O, say can you see a real lease for Orioles at Camden Yards by the dawn’s early light?

October 01, 2019 | Nestor Aparicio

quote. The he’ll-do-anything-to-keep-his-press-credential baseball beat writer from The Baltimore Sun – the real journalist – sat in the back of the club level and waited for me to ask a real question so he could tweet out the juicy quote.

How good was it?

Well, they put on the front of the paper that no one bought the next morning. It was the lead story.

 

I guess I am still good at making news even 27 years removed from writing at The Baltimore Sun.

If Al Hutchinson and the good folks at Visit Baltimore were going to invite me to promote the event, well…I did my job! Y’all made the news!

And John Angelos Key wouldn’t have his nifty, little “Fort McHenry quote” to hang his cowboy boots on in Nashville this winter by the dawn’s early light. Sure, that kind of homey Bawl-mer talk has quelled the orange sycophants who are walking with Mike Elias, but it’s only sheer rhetoric for me and anyone who has done the math on the Baltimore Orioles and their long-term financial future on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.

The future of the franchise in Baltimore will have nothing to do with headlines in archaic newspapers or who wins a P.R. battle at a tourism luncheon. Or whether I ever get my media credential back after 13 years of being banned from asking questions of any kind to the Angelos family.

I gave proof through the luncheon that John Angelos would still be there after another fan asked him, “What is wrong with my Orioles?” Somehow while Eddie Wingrat and I were discussing flowers and fancies and my wife’s post-leukemia health post lunch, the son of Peter G. Angelos disappeared just like the dawn’s early light!

Or was it the twilight last gleaming?

We can only hope for as much here in Baltimore – the home of the brave – where Angelos proudly hailed a town car outta there with Greg Bader so I never got to ask how he runs MASN and why you can’t gallantly stream the games of a last-place team with an empty stadium?

Or about the health of his father?

Or who is running the franchise?

Or how T.J. Brightman is coming to save it?

Or what happened to Brady Anderson?

Or the name of the broker shopping the team for a buyer?

Or who is representing the family or even has the authority to sign a lease? Or sell the team? And to whom?

And then there’s the lease with the Maryland Stadium Authority and Larry Hogan. That’s the most important issue of our times as folks who invested in Camden Yards 30 years ago and the promise that the people who owned the baseball franchise would be vested in bringing people downtown instead of chasing them away.

The hotel rooms and restaurants are empty because the decisions and deeds of Mr. Angelos made them that way.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this isn’t a fact. I have witnessed with my eyes and ears – and your feet and wallet – over my 30 years of doing this.

As I have stated many, many times: the Orioles will have to – at some point when the MASN money dries up and the pricey lawsuit settles and the dirt is surrounding the former Peter G. Angelos – find a way to become an attractive, viable, expandable sports brand in Baltimore.

Here is what I know about the future of the Baltimore Orioles:

There are two years left on the lease. Some folks have told me there are discussions. Blah, blah, blah.

It is believed that nothing can be done until Peter G. Angelos is no longer with us. He still owns the team. There is no one with any public knowledge that believes that will change before he expires. And his exit from earth doesn’t appear to be imminent.

But, then, there are more possible scenarios than we can predict given the estate taxes, the state of the franchise itself and what Major League Baseball really wants to happen. Plus, the fact that MLB has more issues with its players and money and peace than anyone cares to admit.

Oh, and the game of baseball absolutely sucks in its new analytical form with home runs and strikeouts and less people are watching it every year.

There is no question Rob Manfred and the folks in New York would prefer a bigger, better brand of the Baltimore Orioles.

The other owners surely would love a new, motivated and non-hated-by-the-community partner here but between lawsuits, a dying owner and a last-place franchise in the most financially and leadership challenged city in MLB, saving the team for Baltimore is the issue I am most concerned with over the next two decades because a young guy like me has seen the NBA and NFL leave during my lifetime.

No one at MLB presently wants to move the team or can envision that happening upon