The Oriole Way
Peter Angelos, the Baltimore Orioles owner, has no idea what that means. It is a term every baseball fan in Charm City is well aware of, and a methodology that Angelos has seemed bent on destroying since he bought the ball club in 1993.
The Oriole Way had been very successful before he bought the club. For over three decades, from the 1960's to the 1980's, the Orioles had the highest winning percentage in all of sports, and the winningest team in all of baseball. They won six American League Pennants and three World Series over that time.
The first, and so far only, right move Angelos made to benefit the ball club in a positive manner occurred in 2007 when he hired Andy MacPhail as the teams General Manager and President of Baseball Operations.
MacPhail, a veteran baseball man, had oversaw the Minnesota Twins to two World Series titles when he was the teams General Manager from 1985 to 1994. He was named The Sporting News Major League Baseball Executive of the Year in 1991. He then left to join the Chicago Cubs, staying with them until 2006, but was unable to duplicate his previous successes.
His joining the Orioles is almost like a homecoming for him. His dad is former American League President Lee MacPhail, who is actually the man who started The Oriole Way as General Manager of the team until 1965. The American League Championship Most Valuable Player Award is named after him, and he is the oldest living member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Andy's grandfather is Larry MacPhail, the man who brought Major League Baseball innovations like night baseball, broadcasting regular season games, and teams flying from city to city to play baseball. He was even a racetrack president in Bowie, Maryland. Larry and Lee are the only father and son inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Andy has been following the similar blueprint of his father. The team is chock full of young talent that is very raw and attempting to learn on the fly. Though the team is losing more than it is winning at present time, most baseball experts agree the team has the talent to contend in a few years.
Cal Ripken Jr. is more than Major League Baseball's Iron Man, having played the most consecutive games in the history of all professional sports, he is also a Orioles Hall of Famer who truly knows what The Oriole Way means in every sense.
Not only did he stay with the franchise for over twenty years, his father spent 36 years with the team and his younger brother spent over seven years with them. Cal Ripken Sr. was once a manager of the Orioles, and both of his sons played under him. This is the only time that this has ever occurred in Major League Baseball history.
Since retiring as a player, the Ripken sons have been have served as ambassadors to baseball across the globe and bought a minor league baseball team close to Baltimore that is within the Orioles system. He has kept a keen interest on his beloved Orioles, and is trying to help develop players to bring the organization championships again.
He recently approached Angelos to offer his services to talk to some of the young Orioles stars, hoping to offer a mentorship in hopes to "finish off their development." He did not ask for a specific role, he only wanted to do what he was taught in The Oriole Way. To give back.
Angelos, widely considered the worst owner in Major League Baseball and one of the worst in all of professional sports, flatly refused the generous offer from a legend trying to help a team that has lost ten of the 11 games they have played this season thus far.
His reason was as moronic as his legacy of ownership. He did not want Ripken to receive any credit once the team became successful. What Angelos did yet again was put his ego ahead of his team or the Orioles fans who help keep his team from going under by paying money seeing a product not being afforded every opportunity possible to win.
Orioles fans since the 1990's have been pleading for Angelos to sell the team to someone who actually cares about the team, but the lawyer refuses to listen to his clients. Though he refutes the claim as to the reason why he turned away Ripken Jr., most fans believe the initial reports because the mans ego has caused the team to fall on hard times pretty much upon his arrival as owner.
Former Orioles owners like Jerold Hoffberger and Edward Bennett Williams never would have turned away perhaps the most famous Oriole of them all. They would welcome the wisdom of team legends to keep The Oriole Way strong.
With men like Ripken Jr., Jim Palmer, Frank and Brooks Robinson, Eddie Murray and others still alive, it would only be a move of intelligent design to ask these Hall of Famers to give back to the team whatever they desire. An intelligence Peter Angelos has never had, and the reason the Orioles will never be anything as long as he is associated with them.
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