To guest or not to guest, that is the question


What we have here is a three-way split among Baltimore radio's Titans of Talk -- Nestor Aparicio, Stan "The Fan" Charles and Jeff Rimer. There is a difference in philosophy.

You probably suspected that, though. Rimer long ago revealed himself a Kantian, someone who holds that the content of knowledge comes a posteriori from sense perception, but its form is determined by a priori categories of the mind. Aparicio, of course, is a nihilist, denying the existence of any basis for knowledge or truth. Charles is more Hegelian, in that he sees every idea as belonging to an all-embracing mind, though he often has indicated that he has doubts about whether each thesis actually evokes an antithesis to form the resultant synthesis.

Me, I left my raison d'etre in my other suit.

But seriously, folks, as much as I love a few philosophy yuks on a Friday morning, I do digress.

Charles hardly ever has Orioles players on his WCBM (680 AM) program, and it's not just the logistical problem of getting them during his 10 p.m.-1 a.m. slot.

"I've been doing the show for 11 years, and the show exists fine without players," Charles said.

Aparicio and Rimer, however, frequently have players as guests.

"I think it gives the players an opportunity to talk to the fans," Rimer said.

On WBAL (1090 AM), Rimer lets callers question players, but Aparicio doesn't on WWLG (1360 AM).

"We only have the player for such a short period of time," Aparicio said. "We don't want to have Joe from Pikesville on hold to ask Mike Oquist a question, and then Oquist might be gone" when the caller gets on.

In addition, Aparicio said, the calls can't be screened. "I don't want to offend [the players]," he said.

Rimer, though, said critical calls are welcome -- by him, at least.

Last year, when Gregg Olson was his guest, "people were very critical," Rimer said.

One of the reasons Charles said he doesn't want players on, though, is that the callers wimp out.

"The tenor of the show is much different," said Charles, whestimated he has had 10 Orioles total as guests since going on the air. "[Callers] are deferential. Having players on changes things.

"You're hoping the show is a barometer of the way people think."

Charles said getting players as guests also would change him.

"The things you have to do to get players on alters the show," he said. "It affects how straight a host can shoot."

That seems too severe to me. A host can shoot straight and stilask players on his show. It just means that some players might not appreciate the honesty and not accept an invitation. And maybe a program will attract fawning callers, but at least a talk show can offer fans access to players.

Family matters

Fox has hired Joe Buck, son of Baseball Hall of Fame announcer Jack, as an NFL play-by-play man. Kenny Albert, Home Team Sports' voice of the Capitals, one-time radio announcer for the Skipjacks and son of NBC's Marv, also reportedly is on Fox's list. Chip Caray apparently isn't being considered. . . . Starting next week, Aparicio's co-host on WWLG will be Mark Mussina, younger brother of Orioles pitcher Mike.

Not a pretty picture

On Sunday, the Indians' Kenny Lofton let an HTS camera operator know he didn't enjoy being shot in the dugout after a strikeout against the Orioles. And though HTS says it's sorry about the incident, dugout shots won't become off-limits.

"I really regret if anyone objects to what we're trying to do," HTS executive producer Jody Shapiro said this week. "We're not trying to get under anyone's skin."

However, he said: "We see the dugout as an extension of the field."

No argument here. Getting reaction shots is one of the things that makes a good game telecast. The dugouts aren't secluded; many fans can see into them, so why not cameras, too? If players object to the presence of cameras close to the dugouts, they should remember that it's easy to shoot them from the other side of the field, too. Those pictures of Curt Schilling covering his head while on the bench during the World Series last year didn't come from a camera in the Phillies' dugout.

One more thing: If players don't show any kind of reaction, the

cameras won't bother to shoot them.

Brought to you by . . .

On Monday night's "SportsCenter," ESPN's Bob Ley reported on the annoying trend toward revolving advertising behind home plate at major-league parks. At the end of the piece, anchor Dan Patrick said a video version of the billboards, seen only by the television audience and not at the stadium, would be tried during the Orioles-Red Sox series next week. "SportsCenter" got that information from an HTS source, an ESPN spokeswoman said, but the information apparently was wrong.

HTS' Shapiro, who certainly would have to know about it, said this week that he's not aware of any plans to debut the video billboards soon.

"It's being discussed by everyone. . . . I don't get the feeling that it's imminent," he said.

Reel great

NFL Films is seeking home movies of the Baltimore Colts for an NFL 75th anniversary program to air in September. Sounds like just another way the NFL is trying to tell Baltimore that it's history.

Anyway, if you have footage you wish to submit to NFL Films, call Michele Klein at (609) 778-1600.

If your footage is used, NFL Films promises "a special NFL gift."

Yeah, I got a suggestion for a special NFL gift: dropping that lawsuit over the Colts name.

Oh, you kid

Dad is watching an NBA game. The 5-year-old kid approaches.

Kid: "Who's playing?"

Dad: "The Nuggets."

Kid: "Oh, the Chicken Nuggets. Who else?"

Dad: "The Sonics."

Kids: "Oh, Sonic the Hedgehog. I want Sonic the Hedgehog to win."

Dad considers that the kid may be watching too much TV.

He'll think about it some more after the game. Or after "SportsCenter." For sure, no later than after "Silk Stalkings."

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