01/23/2006: Maybe they're just returning to their roots?
Over at The Hardball Times today, Maury Brown (head of SABR's Business of Baseball committee, and proprietor of the awe-inspiring Business of Baseball website) makes an excellent case that Angelos Must Go. That's Peter Angelos, owner of the Baltimore Orioles, that he's referring to. While the article's a damn fine read, this graphic pretty neatly summarizes the argument:
Pretty much declining attendance since 1997 (though there's a slight uptick in attendance since 2003). And of course it's no coincidence that 1997 was the last time the Orioles had a winning season.
But a sense of historical perspective is in order. Remember that, prior to 1954, this is the team that was the St. Louis Browns: "First in booze, first in shoes, and last in the American League". A team that won the American League pennant only once (in 1944, when they faced their stadium sharing NL rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, in a World Series that the Cardinals won, 4 games to 2). A team that was known to throw a champagne celebration in the locker room when they won their 55th game in a season (the significance of that being, under the old 154 game schedule, that it became mathematically impossible for the Browns to lose 100 games that season).
Is Angelos mismanaging the Orioles? Or is he just paying homage to the great historical tradition of the franchise? You make the call....
Len on 01.23.06 @ 08:14 AM CST