Tag Archive | "Peter Angelos"

Tags: , , , ,

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Erich Hawbaker

As usual, the Orioles have started the season strong and have thusfar played well and been fun to watch. But unless I and every other casual observer are dead wrong, the Orioles will hang in there thru May, falter in June or July, and be completely out of contention by August. It’s a really good feeling to look at the standings and see your team on top, but the last time I did that in the month of September was before I even had my driver’s license. And now this year, my 30th birthday will come and go while the Angelos reign of terror continues.

That may be a corny segue, but reigns of terror are tonight’s real topic. Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen put both feet in his mouth again last week by telling Time magazine that he admires Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The history in a nutshell: As a young man, Castro and his lieutenant Ernesto “Che” Guevara led the bloody communist overthrow of Cuba’s government in 1959. When it was over, Castro made himself Cuba’s President, and still holds the office to this day. Tens of thousands of Cubans were tortured and killed during and after the revolution, and many others fled to the United States and settled in Florida. Today, the city of Miami is the epicenter of Cuban exiles and their descendants, many of whom still dream of the day when Cuba is free again.

The Miami fans were furious, and Guillen subsequently apologized and was suspended for five games by the Marlins (not MLB). Granted, if Guillen were the manager of the Mariners or the Twins or the Brewers, there may not have been such a level of anger from the local fanbase. But should there be?

As I started thinking about this, the first person that came to my mind was Marge Schott. If you’re younger than me, you may not even recall who she is, as I barely remember her myself. Marge Schott was the owner of the Cincinnati Reds from 1984 to 1999, and is noteworthy as the first woman to buy a major league franchise. In many ways, she actually parallels Peter Angelos in that her legacy of philanthropy and community involvement is mostly overshadowed by her pitiful management of her team and other controversies. She was alleged to have frequently thrown around the n-word, said that she didn’t like her players to wear earrings because it “looked fruity” (apparently that’s a gay slur), and stated publicly more than once that Adolf Hitler had been a good leader for Germany but “went too far”. Schott and Angelos also have the commonality of firing manager Davey Johnson after a season in which he took their teams to the playoffs.

Schott was suspended by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig for the entire 1993 season (that’s over six whole months) following her Hitler comments, which brings me back to Ozzie Guillen. If there is anything in this world that I hate, it is double standards. If Marge Schott had the book thrown at her for praising a genocidal dictator, why does Ozzie Guillen get a pass for doing the same thing?

Stop reading. Google up “Angelos Castro Selig” and click the images tab. Can it be? For those who don’t remember, back in 1999 Peter Angelos and Bud Selig arranged to have the Orioles play two exhibition games against the Cuban national all-star team, one in Baltimore and one in Havana (the visiting teams won both contests). The events were touted as gestures of good will and attempts to create more friendly US-Cuba relations, but another main goal was undoubtedly to get more access to Cuban players for MLB teams (which never happened). Peter Angelos, having been one of the top campaign contributors in the country to then-President Clinton and Congressional Democrats, had no trouble getting the government’s blessing to do all this in spite of America’s longstanding Cuban embargo. The aforementioned photograph is of Fidel Castro sitting in the stands in Havana and chatting with Peter Angelos and Bud Selig, who are seated on either side of him.

So obviously, Bud Selig doesn’t exactly have the standing to condemn Ozzie Guillen for kissing up to Fidel Castro, which is probably why he relied on the owners of the Marlins to do it. Now, I am not one who believes that we should run around punishing people for being offensive. By its nature, offensive speech is what the First Amendment was written to protect, and the second thing that I absolutely hate in this world is political correctness.

But I want consistency.

Back in 1999, Bud Selig armtwisted Marge Schott into selling her controlling interest in the Reds following her second round or pro-Hitler comments. And then last year, he oversaw the ugly removal of Frank McCourt as owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The big difference between the two was that while Schott’s ouster was purely personal, McCourt’s was due to shady business practices; specifically that he was “siphoning team revenue for non-baseball use and had completely alienated the Dodgers’ fanbase.” according to MLB’s court briefs.

Does that sound like somebody we know?

MASN pulled in $159 million in revenue last year, so you can do a little arithmetic and figure out about how much it has made since its creation seven years ago. We all remember the promises Peter Angelos made about using that money to improve the team and how this was finally going to give the Orioles the resources needed to compete with Yankees and Red Sox. And yet, since MASN was created, the Orioles annual payroll has averaged just $78 million- not significantly higher than it was before MASN and less than half of what New York or Boston paid in that same time period. Of course, operating expenses and lots of taxes accounted for some of it, but one still has to ask “That money wasn’t invested in the Orioles, so where did it go?”

Bud Selig was willing to kick Marge Schott and Frank McCourt out of the owners’ club for conduct that was immoral but not technically illegal. What Angelos has done with MASN isn’t technically illegal either; after all, he is a lawyer and he brokered the deal with Selig’s blessing. But now that we’ve had time to see it in action, there can be no question that what Angelos has done is highly unethical. He’s siphoned revenue away from not one but two teams for non-baseball purposes. He’s alienated the fanbase. He’s fixed it so that Comcast customers who aren’t even baseball fans are paying for his channels. And all the while, Bud Selig stood by and let it happen.

It’s the same thing that happens when the government plays favorites with private industry; different entities are allowed to play by different rules. This leads to a lack of true competition, and the end result is that the consumer is denied the full potential of what the free market could produce. Those who benefit from the unlevel playing field think that it’s just fine and are happy to leave it that way, while those who suffer because of it either accept it and work around it or just stop caring. It’s why less than half of America votes these days, and why Camden Yards is usually empty unless the Yankees or Red Sox are in town.

Bud Selig is too chummy with Peter Angelos to hold him accountable for getting rich by wrecking the Orioles, the same way he’s too chummy with Fidel Castro to say anything about Ozzie Guillen. Selig has failed to enforce his own standards equally, and we Orioles fans have suffered thru 15 years of pathetic losing baseball because of it. We all know that Cuba needs to be rid of Fidel Castro and the Orioles need to be rid Peter Angelos, but Major League Baseball also needs to be rid of Bud Selig.

Comments (1)

Your Monday Reality Check-O What A Weekend

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your Monday Reality Check-O What A Weekend

Posted on 09 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

I receive plenty of ridiculous messages via Facebook, Twitter, email, text, phone and here at WNST.net every week. I have a soft spot in my heart for those many messages and those who send them.

On Sunday, one of the more ridiculous messages I’ve seen was brought to my attention on Twitter.

bet ur pissed Os are 3-0 and ur boycott isnt working

I won’t say who sent me the note because I have no idea if they’re an actual listener/reader or just a troll who was sent my way during my brief spat with Baltimore Orioles OF Adam Jones last week. There’s no particular reason to allow this person any attention anyway.

The statement here is so ridiculous that I will need a minute to address it. I’ll start with the notion that I’d be “pissed” about the O’s starting the season with a sweep of the Minnesota Twins. The note implies one of two things-either I’m not a fan of the Birds at all or I’m a fan who for some reason doesn’t want to see them win.

I’ll start with the notion that I’m somehow “not an Orioles fan”. Here’s a picture from Chase Field in 2007 when the Orioles visited the Arizona Diamondbacks and I was working at The Fan 1060 (KDUS) in Phoenix…

I looked almost exactly like that all weekend. I could probably post about 1,000 more pictures here-but you can check my personal Facebook page for your own proof. As Nestor Aparicio knows all too well, somehow asking for a team to get better translates into “not a fan” in the minds of folks who likely also believe their favorite band WANTS to be known as a sellout. I’m a Baltimore Orioles fan, plain and simple.

The next thought would be that I for some reason don’t want the team to win. This is an all-too-often misconception related to WNST’s “Free The Birds” campaign that I have openly supported since its’ inception in 2006. I’d like to come back to this in a second.

The final part of the statement “your boycott isn’t working” reflects an absolute lack of knowledge about “Free The Birds” in general. To some, it is incomprehensible that I can both believe a current regime is incapable of creating a quality product but yet appreciate the product when it shows to be of quality.

Before heading in to see the Birds open the season against the Twinkies Friday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I wandered across Pratt Street to chat with fellow fans at Luna Del Sea. I had a great time hanging out, talking baseball and promoting FTB. Two listeners in particular approached me to say “thank you” for defending those who believe in our cry (and also the cries of groups like “Occupy Eutaw Street”) on my show last Thursday. I engaged in a great back and forth in which I reiterated a statement that I feel must be repeated.

“Free The Birds to me has only ever been about one thing-making the team better. It’s not anything personal about players, managers, general managers or even (wait for it) owners. If the Orioles can get better and baseball can become relevant in Charm City again with Peter Angelos as owner I will owe a debt of gratitude to the man. I just don’t really believe it will happen.”

Free The Birds isn’t a “boycott”. Free The Birds is ABSOLUTELY not a statement that we don’t support the Baltimore Orioles when they take the field. Those misconceptions will exist in the minds of some forever, but it won’t make them true. Free The Birds (for me) is simply a belief and statement that losing is NOT okay.

That concept alone is apparently not even enough for all to agree. That’s fine. Not every fan has to demand quality from the entity they support. The fact that Bon Jovi has managed to sell plenty of concert tickets over the course of the last decade is living proof of that.

The fact is, I want quality from the Baltimore Orioles and I don’t believe it will happen with Peter Angelos as owner. But my belief/expectation will never be cause for me to “hope” or “root” against such an occurrence. As many of you are aware, I don’t pick the Baltimore Ravens to win every football game they play. There hasn’t been one time in my life however that I wasn’t rooting for them to show me just how little I know.

I root against my own belief that the Orioles will fail to succeed under the control of Peter Angelos. I OPENLY root against it.

Like many years during what I’ve called “The Rock Bottom Era” here in Baltimore, the Birds got off to a hot start this weekend. Pitchers Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter and Jason Hammel combined to allow ONE run over 22 innings pitched. That number seems so impossible I’ve actually quadruple-checked it.

After an Opening Day sellout, another crowd of 30,000 plus took in Saturday night’s game (there was even a buzz about it at Power Plant Live as I was leaving the Alabama Shakes show at Rams Head Live). Sunday’s crowd looked all too “Baltimorean”, but the Easter holiday clearly had something to do with it.

(Oh and I didn’t even mention the awesomeness of the orange uniforms Saturday night. The last time I’ve wanted an article of clothing so badly was the first time Stone Cold Steve Austin donned a knee brace.)

It was an awesome weekend that left the city buzzing. It makes Monday a happier day to be in the state of Maryland than it would have been otherwise.

It doesn’t mean things have changed with the Orioles organization. It doesn’t mean the Birds will be 6-0 when the New York Yankees leave town. It absolutely doesn’t mean the AL East should be on notice. It means we’ve had way more fun as fans for three days than we would have otherwise.

Of course, maybe I’m wrong.

Maybe this weekend marked an official turnaround for the Orioles. Maybe the excitement of eliminating the Boston Red Sox last September truly carried over and this type of baseball will be a reality for the Birds all season.

Maybe the Orioles truly are better despite an offseason that made us believe they might be worse.

Let me repeat that. Maybe this weekend was a sign that the Orioles really are better. I don’t believe it, but I’d love to be wrong.

If they are, Free The Birds is a success. This is all we’ve ever wanted.

-G

Comments (7)

Your Monday Reality Check-The Only Word I Can Think Of Is Embarrassment

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Your Monday Reality Check-The Only Word I Can Think Of Is Embarrassment

Posted on 02 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

Despite a couple of you who really struggled with the idea of “having fun”, Drew Forrester and I managed to pull off a semi-decent April Fools’ Day prank Sunday.

(Did you miss it? Check my personal Facebook page by searching for “Glenn Clark” and adding the guy who is “Zaching” or check my personal Twitter @GlennClarkWNST for the details. But to make sure we’re clear, Drew and I are NOT leaving WNST. You could probably tell that by )

It was a fun Sunday for those who were able to chuckle about it. For the gang over at CBS Radio Baltimore-I could sense they were in a bit of a panic.

One CBS Radio Baltimore (they operate our “competitor” 105.7 The Fan by the way) employee was particularly panicked about the whole gag, using it as an opportunity to take personal shots at members of our company. It’s not surprising and really doesn’t bother me that much. It just served as a nice reminder (or “Reality Check” if you will) about the differences between “us” and “them”.

Here at WNST this week we’re not going to be particularly busy worrying about our competitors. Not that we’re always this way, but we have some much more pressing issues to deal with this week.

This week we’re going to do what the gang at CBS absolutely does not have the cojones to do.

We’re going to stand up to the Baltimore Orioles and we hope you’ll be a part of it.

There’s some great symbolism to the various events we’re going to do here at WNST this week.

You see, on Monday night we’ll be at Bill Bateman’s in Perry Hall hanging out with Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco. It’s easy to imagine that every fire code in Baltimore County will be violated by our event. On Thursday night, we’re gathering by the Brooks Robinson statue downtown to mark the start of the Birds’ season with a “Free The Birds” candlelight vigil. In all honesty, I’m particularly worried that there will only be a few of us hanging out as the O’s tend to elicit nothing more than apathy here in Charm City.

The Ravens haven’t played a game since January and we’re worried about having enough security for Monday night’s event. The Orioles play their first game Friday and we’re worried about tumbleweeds Thursday night.

I think Ian Eagle would describe this as “not a low blow, but just a fact.”

Of course I’m not leaving WNST. Part of the reason why I’m grateful for every day I have with the company is because I get to say and do the right thing this week. I couldn’t imagine how I’d feel about myself if I had to spend the week discussing “hope for the future” or something about how we should just celebrate the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards and not be too hard on the team that gave us such an iconic part of the Inner Harbor.

I don’t know that I could do it.

Some will think of it as “Bashing Barbaro” week around here (I’ll just let you think about that one), but we’re not going to stop telling it like it is when it comes to the Orioles. In the spirit of equine conversation, theirs is a “horses***” organization.

Cue Ian Eagle again.

Theirs is an organization that will once again force it’s own fans to suffer through the embarrassment of six months of meaningless and mostly terrible baseball. They’ll continue to spit in the collective faces of the people of our city and they’ll do so without much in the way of concern. I’d keep telling you about it but the fact is…you’re already aware.

I’m going to be a part of Free The Birds this week because Opening Day is a reminder of the embarrassment that comes with being a Baltimore Orioles fan.

I’m rarely embarrassed as a Baltimore Ravens fan. I’m only sometimes embarrassed as a Maryland Terrapins fan. I’m almost always embarrassed as a Baltimore Orioles fan.

That’s why I’m going to grab a candle and wander down to the statue Thursday night. What a fitting place to recognize the embarrassment of being an Orioles fan…the statue that the organization refused to support recognizing one of their greatest players in franchise history.

How many times have I put the word “embarrassment” in this column already?

I’m going to stand up and be counted. I’m not going to allow the message to be mixed. I’m not going to simply say something along the lines of “this isn’t that big of a deal” or “I just don’t really care all that much about Orioles baseball.”

I care a LOT about the Baltimore Orioles. I just simply can’t stomach the state my relationship with them. I have to do something.

Thursday night will be my counseling. I’ve tried talking to them about it and they’ve ignored me. I can’t leave our relationship because my love for them is too strong. Gathering with other battered and bruised fans is about the only recourse I have at this point.

I hope to talk openly about how I’ve been mistreated by the Orioles Thursday night. I hope that you as a fan will do the same thing.

This is why we exist as a local sports media organization. There are people in this town who won’t stand up to the Orioles because they really DON’T care. They DON’T have the stories you and I do. They AREN’T staring at a framed autographed Brooks Robinson print hanging above their TV as they type like I am. They have no reason to fight back because the fight is meaningless to them.

It isn’t meaningless to me. I’m going to fight. I’m sick of being embarrassed year in and year out.

I hope you’ll join me.

Comments (1)

Fans against Mussina’s Orioles Hall of Fame induction misguided with anger

Tags: , , , , ,

Fans against Mussina’s Orioles Hall of Fame induction misguided with anger

Posted on 29 March 2012 by Luke Jones

The announcement of former pitcher Mike Mussina being elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame was predictably met with a variety of emotions on Wednesday.

Even Mussina’s biggest supporters in Baltimore have a difficult time overcoming the awkwardness involved with his departure for the hated New York Yankees and cannot forget the countless games he pitched against the Orioles over his eight seasons in the Bronx. There’s no overcoming the feeling that Mussina was supposed to be a “lifer” in the same sense of Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken, and Jim Palmer after he was drafted and developed by the Orioles in a similar manner.

However, a vocal minority of fans have voiced displeasure in his inclusion, citing him becoming a traitor for joining the Orioles’ biggest rival at the time. Even a few personal friends whose opinions I respect in regards to baseball and the Orioles shared this sentiment, in fact.

My only reply was, “Seriously?”

I covered the topic in more depth and offered my history lesson of the circumstances surrounding Mussina’s exit during Thursday’s edition of The Morning Reaction, which you can find in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault:

Luke Jones offers his thoughts on fans opposed to Mike Mussina’s Orioles Hall of Fame induction

Though I would never go as far as saying anyone should lose sleep over the end result for Mussina — an $88 million contract and eight years of winning in New York obviously go a long way — nor would I take issue with fans’ decision to boo Mussina as a member of the Yankees, holding a grudge against the third-winningest pitcher in Orioles history is a simple case of misguided anger.

In researching his departure following the 2000 season, I found a quote made by the pitcher about the Orioles’ effort to keep him in Baltimore.

“Waiting as long as I did with nothing happening, it was just disappointing. If they really wanted me to come back, I think they would have done a little more.”

Reading that poignant comment nearly 12 years later, it’s the same general feeling shared by many who’ve witnessed the demise of a once-proud franchise and by others who have ultimately turned their backs at some point along the way.

Comments (2)

Tags: , , ,

Do we REALLY still blame Mike Mussina for leaving Baltimore?

Posted on 29 March 2012 by Peter Dilutis

I haven’t been writing too much lately.

Part of that has to do with not totally being over the way the Ravens season ended in New England. After all, like most of you, I’m still just a normal Baltimore sports fan. Unfortunately with the Orioles being the Orioles and with the Terps being down, there just hasn’t been too much else to be excited about around here.

Yes, Brian Matusz has looked good this spring, and that’s such a big positive for an organization trying to find its way in the now absurd American League East. The quickest way to the top is by finding pitching, and more pitching, and more pitching, and more pitch….you get the picture. So, I guess I could spend more time talking about Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta and J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, but will the performance of any or all of those players really make a difference when the optimism of spring subsides and the dog days of July and August (aka swoon time) arrive in Charm City? Probably not.

Once upon a time, however, the Baltimore Orioles had many players that could be described as difference makers on a championship contending team. Mike Mussina was one of those players.

Mike Mussina was a home-grown product for the Birds. Drafted out of Stanford with the 20th pick in the 1990 draft, Mussina went on to spend 10 seasons in Baltimore. He was the unquestioned ace of the staff, compiling a record of 147-81 with a 3.53 ERA during his time with the O’s. He played 10 seasons in Birland, ultimately leaving for between three to five million more per season (depending on whether or not you count the last-ditch effort the O’s made to sign Moose after he had already decided he was leaving for the Bronx) to play for the most prominent, historic, and successful team in MLB history.

Mussina made this career move as the Orioles were three years into their now 14 straight (15 if you cheat and chalk 2012 up as a lost cause already) losing seasons. He jumped ship after he witnessed Peter Angelos run off Davey Johnson, whose two years in Baltimore happened to coincide with the only two years the Orioles made the playoffs during Mussina’s tenure.

In other words, Mike Mussina jumped off the Titanic and landed on a billion dollar yacht headed for nothing but sunshine. Did I blame him then? Honestly, I did a little bit. I was young and I felt betrayed by one of my favorite baseball players. And the Orioles were still a pretty legitimate franchise back then, even if signs of their eventual demise were starting to appear.

But do I blame him now, looking back? Absolutely not! Are you kidding me?

Comments (0)

An Oriole Park 20-Year Anniversary Anthem

Tags: , , ,

An Oriole Park 20-Year Anniversary Anthem

Posted on 28 March 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

Talkin’ Baseball (Orioles Version) by: Terry Cashman

 

An Orioles classic that I took the liberty of updating the words to, in honor of the 20th anniversary of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

The first few years the wins were thin,

But Camden Yards still packed ‘em in,

And baseball was alive in Baltimore

Robby and Raffy in the mix

And by 1996

The Oriole Way of yesterday was back in force.

 

We’re talking baseball

Ripken, Moose and Surhoff

Orioles Baseball

Brady Anderson with his shirt off

The Boomer, Kevin Brown and Bobby Bo

He wouldn’t trade ‘em then he watched ‘em go

It’s Orioles baseball…and Peter Angelos.

 

The Ravens came upon the scene,

And B-More had another team,

And the city threw a lot of green their way.

The Expos in DC,

Peter crying, “Woe is me”,

And the feverish fans who packed the stands had gone away.

 

We’re talking baseball,

Belle, Segui, Cordova

Orioles Baseball

The glory days are over.

Tejada gave a shot to Palmeiro.

What was in that needle no one knows,

It’s Orioles baseball…and Peter Angelos.

 

When you’re talking Baltimore baseball,

You’re talking Angelos,

I won’t forget the way I cried

The day our old friend Flanny died

And will they ever win again nobody knows

I hate you…Angelos

 

The O’s they now have MASN,

And it’s sure to bring the cash in

They’re even making money off the Nats.

But they still blame the Sox and Yanks as yet another season tanks.

And down on the farm they’re not growing arms and they don’t buy bats.

 

We’re talking baseball

Cabrera and Bedard

Orioles baseball

Ponson fighting in a bar

And where does all that MASN money go?

Not to the team, it goes to Angelos

It’s barely baseball, ’cause Peter killed the O’s.

 

We’re talking baseball…baseball and the O’s

(the birds, the birds, the birds)

We’re talking Peter…Peter Angelos

(the crook, the bum, the louse)

He hood winked us all

And stole our baseball.

(the pain, the blame, the shame)

It’s barely baseball

(the birds, the birds, the birds)

He purchased the team,

And ruined our dreams

(the crook, the bum, the louse)

We’re talking baseball…and Peter Angelos.

 

 

 

 

Comments (1)

Tags: , , ,

Angelos leading class-action lawsuit against Facebook

Posted on 24 February 2012 by WNST Staff

Two Maryland law firms have filed a class-action lawsuit in California federal court against Facebook, claiming the social media empire illegally tracked the web activity of its members.

The law offices of Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos and William H. Murphy filed the suit in U.S. District court in San Jose on Feb. 17. The lawsuit alleges that Facebook used online tracking technology to monitor its 800 million-plus users even when they weren’t visiting the social networking site.

Two plaintiffs have been named in the case, Laura Maguire of Charlotte, N.C. and Baltimore resident Christopher Simon.

Facebook issued a statement with its belief that the case is without merit.
Lawsuits of this nature that question privacy issues are fairly common and typically own class-action status.

Comments (2)

War-ioles

Tags: , , , ,

War-ioles

Posted on 17 February 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

Are you at war with the Orioles?

 

It sounds a tad dramatic sure, and I’ll acknowledge it’s an overstatement at the least, but make no mistake about it; the Orioles are at war with you.

 

The Orioles at war with you, they’re at war with Major League Baseball, they’re at war with the players and they’re at war with anyone standing between them and their next dollar. And the sooner we can all acknowledge that simple truth, the sooner we can put our collective heads together and forge an amicable solution.

 

In order to assess our collective position, let’s understand the means by which we arrived here. As I’ve said throughout this drama, in my lifetime (coming up on 39 years) the early part of the Angelos tenure was surely the best of times.

Camden Yards was fresh and new, the Orioles were playing to packed houses and were the only ticket in town, and unlike the Eli Jacobs regime that preceded his, the Angelos regime was ready to share that wealth with big names on the field and in the front office. Everyone it seemed was happy.

 

Then the Ravens came to town and we quite simply lost our way. Art Modell came to town with a questionable business reputation (fair or not) at best and the city threw money at him, lent him more money at favorable terms on top of it, and provided cushy lease terms at an adjoining downtown ballpark to his palace. The argument could certainly be made that in Oriole Park at Camden Yards the city gave Angelos quite a gift too, but that wouldn’t be altogether fair, as Angelos picked up the O’s after the advent of Camden Yards and therefore absorbed some of that benefit in the purchase price. The city “gave” the stadium and all of its inherent benefit to the Orioles (the Eli Jacobs Orioles) and Jacobs essentially walked away with those benefits by way of the inflated purchase price. *Remember that precedent by the way.

 

So back to Peter’s perspective:

 

Here’s Angelos in 1995, spending like hell to field a winner and we the fans begrudge (and even blast) him for silly things like talking too long at Cal Ripken’s 2131 ceremony. He squashes the 1996 trade that would have jettisoned Bobby Bonilla and David Wells and watches the team surge in the standings and actually make the playoffs and still couldn’t get love. He even brought back Eddie Murray. Then he watched the city bend over backward for and celebrate an NFL owner whose bad decisions in running his team necessitated a quick bailout. As I remember, Angelos spoke up about what he saw as disparate treatment then, but was mostly dismissed.

 

In 1998 the team began to show its age (after a wire-to-wire division title) and the fans quickly turned on the talent at hand. I remember the calls flooding the radio shows begrudging our mercenaries and clamoring for young talent that “played like they wanted to be there”. The O’s began churning the roster and the Ravens began turning a page of their own and winning and the fans had alternatives, and decisions to make with their entertainment dollars.

 

By 1999 it was evident that the Expos were leaving Montreal, and for those that were paying careful attention, there was nowhere to put them but DC. Angelos was at war with his TV network, CSN, and while his best interests were served by keeping a team out of DC, the network saw dollar signs and the potential of another team on their network therefore putting their best interests in direct opposition with Angelos and the Orioles. Coincidentally, see MASN for the results of how that battle turned out.

 

Additionally it seemed that the state of Maryland would have had a legitimate and vested interest in compelling a DC team to build their stadium in Maryland, therefore there was no support from the state or the Stadium Authority to be expected for the O’s.

 

The fight to keep the Expos out of DC was Angelos’ to fight alone.

 

Comments (1)

Rest easy — the Orioles aren’t signing Manny Ramirez (right?)

Tags: , , ,

Rest easy — the Orioles aren’t signing Manny Ramirez (right?)

Posted on 08 February 2012 by Drew Forrester

I won’t guarantee this.

I’ll SUPER-guarantee it.

The Orioles aren’t going to sign Manny Ramirez.

Yes, yes, I’m well aware Dan Duquette has publicly admitted the Orioles have “explored” a possible contract with the once-prolific, twice-suspended malcontent.

I reported the details of the potential marriage RIGHT HERE at WNST.net yesterday.

But they’re not going to sign Ramirez.

Why?

Because there’s no way they’re that dumb.  Or that gullible.  Or that much in need of someone to generate polarizing commentary among the fans and media.

I’m SUPER-guaranteeing it.  They’re not signing Manny Ramirez.

There’s no reason to sign the former Red Sox slugger.  None.  The only thing he brings to the Orioles – or anyone else for that matter – is the high likelihood of regret.  Call it buyer’s remorse or any other fancy description for what happens when you take a gamble on someone or something you shouldn’t be gambling on, but that’s exactly the scenario created by a Ramirez contract.

Are you a black-jack player?  You pull a King and the 8 of Hearts.  You staying on 18?  Or do you want another card?  Right.  You’ll hold. That next card could be an ace, 2 or 3 — but you know, as a gambler, the odds are greater that you’re getting a 4 or higher when that next card is flipped.

Ramirez is the “10″ you pull when you’re already on King-8.

He’s a bad gamble.

Make that…a horrible gamble.

Why on earth would the Orioles trust him after what he did to Tampa Bay last April?  Answer: They won’t.  That’s why they’re not going to sign him.

Ramirez made $18 million in 2010 with the Dodgers and White Sox.

No one in the league wanted him last off-season.  No one.  So he decided to sign on with the Rays for the “paltry” sum of $2 million. And then…about ten weeks later, he quit.  Just like that.  He quit.

Why did he quit?  Well, for starters, he wound up getting busted for a 2nd violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, a test result he contested but nonetheless lost when he was suspended for 100 games.

(Please see next page)

Comments (1)

The Baltimore teams show their true colors…again

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Baltimore teams show their true colors…again

Posted on 01 February 2012 by Drew Forrester

If you know of a place I can find a dead horse, ship it to me in Indianapolis.  I’m here all week covering Super Bowl 46.

I’ll find a baseball bat somewhere in the hotel.

Today was the once-a-year occasion where everyone in Baltimore gets to see precisely why the Ravens are the Ravens and play in front of 70,000 people ten times a year and why the Orioles are the Orioles and play in front of crowds of 7,000 more times than they’ll ever publicly admit.

In a weird twist of fate, I have another story to add to the mix. It won’t surprise you.  But it will be another log-in-the-fire that continues to rage in Baltimore as our baseball team – now with a new accomplice – once again displays an amazing lack of professionalism.

How does that situation involve you and/or the fans in Baltimore?

It does, trust me.

If you saw the press conference today – the “State of the Ravens” as they like to call it in Owings Mills – you witnessed the football organization allowing the media to openly discuss their method of operation.  There was nothing particularly earth shattering to come out of the 55-minute gathering.  It was filled with mostly benign stuff like “Joe Flacco and Ray Rice are a priority.”  (We knew that already.)  ”The Ravens are going to do everything we can to get better by looking at all available player options.”  (Right…we knew that too.)  ”We feel like our team is built for the now and the future.”  (Of course you do.)

But it wasn’t the content or the quality that mattered today.  When you’re 12-4 and come within three-tenths of a second from going to the Super Bowl, there aren’t a lot of blemishes and hiccups to discuss.

What was important, of course, was the mere fact that the Ravens undressed themselves in front of the media and allowed everyone to ask questions about their hairy legs, love handles and receding hairline.

The Orioles never let you see them dressed or undressed.  Unless you happen to be part of their inner circle.

They remain as disingenious with the community and the media as they’ve ever been, despite modest improvements over the last few years in their day-of-game entertainment and civic endeavors.  They’re the friend who ignores your text when your car breaks down and you need a ride to work.  They’re the co-worker who tells you the company tickets for the football game have been claimed, only to see them in the top drawer of his desk a week later when he asks you to grab his car keys before heading out to lunch.  The Orioles are the ex-girlfriend who never liked your favorite band until AFTER you guys broke up eight months ago.

They’re lazy, mean-spirited and never quite fully aware of how much they hurt you.  (Please see next page)

Comments (12)