What do Peter Angelos, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez have in common?

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I was scanning CNN this morning and saw this headline: “At least 34 private radio stations in Venezuela were closed indefinitely Friday, and 206 more were at risk of being shut down, a government official said.”

As I have said many times, Peter Angelos and Fidel Castro must’ve been discussing “freedom of speech” while behind the plate in Havana 10 years ago. And Hugo Chavez is perhaps the latest and greatest example of the mindset of the suppression of free speech.

Fidel and Peter

Angelos clearly subscribes to this philsophy. How can I think any differently after being banned from attending Orioles games as a media member after 21 years of having a press pass and a passion and love for Orioles’ baseball?

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Keep in mind, virtually 98% of my family lives in Venezuela. Freedom is something I take pretty seriously, especially considering many of my direct family members aren’t afforded the same kind of life that I am in America.

But as long as the Orioles can dictate (or TRY to dictate) what is said about them in the local media I will never be silent about it as a media voice and a supporter of free speech.

I have never lied about the Orioles. I have never candy-coated the truth. For that, I have been “shut down” by the Angelos administration and haven’t been supported by any of my “media brethren.”

Considering that the Orioles play in a publicly-funded facility and are exempt from antitrust laws by the federal government, in my eyes that’s just modern-day corruption and a breach of the public trust that MLB and baseball clearly don’t take seriously.

(And don’t get me started about my Comcast bill in regard to the funding of Peter Angelos, the Orioles and MASN…)

But, circa Aug. 1, 2009, here’s the truth about the Orioles:

They’re in last place — again. There are 30,000 Red Sox fans downtown today and a few have even invaded my home.

(I suppose Angelos can claim that he’s responsible for this tri-annual “tourism” windfall for the city. Fair enough…)

But I think it was a lot better when 3.6 million Orioles fans were downtown over 81 dates.

Perhaps some of these young kids — Matt Wieters, Brad Bergesen, David Hernandez, Chris Tillman, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis — will inject some life into the standings next year.

Trust me, no one wants to see the team win more than me. Who stands to benefit more than WNST.net by more interest in local sports and more local interest in the baseball team?

But right now here’s the truth: it’s all built on the premise of “tomorrow we’ll win.”

That “promise” is promised by MASN and CBS Radio “state approved” broadcasters, who have raved about “the future” all summer while the team continues to flounder in the only place that matters — the standings!

Andy MacPhail and Peter Angelos will be geniuses when the team wins 90 games. Until then — and after 15 years of misery and lies and suppression of free speech — I’ll remain optimistically skeptical.

Either way, what’s going in Venezuela is against the fiber of my being.

But it’s really not much different than the way the baseball team operates.

Go read the story…

And enjoy these videos of Red Sox visits from the past…

You won’t see the buzzards over at CBS or WBAL or Fox 45 doing stories on the “boost in tourism” to the city today thanks to Red Sox Nation.

But at WNST.net, you get the truth…





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