The owner of the Orioles is already talking about not being able to sign young stars long-term
Photo credit:© Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis3 months ago
The Baltimore Orioles have been the talk of baseball this year — sometimes for good, sometimes not.
On one hand, the O’s are the most exciting young team in baseball. Led by the likes of Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, and Kyle Bradish, Baltimore has the best record in the American League following a commanding sweep of the Oakland A’s over the weekend.
On the other hand, there’s John P. Angelos, the son of the team’s 94-year-old owner. Angelos, who oversees the day-to-day business operations of the Orioles, has been in the news multiple times this year for all the wrong reasons.
Earlier this month, Angelos was at the centre of controversy when the Orioles suspended a team broadcaster for pointing out that the team had a poor record against the Tampa Bay Rays while they were tanking between 2017 and 2021. Back in January, he got into a spat with local media about the Orioles’ quiet off-season and offered to show the organization’s financials, which never happened.
In an article published by the New York Times on Monday, Angelos said that the small-market Orioles will need to raise prices in order to be able to afford to keep their young star players around long-term.
“I don’t think you should run losses,” Angelos said. “I think you should live within your means and within your market.”The Orioles’ $70 million payroll this season ranks 28th of the 30 teams. It is largely a function of the players’ lack of service time, which limits their earning power in the peculiar economy of baseball. Angelos has a lot of qualms with that system: “The hardest thing to do in sports is be a small-market team in baseball and be competitive, because everything is stacked against you — everything,” he said. And he conceded that it might not be feasible for his popular young core to be career Orioles like Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer and Cal Ripken Jr.Without major changes, he sees only one way the team could retain all of its young stars.“We’re going to have to raise the prices here — dramatically,” he said.
This is an awful thing for fans to hear from team ownership as their contention window is just opening up.
The O’s slashed their payroll and bottomed out with seasons that saw them lose 115 games in 2018, 108 games in 2019, and 110 games in 2021 and they’re now seeing the fruits of that labour with the young talent they were able to acquire through the draft.
To essentially tell fans that they’d better enjoy these guys while they can or prepare to pony up more cash so the team can afford them is a huge insult to those who stuck through those horrible seasons.
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