Many (some might say most) Orioles fans have been at the ledge for quite some time, others it seems may have jumped already. The rest may now be finally ready to join them as the team tries to sell its fans on yet another round of ground up rebuilding. Slowly almost everyone, has seemingly come to grips with the understanding that the team is making money as is, and that their desire to actually try to spend and be competitive may have died a long time ago, never to return.
Last year’s modest hopes played out to another miserable season, and this off-season began with the futile efforts of this team to find anyone willing to lead it from the GM’s office. Once Dan Duquette finally accepted the job, he did little to remind anyone that he was actually there, and the O’s meandered through another uneventful off-season.
Further, the only real hope that fans had for the future of the Orioles was that one day Peter Angelos might sell the team. Alas, even those hopes were summarily squashed when rumors of Angelos shopping the team evolved to the realization that Angelos could sell the team but keep the MASN Network and all of the cash benefits that the Orioles supposedly got to offset the impact of baseball in DC. Baseball took care of Angelos, not the Orioles, and no one has been taking care of the Orioles for well over a decade now.
The MLB Reform Movement
The Ryan Braun fiasco is the latest in a long line of MLB missteps, and one that we’ll likely not see the end of for quite some time. While Braun still appears guilty in the eyes of most, and a beneficiary of a breakdown in protocol, baseball is exposed on a number of levels. First is that before the appeal process played out, no one should have even known of Braun’s positive test. All of the bad PR that has followed could have been avoided if baseball could have simply kept their own secret information secret. Second is that there’s little belief that baseball’s (or any sport’s) testing protocol is coming close to catching all of the cheaters, and now comes our realization that even when they do catch them, they can’t make those results stick.
If Braun is not guilty, then although no one seems to be saying it directly, they’re all hinting that he was framed. The simple fact that the possibility of a frame job could hold enough weight to sway an independent arbitrator raises a ton of additional questions. (Starting with how could anyone opine it to be in the best interest of baseball to frame its MVP?)
Meanwhile, MLB seems not relieved to have not had to deal with the tainted legacy of the reigning NL MVP, but instead outraged to the extent that they continue to besmirch Braun and the arbitration process, all over a bad test result, and a worse defeat on appeal over a test that we, the public, should have never known about in the first place.