The Peter Principles (Ch. 11) – Letting The Moose Loose in pinstripes

August 11, 2017 | Nestor Aparicio

didn’t play by his rules.

Pedro Martinez had just signed a six-year, $75 million deal with no deferred money. Tellem believed Mussina would get six years and $84 million if he hit the open market, especially given the number of teams who valued his ace pitcher and the limited market for a pitcher of his caliber.

Mussina ended the 2000 season with fury, striking out 15 Red Sox in a 1-0 win on Sept. 24 and capping his campaign with a seven-inning effort in a 9-1 win over the Yankees at Camden Yards. Removed from the game with one out in seventh inning, Mussina left the mound still holding the ball, then waved his glove and tipped his cap to fans. A moment later, he returned to acknowledge a curtain call. He walked off the field knowing it could be the last time he’d be an Oriole but still believing that Angelos and the club could move on the offer and he could return. For Mussina, a smart guy, it was part of the dance. In the end, he believed he’d get more money and really thought it might come from Angelos to save face amidst the madness he’d witnessed in the previous years.

Mussina stats weren’t gaudy by any means – he finished 11-15 on another awful team with the fourth-best ERA in the American League at 3.79 in the height of the steroid and “juiced ball” era. He also threw 237 2/3 healthy innings and made 34 starts for the 2000 Orioles.

But the free agency period proved that Angelos didn’t deem Mussina worth the effort. The owner was also out-of-touch with the realities of the new revenue marketplace and attracting and retaining the top talent in the industry. His natural greed didn’t want to give an inch in any negotiation. His pride wouldn’t allow him to negotiate any “win-win” deal. And, clearly, the worst part of any relationship with anyone who worked for him was that Angelos’ word was no good. And, if he could find a reason to fire you and/or sue you and then fire off a missive about what an awful person you were…well, he would.

Angelos had mismanaged relationships with men of all colors, backgrounds and generations. He chased off Roland Hemond, Frank Robinson, Doug Melvin, Pat Gillick, Kevin Malone and Frank Wren as well as Johnny Oates, Phil Regan, Davey Johnson and Ray Miller. He chased off Rafael Palmeiro and Roberto Alomar as well as Jon Miller, John Lowenstein and Mel Proctor. He openly campaigned for the firing of some in the media while calling others names and discrediting them for simply reporting the truth about