Family feud over ownership overshadows Orioles’ on-court game

They have one of the game’s bright youngsters in Adley Rutschman and a bullpen that’s been surprisingly strong, but the Baltimore Orioles are much more interesting off the field thanks to a family feud involving the sons of Peter Angelos.

So now I wonder not only what might have happened if Buck Showalter had remembered in the 2016 American League wild card game that Zach Britton was on his team; It also reminds me of how nearly flipped baseball history had Jeffrey Loria bought the Orioles in 1993.

The Orioles were one of the game’s flagship franchises, playing in a ballpark that every other baseball team tried to emulate and with an owner who, if you were a baseball fan, seemed on the “right side” of the game. pretty much everything, including baseball’s often bitter labor disputes.

But Angelos, an attorney who made his money representing workers in asbestos class action lawsuits and leading Maryland’s lawsuit against tobacco companies, faces the ravages of old age, and like the Baltimore Sun reported last week his son Louis Angelos is suing older brother John over what he sees as John’s attempt to gain control and ownership of the Angelos’ and Orioles’ real estate.

John Angelos is the President and CEO of the Orioles and has been the family face of the franchise since Peter Angelos, now 92, began to suffer from heart issues in 2017…the year after the Blue Jays de Toronto beat the Orioles in the above. game at the Rogers Centre, sending the franchise into a spiral from which it has not recovered.

As part of the lawsuit, the youngest of the Angelos sons suggests that his older brother unilaterally killed several offers to buy the team – hinting that John Angelos could even move the team to Nashville.

Now, no one is buying that much, but given that the state of Maryland is willing to commit $1.2 billion to upgrade Camden Yards and the nearby home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens — and considering the Orioles will have need significant investment in their training team over the next couple of years if this rebuild gains momentum – it must certainly add to a sense of worry for a moribund franchise since Showalter lost its Inventor Of The Game calling card ® somewhere between the visitor dugout at the Rogers Center and the Ubaldo Jimenez trail — not Britton — came out of the Orioles bullpen in the 11th inning.

Soon, he would serve a three-run homer to Edwin Encarnacion and unleash all sorts of baseball hell on the Orioles.

Loria, remember, made an aggressive bid for the Orioles when they came up for sale at a bankruptcy court auction in 1993, eventually relenting after 16 rounds of bidding in which the price sales reached $173 million. The auction was ordered after Orioles owner financier Eli Jacobs was forced to file for bankruptcy less than five years after buying the team for $70 million from the estate of Edward Bennett Williams.

Originally, three groups were vying for the team: Angelos, William DeWitt, Jr. and Loria, the lifelong New York Yankees fan and art dealer. But just before the auction started, DeWitt — whose offer to buy the team on his own from Jacobs was killed when Jacobs asked for Chapter 11 — merged his group with Angelos’.

Loria was graceful in defeat, according to the New York Times, even though he implied that he was “tied up”. Of course, he would eventually become general managing partner of the Montreal Expos and after exhausting his local partners with money calls, would end up owning the Florida Marlins in a game of ownership musical chairs that saw John Henry go from owner of the Marlins to own the Boston Red Sox while Major League Baseball took over the operation of the Expos before moving the team to Washington, where they became the Nationals. Everyone ended up winning at least one World Series out of the deal, except, of course, for the Expos fans who ended up with nada.

At the time, the price paid by the Angelos Group shattered an MLB franchise record selling price of $67 million. To put the sale into context, at this point the record buy for any professional team was the $140 million Jerry Jones paid for the Dallas Cowboys — and Texas Stadium — in 1989.

It’s another off-court headache for commissioner Rob Manfred, who has still been unable to fight the regional television rights payment feud between the Orioles and the Washington Nationals – themselves. for sale – and is still awaiting clarification on new stadiums for the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays amid a broader economic downturn.

HIT AND RUN

• I loved how Detroit Tigers manager AJ Hinch talked about the Blue Jays’ George Springer, who established himself as the first hitter with the Houston Astros when they were under Hinch’s management, even though some considered him a midfielder. command bat. “People always talk about a middle-order bat, but he (Springer) is a middle-order bat that hits the start,” Hinch told us on Blair and Barker.

“He’s treated like a middle of the bat order. I saw Nathan Eovaldi throw a first pitch splitter at him; I saw Chris Sale throw a slider at him on the first pitch of the game. I saw Trevor Bauer and Shane Bieber throw first-pitch sliders at him to start the playoffs. I don’t think people appreciate the angst and anxiety that comes with the first pitch of a game….

• Is Robbie Ray about to embark on another renaissance? We will see. Ray, who made mechanical and mental adjustments last season en route to winning the American League’s Cy Young Award with the Blue Jays, had his first scoreless outing of the year on Sunday for his new team, the Mariners. Seattle, with three hits and four strikeouts. seven innings while extensively using a two-seam fastball, he says he hasn’t pitched since 2016.

Ray has been a disappointment since signing a five-year, $115 million free agent deal and said he made the switch midway through a start against the Astros. On Sunday, he threw his two-seam pitch (lead) 48% of the time and his four-seam pitch 29% of the time, after throwing the latter pitch 48% of the time in his first 11 starts.

“I feel like the game has a four to five year adjustment period,” Ray told MLB.com. “I feel like it was maybe five, six years ago where it was the end of the lead era. Guys started throwing balls four seams at the top of the zone and now we’re seeing guys getting the upper hand on 101-102 mph fastballs at the top of the zone. Maybe guys will start working again at the bottom.

• It’s well known that the only reason Tony La Russa manages in the majors is because of his friendship with Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, whose best-before date as owner nearly deteriorated as quickly as La Russa’s “Use Before”. ” appointment as a manager.

Stick around for as long as Reinsdorf and you can almost convince yourself to do something like a dude in the late 70s to manage your skilled team of out-of-the-box thinking.

Any normal owner would seek to make La Russa the third managerial candidate to be fired this season – along with Joe Girardi and Joe Maddon – after watching his side go 0-5-3 in their last eight home series and hearing paying customers sing for his shot as they were this weekend. But you just don’t know with Reinsdorf.

• Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum induction ceremonies in St. Marys, Ont. will take place next weekend, and Philadelphia Phillies manager Rob Thomson – inducted in 2019 – will undoubtedly be a topic of conversation and perhaps even a strange toast in his honor.

The Thomson Phillies were beaten 13-1 by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, finishing eight unbeaten spots behind Thomson since replacing Girardi. Thomson, a native of Sarnia, Ont., is the third coach in MLB history to win each of his first eight games, joining Joe Morgan of the Boston Red Sox in 1988 (winner of his first 12 games as a coach) and Pat Moran of the 1915 Phillies.

The last Canadian to manage an MLB club on an interim or full-time basis was George “Mooney” Gibson, who managed for seven years – six with the Pittsburgh Pirates around a stint with the Chicago Cubs. The London native’s last year of management was 1934.

• More Canadiana: Alex Anthopoulos’ Atlanta Braves beat the Pirates 5-3 on Sunday for their 11th straight win and are just 5½ games behind the National League-leading New York Mets from the East, shaving off five more games. deficit during the sequence.

The Braves had their worst 10½ games of the season on June 1 and are trying to erase their biggest division-era deficit. The 1993 Braves had 10 games to play on July 22 before winning the division title on the final day of the season. It took 104 wins that season to beat the San Francisco Giants, with both teams playing in National League West.

THE END OF THE GAME

It was good of the Blue Jays to call top prospect Gabriel Moreno this weekend, which sets up a fun scenario in this four-game series against Baltimore at Rogers Center as the Orioles carry the rookie receiver Rutschman, the game’s best prospect heading into the season.

We had a chance to speak to Hinch before Moreno made his debut this weekend at Comerica Park, and asked Hinch – a former third-round pick as a catcher – what he was looking for in a young net. of security. “I’m more interested in seeing him interact with his pitchers, as opposed to watching the boxscore,” Hinch said, ahead of a series in which Moreno would go 1 for 7 and earn plaudits for the way he worked with Kevin Gausman and Ross Stripling in consecutive starts.

“Building confidence is the most important thing (for a young receiver) but he will be judged on his hits. What Charlie (Montoyo, the Blue Jays manager) wants and what the fans want may be different things.

From my perspective, all I want from Moreno is good defense, call play and tall framing and some weird attacking contribution.

I’m not worried about how the team handles things once Danny Jansen is back. If Moreno can play and Alejandro Kirk keeps hitting and Jansen picks up where he left off… that’s a really good setup. At the end of the line ? If the Jays play their cards right, they’re put at receiver profitably for the better part of a decade.

Jeff Blairs hosts Blair & Barker starting at 10 a.m. ET on Sportsnet 590/The Fan and Sportsnet 360. He and Barker also host Blue Jays Talk after Jays games.

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