There are now 102 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2024.
Unless there is a last-minute reversal, we have finally arrived at Orioles Lease-mas Eve. Tomorrow is the day where first the Maryland Stadium Authority executive board and then the Maryland Board of Public Works will have to formally approve the second version of the agreed-upon lease that settles the Orioles in Camden Yards for hopefully at least another 30 years.
As you know if you’ve been reading this space, I was increasingly skeptical that anything would actually get figured out before the current lease officially expires at the end of this month. Foot-dragging that seems like it was largely due to the behavior of John Angelos made everything take this long, and once that first version of the deal was blown up before it could even be publicly announced, I wondered if it would be so easy to find an alternate plan.
Staring down the deadline, the negotiators picked back up and made the necessary adjustments to leave Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson satisfied. His concern was the 99-year ground lease to some adjacent state-owned land in the first deal.
The one that will be voted on tomorrow does not have the real estate development issue settled - there is a four-year period to continue negotiating about that, and any arrangement will have to be approved by a panel of state lawmakers, so there’s no question of the land being given away without some legislative oversight of any subsequent agreement.
Whether Angelos can come up with something to satisfy that panel is something that, given how these lease negotiations went, will probably still be getting figured out late in 2027. That’s a long time from now! Most of the current roster will have hit free agency by then. Even Mike Elias might be gone, depending on how things go. I’ll be glad when this wave of lease drama is officially done with.
Around the blogO’sphere
What’s in the new proposed lease and development deal for the Orioles (The Baltimore Banner)
One way to sum up the lease proposal that’s on its way towards votes for its approval is that the sides have agreed on a 15-year lease while punting the question of development of nearby real estate for up to four years. If the development is figured out, it’s a guaranteed 30.
Opening Day roster projection: Craig Kimbrel addition alters pitching outlook (The Baltimore Sun)
It’s not too early to start thinking about who’s going to pitch for the Orioles next year. It’s been on my mind for two months and it’s going to be on my mind until the season gets rolling.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 2013, the Orioles were reported to have reached an agreement on a two-year, $15 million contract for reliever Grant Balfour. A few days later, the Orioles physical made an appearance and the deal was called off. Subsequent results by Balfour strongly suggest that the physical’s negative judgment about a two-year contract was correct.
There are a number of former Orioles who have a birthday today. They are: 2021 reliever Fernando Abad, 2012 three-gamer Stu Pomeranz, 2008 infielder Alex Cintrón, and 1958-66 infielder Jerry Adair. Also born on this day was longtime Orioles coach and short-time Orioles manager Cal Ripken Sr.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Novelist Ford Madox Ford (1873), Finnish sniper Simo “The White Death” Häyhä (1905), actor Eugene Levy (1946), director Rian Johnson (1973), and actress Milla Jovovich (1975).
On this day in history...
In 497 BC, Rome celebrated the Saturnalia festival for the first time. Centuries later, some of is traditions began to be adapted for Christmas.
In 1777 AD, France became the first country to recognize the new United States in a formal capacity.
In 1819, the independence of the short-lived Gran Colombia was proclaimed by Simón Bolívar. Though Bolívar’s unified dream did not survive him, the present day countries of Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador can all trace their independence from colonial Spain to this declaration.
In 1903, the Wright Brothers made the first flight of an airplane. Across four total flights, the longest distance flown was 852 feet, after which the plane was wrecked and never flew again, but history was made nonetheless.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 17. Have a safe Sunday.