Baltimore Orioles: Franchise in flux?

The Baltimore Orioles are getting out of Boston and headed for Detroit – and that’s a good thing after this weekend. The best thing that probably could have happened to the Birds was a rainout today. Not because they got beaten in three consecutive games at Fenway, but because it’ll give them a chance to regroup and gather their thoughts. There’s a lot of season to go.

Over the weekend Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (formerly of The Baltimore Sun) published an article which detailed some recent upheaval in the Orioles’ front office. And the report seemed to detail the fact that the Orioles are and/or will be very much in flux following this season.

The biggest piece of news in the article (which is linked above to Rosenthal’s name – although you’ll need a subscription to read the whole thing) is that owner Peter Angelos has apparently decreased his role with the team of late, and his sons John and Lou Angelos have taken a much larger role. This is a move that was indubitably made due to Peter Angelos’ advancing age. He’ll be 89 on the Fourth of July.

According to Rosenthal, Angelos has never been less involved in his 25 years or so of stewardship of the franchise. Again according to Rosenthal, Brady Anderson and Buck Showalter have also been taking more of an interest in the Front Office aspect of the franchise, minimizing GM Dan Duquette and his influence. And this apparently has Duquette not feeling comfortable.

Honestly I can’t blame anyone for being upset others are encroaching on his responsibilities. Both Duquette and Showalter’s contracts are up at the end of the season. (Along with multiple player contracts, which is another story.) I would believe that Duquette can read the writing on the wall, and is aware of the fact that odds are against him being here next season. So where does that leave the front office?

The answer to that lies somewhere with John and Lou Angelos. Rosenthal’s article spins the sons taking over in general in what I feel is a somewhat negative light. Basically they’re unproven, and nobody knows what they’re getting. That said, were the same questions there surrounding the Steinbrenner boys? The fact is that the Angelos boys have had increasing roles over the past few years. So they’re hardly going into this cold.

I suspect that Duquette will be gone after the season. If Showalter wants to continue managing, I would hope that the Angelos’ would say that the job is his. Maybe they sign him to a two or three-year extension of some sort – again, if he wants it. And perhaps Anderson moves into a co-GM role with Showalter. Coaches are GM’s in other sports, the great Vince Lombardi being a great example. So why not here?

Or perhaps Anderson is out of the picture, and Buck takes that role on his own. Or perhaps Buck retires. One way or the other, there are scenarios out there which involve all kinds of ends. Perhaps all three of them (Duquette, Anderson, and Showalter) are back in their current roles, or perhaps they’re all three gone. It’s really tough to say right now, but again the decision lies with John and Lou Angelos. Interesting times in which we live for sure.


    1. Be careful what you wish for. It used to be that any businessman with business savoir-fair could put down money and buy a team. But that’s increasingly harder and harder. It seems that more and more big corporations are the ones buying teams. That or out-of-town businesspeople – if the Orioles ceased to have local ownership there would be no guarantee of them staying in Baltimore in perpetuity. Thanks for reading!


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