As Willy Wonka once said: "The suspense is KILLING me!"
The rumors have been swirling all afternoon — Brian Roberts could be traded tonight to the Chicago Cubs.
So, let’s see how this plays out.
A few scenarios:
1. Peter Angelos steps in and nixes the deal (and McPhail tells the media that the deal "wasn’t strong enough in the end"). By the way, this has truly been the S.O.P. for the franchise for well over a decade, just lying and covering up.
Reminder: This is EXACTLY what happened around this time last year, when Angelos stepped into the baseball talent evaluation world for the umpteeth time and nixed the deal that would have brought Adam LaRoche and Marcus Giles here for BRob.
Incidentally, LaRoche hit .272 with 42 doubles, 21 HRs and 88 RBI in Pittsburgh. Giles hit a paltry .229 with 4 HRs and 29 RBI for the San Diego Padres. He also had a horrendous .304 OBP and stole just 10 bases.
Mr. Angelos might claim a draw on the non-deal, and of course, we got to hold Brian Roberts hostage for one more year here in this "horses**t" town.
Mr. Angelos must "approve" all transactions, of course.
2. The deal DOES go down, and Angelos and his supporters will tell everyone "how much Mr. Angelos has changed over the past year."
(Cue Angelos voice: "I let my baseball people make the baseball decisions…blah, blah, blah")
THIS WOULD BE THE BIGGEST WINNER FOR THE FRANCHISE, but they won’t even admit it. They’ll make the local lapdog media take care of trumpeting this. You won’t be able to read enough, hear enough or see enough of the "all-new Peter Angelos" in The Sun, The Examiner, CBS Radio, WJZ-TV, Pressbox and anyone else who toes the Angelos line.
And you know what: whether it’s true or not, it’ll be good for business. And I gotta say this: they NEVER do what’s good for business.
3. The rumors are all false and a deal was NEVER close to being consummated. (This is another very obvious choice for anyone in sports P.R.) The media made it up? Oh, they’ll come up with something. They HAVE to come up with something at this point, if the deal doesn’t happen because Andy McPhail is going to look foolish now that the bird is outta the cage.
4. (Least likely) The deal really WASN’T good enough and the whole thing is on the up and up. No Angelos interference. No media "conspiracy." Just a deal that didn’t happen. (And even if they sell it this way, it’s impossible. The remainder of the national media who aren’t bought off — where are you John Eisenberg? — will still crush Angelos even without any evidence. You watch…)
As for my worthless opinion:
In the REAL baseball world, Brian Roberts as a "signed and sealed" Major League Baseball player would be UNTOUCHABLE for my franchise. Angelos was actually CORRECT about this to some degree last year: Roberts is one of the cool dudes, good citizens and hard workers on the team. In the real world, he should NEVER be traded.
He’s the rarest of RARE birds of the Orioles species: He actually GETS IT!
He understand the community, and his responsibility to the fans, media, sponsors and the greater good. Brian Roberts is a GREAT guy. And an outstanding baseball player.
In the REAL baseball world, he SHOULD be the LAST guy on the roster to be dealt.
But, then again, as we’ve seen and said many times: this is no ordinary situation and no ordinary franchise.
How weird is this? Trading their BEST player and their BEST person and their BEST citizen will actually be a P.R. VICTORY for them!!!
Any true fan of Brian Roberts as a player or a person would be HAPPY for him to get dealt out of this woebegone mess.
As much as I LOVE watching Roberts play (and like him a lot as a person), I’ll be VERY happy for him and I’ll pronounce the deal a "victory" no matter the return.
It’s a winner all the way around: Roberts gets to escape and find happiness and a chance to win, Angelos gets coronated as a "changed man" and the team gets some young talent and MOST importantly, a few new guys who might be excited about a new opportunity in a place where they’re wanted.
It’s almost as if The Baltimore Grinch himself — Mr. Angelos — could grant a Cindy Lou Who deed of kindness during the holiday season and allow Roberts to escape "The Warehouse Syndrome" and leave for a better place (hard to believe that the freaking Cubs could be a better place, right?) in Chicago.
Do you think Roberts will be "heartbroken" if he wakes up as a Cubbie in the morning?
Do you think he tells his friends and relatives, "This really sucks! I wanted to spend five more years in Baltimore playing in front of Red Sox and Yankees fans and play for an ownership group that does everything possible to keep the real Orioles fans outta the ballpark."
Just think about it? You know I’m right! Pretty pathetic when going to the Cubs becomes a golden ticket, huh?
Either way, strap on your chinstrap — or maybe your knee boots — for the flood of manure either way.
This is gonna be a GOOD week of drama at the Greek Theatre.
Angelos allows the Toronto Blue Jays to trade for Erik Bedard?
It is the holiday season and Mr. Angelos has promised again and again that he allows his baseball people to make those baseball decisions…
Get some popcorn in the microwave. This is gonna be good!