As purple Festivus season is upon us, alas the real Grinch continues to be Peter G. Angelos

December 24, 2010 | Nestor Aparicio

and a step in the right direction.

And the sick part is some of them really believe the Kool Aid they’re serving and that’s even more pathetic.

But over the past four weeks we’ve seen what the real arbiters of the situation – the players inside Major League Baseball and their greedy agents – think about the 2010 “turnaround” of the Orioles under the stewardship of future MLB commissioner Andy MacPhail and now manager Buck Showalter.

The Orioles once again low-balled every available free agent in the marketplace by tens of millions of dollars. The real difference-makers in the market – Lee, Beltre, Crawford, Adam Dunn, etc. never sniffed Baltimore or even made a visit while others like Zach Greinke and Adrian Gonzalez found their way into other uniforms via crafty trades under the nose of MacPhail and his crew at The Warehouse.

Winners go and get winners. Losers – like Andy MacFail – cry to the media about how much money the Yankees and Red Sox have.

The Red Sox got their asses kicked this summer and they essentially said to their fans in November the same thing Ray Lewis said about Peyton Hillis this week: Never again! Not on our watch!

John Henry and Theo Epstein didn’t beat their chests in the media or run from their critics. The Red Sox didn’t make empty promises to their fan base after being embarrassed by not making the playoffs in 2010. They simply put their money where their mouth is and went out and made their team better, their franchise legacy prouder and their “Nation” goes to bed every night knowing that the people in charge want to win and be great.

And they’re looking forward to spring training. And they’re looking forward to Opening Day. And they’re looking forward to a summer where there’s a local “Ravens game” EVERY day. And they’re looking forward to a pennant race and almost guaranteed playoff games under the lights of Fenway Park next October – whether the Patriots are playing or out on strike or lockout.

Sadly, that’s just not the case in Baltimore, where the owner and the snaky GM continue to line their collective pockets with millions of dollars of local money, while buying off the media and lying to their customers about a commitment to win.

Maybe Matt Wieters will fulfill his promise and turn into Johnny Bench this summer. Maybe Adam Jones will get off of Twitter and out of the clubs and into the cage and the video study and improve his game and be more like Willie Mays than Willie Mays Hays. Maybe Brian Matusz will be all that he can be – and this might be the best bet of all, given the promise he’s shown – that he’s the next Mike Mussina or Jim Palmer. Maybe all the pieces will fall into place and they’ll pick up where they left off in October?

And maybe the Orioles will win 81 games this year?

But if that’s your litmus for success, then you’re a loser in loserville because the biggest problem with the Orioles isn’t the fact that they