Sneaky Pete

May 13, 2009 |

Peter Angelos has been vilified in Baltimore for the last several years and I for one believe that his detractors are justified.  I am sure by now you have read the Sports Illustrated article in which Mr. Angelos finds himself ranked as the worst owner in MLB and I am here to tell you that I feel their assertion is accurate.


From my recollection when Mr. Angelos first purchased the Orioles the team was in a downward spiral and many people were happy that he was the new owner. 


For all that has been said about him he isn’t rotten to the core.  The truth is Mr. Angelos is a great citizen of Baltimore and has helped the city in many ways over the years.  He is civic minded and has been one of the prominent individuals in the city to speak out about his desire to keep the Preakness in Baltimore.


Mr. Angelos did spend money at one time as the Orioles had one of the league’s highest payrolls.  He also started MASN in order to promote the Orioles and to add another revenue source to help build the team.


However his spending on overpriced over-the-hill veterans eventually cost him and now he has flipped his script and become one of the more frugal owners in the league.  Mr. Angelos said the Orioles would not be able to compete without having their own regional network a la the Yankees and YES, and he also proclaimed that moving a team to DC would kill both franchises.


The jury is still out on the DC move but one thing is for certain Mr. Angelos made out like a bandit in the deal he received from MLB for allowing the Expos to become the Nationals. 


I am not sure if you are one of the households that do not receive MASN but if you are you should be glad.  Other than the Orioles’ games the programming on the channel is dreadful and the commercials are downright comical, not funny ha ha but a sad kind of funny.  Mr. Angelos owns the rights to the Nationals and Orioles broadcasts but refuses to put the games in HD each night. 


To this point I don’t think any of the money being raked in from that farce of a sports network has been spent to better the team, but at least we have scouting in Japan now years after everyone else. 


The stories coming out during spring training about the players having to lift weights in the parking lot made me picture one of those old ESPN work out shows like Kianna’s Flex Appeal or something.  I am sure seeing Aubrey Huff lift weights isn’t quite as glamorous or appealing and it is embarrassing that a MLB franchise can’t have better facilities.


I have never been to Ft. Lauderdale but by all accounts that place is a dump.  When career minor league guys who were there on a spring training invite take time to complain to the media about the working/living conditions you know something is wrong.


I also heard that the Orioles botched the negotiations with Dogertown so there goes an easy chance to fix that situation.


I like the fact that the Orioles AAA team now resides in Norfolk however the odyssey to get to this point was ridiculous.  The long time Orioles farm team the Rochester Red Wings, the oldest and longest running minor league franchise in the history of professional sports, refused to renew their agreement with the Orioles because their farm system had gotten too pathetic to field a winning team.  Then came the Ottawa days, what a joke, it was like a baseball wasteland up there to which even minor league free agents did not want to travel.


Mr. Angelos’ tenure with the club has had some boom times when it was difficult to get a ticket to the brand new stadium.  The Orioles were actually in contention during my teenage years which was great for me, however brief the time was (two years to be exact).


Mostly however the Orioles have been plagued by public relations gaffes, mismanagement, and indecisiveness.  Angelos’ regime likes to change managers as often as they change socks.  Davey Johnson should never have been let go when he was and many of the managers since should never have been hired in the first place.


Angelos has hired great front office personnel only to chase them away (Pat Gillick) but he has also tried a puppet (Mike Flanagan) and some would be ignoramuses in the role (Syd Thrift, Jim Beattie to name a few).  Money has been spent but always on the wrong players such as Marty Cordova, Omar Daal, and the like.  Scouting and player development had to be in the bottom five of the league every year.


I don’t really follow any other teams enough to know the situation in other cities and with other owners but I do know that our owner has not done a very good job.  Mr. Angelos may not run the day-to-day operations of the team but he does control who is hired and fired at the warehouse, and I am certain that by now something negative about the majority of the individuals working over there has buzzed in his ear.


Yet Mr. Angelos continues to do nothing to fix the problems.  Why should he, he gets paid every year by MLB just for the Nationals existence.  As long as he is happy and making money I don’t think he could care any less about the dwindling Oriole fan base.


It is a shame what this once proud franchise has been reduced to under his stewardship.


I do however think that Jeffrey Loria could challenge Mr. Angelos for the number one spot based on what I know about his tenure with the Expos and now with the Marlins.