WNST once called itself the station with balls. Today they are the station with no credentials.
People have been calling and writing to me today about the Orioles denying WNST press credentials. Most expect me to laugh given how Nestor Aparicio dissed us just prior to the start of training camp in ‘06 sending us into scramble mode to maintain the integrity of our show GAMETIME. Many expected us to viciously attack WNST when we were left high and dry. But why spend valuable time on a lost cause?
All of our complaining wouldn’t have changed a thing. We were fired. We were kicked to the curb -- knocked down from the blind side lying face down in the dirt.
So we did what I suppose you should do in such situations -- brush yourself off and move on with even greater determination.
I didn’t laugh at WNST upon hearing the news of the press cred denial. Truth be told, I think that it’s pretty pathetic on the part of the Orioles. They did to WNST what WNST did to us. While the cynic might say what goes around comes around, as a fan I feel cheated.
You see for all the criticism that WNST receives for things stemming from their ownership, they deliver local sports with a local flare arguably as good or better than any venue in town. To deny WNST access to the Orioles is to deny us another conduit to the team.
I’m not laughing.
I’m sad for Drew Forrester and Bob Haynie and Rob Long and Casey Willet.
Furthermore, this is another act by an owner who time and time again provides evidence to all of us that he just doesn’t get it.
While I would argue and have argued that the Free The Birds campaign with all of the extended versions of “The Moon” was in large part shameless self promotion including but not limited to the sexual conquests of its author/narrator, you can’t argue with the core of WNST’s beef with the Orioles. And that in my opinion is the careless and short-sighted way in which Angelos has “guided” the Orioles. Stevie Wonder could do better with an obstacle course.
To think that WNST could persuade Angelos to sell the team and that a rally of a thousand protestors could actually affect that desired outcome is just flat out silly. But to bring to the forefront the sad list of transgressions by the Orioles ownership is the right thing to do and for that we should commend WNST. Coming from people who actually love the team, WNST’s criticisms actually demonstrate objective journalism.
Where WNST crosses the line is that they beat that Free The Bird horse incessantly and eventually it comes off as whining, boring and self-fulfilling.
But that is no justification for this behavior and apparent decision by the Orioles -- a once proud franchise that is at best a sad franchise today and one that is apparently above reproach and accountability.
This move may force other stations that cover the Orioles to become apologists for the team. And that is exactly what we don’t want if we ever want the Orioles to improve. They must be held accountable.
Imagine a city full of sports journalists like Jim Hunter.
Imagine if Steve Bisciotti behaved like Peter Angelos.