Being Thrift with mounting debt and wringing the Belle with an insurance policy

August 16, 2017 | Nestor Aparicio

against the Orioles’ longtime Triple-A affiliate.

At the time, Silver said: “We want a one-year agreement. The Orioles prefer a three-year deal. You’d think it would be the other way around, wouldn’t you?”

She also added: “There’s not the huge bond there was 20 years ago. Management changes so much in Baltimore, it’s hard to get close to anyone.”

Now, at the conclusion of the 2001 season, Silver was furious and finished.

“We’ve been playing ball here for a long time,” Silver said. “And we understand how important the development process is. But it’s probably been a few too many lean years in a row. Many of us feel it would not have taken a great deal of change for this to have been a great club. However, without a couple veterans to lead the charge, it makes it abundantly more difficult to win.”

Much like the Orioles in Baltimore, it was the conclusion of four straight losing seasons and Silver was putting Angelos and his franchise on a final notice that Rochester would be looking for a new MLB partnership if the quality of the AAA players provided by the franchise weren’t putting a competitive team on the field in upstate New York in 2002.

Angelos went to Rochester a year earlier to plead with Silver to keep the faith with the Orioles minor-league system and Syd Thrift. He even bought 100 season tickets to Red Wings games to show his good faith after Silver complained publicly that the Orioles owner had never shown his face in Rochester.

Silver didn’t mince words. “It’s killing us,” she told The Baltimore Sun. “I believe [Angelos] understands our situation. I don’t think he likes not having a winner at any level. I appreciated him coming in last year. But I think at some point we have to say regardless of what the intentions are, the proof is in the record.”

Silver had been frustrated since the disgraceful Belle incident in 1999, when she put the Orioles on a pair of season-single contracts and then accepted Angelos’ two-year offer before the 2001 season after he made a personal pledge to address the minor league system, which had been a shambles for nearly two decades.

At the time, the Red Wings had been four seasons without a representative in the AAA All Star Game. “We’re tired of apologizing for what we have to put on the field,” Silver told the Rochester newspaper. “We can’t endure another losing season.”

Once again, the blame for the collapse and failings of the Orioles minor-league system fell squarely on the