darkness. For me personally, more times it’s felt like pure evil as well.
It’s absolutely sickening, on the 12th anniversary of Free The Birds that I have become Nestordamus. Apparently, I’m not the only one who’s been turned off by the actions of the owner and my “love” of the team fading further and further – even though I live two blocks from the stadium and built my life, my business and my brand around local sports and your particular baseball team.
It’s been 12 years since you determined that I’m no longer a legitimate media member because I’m unwilling to accept and parrot the obvious lies of your employees and the disgraceful lack of hierarchy and accountability your organization has shown my intelligent eyes – personally, professionally and very, very publicly.
You certainly didn’t intentionally lower the bar but I’ve watched it erode over the years. With every awful deed and unwise decision over the years, I’ve been a thermometer for the community and a feedback channel that you and your organization have been tone deaf about for more than two decades.
In the modern era, the Orioles have always been held to a much lower standard in Baltimore than the Ravens. You’ve never set the bar – only lowered it. Somehow, you managed to pull that off in some weirdly unspoken way.
It’s been that way all century. The Ravens have expectations and goals and John Harbaugh’s infamous “below the line” quote. When the guys in purple go 9-7 and miss the playoffs on the last play of the season, all hell breaks loose in this town! Every fan wants everyone fired!
Meanwhile, over at The Warehouse, it’s like some kind of junior varsity victory that the owner would waste $161 million (and a ton of it deferred) of the $1 billion in profit he’s made on Chris Davis and then hike the ticket prices by 20% and send the invoices out six weeks before Opening Day and no one even notices. Downtown, and the stadium our tax base gifted you, have been mostly empty for a generation now and no one in the local business community says a word about what a rotten local partner you’ve been for the city.
Being a “very unimportant person with delusions of grandeur,” I know you don’t give a rat’s ass what I think about the demise of the Baltimore Orioles. And you could care less what any of the paying customers think, either.
You’ve made a ton of money off the Orioles.
It’s been a wildly successful financial venture for you and your family and your heirs.
You’ve done more #winning than Charlie Sheen.
But every single part of it has been awful for me – and for anyone else who has been watching this disgraceful shitshow over the last 25 years with some sense of pride in what Brooks and Frank and Cal and Eddie built here while you were ambulance chasing.
I’ve been in your presence just three times since the infamous March 1997 interview that I sometimes I replay on WNST.net & AM 1570. I could’ve approached you in Cuba in 1998. I could’ve accosted you in Sarasota with questions six years ago at spring training. And I was fascinated to see if you would “hold court” in your hometown with every MLB owner and a commissioner’s vote under your nose, but I really had no interest in hearing more lies. And you apparently had no interest in any more intelligent, fair and reasonable questions and challenges for your lies.
Over the years, I’ve literally had thousands of people come up to me and ask me: “Why did Peter take your press pass?” as if I had some fucking brilliant answer to give other than, “I guess he doesn’t like me and he has no moral compass about what the media represents.”
I would tell them: “Ask Peter G. Angelos. Go see if you can find him and ask him yourself why he would take a media member’s press credential?”
I would tell them Peter doesn’t like the truth. Peter doesn’t like to answer questions. Peter doesn’t like accountability. And most people who’ve interacted with him, don’t think Peter G. Angelos is a quality person of integrity.
The ultimate responsibility for the success of any sports franchise lies with its owner.
As you know, the only big winners here have been you and your family along with a few dozen millionaire baseball players like Aubrey Huff, David Segui, Sidney Ponson, Rafael Palmeiro, Ubaldo Jimenez, Miguel Tejada, Brady Anderson and a handful of management and front office types that you’ve kept on your payroll for two decades who wouldn’t have jobs in Major League Baseball with any other club. The Stockstills, Bob Ames, Greg Bader, your family members and a few others who have conducted themselves thoroughly unprofessionally every time I’ve attempted to reach to your baseball team.
It was awful before 2006, which is why I did the Free The Birds campaign to begin with – to shine a light on what the problems were and how it was affecting the city negatively all summer. Then, MASN changed everything.
You called me some names after the original “Free The Birds” event in 2006 and as I wrote then – and I still consider it some of my finest work – I was simply giving you the temperature of the community and their feelings toward you.
“Getting even” is the phrase you used to describe your relationship with your customers in 2007 with Joe Christenson, then of The Baltimore Sun. More than a decade later and that sounds about right.
For many years I told people I had no regrets about my Free The Birds campaign. Today, I want to update that. I do have one regret from 12 years ago.
I regret that you were never honest with the fans about how much money you were losing at the turn of the century. Of course, it was your own fault and making that the franchise was a disaster in every measurable way – including your personal pocket book where you took almost $200 million of your own money to support your bad baseball habits and decisions over a decade of tyranny without a moral compass or any expertise in the industry.
And that’s where we are in 2018.
It comes back to expertise in the industry. When guys like Pat Gillick and Andy MacPhail were running the baseball operations, even you couldn’t screw it up for a little while. But, in the end, you managed to fuck it all up because you knew more, did what you wanted, mistreated them and none of them ever looked back.
Dan Duquette is counting down the minutes until he gets the hell out of here. And he begged you for a job a few years ago.
And then you did things like unilaterally sign Chris Davis for $161 million.
All we’ve ever wanted is a baseball team we can be proud of in Baltimore and we’re not proud of you or the way this team has been run into the ground under your watch while your pockets have filled with our cable TV money.
You have all of the money. You won!
Now, who is going to fix the franchise so it doesn’t leave Baltimore for Nashville or Portland or Montreal before I turn 60?
I often wonder if I’ll ever come back, if it’ll ever be normal, if I’ll ever feel like a “guest” when I enter Camden Yards.
What are you and your heirs going to do to fix it?
You took the joy away from the thing the I enjoyed most in the world.
You have been a human monster for me, my family, the people in my audience who have loftier standards and anyone who has been following baseball and the Orioles in Baltimore.
If anyone asked me how NOT to be, how NOT to treat people and live my life, you would be the shining example of the worst “soul” I’ve met in my 50 years on the planet.
So far, you’ve been the nastiest person I’ve encountered in this lifetime – you’ve earned that title very publicly and very richly for trying to end my career and restrict my access to doing what I’ve done for a living since I was 15. My original sin is being named “Aparicio” and loving your baseball team long before you were ever a part of it.
But, the Baltimore Orioles are about to become someone else’s problem.
That really shouldn’t worry me.
It can’t be any worse than it’s been around here since the summer of 1993.
Maybe the new folks will think it’s cool that I love the Orioles as much as they do!
Meanwhile, you keep fighting the fight.
You’re winning where it matters. You’re a few billion dollars ahead of me and the rest of these silly fools who love baseball in Baltimore.
You’ve done a lot of winning, Pete.
But I have a strong suspicion the money won’t be going with you…