The Orioles & Andy MacPhail – 5 Mistakes In 3 Years (Part III of V) ….

April 16, 2010 |

Well, here’s the third installment of the five-part series. As I’ve indicated, these “mistakes” are in no particular order, regarding importance or timeline.

As always, I look forward to your input …..

Mistake #3 – The Disappearance Of Peter Angelos

I’m certain a few readers saw today’s title and immediately thought …. “damn, Rex, you criticize the guy for being too meddlesome and now you’re giving him a hard time for taking a back seat.”

That’s not my perspective, at all. So, I want to extinguish any such interpretations, right away.

I’ll readily admit my feelings regarding the origin of the Orioles demise, which really began nearly 14 years ago. And, I do think Mr. Angelos has a substantial, if not, primary role in creating the environment of habitual losing that exists today.


We know the history of the Angelos-era, and I’ve certainly written about my views on Mr. Angelos’ meddling during the 1996 season and the domino-effect that resulted. Thus, there is no need to rehash a recent blog – it’s right here …..
Regardless of how I try to spin this impression, I’ll still be admonished by the few who think I’m beating up on a convenient and downtrodden target. Nope, not at all. I simply think Mr. Angelos has conformed his presence from one extreme to another.

And, I don’t understand it.

First, let me make this very clear – I think Peter Angelos has been treated poorly by a large contingent of “baseball fans” who take their BASEBALL way too seriously. We’ve seen it with other sports, as well. Some folks allow their love and passion for the game to cloud their approach to LIFE. They become hateful and juvenile …..

And, such fans have ended up disparaging a man, beyond his professional ties to Orioles baseball.

Now if you’re sitting back and saying to yourself “Rex, you work FOR and WITH two guys who’ve rained hate on Peter Angelos,” I will wholeheartedly disagree with your assessment. And, it has nothing to do with loyalty. I’m allowed to SAY what I desire, period. WNST ownership gave me two CARDINAL RULES when I was hired – DON’T LIE and DON’T BREAK FCC RULES. They’ve kept their word.

But, lets take a look at the two WNST personalities who have less than amicable relationships with the Orioles …..

Nestor Aparicio – He has some strong, animated feelings regarding Peter Angelos. But, I’ve never heard him stray in his criticism of the Orioles owner. It’s always spirited toward the ballclub and not the personal life of Mr. Angelos.

Drew Forrester – I know Drew, and he’s a guy who doesn’t take this stuff too seriously. He doesn’t judge people and he certainly doesn’t cross the line into personal vices. He has a strained relationship with Greg Bader. Does he disparage Greg? Does he say hateful things about him? NO. He simply gives his side of the relationship.

But, fans have a way of crossing the line. They get hateful and mean. In fact, I had one such caller make that mistake, on Wednesday.

A gentleman called the “Rex & Ray Show” and proclaimed that Peter Angelos is a “bad person.” He suggested karma was catching up to Mr. Angelos for living a “bad life.” I stopped him in his tracks. I asked if he knows Mr. Angelos, personally. The answer was “no.” I asked if he had first hand knowledge of Mr. Angelos as a FATHER, BROTHER, HUSBAND or FRIEND. Again, the answer was “no.”

Thus, I told the caller he had no way of knowing Mr. Angelos’ character as a person. He was excersing nothing less than reckless, contrived judgement.

But, this is the treatment Peter Angelos gets. Is it fair? Of course, not. Yet, is it a good reason for basically vanishing from the public eye, as an Orioles official? Nope.

And, this brings me back to my original point …..

Where is Peter Angelos?

I’m certainly happy he’s relinquished daily operations and authority to Andy MacPhail – if that’s accurate. But, I still think Mr. Angelos has a very public obligation to the baseball fans in this city – and to the very people who purchase his product.

Does he attend games? Does he have a genuine interest in the ballclub’s 2010 season? I don’t know. Do you?

In many instances, Peter Angelos is distinctly compared to the owner of Baltimore’s other professional sports franchise …..

From the perspective of success and overall fan reaction, Steve Bisciotti has “lapped” Angelos in the race for Baltimore’s affection. That’s what winning will do for you.

We all know Steve Bisciotti is a bit reclusive, himself. He doesn’t do many interviews or issue regular public statements. He’s not hob-knobbing with Ravens fans or posing for photos with pretty girls after swigging down a few beers.

But, we know he enjoys a cold bottle of beer.

We know he LOVES his team and attends EVERY game.

We know he’s fond of his family and his ordinary roots.

And, we certainly know he LOVES Maryland Basketball …..

It goes beyond their interests. Steve Bisciotti ensures ALL MEDIA have access to him, at least one time, per season. He ensures fans have rewarding experiences at Training Camp and M&T Bank Stadium. You know he’s there !!!!

Where is Peter Angelos? When is the last time he spoke with the assembled media? That’s how fans get their information. That’s how fans get a sense of ownership’s direction and commitment to winning.

God bless Andy MacPhail. But, he doesn’t own the team. And, he doesn’t control Peter Angelos. Fair enough. But, Andy hasn’t really obliged local media very often, either.

That’s right, they’ve got a POLICY against that. Don’t worry, that topic is coming soon.

I heard more from Ozzie Newsome during Tuesday’s “Liars Lunch” than I’ve heard from Andy MacPhail in the last year. And, Andy’s team is ON THE FIELD right now.

But, it goes back to Peter Angelos.

I shop at Home Depot, but I always prefer going to family-owned Ace Hardware franchises. There is no chance I’ll see Home Depot’s owner in the paint department. But, I’ll probably see a hardware store owner if I stop in for a few odds and ends.

The same applies to clothing stores, grocery stores and other types of retailers.

Peter Angelos owns a local retailer …..

Yet, I can’t help but feel he’s as far removed as the CEO of Home Depot. Regardless of what he does behind the scenes – he’s ABSENTEE to Orioles fans.

It gives me the feeling he doesn’t care ….. about ME, as a patron.

Being unpopular is no exuse, either. It’s his team – and we’re HIS fans.

We deserve better.