This week I did a quick search on Twitter for, “Peter Angelos”, to see if anyone had anything positive to say about him, and you can guess what I found. Even New York Yankees fans hate Angelos because he is unwilling to let Manny Machado be traded there.
I first want to say, no I am not a member of the Baltimore Orioles and the club has not paid me to say this. I actually work for the Aberdeen IronBirds, and the more frustrated Orioles fans get the more money comes to me. (while I am on the subject, anyone reading this that wants IronBirds season plans please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Don’t get me wrong, I am not Peter Angelos’ biggest fan – the Orioles do not seem to want to spend the money to rebuild the rotation, yet also do not seem to want to blow the team up and rebuild the farm system either. As such, the team is pretty much left in purgatory, waiting to see what happens…
At the same time, there is no way for a fan like me to know this is the fault of Peter Angelos or his son John Angelos. I am not in the Orioles front office. I am not sitting in on meetings with Dan Duquette and ownership about signing players. I do not have access to them to get interviews and ask them straight up.
Fangraphs has Orioles ownership ranked as the third worst. I would generally agree with that in terms of the currently projected on-field product. When it comes to the total experience though, I think that the Orioles have one of the best.
Obviously Angelos’ reported unwillingness to spend money to make the team better is a problem, however I do not think he is the money hungry devil people make him out to be.
There are a lot of ways the Orioles could be making more money at the expense of the fans. The Orioles are pretty much the only professional team in the country that will let you bring in just about any kind of food or drink into the stadium. I know I’m not the only college kid who brought in a McDonalds cup full of liquor to a Friday night game.
The team also employs one of the most flexible ticket exchange programs in all of sports for both plan holders and single game buyers.
One thing that really stands out to me is that they have not sold the naming rights for Oriole Park. Can you imagine calling Oriole Park anything other than Oriole Park at Camden Yards? At the same time if they sold the naming rights and used that money to pay Manny and some pitching, I would call OPACY whatever they tell me to call it.
With this in mind, the person I blame the most for the current debacle we’re seeing is none other than GM Dan Duquette. When Angelos was willing to shell out money for the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez and Chris Davis, it has not worked out. Can you blame Angelos for not trusting DD enough to spend on pitching after Ubaldo’s poor stint with the Birds?
The Jury is still out on Davis and he could have a bounce back year, however when they were in talks to sign him they were bidding against themselves. No other team was reported to be offering anything close to what the Orioles were offering.
If the problem is that Angelos refuses to spend the money on pitching, then I have lost faith in Duquette to do his job. He should constantly be lobbying to ownership to let him improve the team. If Angelos is adamant in not spending to improve the team, then Duquette should quit.
Interview after interview, I just do not see any passion from him to make the team better. To me, he seems like someone who is content cashing in a check and not putting in the extra effort. Maybe that’s harsh, however it’s my opinion. To me, he seems like he knows he is not coming back and has checked out on the team.
All reports have shown that the team has not been in contact with the likes of Adam Jones, Zach Britton, and Jonathan Schoop about potential extensions, and that is absolutely ridiculous to me. Unforgivable. To not even approach them and see what kind of contract they would want is a sign of someone who may not care all that much about the future of the team.
I can not imagine being so handcuffed in my job that I can not do what I have been hired to do. Why would Angelos hire a General Manager if he was not going to let him make any decisions?
I am a pretty optimistic person and believe there is always a bright side. In this case the bright side is that we are not the Marlins…