and it’s turned into a ghetto. You know, nobody, it’s a bad team, and a bad place to watch a game. And there’s no reconciling it. And so they’re playing,

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:11

and they’ve known this all along, they’ve had years in Montreal, where they just let it go and let it go and kick the can.

Barry Bloom  22:18

But they have a lease. And they’ve made, you know, proposals to Oakland in the Coliseum commissioned to do some work. And they don’t have any money in Oakland to do any work. They don’t have any money for police. They don’t have any money for schools. They don’t have any money for the BART system. I mean, it’s it’s a decrepid what’s going on in San Francisco, and you read about nationally is 10 times worse than Oakland. So how you’re going to say we’re going to squeeze money out of Oakland, because we multimillion dollar billion dollar ownership wants to keep a franchise there and build a ballpark. Yeah, I mean, it was a it may still be who knows. But it was a generational chance they had they’re in Oakland, to build up the north side of that city. And it’s never it’s never going to happen again. They’re going to be the old decrepit city that they’ve always been it would be if you go back to 1990s. And Baltimore hadn’t decided to to help the Orioles with Lucchino and Edward Bennett Williams and those guys back then, to build that ballpark and Camden Yards, made that whole part of the city and the North Arbor though the wet, the South harbor there would have never been developed. And that’s where you are in Oakland, that whole you know, square there. Jack London Square, which is the nicest part of Oakland on the water would have been redeveloped all the way across there on a piece of property that’s more urban.

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:55

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I stayed there last year, I went to see Pearl Jam and the A’s were actually playing a game. You know, during the time that Pearl Jam was playing in the Coliseum in the adjacent parking lot and and I was in San Francisco about eight weeks ago, nine weeks ago. I mean, California, they’re not they’re not giving teams $1.2 billion of public funding the way my state did for these two owners, the baseball owner, the football owner, I mean, the baseball owner here Rubenstein, you know, inherits not just Camden Yards, not just the television network that

Barry Bloom  24:28

they never have. I mean, you know, Petco Park took 10 years and in San Diego threw in, you know, half of the amount of money for it mostly out of hotel motel tax and redevelopment tax. But you know, that’s the last one that’s gotten any any public contribution, because, you know, the Kings basically, there was some money from Sacramento because they were saving the team, but most of that, for that arena was built on its own. The warriors were totally self funded. You know, the giants are totally self funded. Nobody in California is giving any money to owners to build stadiums and arenas, and especially with all the laws and hoops they have to go through, really documented it, what the A’s had to do to get through the state, local, and port, with all the permits and stuff to get that close to build our terminal app. They spent years and millions of dollars on this. I know people who blame Fisher that he never really was serious about it. They’re wrong. He spent a ton of money on. And he just got to the point where post COVID post whatever thing happened, that was going on in California in the Bay Area, where he just judged, I’m never going to push this over the top. And now all of a sudden, you get the newspaper there, my friends at the San Francisco Chronicle who didn’t pay any attention to it, until the A’s announced they were going to Vegas, and then it became a fait accompli. And instead of the people in Sanford and Oakland going, you know, we gotta go out there. And we got to buy as many tickets as we possibly can to keep this team here are trying to keep this team here. Their reaction was well known screw Fisher, we’re going to boycott and not spend any money. And so I mean, love to just see the attendance out there this weekend. Unbelievable. Yeah, I mean, 13,000 for opening day, and like five to 3000 the other three games, they’ve got the Red Sox as weak. I don’t know why the Oakland the only reason why the A’s would want to stay there is to maintain that $60 million that are getting in television money from Comcast in the Bay Area, you know, because if they move out, now they’re going to lose that. And that’s too big of a jump for them to, to basically whether over the course of the next three or four years, if and when they’re ever going to get that stadium done in Vegas. So I mean, it’s a pipe dream to a certain extent, and Oakland has really no standing to tell baseball that, well, if the A’s are going to leave, we want their callers we want their name, we want a guarantee that you’re going to give us an expansion team, really where and for what, who’s going to build it who’s going to who’s going to fund it. I mean, they had the chance when the A’s were sold, when Blake of the warriors wanted to buy it. And he would have had this done a long time ago. But lake of who’s getting older. I’m not sure what has been finances are. And for the baseball, it’s a $4 billion to $5 billion project, either move a team in or if you want to add expansion fee, where who’s going to have that kind of money, and what municipality is going to pony up that kind of money for an MLB expansion team or team to relocate. I mean, Vegas is throwing up 400 million. That’s it. And it’s limited to that that project on at the Tropicana hotel, right in the middle of the strip, where, you know, they will build on nine acres, a very smallish ballpark with with a dome on it with like half of a dome on it. Because there’s not enough land there for them to put up a stadium with a retractable dome, it needs a lot more than nine, you know, nine, nine acres, it to give you a comparison. The coyote is now our truck, they’re going to bid on a piece of land in North Phoenix, bordering on North Scottsdale, at the other end of the valley from where downtown is. And they’re, they’re gonna put it’s a $2 billion project that they’re paying for themselves. And it’s 100 acres that they’re building on burn arena and a surrounding complex, you know, that will help pay for it with a training facility and hotels. And you know, you’ve also reached

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:04

Atlanta baseball experience, but for hockey connoisseur. Exactly. And

Barry Bloom  29:08

even with the Atlanta baseball experience, they got into it at the right time. Because post COVID Nobody needs the office space anymore, that were part of these projects to build. So now just take that all out of the equation. It’s got to be though rental properties and purchase properties and entertainment. And, you know, like they’re building a practice facility in a theater, but it’s 100 acres like I’m saying there and nine acres for a baseball stadium in Las Vegas. That it just doesn’t track. Barry Bloom is

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Nestor J. Aparicio  29:50

here he is boom ski is at sports ako. He is a longtime baseball business observer as well as on the field off field. Am I half an hour into this with you and me got delighted The point which was to bring you want to say you’ve seen a million of these things. We’ve talked about all these land developments and all this crap. This guy’s got 600 million coming in here this land that John Angeles basically tried to steal from the governor last year. You can look that up. All gone. Now, the Angelo’s thing’s over without the pitch about that anymore. What’s your advice to David Rubenstein and him coming in here and taking this thing over in regard to how poorly the business has really been run here and I’ve been on the frontlines of that and mass and and you can’t get the mass in app anywhere in stream the game all of that’s a mess, the fight with the Nationals, all of that’s bad, the team on the field is really good. And the baseball sights fix, we don’t need to talk about that other than a pitcher, a relief pitcher, this that what they’re going to do with their money. But what’s your advice to him? The $1.7 billion owner, who’s coming in to find is I told his communication specialists, a lot of trauma and a lot of terrorist ation of the community here in regard to Angelo’s and people staying away. And, you know, I was here when we lost Mike Flanagan, I was here when he ran John Miller. I mean, I, I you know, I know the whole history and I lived it all. I’m 18 years without a press credential. i What, what’s your advice to him?

Barry Bloom  31:11

At this point? That’s ancient history. There’s nothing that can be done about it. And you have to move forward. So I mean, there are only five teams under Rob Manfred reign as Commissioner that had been salt going back and, you know, actually for this has been five teams since 2011. The Padres were one of them when John was sold to Seidler and, and his family in 2012. So that was right before the transition from bud to demand for it. So you’ve had Miami you’ve had Kansas City, you’ve had Baltimore, man, and the maps, that’s it, and to where basically, the Kansas City, the previous Kansas City owner died, Angeles was in the process of PAs of his illness, and two of them were because of illness. But you have had because of the escalation of the amount of value at franchise has from top to bottom. You’ve had very few people in baseball who wanted to sell their teams, regardless of all the things that we’ve talked about here previously in this segment. They don’t want to give up their teams. So I mean, so you look at new team came in in Miami, and if I’m Rubinstein see and I look at what had what did the Padres do? Had a day, you know, build a secure product out of nothing. You know, when Seidler but the Padres. They had been close to getting into the playoffs in 2010. But they had not been in the playoffs since 2006. You don’t have this with Rubenstein eat. The Orioles were in the playoffs. They got wiped out last year, but they still they’ve got a product there where they’ve already made the playoffs in a much expanded playoff system than when sideload bought the Podrick. So now you know you get forward it took years for them. 2020 they made the playoffs with the expanded playoffs in the COVID season. Then, you know two years ago they made the playoffs and went to the NLC CES. And even Miami made the playoffs last year with their cost cutting and everything they do. So essentially, you have to look at what did what did Tampa Bay do, you know, with Steinberg and all those guys, and what they’ve done with their baseball apps to basically produce a competitive team every year, they haven’t won at all, but they’ve been to the World Series twice, without spending a whole hell of a lot of money. And divesting themselves practically of every player like glass now, for instance, gone to the Dodgers. It’s like when you have to pay the they go on to a bigger team and they finish up their careers with making a lot more money and doing other things. But they have a line of players to replace these guys, because that’s the way they develop. Well, that was

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:06

the only way it was gonna work with Angelo’s right. If Angelo’s continued to own this team the next five years, it was not going to be because they weren’t going to spend 180 million.

Barry Bloom  34:13

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Now essentially as you point out, you have your general manager which came out of the Astros system. They he used the loo now paradigm to build the Orioles. And now you know we’re they’re in a situation where all they have to do is is basically spent a little money to you know, a company that to keep that team you know competitive as we started out here. The Al East is not at its greatest moment of competitiveness, they have a chance to in the expanded playoff system to go to the playoffs every year. So that that’s what I would do. I would keep out of the baseball All apps, you’ve got a good baseball app, any owner ever gets involved because they say they know baseball, like Lucchino used to always say that. And he’d want to make decisions on baseball. And every time it did, whether it’s with Orioles, Padres Red Sox, it usually blew up in their face. And eventually he got fired in San Diego. And ultimately, in Boston, they didn’t want anything to do with them. And they just said, just stick to the business side, we don’t want you to take her in baseball. So owners and lawyers are not the best baseball people, you hire baseball people to run your baseball organization and let them run it and make your make your recommendations. That’s the best thing I I can say for him, just continue to build it up, you’re not gonna have the top draft picks anymore, because you’re winning. But but you can build a lot of teams do. I mean, Aaron judge was a low draft pick. I mean, the Yankees have had haven’t had draft picks for 30 years, because they’re always competitive. But yet, they always come up with a wave of younger players, who are, you know, like Volpe. And, you know, people like that, who, you know, really, you know, start start starting in the organization are good pieces to trade. So that’s my recommendation to have look at where the new owners and how they’ve adjusted to the marketplace with all the owners have been around for a long time, and then let their baseball operate, let the baseball operations do they continue to do their job. And, you know, they’ve obviously been smart about it, and let it move forward and see what happens so they can be competitive. And then you know, and you can tell me this more than anything else, I haven’t been to Baltimore, we’re a couple of years. But my impression is that one side of the ballpark in that and the football stadium in that area is not the greatest neighborhood in the world. So basically, you have to cope with the fact that in Baltimore, a lot of people living near the ballpark can’t afford to go to that ballpark. So you’re gonna have to figure out ways of, of merchandising and giveaways and lower priced tickets, like the Diamondbacks this year and the last couple of years, they’ve offered a 50 bucks, you can go to any general met General Admission ticket, you can go to any game you want to for the rest of the season, those are the kinds of things you have to do. You know, it’s like you’re selling seats that are empty. So it’s like, how do you put Fannie’s in those seats and make it affordable for people who will go so then they go to the ballpark and buy a hotdog and, and a pretzel and, you know, an Oreo cap. And, and that’s the way you start to monetize it. But I’m guessing that he’s gonna have his smart people. He’s going to build bulk up the, you know, the, the business side of that organization to start doing that. And you have a historic, you know, beautiful ballpark, to get fans to come into. And that’s going to be whole part of the system that starts with a good team on the field and a product to sell. And that’s why the Diamondbacks are capitalizing on it right now. It’s like, we’ve got the team, we’re going to spend more money on it. We didn’t compensate for our television money by putting Fannie’s in the seats, and building up our subscription base to the MLB streaming model. And so you know, they have to do the same thing. So that’s that’s the my holistic recommendation to them. And I’m sure they’re gonna be smart and way ahead of me on it.

Nestor J. Aparicio  38:44

Baseball nerds like you and me and Luke, were watching the matter what we’ve watched all this awful baseball, I keep thinking to the fringes of people who liked the ravens, but don’t experience baseball, or have an experience good baseball, or it doesn’t come to them or they don’t have cable television, so they don’t have it in their house every day, that there has to be an engagement point for you to care about players and engage with the players and want to get out and experience it. And I think in our community, for all of us have been doing it since Boog, and Brooks, and my last name is Aparicio. Right or Kalin Eddie or even Brady Anderson, you know after that, and Mike Messina you can Mike Mike good love Mike Mussina. He’s 39 Now he hasn’t been on oral game at 10 years, you’re not in the habit of going, they didn’t give you any reason to go then you had a plague, then bad bass but like all of that, now there’s a there’s a sniff of hey, something’s going on down there. When you go down there, it’s got to taste good the first time that’s

Barry Bloom  39:38

bring all those people back into the fold, if they’re not going and make them part of the organization so that you know you cows back in it. You have to see all these people get them there for VET special events have commemorative dates for you know, the last time the Orioles won the World Series, you know who’s around them. mean all those things, whether it’s bringing back, you know, the 1966 team, the 1971. Team, the 93 team, there’s still I’m sure plenty of people around from the 93 team, which is left on they won the World Series. 83. You met 83? But that’s okay. 83 Right. Yeah. So it’s like, that’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  40:16

10 more years very, you know. There’s still well, you know, what, there was such bad blood Lowenstein would never come back because of the old man. Yeah, like, there was a lot of that that went on.

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Barry Bloom  40:28

Like, go in and, and basically, you know, like, patch that those wounds and, and bring them all back into the fold to make a connection with the older generation of baseball fans, with the newer ones are saying, you know, who are these guys? You know, but let’s teach them about what who they are and what they do.

Nestor J. Aparicio  40:50

So owning you on this berry patch those wounds. I’m typing this as we speak here, because I’m writing my letter right now to David Rubenstein. So patch those wounds. I love it. Thank you. It’s my get real writers on like, you inspire me. Hey, listen, always a pleasure. And I know it’s not the last time we’ll get together, we’ll talk some more baseball. I love that the team’s relevant. I love that. They can be welcoming. I love that Cal Ripken is involved in it. And I love that I might be talking to more people like you more often because like I love baseball, right? And when they’re losing 120 games, there’s not a whole lot of reasons to call Barry and like hang out and keys about whether Andy rest or Smith was the the beginning of all of this or novel. You know, we’ll do all that later on. But for better race talk about around here,

Barry Bloom  41:33

right? Let me leave you with this. And I’ve been talking about this a lot lately. Even with the rule changes in baseball, all most of the rule changes have done, I’ve restored baseball to where it was in a more coherent time, when you had two hour and 20 minute games, and you didn’t have to sit at the ballpark because of analytics and the way that it’s managed. And you’re winding up with a four hour game. But the point is, unlike every other sport that I’ve been watching, since I was a kid, baseball is pretty much the same. It hasn’t changed. You still throw the ball, you hit the ball, the field is the same. There might be a tinkering of rules or how you score a run or not. But mostly not. But if you look at basketball, hockey and football, it’s a completely different game than when I was a kid. The whole context of it is different. The NBA don’t have centers anymore. The three point line is changing. You have different defensive, you know, things that are marked on the on the boxes, the players are different. It’s still a fun game, but it’s completely different. Hockey completely different. I mean, when I was a kid, nobody wore helmets. There were no three line passes. There was no no touch icing. I mean, there were fights all the time. I mean, it’s a completely different game. And the same thing with football, which they tinker with all the time. They take out the the you know the kickoff return now they’re trying to put it back in and some vendors

Nestor J. Aparicio  43:02

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who say they download tackling last week, so I just I’m with you. I love you, man. Uh, you know, I know you gotta roll you’re doing Diamondbacks. You’re doing hockey. I’ll get the in the desert. I do miss cactus baseball. I love coming out there in March when it’s nice and we don’t have rainouts out there. So I will come and visit with you love visiting with you loved your insights and right on point as always, so keep up the good workout. It’s fortaco

Barry Bloom  43:26

Thanks for having me. It’s very, very blue.

Nestor J. Aparicio  43:28

He’s gonna do a book at some point on the San Diego Padres in the mid 80s. It’s weird, and I’ll be the first guy in line to buy with my mustard jersey on Tony Gwynn. 19. I am Nestor. We are WNS TA and 1570, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore positive

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