I bite my tongue a lot when it comes to the Orioles. Go back and read the last two or three years’ worth of material I’ve produced when it comes to Peter Angelos and you’ll see that while the losing hasn’t subsided one iota in the standings, my bile, venom and anger have dissipated publicly for lots of reasons. Here are a few:
1. I’m older and a tad more mellow and I openly realize that while Angelos is one day closer to not owning the team any longer, I’m also one day closer to death. I sincerely hope I outlive him and the losing but as the tragic death of WNST’s No. 1 fan Fergy Commodari taught me last week, life is short so I focus on things I can control.
2. I’m so insanely busy building WNST.net and all of our web platforms and initiatives that writing blogs every night about why the Orioles suck just isn’t a quality use of my time, energy or ambition.
3. It’s hard to justify writing these “anti-Angelos” blogs when I have no energy to write about it and you really have no energy to read it.
But, that said, it’s during times like these when the football team has essentially suspended all operations and I see our web traffic get the annual June and July “Bird Flu” due to your complete lack of interest in the Baltimore Orioles that I get truly sickened enough to write a missive.
So, while I’d love to hold a 5-year reunion for Free The Birds and do something righteously fun and charitable to continue our protest of the ownership reign of terror that Peter Angelos has profited from to the tune of a half a BILLION dollars, I realize it would be me, Drew and 14 drunks because no one in Baltimore gives a rat’s ass about the Orioles.
And no one seems to care that the Orioles are ripping off the community with this sham of a product and the likes of CBS and WBAL and WJZ and PressBox and 98 Rock and The Baltimore Sun are all on the take for advertising money and won’t be telling you “the truth” about the Orioles.
And, yes, I know it’s hard to believe it’s been FIVE FREAKING YEARS since Free The Birds but it has been. And nothing – other than the more than 500 nights you’ve probably given them in your living rooms over the past 58 months and perhaps the grey in your hairline – has changed with the real structure and reasons about why the team sucks and why Baltimore will never have a winner with Angelos running the franchise.
Tonight’s blog won’t be a traditional lengthy missive regarding every transgression since 1994 – or 1997, when they played the last real meaningful inning of baseball in Baltimore – but instead just a few key “reminders” about why the Orioles continually suck.
But, my experience has taught me that you can’t handle “the truth” about the Baltimore Orioles, circa 2011.
The first point is pretty elementary and begins and ends the entire debate – the Orioles are not really interested in winning and deep down you know it.
Sure, they’d like to win with a half-assed payroll full of young prospects and washed up, last-to-sign one-year contract guys who no one else in Major League Baseball is offering a two-year deal to during Super Bowl week. Winning would be nice but it’s very unnecessary when you’re making $50 million in profit and risking none of your guaranteed future revenue to make that kind of loot.
The Orioles would like to win but they don’t need to win.
And, really, from an accounting standpoint – and with guys like Angelos and MacPhail, the descendents of The Lords of The Realm running the Orioles – it’s not at ALL an incentive to even try to win when MASN spins off more than $100 million in annual revenue for yelling “Play Ball” no matter what collection of miscreants, castoffs and bums they field between the lines.
The Orioles don’t spend money. They don’t buy the best players. They accept no accountability at all for last place every year. They ban and restrict and punish media members and intimidate everyone else who doesn’t fall in line like the Third Reich. I’m in my fifth year of banishment from having a press pass so I’m in the unique position of being able to tell the truth.
Here’s the truth: the Orioles make more money losing than they’d EVER make trying to win. That’s the deal Selig and the other owners cut with him, same as when they gave franchises like the Pirates and Royals welfare checks (they call it “revenue sharing”) that somehow never got invested back into talent on the field.
Angelos has just found a more creative way to get it done – he’s passing the bill directly to you through your cable bill every month and you suckers are getting fleeced for it and no one says ANYTHING about it.
And these are the same people who wonder why the team blows every year?
Duh…is it really all that hard to do the math on this and figure out that these are business owners, not people who are interested in bringing a parade to their hometowns?
Angelos couldn’t care less about a World Series trophy. He’s making $50 million a year in profit on the team and has grown his investment by 500% in 16 years. And he’s done giving Palmeiro and Sosa and Belle and Segui and their ilk money. And no legitimate A-list player will take his “Confederate money” (thank you, Syd Thrift for that priceless gem from up above!) so the notion that the Orioles could’ve acquired Adrian Gonzalez last year or might acquire Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols this year is just “Rex Barney call-in fodder.”
I insult your intelligence to even bring it up as a possibility. I pander to the lowest common denominator and the dumbest fan if I bring this up with a straight face.
The team has been in last place for a decade, hasn’t played a meaningful game since 1997 and they’ve chased TWO MILLION PEOPLE from downtown Baltimore every summer night.
At this point, Angelos has no pride at all in this franchise and what it’s become. I’m not sure at what point you “caught on” and stopped going to games