Sunday, October 12, 2008

Did It Have To Be This Way...

The other day, I had gone to get an eye exam and I had an interesting conversation with doctor about baseball – specifically, the Baltimore Orioles.

I took part of the day off, decided to dress casual that day and wore a throwback Orioles cap (the one they wore in the late 60’s/early 70’s).

Long story short, the good doctor still follows the team; however, he’s not attended a game up in Baltimore in several years not because of the losing, or the bad teams, but because of solely one reason.

Peter Angelos.

He qipped, “I like the direction the team is going, the trade for Adam Jones, George Sherrill by getting rid of Bedard; that new guy — um, McPhail –he seems to know what he’s doing, but – I will not give Peter Angelos any of my money and I will only go to games again when he dies.”

“Oh, that’s a shame,” I said. “As painful as it is to watch them lose, I just can’t do it. I guess I love baseball too much.”

He says, “I know, but I got tired of his meddling, and the way the team is run.”

I said, “Yeah, I don’t blame you.”

He followed up by saying, “Yeah, I hear he does a lot of good, giving money away and everything — perhaps that should be more important than just baseball; um, but I still won’t go up there (to the Yard).”

I’m always surprised when I hear this. It seems like the community still cares for the Oriole and people still follow it; however, when it comes to opening up their wallets or spending the time and energy to head out to the park, they won’t do it.

Again, I don’t blame people for not going out the Yard. Why should one spend their emotional and financial investment in a product, if it will fail you time and time again?

Well, in the end, the one who is paying the biggest price, aside from the fans is Peter Angelos.

In the end, it won’t matter if he made his money the old-fashioned way – a Horatio Alger story of a man of modest means who becomes a billionaire by working hard, getting an education, a profitable career (I’m not going to argue the merits of it) – who also gives back the community; however, he’ll be known for one thing.

For killing (allegedly) baseball for Oriole fans everywhere.

I’m not going to begrudge a man who has carved out the American dream for himself; however, the hatred of Angelos amongst many just tells you how important sports are in the hearts and minds of people.

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