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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Another unwelcome distraction for the Orioles

Managing partner John Angelos again riled up O’s fans with his controversial comments about the club’s payroll.

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

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Welp, time to reset the “___ Days Since Orioles Ownership Caused a Huge Firestorm” counter to zero.

Just two weeks after the O’s were lambasted by the media and fans for their ill-considered suspension of MASN’s Kevin Brown, managing partner John Angelos invited yet more criticism for his comments about the Orioles’ payroll in a New York Times article yesterday.

Mark Brown discussed the many troubling statements in the Angelos interview. Among them was Angelos’s vow to “review the internal processes” that led to the Kevin Brown suspension, a statement that might make some fans think of the hot dog guy meme. But what struck the biggest chord with O’s fans was Angelos’s bleak perspective about the Orioles’ ability — or lack thereof — to retain the homegrown stars that have boosted the club’s ascension to the best record in the American League. Angelos, citing the Birds’ small market, “conceded that it might not be feasible for his popular young core to be career Orioles” unless the O’s “raise the prices here — dramatically.”

For an Orioles team that’s at the top of the baseball world right now, this hits like a punch to the jugular. As O’s fans bask in watching the otherworldly talents of Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, Grayson Rodriguez, and other prospects on the way, they understandably don’t want to hear the owner of the club admit that the Orioles likely aren’t going to re-sign these key players when they hit free agency.

Mike Elias and his brain trust have done a tremendous job of building an elite talent pipeline in the organization that has begun reaping dividends in a huge way. Fans expect ownership to do its part in contributing to the long-term success of the organization, be it by raising payroll to a competitive level, shelling out for key free agents, or inking their drafted-and-developed stud players to extensions. Based on Angelos’s comments, fans have reason to doubt that any of those things will occur anytime soon.

It’s a bummer that these deflating off-field distractions keep shifting focus away from the awesome product on the field right now. The Orioles are in the middle of one of their most exciting seasons in a long time, and long-suffering Birds fans deserve to enjoy every minute of it. They shouldn’t have to watch every Gunnar Henderson highlight with the bittersweet feeling that he’s guaranteed to be gone as soon as he gets expensive.

I suppose that’s a problem for six years from now. For the moment, let’s just keep enjoying the Orioles’ thrilling 2023 season, which resumes tonight with the start of a three-game divisional showdown against the Blue Jays in Baltimore.


This, that and the other - School of Roch
The O’s could be facing a pitching roster crunch with John Means, Danny Coulombe, and (to a lesser extent) Austin Voth on the mend, DL Hall primed for a call-up, and Tyler Wells hanging around in the minors. It’s times like these I miss the days when you could just call up as many players as you wanted in September.

Birdland Insider: The Rise of the Closer: Félix Bautista | Baltimore Orioles
I think that blowup against the Astros a couple weeks ago probably cost Félix Bautista any chance at a Cy Young award, but I’ll gladly settle for him being the most dominant closer in baseball.

Minor Monday: Silas Ardoin hopes to become 2nd Oriole in the family -
The first Ardoin on the Orioles was of course Silas’s dad Danny, a player who I definitely remember and could definitely have told you played for the Orioles, why do you ask?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! It’s the birthday of three former Orioles: lefties Randy Wolf (47) and Steve Kline (51) and the late outfielder Angelo Dagres (b. 1934, d. 2017), whose entire MLB career was eight games for the 1955 Birds.

On this day in 1966, the Orioles’ Andy Etchebarren made the most important catch of his career, and it didn’t happen on the field. At an off day pool party, Etchebarren saved Frank Robinson’s life, pulling out the drowning O’s outfielder after he fell into the deep end. Etchebarren recounted the incident in an interview with The Athletic in 2019.

In 2006, Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis crushed three home runs in one game, becoming the first rookie in O’s history to accomplish the feat. All three blasts were solo homers, and all came against the same pitcher, Twins starter Carlos Silva, who also coughed up shots to Brian Roberts and Corey Patterson in the Orioles’ 6-3 win.

And on this date in 2007, the Orioles suffered their infamous 30-3 loss to the Rangers. Feel free to read my retrospective of the travesty that I wrote on the 10-year anniversary, but otherwise I have nothing more to say about that.

Random Orioles game of the day

On Aug. 22, 1972, the Orioles were on the wrong end of one of Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan’s 61 career shutouts, losing to the Angels in Baltimore, 2-0. That was the 25-year-old Ryan’s breakout season in the majors after five years of swingman duty with the Mets. In typical Nolan Ryan fashion, he struck out a ton of batters (11) and also walked a ton (six, plus a HBP). He ended up leading the league in both categories that year. Dave McNally was the hard-luck loser for the Orioles, giving up two runs in eight innings.