History, it seems, is about to repeat.
The Orioles are sliding down the slippery slope of embarrassing themselves and this city and its dwindling baseball fan base once again by not signing Matt Wieters.
Tick, tick, tick…it’s almost like a cartoonish-Batmanesque (and I mean Adam West, not Michael Keaton) scene at the end of the First Act. You feel like you know the ending. So close, yet so far away.
We’ll see how this plays out. EVERYONE in the national media is already predicting a standstill. Once again, the Orioles will kiss their sister and piss off everyone who’s left who still wears an orange cap if this kid isn’t signed.
But isn’t that the business they seem to be in? Pissing us off and letting us down and embarrassing us so deeply and painfully that when 40,000 Red Sox fans take over the entire city we’re NUMB to it. Like it’s SUPPOSED to be this way!
Here are the facts:
Scott Boras does NOT give in during negotiations. Not an iota.
Peter Angelos does NOT give in during negotiations. HE MUST WIN EVERY BATTLE! His entire LIFE STORY as the owner of our baseball team has been that he’s WON every battle. It’s ALWAYS been "his" way. He’s won EVERY battle — Davey Johnson, Jon Miller, Pat Gillick, Brooks Robinson, WBAL, Comcast, etc. He’s won ‘em ALL!
He’s got an unblemished record. If I just think of ALL of the stupid things he’s done (I’m sure there’s a list at www.freethebirds.net) it’s literally like 178-0.
And he’s lost the war so badly that only his eyes don’t see the result. He’s honestly like Baghdad Bob, a baffoonish character to most in the game of baseball, especially to a guy like Scott Boras, who would NEVER give in to Angelos dare he risk his own reputation for winning and winning BIG (see ARod’s deal)!
So, just knowing THAT, how do you think this is gonna play out?
Has Angelos REALLY been concerned about what his fan base thinks since the firings of Miller, Johnson and Gillick straight through this past weekend’s tri-annual disgrace of a Red Sox National Convention at the Inner Harbor?
Do you REALLY think Matt Wieters truly WANTS to be a Baltimore Oriole? Do you think Scott Boras is telling him, "Don’t worry, kid. We’re just posturing. We’ll come down in price. Baltimore is a GREAT FIT for you, Matt. I’ll get you there, guaranteed!"
Do you really think Peter "I love my ownership partners" is going to break rank with the "slotted system" and give a Scott Boras client a Brink’s truck, while the other 29 owners get together every year and try to make SURE the MLB draft pay structure doesn’t approach the absurdity of the NFL. (Geez, it might be the ONLY thing that baseball doesn’t currently do foolishly with salaries!)
Rest assured, behind it all is the truth: petty Peter sees Boras as the anti-Christ, in general, because of the way free agency has wrecked the balance of the game and driven salaries into the stratosphere. So high, that poor, poor Peter can’t compete with the big, bad Yankees and Red Sox!
You think Angelos is gonna let Boras BEAT him on this Wieters kid?
Do you think he cares that we all think it’s insane?
So, it feels like the few people who are concerned about the Orioles are saying: "SIGN HIM…or else?"
Or else WHAT?
We’ll stay away? Hell, we already ARE and HAVE BEEN for a LONG time! That’s all we can do to show our displeasure: DON’T GO!
And by NOT going the city has become a semi-annual, 1950s Havana for Red Sox and Yankees fans.
And by NOT going, the city has become a virtual financial wasteland on home game nights, many businesses not reaping the benefits of having 40,000 of OUR fans downtown EVERY night!
I see it EVERY NIGHT OF MY LIFE. And it’s WRONG!
Where have all of those 70,000 people on the hill in Cooperstown been hiding the past five years?
And how about the 60,000 who went through the trouble of donning purple and going downtown last night to watch an absolutely meaningless preseason NFL game and paid FULL PRICE for it?
Or the 25,000 who came out in 100-degree heat last Saturday to watch a PRACTICE?
Are they gonna be OUTRAGED by the fact that Orioles won’t sign Wieters?
No. It’ll just be "business as usual."
I have absolutely NO "inside information" on this.
These are just my observations from the bench.
On Thursday morning, we will all see if the "past" holds up or whether the "future" will be any different. We’ll see if Andy McPhail is a "difference maker."
History says that the Orioles will screw it up and let the fans down.
But the past does not equal the future.
Or does it for the Orioles and Peter Angelos?