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NEW YORK, UNITED STATES:  Baltimore Orioles' owner Peter Angelos (2nd L) talks at a press conference with Chicago Cubs' CEO Andy MacPhail (L), Major League Baseball President Bob Dupuy (2nd R) and MLB chief negotiator Rob Manfred (R) 16 August 2002 at baseball headquarters in New York. The baseball players association set 30 August 2002 as a strike date if an agreement is not reached with the current contract.  AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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

Posted on 16 August 2017 by Nestor Aparicio

(Author note: This is Chapter 12 of my book “The Peter Principles,” which I was working to finish in March 2014 when my wife was diagnosed with leukemia the first time. I will be releasing the entire book for free online this summer – chapter by chapter. These are the true chronicles of the history of Peter G. Angelos and his ownership of the Baltimore Orioles. If you enjoy the journey, please share the links with a friend.)

 

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

 

I’ve been very productive in my life in baseball. I’m not going to be taken as some amateur or semi-pro trying to build a resume to get a job somewhere else, like a lot of my colleagues have done over the course of time. We really have had a plan of where we’re going, how we’re going to get there, what we’re going to do. And so far we’re very pleased with the progress that we’ve made with this team.”

Syd Thrift

April 2000

 

 

THE LOSS OF MIKE MUSSINA in November of 2000 came as a massive blow to the fans of the Orioles, whom by and large, were still loyal to the team and more so even to Cal Ripken who was clearly coming to the end of the line of what had been a legendary career.

The Orioles not only missed the playoffs the previous three seasons but really never spent a day anywhere near contention despite the many contentious vibes the team had been casting off in the shadow of an owner who had lost his way and was getting attacked on every front in the public eye.

Peter G. Angelos bought the Orioles in 1993 because he was nouveau riche and starved for attention and the power that came along with controlling a civic trust for the local sports community. He wanted to be important. He wanted to be famous. He wanted to be loved.

Now, he had the eyes of the metropolis on his every move and was wilting under the pressure of trying to follow through on his promises to make the team a winner every year. There was little doubt that Angelos wanted to win. He just had no idea how to do it and simply throwing money at players wasn’t the answer to chasing down George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees, who were the reigning champions and winners of four of the previous five World Series. And now, the damned Yankees took the only thing the franchise had left that was worthy of pillaging – ace pitcher Mike Mussina, who led the evening news in a pinstripe uniform and a dark NY hat because Angelos had essentially botched the negotiations and demeaned him publicly.

Angelos refused to pay Mussina the going rate.

It was never brought to light or reported – mainly because after being transparent regarding the finances of the Orioles in the early days of his ownership, Angelos went silent and became evasive – but the team began truly hemorrhaging money during this era of ineptitude on the field. Angelos admitted that the team wasn’t making money in 1996 and 1997, when wins on the field didn’t translate to profit for the club. The Orioles had the third highest payroll in Major League Baseball in 1997 and led the sport in 1998 and were still massive spenders vs. the marketplace in 1999 and 2000.

Angelos inherited a team with a $27 million payroll in 1993. By the turn of the century, the Orioles were spending $84 million per year despite seeing revenues dropping sharply over the previous three seasons when losing affected everything about the bottom line for the team. Fans who had tickets through corporations began not using them. Concession sales suffered. And attendance was falling because it had nowhere to go but down after the halcyon days of Camden Yards as the stadium approached the decade mark and many other cities had seen their own new stadia and downtown renaissance.

Angelos was quietly writing checks, privately, to fund the tens of million of dollars of losses of the Orioles. He acknowledged to other investors that it was his decision-making – and his alone – that had guided the team into a predicament where it wasn’t profitable and was bordering on dreadful on the field.

And as much as Mussina was one check that Angelos refused to write for $14 million per year, he had another similar check with three more years on the line and $39 million of team payroll still committed to Albert Belle, who struggled mightily during the summer

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Bundy, Gausman named to Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects list

Posted on 19 February 2013 by Luke Jones

Always a highlight of the offseason, Baseball America released its top 100 prospect list on Tuesday with two Orioles being featured prominently.

Right-handed pitchers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman each appeared on the list as the 20-year-old Bundy is ranked as the second-best prospect in baseball while Gausuman, the club’s first-round selection a year ago, made his debut in the No. 26 spot.

Ranked 10th on last year’s prospects list and first in last season’s midseason rankings from the publication, Bundy is the prized possession of the Baltimore farm system after third baseman Manny Machado was promoted to the majors last August. The fourth overall pick of the 2011 draft received a cup of coffee with the Orioles in September, appearing in two games, and stayed with the club during its first postseason push in 15 years.

The 20-year-old Bundy split time between Delmarva, Frederick, and Bowie last season, going 9-3 with a 2.08 earned run average that included 119 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings.

Gausman was the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft after a successful career at LSU and was a last-minute signing at last July’s deadline. The 22-year-old made five combined starts at Aberdeen and Frederick, allowing six earned runs and striking out 13 in 15 innings of work. Gausman was even elevated a step higher to make a playoff start for Double-A Bowie, tossing three scoreless innings for the Baysox.

Manager Buck Showalter has said this spring that the organization will manage each pitcher’s innings in an effort to have both available to pitch in September. The general consensus is that each pitcher will begin the season at Double-A Bowie.

No other Orioles prospects cracked the Baseball America top 100.

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Bundy, Gausman headline Orioles’ top 10 prospects list

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Luke Jones

With the 2012 season officially in the rear-view mirror, Baseball America released the Orioles’ 2013 top 10 prospects list on Monday with the club’s top draft pick in each of the last two years leading the way.

After making his major league debut in September, 19-year-old pitcher Dylan Bundy was named the organization’s top prospect by the publication as the right-hander is projected to be the Orioles’ ace of the future. The organization’s minor league pitcher of the year made two relief appearances, allowing one hit and walking one in 1 2/3 innings.

The No. 4 pick of the 2012 draft, right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman was second on the list and is projected to be a top-half-of-the-rotation starter in the future. Signed just minutes before the deadline, the 21-year-old made five starts late in the season between low Single-A Aberdeen and high Single-A Frederick, going 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 15 innings of work.

The top positional player on the list was infielder Jonathan Schoop, who hit .245 with 14 home runs and 56 runs batted in for Double-A Bowie this season. The 20-year-old split time between second base and shortstop, moving to the latter position after current Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was promoted to the big leagues on Aug. 9.

The Orioles’ minor league position player of the year, outfielder L.J. Hoes, was ranked sixth on the list and received a September call-up as a reward for his efforts.

Of the 10 prospects on Baseball America’s list, only Bundy and Gausman are considered “safe” bets — if such an idea exists for minor-league players — but Schoop’s age and premium power as a middle infielder have made him an intriguing talent held in high regard with many members of the organization.

Here is the full list from Baseball America:

1. Dylan Bundy, RHP
2. Kevin Gausman, RHP
3. Jonathan Schoop, 2B/SS
4. Nicky Delmonico, 1B/2B
5. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP
6. L.J. Hoes, OF
7. Xavier Avery, OF
8. Mike Wright, RHP
9. Branden Kline, RHP
10. Adrian Marin, SS

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