for sure. He’ll hear from me, too. I’ll postmark it from Toronto so I know he’ll open it.
At one point, the Orioles were the “winningest” team in Major League Baseball over a five-year period from 2012-16. The team crowed about that fact. There is a fair argument to be made that they are well on their way to being the losing-est over the subsequent nickel.
They can’t hide the green of the empty seats the way they’ve somehow managed to hide all of the green they’ve pocketed. And every time some nugget from the court documents in their unprecedented lawsuit with all of their MLB partners including the Washington Nationals over the mind-blowing $400 million of disputed money that sits in Angelos’ pockets, we learn just how much money he’s very quietly made while wrecking the franchise during his reign of terror.
I’ve dedicated my LIFE to following the Baltimore Orioles and local sports. It’s all I’ve ever done. There hasn’t been a day of my adulthood, going back to my internship at The Baltimore News American in January 1984 when I was 15 years old that I haven’t been engaged and involved in reporting on local sports.
I’ve watched the Orioles – and everything around the brand and the culture around the brand – deteriorate and disintegrate in virtually every way.
I’m just one guy from Dundalk who dedicated his life to the promotion of the Orioles and they’ve spit in my face over and over again. They jerked me and my company around on a $30,000 marketing deal and moved a decimal after I’d already sold 800 tickets for a Friday night promotion in 2004. Then, The Oriole Bird assaulted me in front of the crowd in right field. I’ll be telling that story because it should be told in its entirety. Many other local business people have shared their horror stories of dealing with the Orioles privately with me. The facts around mine in 2004 will shock some but maybe not others. It’s been 14 years and I turn 50 this year. It should be told.
On many occasions, they’ve told me to stop being a fan. Greg Bader has personally told me and my employees that we should go away. Brady Anderson once told me that I should leave Baltimore if I didn’t like it. Dan Duquette was even a jerk to me and my wife after she beat cancer and we were in Philly swabbing people to save more lives in the summer of 2015. He offered to get me thrown off the field in Kansas City before the American League Championship Series as well. Every year I go to the Orioles Advocates Hall of Fame luncheon to see a handful of old friends and to see how they treat me. It’s never pleasant.
There’s a lot of color and background I’ll be adding to my life being a Baltimore Orioles fan, just so John Angelos and anyone who has ever heard my voice understands the history. And if you are a friend or a fan or a listener or a reader or a social media follower – it’s a story you should know as well.
I watch the Orioles every night. I opine freely on them because I don’t have to be censored by the likes of Greg Bader or anyone named Angelos in order to walk in the building to be openly mistreated more as a 50-year old.
But the unalienable facts are clear:
Less people talk about baseball in Baltimore. Less people watch baseball. Less kids play baseball.
And lots of old white people still really love baseball.
(Adam Jones pointed that fact out last season in USA Today in the aftermath of racial taunts at Fenway Park. Hopefully, I’ll get to write his #DearOrioles letter to him before they trade him to the Braves! Incidentally, I wrote The Peter Principles specifically for him. He asked me for facts so I wrote a book for him.)
But all of the games are on TV (BUT NOT YOUR MOBILE DEVICE AND DON’T GET ME STARTED) and it’s very, very easy – and far more affordable – to stay home and watch the Orioles in the comfort of your home or at your local tavern. Clearly, the “going to the game” thing kinda bums out a large