As ‘Next Week’ Wraps Up, Orioles CEO John Angelos Considers Being ‘Very Transparent’ | ANALYSIS

“Next Week” has come and gone, and John Angelos hasn’t sent out an invite.

Whether the Orioles CEO and president really meant “next month,” “next year” or “never” when he said reporters might return to Camden Yards to examine the organization’s finances, it was realized. himself the opportunity to prove his claims that he is “very transparent” and came nowhere close to delivering.

During a Jan. 16 press conference about the Orioles’ $5 million pledge to the CollegeBound Foundation, Angelos vehemently refused to answer a question about his and his family’s future with the team, repeatedly pointing out the fact that it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. as your reason for not responding. Within her five-minute response, Angelos said that she would welcome reporters to Camden Yards “next week” and answer any questions, offering them the opportunity to see the financial situation of the teaman exceptionally rare opportunity when it comes to privateer teams like the Orioles.

“I have been very frank; I am very transparent,” Angelos said. “In fact, I would invite you and all your colleagues next week, not Martin Luther King Day, you can come back to this building. You can meet me in this office. I’ll take you to the third floor and I’ll show you the Orioles’ finances. I’ll show you the Orioles government. I’ll show you everything you want to know, and I’ll put all your questions [to bed]. But today, on MLK Day, I’m not going to answer any of those questions.”

On Thursday afternoon, an Orioles spokesman said there was no word on a possible meeting between John Angelos and reporters this week. When she was asked if she or Angelos could provide an official comment on why not, the spokesperson declined.

Although Angelos said last week that his family owns 70% of the team, the number of Orioles stakeholders extends beyond them and the rest of the team’s associated group, especially as the state continues to invest more and more public funds. to encourage the team to stay. in Baltimore. The question that prompted Angelos’ sermon and offer to return to the stadium did not directly mention the ongoing legal dispute pitting him and his mother, Georgia, against his brother, Louis, over assets belonging to their ailing father, Orioles principal owner Peter Angelos. John Angelos spoke briefly to reporters Thursday as he left Baltimore County Circuit Court following a judge’s ruling that Peter Angelos’s law firm to enter conservatorship, a positive result for John Angelos and his mother. When a WJZ reporter asked John Angelos if the media could expect an invite this week, he laughed.

“I think there will be a lot of great things to talk about about the Orioles in the years to come.” he answered. After a follow-up question about the possibility of an invite, he said, “We’re going to have a lot of good conversations about the Orioles’ impact on the community, and we’re going to continue to do the good things we did in 2022, and [executive vice president and general manager] Mike Elias and his team will continue the good work.”

It always seemed like a long shot that Angelos would take reporters to the B&O Warehouse and “show them the Orioles’ financials,” given that the only teams that release such information are the ones that have to because they’re publicly owned, like the Atlanta Braves and the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball and the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. But that only adds to the strangeness of Angelos himself, spontaneously presenting it as a possibility.

He did so at a time when there is particular interest in how the organization operates beyond his family’s legal battle. The team’s lease with the Maryland Stadium Authority is set to expire at the end of the year, though the Orioles have until Wednesday to exercise a one-time option to extend the deal for five years. Since he first declared in September 2019 that the Orioles would play in Baltimore “as long as Fort McHenry is watching the inner harbor,” he has reiterated that point on several occasions, even after Louis Angelos’s inciting lawsuit that referenced the possibility that his brother could move the team. But the team has yet to formally commit, while the neighboring Ravens agreed this month to a new 15 year lease subtracting five years from the previous one.

Following a season in which the Orioles unexpectedly finished as the best team in the American League to miss the postseason, Elias suggested there would be a “significant” increase in payroll. The number forecast for Baltimore’s opening day is almost 50% higher than last year, but still the second lowest in the majors, according to Cot’s baseball contracts. Of the league’s 30 teams, nine have had a bigger raise since the start of last season than Baltimore’s $21 million, two of them also in the AL East. pressed on Orioles’ December roster, Elias suggested that the team was “above its means” in recent years; Baltimore ranked in the top half of the league on opening day roster in all but one season from 2012 to 2018 and was the American League’s winningest team in those first five years.

A look at the club’s financial reports could show the veracity of that claim and how much flexibility the team has to add to this year’s projection of around $65 million, nearly $100 million below the 2017 season-opening tally. He could also provide information on the length of contract for Elias and manager Brandon Hyde; the team’s plans for the $600 million in public funds would receive from the state to improve Camden Yards by agreeing to a long-term lease; and the ongoing dispute between the Orioles and Washington Nationals over the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, of which John Angelos is also the CEO.

Providing that information would be the real definition of “transparent,” a word Angelos didn’t use for the first time in the Baltimore media last week. In November 2018, when he and Louis introduced Elias as the Orioles’ general manager, the brothers were asked if the press conference was a sign they would have greater visibility among fans and the media in the future.

“I characterize this forum as ‘transparent,’” said John Angelos. “I see this as a conversation that we are all having. Obviously, it’s triggered by the very exciting event of bringing in Mike to be the new GM of the O’s, so it’s a great reason to sit down and have a conversation, but does that mean we’ll be more available? We are living here. We grew up here. We spend our whole lives here. We’re not going anywhere, so we’ll be available, yeah.”

Maybe next week.


Add Comment