Giving ’em Hale

To celebrate the Baltimore Blast’s 3rd MISL Championship in four years, Baltimore City plans a rally. Kickoff set for Monday May 8th at 5:30 in the park across from Du Burns Arena in Canton.

The Blast’s regular season and playoff run garnered highlights of course during sports casts on TV 11(highlights usually provided by the Blast themselves) and coverage in the Baltimore Sun. But apparently, not enough newspaper coverage to satisfy team owner Ed Hale.

At a press conference last week (click here to watch clip) leading up to the Blast Championship Series with St. Louis, Hale ripped the Sun for not sending a beat writer to Milwaukee for the semi finals and for not planning to send one to St. Louis the upcoming weekend.

“It’s just an insult to us…..It’s just not fair.”

Hale takes perceived slight personally, seemingly believing it’s not so much about the Blast it’s about Ed Hale. “Because I’m in a public company, because I’m building things, because I’m a notable person around here in this town they’re gonna take shots at me for saying the things I’m saying to all of you right now and I don’t care anymore. I really don’t.”

I did not attend the press conference but watched the video tape the next day. Hale’s diatribe offered a rare moment in sports. A minor league team owner just flat out blasting the press, not for something it covered, but for what it didn’t, that’s different. Typically, even when ignored, a minor league owner does nothing but offer more free food to the press in hopes of better coverage.

What do you think? Is there justification on Hale’s end or is he out of line? e-mail Pete

Part of the problem with the Blast isn’t the team itself, rather the league in which it plays. The MISL , while primed for expansion, has a track record of teams folding like an amateur sitting down at the table with Johnny Chan.

Expecting major league coverage for a team in the MISL seems tough to justify, although the history of the Blast in Baltimore certainly ranks above that of most any other city. But even in San Diego, where the Sockers once won 10 titles in 11 years, indoor soccer failed.

Maybe we’ll get a better sense of what the fans think, and how many exist come Monday. You can be sure the press will attend, even the Sun. In a campaign year, with Mayor O’Malley planning to speak at the rally, cameras and tape records will be rolling.


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