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Monday Bird Droppings: John Angelos speaks to the press

Orioles CEO John Angelos met with the press yesterday. It probably didn’t go as well as he hoped.

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

Happy Monday, Camden Chatters! It’s Presidents’ Day, which means that many of you are off work today. Thanks for checking in with us when you’re not at the office! Spring training is still gearing up to full speed, but there was some news out of Ed Smith Stadium because John Angelos, chairman and CEO of the Orioles, met with the press for some time.

I read accounts of the interview at the Baltimore Sun, The Baltimore Banner, and The Athletic, and I’ll embed the full video below so you can easily watch it all if you have 37 minutes to spare.

I will say that if you’re only going to read one of the linked stories above, I recommend Dan Connolly’s in The Athletic. The saltiness is off the charts. I love it.

It’s from Connolly’s story that I pulled the quotes below, though he includes many more.

On the status of the Orioles signing a long-term lease for Camden Yards, Angelos assured the reporters that he hopes to have a deal signed by the All-Star break but definitely plans to have it done this year. He reiterated that the Orioles are in Baltimore for the long haul, which is really only news if you are prone to panic about that. He further stated that the Angelos family does not intend to sell its majority stake in the team. Connolly did point out that they own more than 70% of the team so could sell quite a bit and remain in charge.

Angelos reiterated that he wants to focus on the improvement of the Camden Yards area to help revitalize the city, and I get that but don’t personally see why that means the lease has to take so long to get renewed.

If you’re wondering about the contract length for Mike Elias and Brandon Hyde, Angelos didn’t tip his hand on that. He did say: “I will tell you guys this: I’m here for the long haul. Mike is here for the long haul. Brandon is here for the long haul. We are all fully vested, We’re not going anywhere, and nobody is a short-timer, (no contracts are) expiring in a year or two years or anything like that.”

I don’t personally need to know the contract length for those guys, none of us does. But it’s weird that it’s so hush-hush when that hasn’t been the case in the past.

Now, on to what I really care about: payroll. This section of discussion from Angelos was frustrating to me because just like, spend more money already! What are you even doing? Well, this is what Angelos says he is doing.

First, here is this totally icky quote: “It was also we were fortunate that, as the world hit a pandemic, we were stripped down to that full. I mean, that was just good luck, really, in that sense that to not have a lot of payroll out there.”

Wow, dude.

But how about going forward?

“We’re probably not gonna have, nor is any middle- or small-market team, payroll of the Mets or the Dodgers or even the Red Sox, or certainly the Yankees. But that’s not an Orioles thing. That’s a small- and middle-market team in this economic system.”

This is a fair quote in a vacuum, but the reality is that the Orioles have a payroll that is almost dead last in the majors. There is a ton of room between where they are and the Mets.

Angelos also stated that it’s more important to him to use resources to invest in the team through non-payroll avenues, or as he put it “long-term capital investments.” Which, sure. But I certainly believe you can do both. Then there was this infuriating bit::

“Could payroll be double or triple what it is, or could it be over $100 million? Yeah. But we’re not there yet. We have a very young team that’s overachieved and overperformed because of the great work of our baseball folks. It’s not my job to predict payroll. My job is to make sure that the community partnerships are sustained. I think all of it comes after that. Right? First I have to do the concerts. Then we have to do the (public-private partnership). … But you are asking me to look three, four or five years ahead. All of those scenarios are possible.”

Concerts? Public-Private Partnership? YOU OWN A BASEBALL TEAM! Do you know what would be really freaking good for the community? IF THE BASEBALL TEAM WERE A WINNER.

Also, it’s not your job to worry about the payroll? Whose job is it, then? Who is directing this team stay so cheap?

The part about the overachieving team is also frustrating because to me it reads like the team got here earlier than you expected and you weren’t ready to spend the money yet. Or it reads like you don’t expect that what they did is sustainable. Neither of those things is acceptable, in my opinion, to be coming from someone in Angelos’s position.

There are a number of other quotes going around from this interview that could be analyzed, but I’ll leave it at that. You could also watch the video below and let us know what jumps out at you. If I could give John Angelos just one piece of advice, it would be this: stop talking. Just stop talking! I know people complain when he doesn’t give many public comments, but this is really a lot worse.

Links that aren’t about John Angelos

Orioles’ DL Hall, Tyler Wells focused on winning crowded rotation race: ‘I enjoy the doubt’ – Baltimore Sun
A look at two of the contenders for this year's starting rotation. DL Hall loves the haters and wants to prove them wrong. I hope he does!

It's a game of inches for basestealers this season - MASN Sports
Steve Melewski notes that he saw an estimate that base stealing could be up 25% with the change in rules and base sizes this year. Jorge Mateo just got a lot more valuable, and he was already awesome. Now just to figure out how to get all these guys playing time.

Orioles' Rule 5 pick Andrew Politi impresses at Spring Training -
Early injuries to the pitching staff could mean good things for Andrew Politi. Still, I'm gonna go ahead and process with caution on how impressive he has looked less than a week into spring training.

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have just two Orioles birthday buddies, Julio Borbon and Jim Wilson. Borbon turns 37 years old today and he played in six games for the 2016 Orioles, his final six games in the majors.

Jim Wilson (b. 1922, d. 1986) had a 12-season major league career that included 41 games from 1955-56. Wilson was an All Star for the Orioles in 1955 despite leading the league in losses with 18.

On this day in 2016, the Orioles announced that they had signed pitcher Yovani Gallardo to a three-year contract. It was later reduced to two years thanks to revelations in his physical. He only ended up playing for the Orioles for one poor season before being traded to the Mariners for Seth Smith.