The deeper conspiracy is that Angelos had to turn the O’s into a less than desirable product to chase away the 48k+ fans per night that were showing up for Orioles games and strengthen his case as he dug in vs. Major League Baseball. MLB might have felt like they walked away the winner in that one as they got the team in DC, but in walking away with MASN and the lion’s share of its rights, Angelos could hardly be counted as a loser.
As I embraced that conspiracy, I always believed that once the whole mess was settled the fan in Angelos, and his pride would get the better of him and that he’d again begin making genuine efforts to win. Coincidentally or not, Angelos also watched as the Yankees spent about $1.5 billion on payroll between World Series titles of their own, and also figured out that he could stuff his own pockets with or without actual fan interest.
Right, wrong or indifferent, that’s where we find ourselves at present and why Angelos has declared war on the fans and on MLB, and has beaten both summarily.
Let’s also understand that during his glory years, Angelos was, above all else, a player’s owner. He squashed trades as mentioned, he stood in opposition of manager Davey Johnson when Johnson attempted to discipline Roberto Alomar, and he refused to field a replacement team when everyone else was doing it to possibly begin the 1995 season. None of that ever stopped a player from damning loyalty and bolting for what they perceived to be better situations when the opportunities presented (see Alomar, Palmeiro, Mussina, Wells etc) and it never (to my knowledge) helped the Orioles to attract a single free agent.
Spurned, Angelos has declared war on the lot of us, and has beaten us all into submission.
In fairness, for MLB’s part, the league as a whole is better off when the Yankees and Red Sox are successful, so our problem isn’t their problem, and they helped to create the monster that has now defeated us, so perhaps we’re at war with them too.
Even the last diehards standing among us may have gotten the final message this week, and in a form of poetic justice it came as what initially appeared to be good news. As rumors that Angelos might be shopping the O’s began to take hold this week many fans began counting blessings, as it appeared that their prayers were set to be answered. Instead, there’s no real expectation that he actually will sell the team, and now further we have an understanding that he can sell the team but still own the network. *Count “investigating sale ‘ as the latest conspiracy to curb any expectation of spending “for now”.
I’d love to see the cherry deal that MLB granted “us” with the advent of MASN. If the O’s are locked in to negotiating with them, and Angelos can keep the network without ownership of the team, it’s no wonder he’s looking to sell the team, he can continue to beat the Orioles down and let someone else absorb all of the blame. And his private wars and victories can go on.
Sadly that means he’ll continue to beat us down as well.