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Friday Bird Droppings: Still waiting on the Orioles to sign the lease

It’s been weeks since the O’s falsely declared that they’d signed a new lease for Camden Yards, and they’ve yet to do so for real.

SPORTS-BBA-RUIZ-COLUMN-BZ Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Remember Sept. 28? It was just a few weeks ago, and it seemed — at the time — like one of the most exciting days in recent Orioles history. Not only did the Orioles defeat the Red Sox to clinch the AL East for the first time since 2014, but during the game, the O’s announced to the Camden Yards crowd that the team had signed a 30-year lease to remain at Camden Yards, with club CEO John Angelos and Governor Wes Moore on hand to celebrate. Life was good.

Well, in hindsight, that night wasn’t as amazing as it first appeared. Clinching the division was fun and all, but didn’t help the Orioles win any playoff games. And it also turned out that the Orioles’ announcement about signing the lease was, uh, not exactly accurate. They’d merely signed a “memorandum of understanding,” a non-binding document that outlines components of the team’s plans but puts nothing into official action.

It’s not clear whether the MOU has led to any substantive progress toward signing the actual lease. As detailed by the Baltimore Sun, state lawmakers sent out congratulatory messages and plaudits that night but it’s basically been crickets ever since. Perhaps the sides are working furiously behind the scenes to get a new deal done before the current lease expires at the end of this year. Or perhaps they’re still far apart on some key issues and there’s no agreement in sight.

It’s going to be embarrassing when the deadline passes with no deal, and the Orioles show up at the ballpark next Opening Day to find the doors locked and the gates chained up. (That’s how it works, right? That’s totally how it works.)

Don’t worry. The Orioles will be playing baseball in Baltimore, and at Camden Yards, next year and beyond. But with every passing day that the process drags on with no new lease, O’s fans have to wonder what, exactly, the holdup is.


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