To everyone who contributed to ’96-’97 Orioles celebration: Thanks and No Thanks

July 23, 2011 | Peter Dilutis

Glenn Clark and Thyrl Nelson had an awesome idea Friday in the midst of another losing season for the O’s and a strange “no football” period for the Ravens and NFL.

They spent a whole day honoring the 1996 and 1997 Orioles teams that exhilarated Baltimore with their playoff runs and exciting, hard-nosed baseball.

During the celebration yesterday, Nestor tweeted the following @WNST.

Nestor: This 96-97  conversation  is great & awful. Awesome memories, makes me realize how f**ked up current state of team is

Say what you want about Nestor’s opinion on the Orioles, Angelos, baseball, whatever…But I agree with that statement 100%. I was more depressed about the state of Orioles baseball last night than I have been in quite some time.

I heard a guy in B.J. Surhoff call in who just cared so much about winning that he really didn’t care about anything else. A guy who would be ticked off when he looked at his stat-line and saw that he was hitting .280. Someone who desperately wanted to be in Baltimore, and who cried when he was traded in a mismanaged fire-sale. Say what you want about his second stint with the Orioles, but the 2011 version of the Birds could sure use a few Surhoff’s.

We also heard from Sammy Perlozzo on Friday. Sam dedicated his life to coaching baseball, and was a mainstay either in the O’s third base coaching box or on the bench as the bench coach. He gets a well-deserved promotion to manager in 2005, and he is gone in less than two years. Maybe he wasn’t cut out to be a manager, but no one could have succeeded in the mess that was the 2006 and 2007 Orioles. No one. Sam, a Maryland native, has moved on to more winning ways as a coach on the Phillies’ staff.

Look at one of the main individuals that we celebrated yesterday in Pat Gillick. The guy is a Hall of Fame General Manager. Hall of Fame. Yeah, that Hall of Fame.

Peter Angelos thought he knew more about baseball than him. He really did. He didn’t allow Gillick to trade Bobby Bonilla and David Wells, believing the O’s had a playoff push in them. They did, and from then on, Angelos felt he had the pedigree to “assist’ his front office decision makers regarding baseball decisions. That line of thinking has led to the pitiful demise of the last 14 seasons.