Wherever I turn, people are sharing their Flanagan memories. And he was such a good friend to so many people throughout the O’s family that they don’t care about being politically correct anymore. They just don’t. They are there to support their friend, and because of that, the skeletons are coming out of the closet.
Where does it all lead? Every couple years a new regime strolls in with promises, passion, and energy, only to leave in few years shaking their heads, shrugging their shoulders, and basically giving into the notion that there is nothing more that could be done.
I could go through the whole list of general managers but I won’t. I could name every manager since Davey Johnson was run off but I won’t. I could run through the name of failed prospects and missed free agent signings and targets that signed elsewhere, but I won’t.
I won’t even name the one constant through all of those things, because I don’t have to. We all know who it is.
And after hearing and being around the real truth behind the Orioles organization since Peter Angelos has owned the team, why in the world would I want to write a warm piece about the “Orioles family?” Seriously, why would I?
Mike Flanagan was one of us X 500000. He really was. As much as we live and die by the Orioles, Flanny was so much more. Maybe to a fault. Maybe it was unhealthy. But more than anything, he just wanted the Orioles to be good again. He wanted to witness the glory days again so badly.
The organization is so screwed up where such a modest wish seems so impossible. And it’s not that it is impossible due to bad luck or a few missteps. Rather, it’s screwed up because they do things the wrong way. The ugly way.
I didn’t realize it at first. I came into the media as a fan about a year and a half ago as a bright eyed 20 year old who couldn’t wait to sit in the press box at Camden Yards. Actually, I came in as a know-it-all who thought WNST had their own agenda because the bird squirted Nestor’s wife with a water gun in 2004.
Boy was I wrong. It wasn’t until I was around the team and organization on a regular basis that I started to pick up on how they operated. And all of my initial impressions have been backed up and so much more in the aftermath of this horrible tragedy.
Many will bash us for using Flanagan’s death to bash Peter Angelos and the Orioles. But this isn’t about bashing the O’s or bashing their owner.
It’s about reality. This is about the truth.
How can anyone be okay with what has gone on around here over the past decade-plus? And how is it going to get any better?