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Thread: All is not well in Baltimore

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  1. #1
    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    All is not well in Baltimore

    'Free the birds': Orioles fans walk out in protest

    Associated Press

    BALTIMORE -- Nearly a thousand disgruntled Orioles fans walked out of Baltimore's game against Detroit en masse on Thursday, culminating a demonstration aimed at team owner Peter Angelos.

    A majority of the protesters wore black T-shirts that read "FREE THE BIRDS," and many carried signs that had "For Pete's Sake" on one side and "Free the Birds" on the other.

    They filled parts of six sections in the upper deck, then walked out in the middle of the fourth inning at precisely 5:08 p.m. -- in honor of former Oriole stars Brooks Robinson (No. 5) and Cal Ripken (No. 8).

    The group walked in line through the lower deck before departing.

    Baltimore is in the midst of its club-record ninth consecutive losing season, all of them under the leadership of Angelos, who gained control of the franchise in 1993.

    "We are here to show our dissatisfaction with his role, and some of the stupid decisions he has made," said 43-year-old fan Eric Hunter. "We want someone in there who will spend the money to do the things that will bring the fans back."

    Angelos defended the fashion in which he runs the team, which last reached the playoffs in 1997.

    "Whoever joins that protest has no comprehension of what it costs to run a baseball team," Angelos said in a telephone interview from his law office in Baltimore. "When you get down to facts, putting together a team that can compete in the AL East means having a payroll between $100 million-$110 million. That money comes from the consumer, and I have chosen to keep ticket prices to a minimum.

    "Our payroll is $75 million, and our ticket prices average $22. Some of the teams we compete against charge an average of $45," Angelos said. "We're going to have to match the competition. How to do that is a decision I will make in the future."

    The rally was organized by Nestor Aparicio, owner of radio station WNST-AM and the nephew of former Oriole shortstop Luis Aparicio.

    "We have a chance to make a memorable civic statement about how we, as fans, are fed up with the embarrassment that the Orioles have become," Aparicio said.

    "He is a very unimportant person who has delusions of grandeur," Angelos said. "To begin with, to leave in the middle of the game is an abuse of the players who have worked hard and played their hearts out."

    Aparicio spoke beforehand of bringing in between 3,000 fans and 10,000 fans, but the group fell far short of that amount. Still, they made their presence known by chanting and rooting for the Orioles from well before the game started.

    Raymond Burke, 54, wore a dark suit over his black "FREE THE BIRDS" shirt.

    "This is all part of my kids having the experience that I had as a kid coming to the games -- of experiencing the great teams and teams that meant something to the community," he said.

    After the game, Orioles vice president of baseball operations Mike Flanagan said, "They showed a lot of passion and exuberance. They want to win and we want to win. Hopefully, we're headed in that direction in the offseason."
    It will be interesting to see if anything comes of this. Their schedule certainly doesn't help them much.
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  2. #2
    Member paulrichjr's Avatar
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    Re: All is not well in Baltimore

    We think our prior ownership was bad. You can pretty much take whatever Peter Angellos does and do the opposite and have a very good team.

    I'm just very happy that BobC is our owner. He is going to be a great one.
    Tim McCarver: Baseball Quotes
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  3. #3
    Member Wheelhouse's Avatar
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    Re: All is not well in Baltimore

    I can see why they don't like Angelos--his response was charmless and he does seem like an egomaniac. Who is he to determine how important or unimportant a person is?
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: All is not well in Baltimore

    "Whoever joins that protest has no comprehension of what it costs to run a baseball team," Angelos said in a telephone interview from his law office in Baltimore. "When you get down to facts, putting together a team that can compete in the AL East means having a payroll between $100 million-$110 million. That money comes from the consumer, and I have chosen to keep ticket prices to a minimum.
    He had to have consulted John Allen before saying that. I made the quip last year, but this simply reinforces the thought that the Orioles are what the Reds (pre-Cast/K) would look like with a bigger budget. Poorly run organizations flush money, its just a matter of how much money they have to flush.

  5. #5
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: All is not well in Baltimore

    Next they'll want to make out the lineups.

  6. #6
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: All is not well in Baltimore

    Sooooo..... our gamethread took a field trip to Baltimore, eh?
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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  7. #7
    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: All is not well in Baltimore

    I think those fans have spunk. Really. They are refusing to pay for a bad product. I don't think we'd ever see such a thing in Cincinnati, but our six-year losing streak (unless something drastic happens) will be getting close to theirs.

    And I am not so enthusiastic about our ownership and GM as I was earlier in the year. I saw them take a team with a winning record and parlay it into a loser. Regardless of the reasons, that is what happened and that's the bottom line. I also see no proof that it's going to get any better, but they have an off-season to convince me and I hope they do.
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  8. #8
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: All is not well in Baltimore

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan View Post
    I saw them take a team with a winning record and parlay it into a loser. Regardless of the reasons, that is what happened and that's the bottom line.
    I realize you shut the door on any different views with the above, but that is a mighty big leap in logic. The "team with a winning record" was one starting pitcher different from the team on the field the year before, when avoiding 90 losses was an accomplishment. So, to say they tinkered with a machine that was doing just fine is hardly reality.

  9. #9
    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: All is not well in Baltimore

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    I realize you shut the door on any different views with the above, but that is a mighty big leap in logic. The "team with a winning record" was one starting pitcher different from the team on the field the year before, when avoiding 90 losses was an accomplishment. So, to say they tinkered with a machine that was doing just fine is hardly reality.
    No shut door here, but to say I'm mystified at how they went about "improving" the team is the understatement of the year. And I want someone, anyone, to blow a hole in my argument or stand on this. I've said this before and not to beat a dead horse, it started out well and then (all of a sudden) we were getting every retread that ever pitched a ball game in a Reds uniform. That reminded me of the Bowden years. Franklin, Kim, Mays, the list goes on, were brought in to do what pitchers we already had could do and that was give up great numbers of hits and runs. The bullpen was statistically better, but the guys we already had improved also, so determining the effect of that should be left to Cyclone or someone who has time to figure it. Anyway the result if obvious.

    And I agree this team needed some tinkering and yes, only one starting pitcher was different, but the result will apparently be the same, no matter how much tinkering was done (hopefully not, btw). I guess the best thing to do is give it a couple of years and then judge. I just wish Robert and Wayne had done that with field management (at least a year), but adoration of Krivsky and Castillini (I can't spell his name, I know) is a little much right now.
    www.ris-news.com
    "You only have to bat a thousand in two things; flying and heart transplants. Everything else you can go 4-for-5."
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  10. #10
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: All is not well in Baltimore

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan View Post
    No shut door here, but to say I'm mystified at how they went about "improving" the team is the understatement of the year. And I want someone, anyone, to blow a hole in my argument or stand on this. I've said this before and not to beat a dead horse, it started out well and then (all of a sudden) we were getting every retread that ever pitched a ball game in a Reds uniform. That reminded me of the Bowden years. Franklin, Kim, Mays, the list goes on, were brought in to do what pitchers we already had could do and that was give up great numbers of hits and runs. The bullpen was statistically better, but the guys we already had improved also, so determining the effect of that should be left to Cyclone or someone who has time to figure it. Anyway the result if obvious.

    And I agree this team needed some tinkering and yes, only one starting pitcher was different, but the result will apparently be the same, no matter how much tinkering was done (hopefully not, btw). I guess the best thing to do is give it a couple of years and then judge. I just wish Robert and Wayne had done that with field management (at least a year), but adoration of Krivsky and Castillini (I can't spell his name, I know) is a little much right now.
    "Started out well" is the key point. The team had a great April, the rest of the season was more of the same because it was the same. The results were predictable, although we all hoped upon hope the team would be the one to overcome the odds. In the end, they have not and the minor moves that were made had mixed results.

    Now, this offseason will tell us much, as I hope a major overhaul will take place.

  11. #11
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: All is not well in Baltimore

    "If you build it they will come."
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  12. #12
    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: All is not well in Baltimore

    Reminds me of when Lions fans protested during last years game (where the Bengals clinched the division in Detroit) by wearing Bengals gear and cheering for them.

    Matt Millen still doesn't get it. Hopefully for Orioles' fans...Peter Angellos will
    Last edited by Matt700wlw; 09-22-2006 at 04:31 PM.

  13. #13
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: All is not well in Baltimore

    Sounds like Angelos went to the John Allen School of Customer Relations, i.e. "those darn customers, they just need to give us their money and shut up, they can be so annoying".

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  14. #14
    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: All is not well in Baltimore

    At least we know where John Allen can always find a job!
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  15. #15
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: All is not well in Baltimore

    The "this is more of the same" group is certinally entitled to their opinion that this ragime is no better than the Schott, Linder, Allen, Bowden, OBrian, etc etc group that has been around. Kriv has made some squirly moves and we didn't finish in the playoffs. There are areas/decisions that certinally are worthy of critisim.

    To me, however, 8 months into the first season, with no previous offseason, is too early to make such a sweeping statement. I'll be interested to see how they handel this offseason. If it's another few months of total inactivity as in the past, then I'd be more inclined to think that things are amiss.

    Positive signs for the future?
    Restarted Redsfest
    Changes in fan promotions
    Better operations at GABP
    Open lines of communication with ownership (example: recient "town hall meeting")
    Being willing to DFA deadwood (maybe not soon enough)
    Having the guts to make deals to adress issues (results are far more important than intentions, but I like that Wayne isn't afraid to make a move)
    Dealing with off-field personell in a professional manner (compare how they handled Steve Stewart vs Tony Perez).
    Having ex-Reds at spring training
    Defined progression of pitchers (ie Homer) and thinking long-term instead of short

    This is just a list off the top of my head. Some of these things are big deals, others minor. But I see these as major differences with past ragimes
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    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate


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