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Friday Bird Droppings: Where Orioles ownership is in turmoil

Lou Angelos is suing his brother and mother over the operation of the club, according to a new report, and the details aren’t pretty.

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Baltimore Orioles Introduce Mike Elias - News Conference
Lou Angelos does not seem to be in a smiling mood anymore.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Welp, it was nice not having to think about Orioles’ ownership for a while.

For an Orioles franchise that was once plagued by ownership meddling — with majority owner Peter Angelos infamously overruling his baseball people for years on end, usually to the detriment of the team — things had almost seemed to stabilize since his sons became the de facto faces of the club. With their father in failing health, John and Lou took over team operations, making their first high-profile decision by hiring Mike Elias as the Orioles’ general manager in November 2018. Since then, the duo had largely stayed out of the spotlight and let Elias do his thing, and all seemed fine in Birdland.

Until yesterday, that is. According to a report by The Baltimore Banner, there’s actually all sorts of chaos behind the scenes, to the point that Lou Angelos is filing a lawsuit against his brother and their mother, Georgia. Check out the article for all the ugly details, but the lawsuit essentially alleges that John Angelos has attempted to wrest sole power of the Orioles, disregarding their father’s intentions for the brothers to control the team equally. The lawsuit cites specific instances of John making unilateral decisions such as nixing a plan to sell the team and firing longtime Oriole Brady Anderson from his front office role.

I’m not a legal scholar. I don’t know where this lawsuit is going to lead or how much merit it has, nor how this could affect the Orioles going forward. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that when the chairman and CEO of the club is being sued by his own brother over the operations of the team, the front office environment is probably not the best.

We can only hope that whatever turmoil is going on at the top won’t trickle down to the Orioles’ on-field performance. It’s hard enough to build a winning team even with a healthy, functioning ownership. The Orioles’ can’t afford to make the job even more difficult for themselves because of front-office bickering.

Links

Family reunion coming for Nevins’ family; Voth ready to pitch for Orioles; Report: Louis Angelos sues brother, mother - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Former National Austin Voth is happy to join the Orioles because, among other things, “it was a close drive.” That’s fair. Who doesn’t like a short commute?

Myriad Orioles Thoughts: Tyler Nevin’s call, radio hits road, Toronto dilemma - The Athletic
For the first time all season, Orioles radio broadcasters will be traveling to road games...but only because Camden Yards will be occupied by the Paul McCartney concert. How about because it’s the sensible thing to do? No?

Wall ball: The homers are becoming more plentiful at Camden Yards - Steve Melewski
Somewhere, Trey Mancini is reading this headline and slowly shaking his head.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Five former Orioles were born on this day, including Camden Chat’s 14th greatest Oriole of all time, Ken Singleton, who turns 75. Singleton spent a decade in Baltimore and was an integral part of the O’s lineup, posting a .388 OBP in his Orioles career and finishing as the AL MVP runner-up in 1979 after a 35-homer, 111-RBI season. He won a World Series with the Birds in 1983, his last season as a regular.

Others with June 10 birthdays include 2021 one-game reliever Jay Flaa (30), 2006 reliever Julio Manon (49), and the late 1957-58 lefty Ken Lehman (b. 1928, d. 2010). And let’s not forget 1961 catcher Hank Foiles, who turns 93 today. A very special happy birthday to him.

On this day in 1959, the Orioles were the victims of a historic night by Cleveland’s Rocky Colavito, who crushed four home runs in one game against them. Colavito’s heroics guided his team to an 11-8 win over the Birds at Memorial Stadium. He was one of only six players in American League history to homer four times in a game.

Speaking of homering four times, Orioles utility man Jeff Manto homered in his fourth consecutive at-bat — albeit split between three games — on this date in 1995. Manto followed up multi-homer games on June 8 and 9 by homering in his first plate appearance against the Angels’ Mike Bielecki in an eventual 6-2 O’s win.

And on this date in 2005, for the first time in MLB history, three members of the 500-home run club appeared in the same game, as the Orioles’ Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa took on the Reds’ Ken Griffey Jr. For good measure, Griffey homered in the game, though the Orioles still won, 5-4.