on the topic – could in any way disparage or opine about the Baltimore Orioles without losing their jobs?
Of course not.
The moral and civic courage – and outrage – that I’ve shown is well worn. My media credential was revoked in the spring of 2007 after 21 years of covering the Orioles while my direct competitor tells lies and spins facts about the baseball team for an “exclusive” opportunity to make money and have access.
(As an aside, I’m still credentialed for virtually any other sporting event in the free world – or even Cuba, for that matter, and have been since 1984 when my journalism career began. Major League Baseball has never turned me down for a credential for an All Star Game or a World Series game.)
But, somehow, the Baltimore Orioles and Peter G. Angelos have managed to lock me out of their publicly-funded MLB ballpark and their executives tend to run and get very nervous when I’m around. Buck Showalter has physically run from me. Dan Duquette has slithered away ever time I’ve been in his presence.
Because I had the audacity to ask honest questions when the team was in last place and tumbleweed was blowing down Conway Street.
When I showed videos like this, my press pass was revoked. And when journalists don’t stand up for the rights of other journalists, it disgusts me.
But when I knock on the doors of 333 West Camden Street it’s kinda like when 60 Minutes shows up: I’m not there to peddle their lies and bullshit. I’m there to demand accountability.
The Angelos family has done a nice job of fooling low information baseball fans for almost a quarter of a century. As Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and former Orioles beat writer and columnist for The Baltimore Sun pointed out last week, real journalists often wrote “uncomfortable truths” regarding the way the baseball team was being run and the decisions being made and who was making them.
That was 20 years ago when people with some spine, like the late Joe Strauss, were asking the questions. My research has brought droves of information, links and resources to learn facts from that era. Much of it I remember because I was on the radio every day.
Some of it, quite frankly, is so perverse and disturbing in retrospect that with the Angelos-led Orioles, almost anything was possible.
And, so, I’m disgusted by my peers and the “freedom fighters” here in the current local media who write with very little knowledge or credibility as to why the Orioles have been irrelevant in 18 out of the last 22 seasons while the Angelos family has generated wealth totaling nearly $3 billion during the modern era.
And then the local scribes suggest, somehow with a straight face, that Chris Davis should offer Mr. Angelos a “hometown” discount after he’s been dramatically underpaid for his production over the past four years?
There is no higher moral ground on this. The facts are the facts.
The fans of Baltimore who helped build Oriole Park at Camden Yards and who have funded this franchise – by choice (buying tickets or swag) or by force (via their monthly MASN bill) – deserve to know why the team doesn’t sign the best baseball players in the marketplace when that was the promise made from its owner back when all of the money was earmarked for the improvement of the team.
The fans of both franchises deserve to know why the Washington Nationals, whose revenue has been choked and usurped by Peter Angelos’ greed and avarice, could somehow spend more than $50 million more than the Baltimore Orioles on baseball players every year.
The corporate (“faux”) local media marketplace has become a cesspool of entities that take a check from Angelos or simply have no interest, sophistication or expertise in finding the truth about what the Orioles can afford or where the profits are in a very convoluted system where money is only discussed when it comes time to pay their best players – or let them go to another MLB franchise.
Brady Anderson told The Baltimore Sun last week that the Orioles are a “small to mid market” franchise. From a financial standpoint, that’s simply a lie. That’s a fallacy – a myth that’s widely believed by a disillusioned, low-information segment of the fan base that hasn’t been paying attention.
Along with Angelos – and many who work for or with him in some capacity in what passes for “media” but to my eyes and ears often looks like a ship of lackeys and/or fools – my competitors often smeared me and my good name for merely being an interested civic witness to truth.
I’m a professional journalist.
I don’t bring a gun …