Shame On The Orioles, Shame On Peter Angelos

Posted Friday December 6, 2013 at 10:49:23 pm in Real Sports

The Orioles just announced that they will be raising season ticket prices by 5%. 

Let that settle in for a second. OK, on the surface this isn't such a big deal. It's the first increase since 2008. And honestly the team prior to 2012 and 2013 couldn't raise season ticket prices without looking like a bigger joke than they already were.

But the timing of this announcement makes me feel that the Orioles PR staff were dropped on their collective heads at birth. Here's a rundown:

Team Salary (2011-2013)

  • In 2011: $88.2 million
  • In 2012: $84.8 million
  • In 2013: $92.2 million

Source: Baseball Prospectus

According to FanGraphs, MLB teams will receive an additional $25 million more a year due to new MLB TV contracts.

Brian Roberts contract is no longer on the books, so that saves the team $10 million/year.

Before even factoring in the Jim Johnson trade, the Orioles have an additional $35 million that they could (SHOULD!) spend.

Now, as well all know, Jim Johnson (and his $10 million salary) was recently traded to the Oakland Athletics for essentially a bag of balls (Jemile Weeks and the wonderful Player To Be Named Later).

So, Brian Roberts ($10 million), Jim Johnson ($10 million) gone.

New TV deal money ($25 million) in.

That's a total of $45 million extra available money. Now, this doesn't count the salary increases from arbitration or the recent signings/walks...but that's a very large number.

All of that said, over the last 2 weeks, it has been a very, very busy Hot Stove for MLB.

With all that said, the Orioles have signed/claimed/traded:

  • Signed Kelvin De La Cruz (LHP) to one year contract (relief pitcher)
  • Signed Edgmer Escalona to one year contract (relief pitcher)
  • Claimed Cord Phelps (INF) from Indians 
  • Signed Steve Pearce (OF) to one year contract
  • Signed Nolan Reimold to one year contract
  • Traded Jim Johnson to Oakland for Jemile Weeks and a PTBNL
  • Signed Ryan Webb (RHP) to 2 year contract ($4.5 million) (relief pitcher)

And they're working on signing Francisco Peguero

FWIW, it was even confirmed by Dan Duquette that they didn't even make a formal offer to McLouth or Feldman. Now, this could be seen as a GOOD thing, if they're indeed in on Choo, Garza, etc. But I doubt it.

In case you're wondering, their 40 man roster is nearly full. Granted they can cut some loose weight, and trade some players (Matusz, Patton I'm looking at you)..but it's nearly full.

So, a bunch of relief pitchers, traded their closer for an infielder, and a few OF'ers with not much ability.

In the midst of ALL of this, the Orioles have decided to announce that they're raising season ticket prices.

Here's a hint O's PR staff. How about you announce a SIGNIFICANT signing before screwing your most loyal fans? 

I've been a season ticket holder since 2007. And right now this is a huge misstep by the O's PR department. 

Aside from extending your own stars (Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, etc.) over the years, does anyone have ANY confidence that Peter Angelos will actually open his pocket book? Especially with an extra $45 million available?

In case you need any more reason not to have a lick of confidence in Peter Angelos, here are the "BIG" free agent signings over the last 10 years:

If there are others that I'm missing, let me know. But in the grand scheme of things, the Orioles just don't sign high dollar free agents. Especially not for long contracts (aside from Miguel Tejada). And especially not starting pitchers.

I want to remain hopeful that there is some chance in hell that the Orioles do the right thing and sign a Matt Garza type as well as Shin-Soo Choo (who has a career OBP of 389).

But I just can't see it happening.

We don't have to be the Yankees and spend out the wazoo. But we aren't the Tampa Bay Rays. We can carry a $90-$100 million payroll. And some would argue we should be carrying a $120 million payroll.

Unfortunately Peter Angelos is handcuffing Dan Duquette. 

And the O's PR department is driving the dagger in deeper.

Shame on you, Peter Angelos.

Shame on you, Orioles.

The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer’s view