Today is my last day at MASN, which means this is my last blog.
I am going to make this short and sweet since I am not leaving Baltimore by any means. In fact, you're going to hear a lot more of me on 105.7 The Fan, since I will be co-hosting "Baltimore Baseball Tonight" Monday-Friday from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. with Bob Haynie, Jim Duquette and ex-Oriole Joe Orsulak. We will be live from Pickles Pub during Orioles home games and we will broadcast from the CBS studios when the team is on the road. So make sure you tune in.
I'm not going to lie, this was a tough blog for me to write at times. Although I enjoyed all of the writing and camera work I did with the Orioles and the visiting clubhouse, I'm afraid some of you weren't fully interested in what was going on across the diamond. With that being said, maybe you enjoyed reading Roch Kubatko or Steve Melewski more, which is completely understandable and respectable. My opinion, however, is this: If you don't know anything about your competition, it's hard to fully assess just how good your own team is. So for those of you who enjoyed learning a thing or two about the visiting teams and players in town, thank you for your pleasant comments and for showing your appreciation. It really meant a lot to me.
I want to first and foremost thank Jim Cuddihy, executive vice president of programming at MASN, for hiring me and for being the greatest boss and friend anyone could ever ask for. Jim hired me and moved me here and I will forever be indebted to him. Thanks, Jimbo. A very special thank you to Spiro Alafassos, who runs MASNsports.com, for this support and understanding throughout the baseball season. I'm sure he got more than he bargained for with me, that's for sure. To my favorite editor and cameraman, Matt Winter, who held my lip gloss for most of the baseball season and had to follow me around as I stalked and chased players to interview, you're the best. Don't feel bad for him just yet though. I drove him to Washington so he didn't have to use his gas and I bought him plenty of Taco Bell on the way home. I won't say goodbye to Dan "Loco Coco" Kolko because I'll see him at the Ravens facility everyday, and I refuse to say goodbye to Roch, Steve, Ben Goessling or my editor, Pete Kerzel, because I'll see them at the Orioles and Nationals games (not to mention, Pete owes me pizza at Matthew's).
My parting words are this: Thank you to everyone in Baltimore who accepted me as an unbiased and objective reporter. I have enjoyed every second I spent at MASN and it's a bittersweet goodbye for me. Bitter because I had the time of my life working for the network and sweet because somebody recently told me, "The windshield is bigger than the rear-view mirror."
In regards to anything negative I said about the Orioles or positive things I said about other teams that you disagreed with - that's the beauty of sports. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and in my opinion, the best thing about sports is the different views and the fun arguments you can have over a game we all love. You should all know by now I do not drink the orange Kool-Aid (or any Kool-Aid for that matter), so I'm sorry if I didn't always say what you wanted to hear. I was always taught to be an objective sports reporter, and while my opinions were not necessarily right or wrong, they were mine and I stand by them.
And lastly, for those of you who sent me nasty comments on this blog, I am in no position to preach to you or tell you that you're bad people. I don't even know you. I will say this, however: If you thought for one split second that the non-baseball related personal attack you wrote may have been hurtful, they were. While sports reporters are indeed public figures and are open for criticism, which I completely understand, please keep in mind that while most of us do have thick skin, we are also people with the same feelings as you. And that's all I have to say about that.
I'm sorry I wasn't able to finish my American League East preview for you, but my vacation time had to be used at CBS and I wasn't expecting my last day at MASN to come so soon. I hope to see you all during the baseball season at Camden Yards or at Pickles Pub. I don't bite (although sometimes it appears as if I do) so please feel free to stop me and say hello. I already gave out three hugs today and it's not even opening day yet! I am really looking forward to my second year here in Baltimore and I have high hopes for your Birds! It'll also be my second season with the Ravens and it'll be nice to go into the season with more knowledge than I had last season, which at the time wasn't much. I'm really excited to take everything I learned throughout the 2010-11 season into my second year.