Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mr. Leonsis: Care to Buy the Orioles?

I read with great interest Mike Wise's column in the Washington Post this morning. He described the risky and smart decision Capitals Majority Owner Ted Leonsis made several years ago to trade away high-priced veterans and begin to rebuild. Wise described how Leonsis told season ticket holders how it would be bad before it got good. One particular statement from Leonsis at the time really caught my attention: "'If your deliverable is to win a championship, do you think you have the system, culture and talent to deliver that?'" Essentially if the answer is no, then you need to make changes.

As a life long Orioles fan, I wish Peter Angelos would take notice. The reality is Angelos has no incentive to ensure that the Orioles have a "system, culture and talent" to win a World Series let alone try to put any kind of contender on the field. Regardless of how the team performs, Angelos is guaranteed a sale price when he does decide to eventually sell the team. That was part of Major League Baseball's efforts to placate him in order to move the Expos to DC. He also gets revenue from the Nats' broadcasting deal. How insane is that?

Don't get me wrong, the Orioles have some young talent -- Adam Jones, Nick Markakis to name a few. However, the team has not had a contender since 1997 when the Orioles were AL East wire-to-wire champs. And what did Angelos do after that season? He fired Davey Johnson, one of the best managers; and let John Miller, the best play-by-play baseball announcer today, leave town.

As the Orioles are on the verge of a 100-game loss season, Mr. Angelos, can you do us all a favor and consider selling the ballclub soon?

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