So, while most of the WNST crew and spouses hit the Burke’s Comedy Factory last night for onion rings and laughs, I had my own laughs at Camden Yards last night where I wound up in a club level suite, catching up with an old friend. It was my first appearance in an Orioles’ club suite since 2003. In the eighth inning — right around the time that the Orioles were stranding three runners and getting two members ejected — His Highness appeared.
YES — there was a RARE Peter G. Angelos sighting last night at Camden Yards!
I want to make this clear: I love the Orioles and have loved the Orioles all my life. If you want further evidence of my love of the Orioles, just click on the NOSTALGIA button above and read on! Geez, I wrote a whole BOOK about my love of the Orioles!
But to sit literally 30 feet away from Angelos (and I have several videos and blurry pictures that I may or may not post here) while watching the Washington Nationals bust out the brooms on the Angelos Orioles, was amusing if not interesting and/or mildly educational.
Angelos threw out one obvious "What the f—!" when Payton missed the bunt on strike three, but sat rather quietly as his disgrace of a baseball franchise sunk deeper into oblivion and the cellar of the AL East.
Look, I’m HARDLY a stalker of Peter Angelos. I wasn’t even interested in GOING to the game last night. I would’ve been happier laughing with all of my staff and their wives at Burke’s.
Honestly, I’ve been around the team for literally THOUSANDS of hours of my life since he took the franchise hostage in 1993 and I have only been in the same room with Angelos a handful of times. I interviewed him once in March 1997 and he told me many lies that night. I don’t really relish spending my time with people who lie to me. They’re STILL lying to everyone in the city on a daily basis.
It has been my impression (and it’s been verified by many team employees) that he doesn’t attend many Orioles games, nor does he sit out in the bowl of the stadium with, as Drew says, "the great unwashed." So, I was shocked that he allowed me and the other peasants to breathe the same air and be in his presence. Of course, he didn’t know who I was or where I was, but I was close enough that he could have heard me had I chosen to say something.
I thought about pulling a Michael Moore (like I said, I DID have my video camera with me) and approaching him with some post-game questions about his franchise, the losing, his manager and his mood.
But alas, Mr. Angelos was embroiled in a long debate with his right-hand man Lou Kousouris, who was quite angry and animated about a bunch of issues from what I could tell. It didn’t look like he was going to be leaving before the minions left the stadium so he could exit without fanfare.
But it was very interesting, the 20 minutes I observed him and his little fiefdom atop of the Orioles kingdom.
There were probably a half dozen people I watched greet him in the owner’s box over the final 20 minutes of the game, many with big smiles and that "I’m just lucky to be here admist wealth and greatness" look on their faces.
I wonder what these people SAY to him when they meet him in the 9th inning of a three-game sweep at the hands of Washington’s lowly Nats.
"Mr Angelos, nice job you’re doing with our team."
"Don’t worry, we’ll get ’em next year!"
"You’re right Mr. Angelos, it’s the whole city that is ignorant as to what a MLB franchise should mean to Baltimore."
"It’s clearly ALL Sam Perlozzo’s fault…FIRE HIM!"
Just the thought of what these sycophants might have been saying brought me to laughter (Hey, if you can’t laugh, sometimes you’ll cry!)
I literally had the video camera on him as the Nick Markakis made the last out and he was totally expressionless as the 27th out expired the Orioles and the sweep of HIS team by Washington’s was complete.
I could post the video — I DO have it — but it really isn’t all that interesting, to be honest with you.
The interesting news is that he was THERE in the first place, and that I got to witness the look on his face the instant the Nats broke out the brooms at Camden Yards.
It was one of those "karmic" things, just me being at the game in the first place and winding up in seats that were literally a peanut throw away from him.
The Sun — and apparently someone in Sam Perlozzo’s post-game press conference — questioned whether this sweep and the 8th-inning double ejection is a "new low" for the Orioles franchise. I’d say it doesn’t get much worse than sole possession of last place in the AL East on June 15th and being on the wrong side of a three-game home sweep at the hands of your main "rival," the Washington Nationals, a franchise that was literally berthed through Angelos’ ineptitude less than 40 miles from here.
(I’m siding with Tom Boswell of The Washington Post. I don’t think he really gives a damn that Nationals exist, just as long as his family could make money from their existence, and they did…about $500 million and a Wayne’s World TV network from the way my math works!)
Everyone asks me all the time about whether it can get any worse or about what could possibly change the fortunes of the franchise.
I always say it comes back to one man: Angelos.
When he sells the team, the city will celebrate and return to Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the team will have a chance to compete and/or win.
Until then, there will be many dark, lonely evenings in downtown Baltimore.
Last night was just another example.
One day, we’ll get our baseball team back.
Until then, I will never remain silent.
FREE THE BIRDS!