What does John Angelos really want – and what is Maryland willing to give him?

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With the stadium lease drama about to go into extra innings in Annapolis and the typical Angelos family stall rolling on for baseball fans, longtime Baltimore journalist, author and Orioles historian John Eisenberg discusses the history of the franchise, the city and the downtown landscape he found four decades ago when he joined The Sun as a sportswriter and columnist.


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Nestor J. Aparicio, John Eisenberg

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:00

Welcome back. W n s t test Baltimore and Baltimore positive we are positively still in Parkville we’re Pappas and man, I’m getting crushed here because I ordered some food and I didn’t need it and now it’s in the bag and a guy behind me is got a crab cake and my wife thought about with my wife went to the Pappas up and cockys roller hole office, and they don’t really have an office anymore. They’re remote, so they all get together once a month, pretend to work and have lunch, and they went to Pappas, and we’re like Adel must which again, she’s like, we all got same thing crab cakes and I’m like, you know and that’s kind of like the toughest thing is you come to a place like this. I got the chicken mill in NACE that’s on special shirts good i two bites of it. It’s so good that I’m gonna want to be doing this with you right now. I got spinach in my teeth. So I brought to you by the Maryland lottery giving some while we’ve had some winners here 50th anniversary gets Raven scratch offs. We also are brought to you by our friends at when donation 866 90 nation buy to get two free 0% financing for five years and Jiffy Lube multi care right around the corner real Taylor Avenue right here. Between pairing and Loch Raven, I go to the Dundalk location. John Eisenberg is our guest the book is rocket men. This is my copy. You can’t have it because it’s autographed to me. I’ve given my copy of Purple Rain away to patrons here giving away tickets I’ve given away all sorts of stuff around here. I need your advice because we listen. I’ve had Tom Kelso on twice in the last month. I don’t know Tom Kelso other than through this. He was a very quiet Maryland stadium authority chairman. He’s a guy that I must have thought well, you always think political hack Republican. He had he get there. I looked him up, ran Sean Carroll schools from petroleum business. He runs me for eight years. And he comes on the air after writing these heartfelt pieces in this manner. Okay, so you’re a real journalist on this. I am attacking this. The only way I know how to do it the way Stedman you, Jack Gibbons, Mali, anybody, just report truth, find the truth, ask good questions, follow up with good questions, verify, verify very, you know, come on now. You know, Mark Hyman standard run in Maryland. This is the fifth and like this is this. People need to get on to this as to what’s happening. And I don’t want to call Tom a whistleblower. He’s a truth teller. He sat in that chair for eight years in this negotiation. And he’s seen this now. sort of go right, and nobody’s talking about it. I did 70 minutes with him. And I’ve never had feedback like I had four weeks ago, from the governor in his office straight down to what’s going on the Orioles read all my crap and listen all this. And then I had Tom on again on Friday. First things first, John Hughes to get paid. So an unpaid chairman for eight years Maryland state authority that has all of this incredible intellectual knowledge about all of it. And every part of it is verified. What I believe to be true with the cast told me to be true. What’s been reported by Jeff Barker, bike you 30 years ago by John Morgan, like stuff that books that were written about the leases, the parody clause, what was given to one could be given to the other hand, the Orioles always could sort of kick out the ravens and force, you know, Keith Urban into the Inner Harbor instead of a Perino, things that have happened, that only Peter would be Peter about that you’ve witnessed for 30 years this, I shudder to think that they’re going to disband the Maryland stadium authority. Fined 400 million more dollars in the legislature to give to the Angelo’s is that thing goes to the shotty group. On top of all of this, when there’s $600 million sitting here than any other municipality, could Oakland tamp, always, they don’t get that they don’t get that greatly. I mean, it’s the biggest scam in the world. Steve shoddy in the indie Angelou. I mean, it’s unbelievable. It’s really unbelievable. Well, as I sit here in Parkville, well earn a buck.

John Eisenberg  04:04

It is quite a quite a situation. It’s a lot of money. It doesn’t just happen in other places. I mean, poor Oakland, right? Everything, everyone’s gone, the lights are out. And it’s all based on having a crappy stadium. And so they

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:19

went to St. Louis to see the Rolling Stones in the old football stadium where the game went, put Jack Youngbloodz name up on the wall, and then just got some made flowers and got a guy who’s from Missouri, to steal the team,

John Eisenberg  04:30

right? Oh, well, this stuff goes on. You know,

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:33

I will say this on AngelList lives in Nashville, man, you know,

John Eisenberg  04:36

not too worried about it. I will tell you. I’m not too worried about that sort of doomsday scenario. I don’t think that’s happening. You know, having observed this for a long time, there’s a lot of things I don’t like about what’s going on. I don’t like the Maryland State Authority, very solid organization. They don’t just run the ballparks here. They run lots of places around the rules. Yeah. And they’re very solid at what they do. I like their their hand on the way Well, to be honest with you, and so if if they’re taking it off the if this part of this deal is that it’s coming off, and I think it is, you know, that’s worrisome to me. You know, I don’t like that so much. I don’t think the oils, I just have never gone down that road. I don’t think it going anywhere. I just think it’s that’s just chatter. And

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:21

what is the negotiation? Why why are we giving away the city to somebody who’s never had an idea? On the way out? He

John Eisenberg  05:28

thinks he does have an idea. I think he thinks that, you know, this is I’m going to do something for the city that needs to be done. I do believe he thinks that and capable. Thinks, you know, this is not just, you know, let’s let’s do something for the city. And believe me, I’m

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:47

not take something from the city’s give something to the city. I know. Well, come on now. I mean, yeah, I’ll play that. The barrister on the other side all day long, because I’ve witnessed this, you’ve witnessed this you’ve witnessed where he should have all of this and saying, we’re going to give the land we’re going to break up the oversight. We’re going to give $400 million and the land and the oversight for him to build whatever he wants. And we he doesn’t even know what he wants to build. No, there’s no idea right? And I keep coming back to that and I beat Tom Kelso up. If you go listen to it at a Baltimore positive this week, he’s coming out the Hollywood Casino. We’re gonna do literally a stadium for dummies. I mean, I’m literally doing an outline for two hours to start at the beginning and do a two hour. Let’s start at the beginning on the parody clause on who gets what and why and who and do they pay rent, you need to like, fine print, hey, let’s go through that. And let’s go through what the $600 million represents because Tom’s been great about that. But I want to do one giant overview, because the notion that they’re going to bust up the Maryland stadium authority, because John Angelos wants that should be an outrage to anyone that has gone down to these stadiums where the toilets have flushed, where they’ve kept the parking lots, right, where they’ve kept, even to some degree, some of the fees fare against you by being in New York, I go to Philadelphia, I parked cars, like, I’m not here to be a champion for the Maryland stadium authority. Now I’m here to be a champion for oversight, and not gifting money to civic pirates, you know, that. That’s all that’s where I am John. Well, I’m losing my mind in Parkville. I need I need a cocktail.

John Eisenberg  07:31

Well, the pirate aspect. And let me let me tell you something in terms of what these teams get, it goes way beyond just the board the money that’s on the table here, you stop and think about it, what they’re living on, you know, the infrastructure that, you know, comes from federal money, city, state money, city money, the highways, that dropped the fans at the front door, okay, at least to come and protect the people. There’s tons of it. I mean, so. So they’re accustomed to this. All right, of all these things, working these entities working for them. And so in Baltimore, in particular, you know, I look at the Baltimore that I came to in the 1980s, and the Baltimore now and a lot of the institutions that were really booming when I got here, I don’t know I fallen into disrepair, harbor place. Listen, the BSO barely made it through. And I liked the symphony. And and I think they’re doing better. You know, a lot of

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:23

conductor a lot, a lot of

John Eisenberg  08:24

mojo for that lot of stuff. Gotta

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:26

get him on him, send him a note, but

John Eisenberg  08:28

it was a little shaky there financially for a while. And, you know, the old department stores, I mean, things change and things fall into disrepair. harborplace is a great example, the boy Hey, where I worked for all those years, the Baltimore Sun

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:41

by that corner, I still go to Youngstown get Chinese food. Yeah. And that’s still so

John Eisenberg  08:45

so, you know, you know, things have changed. And the pro sports teams that we have here, really help and give Baltimore a major league ethos. I think that, you know, without them if they were gone, you know, we would it would be a lot different. It would not be

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:05

I’m not looking to chase teams, I’m looking for teams to be fair,

John Eisenberg  09:09

right with the community. Well, I don’t think they’re holding anyone up. I don’t think they’re leaving. I don’t believe that for a second, then I don’t think Major League Baseball will do it. I just don’t think it’s happening to you.

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:21

And I don’t I agree with you. I agree with that. Having done more research on where they are, but this thing has been so dysfunctional for so long, you know, well,

John Eisenberg  09:32

they’re just trying to finagle the situation to their liking is what’s happening. They’re not under threat of departure. I don’t know why we haven’t signed. You know, people are I don’t know. I mean, it doesn’t make sense. Or you’re expecting this to make sense. I don’t think it makes sense. You know,

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:50

we’re here to make sense of things. Make sense? The book is Rocket Man and last thing for you before I let you go as we’re in Parkville and there’s Orioles Brooks Robinson. Thanks, Brooks over here Brooks making the play in 70 and a World Series over here. Ripken Jersey over here. They want 101 games, right? I mean, and they blinked in the playoffs and it didn’t go well. Man, you were the columnist in the 90s when Isaac Eisenberg Litwin, Rosenthal Jackman Bill tant y’all this time of year they’re parading Roberto Alomar in or BJ surhoff in or they’re bringing in Jimmy key or they’re talking to maybe signing whomever. Right? The offseason was hot stove. Right, right. Crazy, dude. It’s like cold freezer, you know, I mean, like, they don’t have a lease. John, it’s Thanksgiving, right? I mean, that’s the biggest short put, it should be everybody’s story,

John Eisenberg  10:51

the state of the team. You know, I think it’s fine. Yeah, they’re gonna end up sign and some people are trying I don’t know what they’re gonna do. They might trade a couple of these prospects. They might sign some free agent. I don’t know what they’re gonna be

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:02

the most teams. Off season Yeah, of hope and promise. And they can’t. They don’t have a license to sell their tickets for opening day. Because they don’t have a stadium field to play. Right. It’s all true. This, this should be an offseason of promise and caravans and we’re out. And Mike Elias has a five year extension and he’s staying and he’s unlike everybody out forever. He can live with this he can do that’s the things I’m worried about. Now this because I’m kicked out, right. We get treated like garbage down in your hometown in Arlington. A month ago, they tried to pull Luke’s clubhouse pass away, because he showed up with the helmet. Black quarterbacks show up with a ponytail radio station owner in Baltimore, you know, and you’re not a real media memory. Like the way they behave, the pettiness, the Kevin Brown thing, all of that the stadium lease. I don’t wake up every day and say, how are they going to screw this up? But I do wake up every day and say, they’re really awful for a long time. And if they did anything, right and all of this the alias thing, but Ben McDonald’s is good art too. But the mike Elias thing if he gets his unhappy as Frank Wren once was and you go down the list of all how unhappy Frank would Robinson was rolling. He just go through the list of the people that were tortured souls, let alone Mike Flanagan who I love you, if Mike Elias he can get any job, right? I mean, like whenever his contracts up, screw the lease. If Mike Elias is no longer the GM on New Year’s Eve, how will we ever know? Yeah, I don’t he has no media contacts. There’s no leak to anything, right? Raka Bahco isn’t writing about any, like, what do we know about him and his happiness to stick around? Because if he’s not the chef, I ain’t eating the food. No offense to the Papist. Folks, yeah, no, but Right.

John Eisenberg  12:59

He’s done a great job he has and, you know, I felt it honestly. You know, like three years ago, four years. So this guy in progress I liked. I liked what he was doing. You know, he went into the Dominican where, you know, they sent I went for the Baltimore Sun. It was one of those countries. You know, when did the Dominican, you’ve been to Macedonia, where I watched with oils were doing, which was one Scout driving around with rice and beans in the back of his car, trying to get people you want to complain? You know, it was it was not it was not a big operation. And they Yeah, tax book. Yeah. You know, now, I mean, you had to have it in the oils were playing with one hand tied behind their back, no longer. And so, you know, they’ve done a lot of things right there. They have really done a lot of things. Right. I give them great credit on the baseball side. I think they’re smart. I think the Orioles are smart, you know, and so well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:50

that’s why the lead story to me is how long’s Michael Nice. Yeah, that’s very fair question. That’s, yeah, yeah,

John Eisenberg  13:55

they are. They’ve done a lot of smart things. And, you know, all these these journeyman relievers that they brought in here, and they said, here’s what we like about your screwball. You know, we’ve seen the rotation, I can’t even tell you what it is exactly. But they find these guys, the CNL Perez, and all these guys that are maybe floundering in other places to say, we like something about you, and we can fix it and it’s happened a lot Ryan O’Hearn and it’s like, Ooh, you know, you see that happening over and over. There’s good things happening here. Santander for sure says Rule five so they’re the orals are pretty pretty sharp. And you’re right it should be the story should be the only story the playoff thing that was very disappointing. But you know, you kind of learned boy, this is a young team, and maybe look at what the Rangers did and little more veteran pitching. Little more veteran pitching might be helpful, but this team is gonna be good for a while and that should be the only story man it’s really sad that we’re dealing with this situation or

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:51

book on your like a real serious storytelling BOOK OF THE GLORY era, you know, 25 years oral history, or I mean just Unbeliev You will book on the Orioles the Orioles should be not as big as the Ravens on the Ravens or eight and three and one number one see that that’s nice emotion but the URL should be making a headline above the fold every third day here she’s doing something cool good awesome offseason news make up things but I mean when you run by Greg Bader and TJ Brightman and there’s no ideas here. They’ve they’ve had the magic thing they they’re, they’re winning. They’re good. They’re good turn the lights on. They should be selling sky boxes sweets, they should be in here giving tickets out for free, come down and come to the game come down. Here’s the voucher here’s some Oreo bucks here. There’s a million things they could do to be engaging. And they are fighting with the government stealing money before our very eyes, creating a mess with the parody clause creating a mess in the legislature. Wes Moore seems to think this is a great idea. I don’t know that it’s gradual now that it’s a great idea. I don’t know that the Orioles are as beloved as maybe we think they are. And then there’s the war. We’re gonna sign Henderson and we’re gonna sign Raj maybe to spend any money at all. I mean, Luke’s on this week talking about like, if they were a legitimate organization, they now they did like they would say we’re going to a buck 20 This year we’re going to bring a real pitcher in we’re signing our two superstars. That’s it

John Eisenberg  16:26

if he did three things this offseason Snell being one you sign Snell and those two young guys that’s all you gotta do. You look

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:33

serious. And you are serious. You got your you are


John Eisenberg  16:37

serious. You put Snell in this rotation, one move, one moves you one move

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:42

on a deal. Couser and, and Westberg in the bag of baseballs for Dylan see. I mean, you’re gonna have one move. Here’s it. And I look I go all day with you at baseball. I can’t believe we did an hour on football while we’re at Warren New Jersey looks pretty good. John icebergs here. The notion that there were they were very good and how good we all think they can be. But their trades in the be made. At some point. Mike Elias has to go down the hallway to Fredo and say like Oliver Twist more, sir. He needs money. He needs money. And they have not spoken to me you stand Charles pressbox their own people, their fans and said here’s the plan. Again, like what’s the plan for all this land you’re trying to usurp? And but what’s the plan for the baseball team? You get a $90 million payroll. You want me to buy season tickets? Sign watchmen put some money in show me a budget show me where you show me that you’re not as screwed up as your father. Right, right. Show me that something different is happening here other than we have a baseball genius. We were really bad enough to get really good players. And we have a baseball genius. I mean, like, that’s where I am with them right now. Because I don’t see this all season. They should they should be crushing it. Everybody should want aren’t stuff under their tree. Right? Right. I mean, they’re not because we’re not well run. And this is the time where I worry about serving

John Eisenberg  18:12

the fans. They do. They absolutely deserve it. I have some in my family. And good, good and huge, huge fan. I know. And so, you know, he does want the orange stuff. But, you know, he’s right there with all this. It’s like, you know, where’s Snell? You know, I mean, because see, because that’s the one move that would change things. So it does need to happen. You know, it’s it’s better

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:37

when Peter when the when the Prime steak was out there on the free agent market. I were talking to him. We’re talking. Yeah, you’re I mean, when to share, right? I mean, what to share would never have signed here in that era. Right. It was such a it was an odious place. You weren’t even in the conversation. But with the left wall move back with a baseball genius pitcher now Yeah, right. You did this. Did you think it was going to be free? Do you think Grayson Rodriguez is going to be free if he’s any good. Right.

John Eisenberg  19:08

Right. Right. So you’re right. I think it’s been money. Yeah. Yep. All right. It needs to have you need to

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:14

spend money to get this book. Rocket Man is the book The Black quarterbacks revolutionize pro football, John Eisenberg. As you know, sometimes he’ll he’ll take on being my friend and mentor other times. He’s got a cold and wants to stay away from me. Good luck with this. Thank

John Eisenberg  19:30

you. Thank you. Thanks for having me. Appreciate this. Where’s your tour? I was just in Washington last week going to Texas going to Texas where where? You know, got family, friends, readers, all that stuff. So I’m gonna go down there and do that. I got to think at the Queens Public Library in January. Enid Pratt library in January. I’ll be down there too. So you and Jaden will right? Yeah, right. Exactly. Right like that. Yeah, sure. So plenty

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:55

of stuff. Plenty stuff going on. So my fascination with the Houston Oilers and Having this Warren Moon shirt on and I wore my I wore my Rolling Stones belt buckle today because the stones are going on tour, so I don’t collect much anymore. As a kid I click the baseball cards and so I’ve talked about that with Dennis to speak about Bert Jones cards, stuff like that. But the Oilers thing for me, I still have all of my Euler stuff from the old when I was dealing with fan I have trash cans, helmets, jerseys, shirts, hats, pom poms, widgets, Christmas ornaments,

John Eisenberg  20:28

stuff like a lot of white hat bum Phillips cowboy

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:32

let’s definitely Stradley by that but there is a love your blue belt buckle that’s available cheerleaders we’re gonna wear your Dallas guy did this is there anything you want to say about this and the funkiness of it and I there was a big to do in Houston when they a felt like a good idea that the greatest jerseys ever ask anybody. But it felt really itchy seeing that on those players. Yeah,

John Eisenberg  20:58

yeah. No, it was cool. It was literally cool to see. But the story behind it was I don’t know. Yeah.

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:04

wrapped everything in Oilers on this field. Yeah, really Hokey Pokey. Yeah,

John Eisenberg  21:09

yeah. The people from Houston. You know, and I know a lot of them I felt really badly. I mean, it’s a great history down there. The Oilers. I mean, they they were incredible. They were definitely a thing and had a great tradition there and I just kind of hate to see the fans caught in the middle like that. It’s tough. Tough to see. Yeah, I mean the Dallas Houston thing I mean I’ve gained a great I’ve been writing a lot of football history some of these books gaining great affinity for a lot of this AFL stuff and he’s AFL teams Dallas won that battle and you think you think but he has the Oilers this football team every time I look at the Kansas City Chiefs that’s the Dallas Texans that Yeah, yeah that is that is all money top of the heap in profession. That’s all money that is that’s all Oilers for the same. Yeah. So anything gives

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:03

me a chance to to wear this you know, I’m all for I passed the rhenium show about eight weeks ago. I got to wear my Passerini jersey. I don’t have an Earl Campbell one but I am that’s how I found this when I found the good and cheap out on the interwebs I’m looking for a starter Euler jacket. Yeah the old days one of the satiny you know love you blue era, you know?

John Eisenberg  22:24

Well it’s that color. It’s very sweet. I mean that that is it. Sweet thread. It is it is Lansdowne

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:30

High School. I was always jealous but don’t tell anybody in Dundalk John icebergs here it’s all brought to you my friends is the mayor of the lottery. I got Raven scratch offs. We are at Pappas in Parkville. We’ve had at least one $2 winner. I think when people want 100 bucks and they’ll tell me about it, you know, but when he went to boxing I only won two bucks. I’m like, Well, you know, take your tip channel here. She’s doing a good job, winter nation 866 90 nation the way to find them as well as our friends which if you do multi care Good luck with the book man like thank you stay

John Eisenberg  22:59

there Happy Holidays to you.

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:00


I you know, I’m standing next to you on Pratt Street for that Oriole World Series parade. All right. I mean, all right. I want to see wick with that smile on his face. Like He’s eight years old. Yeah. Well sign him up for a little league stone League. Yeah,

John Eisenberg  23:13

I mean, it will. He will. He will have that smile. So and

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:16

my kids 39 He’s just it’s passed him by you know what I mean?

John Eisenberg  23:20

Well, my kids, I got two of them in there. They are they are in they are in for it. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:26

in I traveled with the web looking at Oilers I never by Euler stuff except when I really wanted i by belt buckles. I look at Louis Aparicio stuff to see if there’s anything weird old cards. I don’t have bazooka stuff in the 60s and whatnot. But I was looking up Louis Aparicio stuff and jerseys and I really wanted to sweet gray Chicago, White Sox, late 60s. Yeah, you know, throwback, and this orange Aparicio. 11 Jersey showed up in my size. From the 80s It’s it’s it’s made of polyester. It’s not a modern. Someone made it as a throwback. I don’t know there was everyone Louie’s back but I’m like, it looks like the electric Rick Dempsey 83 Orioles that you got the Baltimore with the script. It’s so not appropriate to his era, but I had to buy it so I even got I’m in on it. I’m in on the Oriental magic you know what I mean? You’re there your jersey to where now your nap for the next 10 years. I’m ready to go.

John Eisenberg  24:31

Yeah, I mean, every every everybody went fallow, you know, didn’t have any of that stuff. My only t shirt was like Vlad Guerrero. So yeah, so now for belfry. Yeah, not proud of that. Great. I’m working on it. It was too big for me.

Nestor J. Aparicio  24:44

All right, John. Icebergs out of the buildings the paps coming by we’re going to talk about Pappas and crabcakes and my first time here in Parkville, which is still feels like the same spot which I love about it. So old school. We’re at the bar, come on over Taylor Avenue and say Hello, folks also Pappas up in Cockeysville Bellaire. Glen Burnie we’ve done the show in all those places. And Madhu Christian Ward is going to come by. I’m going to want to leave the set with my five and nine predictions at Hollywood Casino. Taking the crabcake tour next week. We’re going to be Coco’s on Wednesday. We’re going to be Gertrude at the BMA with our former colleague, Dan Rodricks, on Thursday, and then on Friday up at Hollywood casino and Perry Ville, with Tom Kelso getting answers from a guy who has a lot of answers and a lot to say, and I hope everybody listens to our stadium for dummies and knows where all this money’s going. I’m Nestor. We are wn st back for more with my gavel from Pappas in Parkville. Stay with us.

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