Friday, March 2, 2007

Orioles, the Radio and the Glory of Baseball

Yesterday the Orioles began the prelude to the best time of the year as they played their first spring training game against the Florida Marlins. More on that later as I want to begin with the Orioles much talked about switch to FM radio and WHFS.

20-30somethings in the Baltimore/DC area will remember HFS as the premiere alt-rock station that, in its early days, was a shining spire of intelligent music in a land of Whitesnakes and Motley Crue. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with those bands - but I have always been more of a They Might Be Giants man myself. But alas, WHFS sold out hardcore, went way downhill (I'm looking at YOU Good Charolette) and was eventually and rather suddenly changed to a Latino station. This new HFS is pretty much a Baltimore FM talk station is now the new home of our Baltimore Orioles radio broadcasts.

Of course the much ballyhooed brouhaha between the former flagship and this new station has been well publicized and debated, but the most important question is this: HOW DID IT SOUND? Well I have to say it is so refreshing to hear a crystal clear O's game and at first it takes a minute to get used to. NO more interference from overhead lines or tall buildings. Nothing but Joe Angel's mello baritone and horrible jokes that are so bad they are hysterical and, of course, the O's.

It is real great to hear the Orioles on the air again, a true sign that winter is in its death throes and spring is around the corner. The first game of course was a back and forth affair with the Orioles losing on a Marlin walk-off dinger. But the real story was Steve Trachsel getting off to a rocky 28 pitch, one inning, three run start. Now I want the best for Trax (or Traxie) but that was certainly not the way to begin endearing yourself with the Baltimore baseball public who is already looking at your signing as further evidence of why NOT to renew season tickets. But DON"T PANIC Baltimore, as Mike over at MVN says.

While we are talking about the Orioles and radio, I want to share another thing I heard on the way to work today. Again coming from Drew Forrester and WNST. Yesterday Drew, in his infinite wisdom, held a trial. Yes a trial. Of course the Orioles were on trial. There was a judge (local pub owner and "celebrity") Seabass; Drew was the prosecutor and someone was a defense attorney; there was a jury...ya know, it doesn't really matter because it was simply the most retarded thing I had ever heard. It was just another THINLY veiled reason to spend an hour slamming the Orioles for everything or anything that could have remotely been their fault. I mean if you are going to rake the O's over the coals thats fine, but if you want to call it a trial - well then it should never have happened. The United States Constitution calls for "...
by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed..." and WNST is many things when it comes to the Orioles but one thing it certainly is NOT is impartial.

Also Drew, lets not mask it. You are not putting the Orioles on trial, you are putting ANGELOS on trial. You named names like Bill Stedka and Alofassos and others . You even went after the now dead Syd Thrift but as with everything else over there it is all about Angelos. Now again, Drew, buddy, I support your cause but there are much more intelligent and dignified ways to go about doing this. And that little stunt was simply the dumbest thing I had ever heard.

Turning back to the Orioles: The boys opened their FT. Lauderdale refugee camp with game two of the spring and Erik Bedard pulled an anti-traxie and was stellar through his three innings, needing only 20 pitches to get through them. The Orioles had a combined no-hitter through 7 until Paul Shuey (heretofore known as the bum) gave up a soft single. But no worries as the Orioles evened up on the short pre-season with a decisive 3-0 victory over those pesky fish.

Quick recap:
WHFS = crystal clear signal is a very good thing
Trax-alicious = Need to get better quick, I know its only game 1, but you need to show me you can do better
Drew and NST = Strike 2 buddy. Keep the pressure on the FO, cut the lame theatrics
Erik Bedard = More on him later.

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