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Saturday Bird Droppings: Angelos and Elias do pointless radio hit

The prospect accolades keep piling up, the O’s profile rises in Latin America, and the infield conundrum.

Baltimore Orioles Introduce Mike Elias - News Conference Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

It turns out that rich people are not entirely immune to shame. John Angelos, the Baltimore Orioles “control person” and the son of majority owner Peter, emerged from his Monday press conference looking like a jerk. Clearly, there was a decision made in the warehouse that some damage control needed to be done. And so, Angelos and general manager Mike Elias did a segment on 105.7 The Fan to seemingly answer the burning questions, except they didn’t do that.

Per this Baltimore Sun account of the segment, nothing interesting was said. Angelos wasn’t asked any follow-up on the question (RE: the Angelos family’s future with the Orioles) that ruffled his feathers earlier in the week. Nor was the promised date to show the “financials” of the Orioles mentioned at all.

Angelos did say that payroll would increase “if we collectively as a community can get people coming back downtown.” At the same time, he referenced the Brewers, Rays, and Guardians, teams with low payrolls and acceptable on-field performance, as organizations to emulate. That feels like some serious cognitive dissonance at work if you are telling your customers that they should pay more to watch your product even though you aren’t necessarily planning on spending more on the product in the first place.

The bar for what you expect from a team owner in a media appearance is essentially on the floor. But I dare say this failed to clear even that. Angelos not directly addressing the potential sale of the Orioles is the proverbial elephant in the room. We aren’t actually expecting specifics in this format, but say something, even if it’s lip service. Show us that you understand the plight of the fanbase.

And the willingness of The Fan to give room for a soft interview like this is rather befuddling as well. They aren’t the flagship station for the team anymore, and won’t be for at least another five years. There is nothing to lose other than “access,” which no journalistic outfit in Baltimore seems to have anyway when it comes to this tight-lipped organization. If Angelos didn’t want to answer tough questions then he didn’t need to be on. Talk to Elias about the prospects and roster construction instead.


Here’s where O’s have seen tremendous growth |
The Orioles are officially relevant in Latin America. They are far from dominating the space, and the fruits of their efforts won’t see the big leagues for several years still. But these past few years have been a step in the right direction.

2023 Prospects: The Top 101 | Baseball Prospectus
Another list that fawns over the Orioles farm system. If things go according to plan in 2023, these lists should feature far fewer baby birds next year. Gunnar Henderson, Grayson Rodriguez, and DL Hall are all likely to make the Opening Day roster and see their prospect status expire shortly thereafter. It’s assumed that Colton Cowser and at least one of the infielders will join them sometime mid-season.

Leftovers for breakfast | Roch Kubatko
Roch has a note in here about Ramón Urías suiting up for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic this year. Included is the mention that Mexico’s GM is none other than Rodrigo López, a former big league pitcher that started Opening Day for the Orioles three times (2003, 05-06) in his career.

Here are the Top 10 2B prospects for 2023 | MLB Pipeline
Connor Norby had quite the ascent last year, playing at three different levels. He spent just nine games at Triple-A, and even though he crushed it (14-for-39, four home runs), you would assume the O’s want him to get a bit more seasoning before a big league debut. But it will be fascinating to see how the Orioles juggle him, Joey Ortiz, and Jordan Westburg this year. It’s impossible for all of them to stick around, so if the team is still sniffing the playoffs by late July then one is likely to be dealt.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Keith Shepherd turns 55. He pitched in 13 games for the 1996 Orioles.
  • Bob Reynolds is 76 years old. His stay in Baltimore lasted four seasons from 1972-75, during which time he tossed 196 total innings over 106 appearances on the bump.
  • The late Johnny Oates (b. 1946, d. 2004) was born on this day. He was a catcher for the Orioles from 1970-72 and then returned to the organization as a coach from 1989-91 and then served as the team’s manager from 1991-94. He was a 2010 inductee to the Orioles’ Hall of Fame.
  • A posthumous celebration for Sam Mele (b. 1922, d. 2017). He spent half of the 1954 season in Baltimore before the O’s waived him.

This day in O’s history

1987 - Former O’s outfielder Gary Roenicke signs on with the Atlanta Braves, where he will spend the final two years of his big league career.