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Brady's Bunch

 

I love Sam Zell, owner of the Tribune, guardian of my career.

Direct. Funny. Articulate in his own way.

Born to Jewish immigrant parents who fled Poland before the Nazi invasion. Worked his way to the top.

Blah, blah, blah.

That's the sound of an employee with lips to boss's cheeks. Doesn't sound much different than former Oriole Brady Anderson's defense of Peter Angelos in yesterday's Baltimore Sun.

Anderson, major league heartthrob and one of the rocks on which the 1996-97 playoff teams were built, took exception to a recent Sports Illustrated piece that named Angelos the worst owner in baseball.

"He is the son of Greek immigrants who came to America with little more than their aspirations for a better life," wrote Anderson, as if that has anything to do with fielding a franchise with a record of 11 consecutive losing seasons.

What a head scratcher. If Anderson is mad at SI, why is he writing to The Sun? That's like complaining about a bad Domino's pizza to Papa John.  

But the weirdness goes beyond the forum he chose.

First of all, it's somewhat comical that Anderson rushed to the defense of a millionaire lawyer. Like Peter G. Angelos needs help. Quite frankly, if I needed help, I'd be praying for Angelos to ride to my defense.

Second, there's some of Anderson's questionable arguments. Sure the owner has the right to stock his club with anyone he wishes, and if he wishes to load up with with minor-league characters and stand-up guys like Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa and Miguel Tejada, that's his business. Just don't expect fans to show up.

Yes, unlike mean owners, he allows us to bring our own soft drinks and snacks into the ballpark. But most of us would rather have a 20-game winner and blowtorch closer.

And please don't give credit to Angelos for Camden Yards. He took over in August 1993, more than a year after the ballpark opened. (By all means, however, give thanks for not having a field named Enron or Hooters).

Debating the Davey Johnson "firing" or "resignation" is like picking sides in a squirting contest between two skunks. Everyone's gonna smell bad when it's over. Curiously, Anderson seems to have forgotten what Angelos said at the time: "The timing [of Johnson's resignation] might not be accidental."

It's also curious -- or not -- that while discussing labor relations, Anderson did not mention one Jon Miller, best broadcaster to call Orioles games, who was uninvited by the Angelistas. Huge loss.

Aside No. 1: As a union member, I'm very appreciative of Angelos's strong commitment over the years to organized labor.

Aside No. 2: I'm amused by the fact that SI knocked Angelos for "burning through ... five managers," but placed "Boss" Steinbrenner and family on the best owner list. How many employees did the Boss humiliate and fire? He picked on Yogi Berra, for chrissakes. 

Finally, there's the issue of $41 million. That's about what Angelos, the owner, paid Anderson, the employee, from 1993 until 2001. (Anderson was on the roster from 1988 on, but Edward Bennett Williams and Eli Jacobs paid the tab). That buys a lot of loyalty. I'd be a lot more impressed if fired managers Phil Regan or Ray Miller penned the defense.

Zell, who acquired my rights two years ago, pays me considerably less. But just to be on the safe side, I repaid him with today's compliments.

That's how it works, right? 

Comments

Don't mess with Brady.

no comment, i'm dumber for reading this. see, i didn't even mean to comment lol.

how many games did jon miller win for the o's? have you listened to him lately with joe morgan on ESPN. makes my ears bleed. also, can you name a mangaing job that davey johnson wasn't fired from? where has this genius been the last 10 years in major league baseball.

Thank you Candus. I am glad that someone said it! I could hear the sucking sound on my computer as I read the article. To pick out one or two good things that PA has done over 15 years is comical. Even a blind mice finds a piece of cheese now and then.

I'm sure Brady has a bias, but the point is basically the same: the criticism of Angelos is outdated. Naming him the worst baseball owner of 2009 is like naming the iPod the best gadget of 2009 -- you really need to live in the now.

I was as big a critic of Angelos as you could be during the "let's sign David Segui to a four-year contract" period, but that period is over. Not sure what else PA could have done over the last 2-3 years to prove it.

Hrm... You raise very good points. I did not think of Brady's arguements in this light...

That being said, I think Brady wanted to make sure we didn't think Angelos a bad person. I'm sure Angelos is a great person. I still think he made more than questionable decisions as an owner though...

Maybe I'm looking through orange-colored glasses at Brady's response though...

w is for Whatever

The reason Oriole Park is not named Enron Field is because the MSA paid Angelos, with taxpayer dollars, not to sell the corporate naming rights after the O's took the MSA to court.

"Second, there's some of Anderson's questionable arguments. Sure the owner has the right to stock his club with anyone he wishes, and if he wishes to load up with with minor-league characters and stand-up guys like Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa and Miguel Tejada, that's his business. Just don't expect fans to show up."
Don't you think it's possible that Mr. Angelos had no clue of the baggage of these three players? Mr. Sosa of course had the corked bat incident and we can speculate all day about him using Performance Enhancing Drugs but it's never been proven. As far as Miggy and Palmeiro, they WERE the reasons that I wanted to watch the O's even when they were crap. Maybe I was in the dark about them but maybe Mr. Angelos was too. He's not in the dugouts with these guys everyday. I am not a supporter of Angelos's era by any means but you can't fault him for signing two of the best hitters in our team's history if their dirty secrets were just that.

Oh now, there's no need to question Brady's sincerity (he no longer works for Peter Angelos), but as you pointed out, his take on Mr. Angelos' accomplishments is selective and at times inaccurate.

I think Mr. Angelos deserves credit for hiring Andy MacPhail and doing a so-far so-good job in re-building the club through the farm system. However, the reason the club needs re-building is that it was nearly destroyed with Peter Angelos at the helm. He chose to throw conventionality out the window in terms of how a major league baseball franchise is run and play by his own rules with only disastrous results to show for it. Had Mr. Angelos left the team in the hands of competent baseball professionals after the Davey Johnson "Era", he wouldn't be seen in such a bad light.

I think that the success of the ALCS seasons of 1996-1997 seasons went to his head. Here he was, a Baltimore native who kept their remaining big league franchise in town, who just a few years into his ownership had a packed stadium and a championship-level team. Trouble was, he never swung a bat or threw a pitch, so his contribution to this success was not as big as perhaps he imagined.

CT responds:
1) The outside of Nationals Park IS a Soviet throwback, but the inside is nice (love the video board and the view of the Capitol). Plus, the wide-open concourse means you can get a beer and continue watching the game.
2) Davey Johnson update: He managed the US baseball team to a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics and an injury-depleted USA team to the semi-finals at the WBC this year.
3) Jon Miller still sounds great on the radio, which is where he belongs. Part of being a fan, IMHO, is being able to listen to the game on a summer evening on the back porch or while sitting on the beach. In those settings, Miller remains king.
4) Peter Angelos is a great lawyer because he does his homework before he gets to court and asks tough questions. Smart man. But like the rest of the MLB owners and Commissioner Bud Selig, he turned a blind eye to the "power surge" as long as it produced crowd-pleasing home runs. (BTW, I loved the fact that Anderson stole 34 consecutive bases in 1995 more than his 50 dingers a year later, a feat he never came close to replicating.)

Well said...Bravo!...Hey Brady, how many Rings has Angelos won with all those great moves he made? Brady Anderson, whose baseball legacy is, and will always be swinging at a pitch out of the strike zone for the last out with Cal Ripken in the on deck circle.

Have to respond to the guy with the bleeding ears when listening to Jon Miller on Sunday Night Baseball.
No way were you an O's fan when Miller was our radio guy, because he is HANDS DOWN the best BEST baseball play by play guy of his era. Unlike most announcers these days, Miller actually informs you of the count, the score, the game situations, etc. throughout the game instead of just at the beginning and end of an inning. Not only that, he does it while keeping you entertained.
Sunday Night Baseball is not where he is at his best, because it isn't RADIO. Using an argument that Miller is a bad color commentator, therefore he is a bad radio announcer is like saying Michael Jordan was a horrible basketball player because he isn't a good owner. Miller is a radio announcer who does one tv game a week.
Bring back Miller in 2011!!!!!

"What a head scratcher. If Anderson is mad at SI, why is he writing to The Sun? That's like complaining about a bad Domino's pizza to Papa John. "

It's more like complaining about a bad Domino's pizza to a Lunchable cracker with ketchup on it.

Brady Anderson not only hit 50 HR's in a season but he is also the reigning 'Butt Dart Champion'

Jason is spot on. Absurd to criticize Angelos for acquiring Palmeiro and Tejada. What kind of reporting is this?? Even the Segui signing wasn't bad at the time - he had become a power hitter to go along with the high average, and as a switch hitter, would have greatly enhanced the lineup had he stayed healthy. If Angelos is criticized for all the personnel moves that look bad in retrospect, how about his nixing of the Brian Roberts trade a couple years back?? Opinion here is that PA has been made a popular and convenient target for so long its grown tiresome. Conventional wisdom an oxymoron. Go Brady

Baltimore is a whiny town anyway.

I'm just glad that I have a team to root for, good, bad or otherwise.

The Sun sheds good writers like King George did managers...this is what we're left with.

I thought Brady gave up steroids? If so, he must be on something else.
Defending the veto of the Bobby Bo trade? The beginning of the end. That carpet bagger Bonilla went Free Agent at the end of the year anyway and all we got was Pat Gillick's resignation.

Jon Miller is the biggest bore in sports broadcasting. Angelos should get a medal for getting rid of him. I turn the sound down when watching games he broadcasts.

"First of all, it's somewhat comical that Anderson rushed to the defense of a millionaire lawyer. Like Peter G. Angelos needs help."

Why? Because he's rich? Either way, it's a silly thing to say. Obviously Angelos needs a lot of help when it comes to public opinion. Also, Tejada, in particular, was seen as a GREAT character guy.

I gotta say, this whole analysis kind of stunk.

Angelos can sell the naming rights. He has chosen not to.
http://law.marquette.edu/cgi-bin/site.pl?2130&pageID=3460

Geez! Dated arguments, dated thoughts! He was only defending PA, which I don't have a problem with. I guess it was only a matter of time before a tired, Sun columnist forced these old arguments upon us again. Please, let's move on to some ORIGINAL opinions!! Yawn...

Brady's analysis focused appropriately on the criteria used by SI in determining that PA is the worst owner. The comments about PA's background and character were not needed as part of the analysis, but still added to the assessment. Writing to the Sun makes sense to me, as that's where most Baltimore fans are going to be able to see the comments, rather than in SI. CT's "analysis," however, is what has me scratching my head. For example, perhaps PA did ignore the inflated HR stats "like the rest of the MLB owners and Commissioner Bud Selig." So how does that make him WORSE that the rest of the owners? And who here didn't approve of the Tejada and Palmeiro signings at the time? Yes, Sosa was a stretch, but it was low risk and filled a need at the time.
A couple other things Brady failed to mention in his defense, was PA's steadfast refusal to allow owners to consider playing with replacement players during the strike of 1994. Without that, we might have seen Cal's streak come to an end because of the strike. Also, PA staunchly opposed any team moving to DC, and acquiesced only after ensuring that the O's and Baltimore benefitted from the deal.
Has PA made some bad moves over the years? Of course. But which owner hasn't? As Brady said, if the SI article had been written three years ago, it might be hard to defend including PA among the worst. But look at his body of work, and what he's done to turn around this team the last couple years.

Looks like friends of Mr. Angelos are lining themselves up to rehabilitate his image just as the Yankees have rehabilitated Mr. Steinbrenner's. Winning will cure all of whatever grudges folks have against Mr. Angelos.

Angelos is reforming by abstaining-- he doesn't have much to do with the club these days, by his own admission. I've said for years that the O's would never win another World Series with Angelos at the helm, but maybe we'll be lucky enough to sneak one in while he's napping.

I love your outdoors articles but on this topic you are a fish out of water. Compared to Jacobs or EBW Angelos is a decent enough owner. Rather than being a reactionary blowhard he really is too loyal to his staff, even when they obviously are overmatched at their position. How else do you explain Mike Flannagan and Syd Thrift making bad decision after bad decision yet retaining their jobs? He also came to this team at a particularly difficult time, with the entire economic structure of his team in danger from outside forces. In a way, Angelos was correct. Baltimore and Washington will not both be able to support their own teams with the high attendance numbers required to compete with the big boys. We all experienced first hand what a horrible owner can do to a team when Robert Irsay would charge out of his owner's box at Memorial Stadium, slurring his words and stumbling about as news cameras rolled. Peter Angelos isn't 1/10 the rat that Irsay was and unlike Robert Irsay Peter Angelos still has a little time left to try to write a happy final chapter to the story of his ownership.

Yes, I'm very glad he signed Andy McPhail and appears to be leaving him alone. However, that doesn't forgive the bungling that took place for years before A.P.'s hiring. Nobody mentioned Angelos placing his sons, who knew nothing about baseball, in high positions in the organization, and all the damage they caused. How about the fact that the O's spring training facility(s) in Florida are so bad that some teams refuse to play there! Mussina, if he had been offered a reasonable contract before being placed in a position to shop himself, most likely would have stayed here. The list goes on and on.

i thought brady shed some light on things i had sided with the media on, it seems now that the only thing PA really did was not defend himself against the crap i just read. good for brady.

I'm no fan of PA, butI thought journalists were supposed to be impartial. Of course this is the Sun Paper (or should it be called Slanted Paper?) This is what the Sun keeps and lays off writers like Rick Maese and David Steele? Go cover a fish tournament or something, Ms Thomson.

Much as Steinbrenner learned how to be a better owner, so has Angelos. He definitely made many maddening decisions over the past decade plus, and his ego sure seems to have driven him to get involved where he shouldn't. Most often, it didn't work out -- although in at least one case (voiding the Brian Roberts - Adam LaRoche trade) he made a better decision than most baseball "experts" would have. I do believe that Anderson has some valid points about Angelos being a true Baltimorean -- let's not forget what it was like to have a TRULY bad owner (Irsay). I agree with the poster who said (effectively) let's judge based on 2009, not the past. The Birds are heading in the right direction, and Angelos should get credit for that.

Well Brady-They bought one of the premier franchises in the game and killed it. It's just that simple.

No championship in twenty five years and counting. Nuff said.

Regarding Brady's column of June 2, it is expected that many fans will be in a great deal of disagreement. In spite of some potential for medium-term improvement, the simple fact is the Orioles are playing in what may be their 12th consecutive losing season. Outside of the Pirates, currently there is no franchise the Orioles can match for continuous futility over the last decade.

In reality, there exist a number of issues that Mr. Angelos failed to address over this time which has led to the estrangement of many Oriole fans. At the very least, it has kept them home and, incidentally, paved the way for much of the town to be distracted by Raven's mini-camps in April and May. Brady points out that Davey Johnson left. He doesn't explain why Johnson left. Anderson claims it had to do with Alomar. One could very easily infer that Angelos simply didn't want to be in a position to have to re-negotiate Johnson's (low) salary ($775,000). Worse, however, are the managers hired by Angelos since (Miller, Hargrove, Mazzilli, Perlozzo, Trembley). With the exception of Mike Hargrove, not one manager had a proven major league track record, and the results were not surprising. Separately, there was no good reason for allowing a world-class announcer (Jon Miller) to leave. Again, the fact that he claims Miller was not being enough of "a homer" was just another case of his ego getting in the way of sound business acumen. We're talking about a Hall of Fame announcer here. While this cannot have any bearing on the standings, it certainly is reminiscent of overall front-office shortcomings. What about more recent issues? Is Angelos not responsible for endangering the health of the players when there are problems with the spring training workout fields that a decent landscape company could address? It's no wonder the franchise can't attract top flight free-agents!

Brady talks about the price of the Oriole tickets, that they are below the average M.L. ticket price. Well, hello--they should be when you haven't had a decent season in over a decade. If Angelos is consistently in the upper half of payroll (without a winning season) then I guess it's the fault of his GMs. Who hires the GMs? Syd Thrift was a failure. The Beattie/Flanagan tandem proved the old adage that more really is less.

In short, Angelos, if not the worst owner in baseball, is among the worst. For years I have believed he is similar to George Steinbrenner...without the wins.


No championship in twenty five years and counting. Nuff said.

This is probably the weakest analysis I've ever seen on the Sun's pages.

1) Why write to the Sun? That is pretty obvious- he is defending Peter Angelos in front of the hometown crowd that has been highly critical of him over the years. While Baltimore readers would be interested enough in this to merit the Sun publishing Brady's piece, I doubt SI would have. And it is clear Brady was looking to make his argument to the public, not directly to the writers. It's stupid that you even chose to question this, even leading your "analysis" with it.

2) Why did Anderson come to Angelos' defense? Well it's obvious PA needs some positive PR, and the opinion of a former player who presumably knows more than fans or sportswriters about how PA was as an owner should have some weight. I don't think it is as easily dismissed as you attempt to in your own feeble way.

3) Stocking up with Sosa, Palmeiro and Tejada? Excuse me but show me a single Baltimore Sun opinion piece that was negative about the decision to pick up Palmeiro and Tejada at the time. Fans and sportswriters were HUGELY in favor of both moves, and while opinion was mixed on Sosa he was essentially free so I can't blame giving it a shot. If you are going to criticize decisions based on 20/20 hindsight, perhaps we should say that drafting Adam Loewen was also stupid because he eventually got injured. Anyone with half a brain knows that you judge decision-making in uncertain environments by process and not just outcome.

Because I don't think this posting is worth my time I won't enumerate the many other weaknesses in the analysis, except to say that reading it actually made me find Anderson's original article MORE compelling. (if that is the best that can be put up against it)

The bottom line is that anyone who would blast Angelos is the way Thompson and the minority of comments above would has a very narrow memory. Narrow because they choose not to consider either the past three years of positive momentum, or the 1984-1997 stretch. Does "Rick" remember the last place 1986 season or the 0-21 start in 1988 when he says PA took a premier franchise and "killed it". Does he understand that the Orioles have gone to the post-season as often in 15 years under Peter Angelos as they did in the 15 years before him, and in a much more competitive division? So I suppose if you choose not to think of the years before Angelos rescued the team from Eli Jacobs, or the first five years he owned it, or the last three years of growth with MacPhail as GM, you might conclude that Angelos has been unsuccessful as manager. The trouble is that by those standards a lot have teams have been unsuccessful.

I am sick of people piling on Angelos, especially people who can't match the force of their words with any kind of reasoned argument. The guy is loyal to Baltimore and wants to give fans a winner, and unlike the previous ownership he's willing to invest to do that. He made some poor decisions- mainly related to retaining Syd Thrift as GM- but does not deserve the mob style lynchings he has frequently gotten from Baltimore sports fans, much less from a writer with the Sun.

Although Baltimore fans are frustrated with the Orioles over the past 11 years, I think that the majority of the fans know that Peter Angelos wants to win and has tried to do some good things over the years as Brady points out. After all, Peter is from Baltimore, has been a life-long Oriole fan, and has given us a local ownership. Unlike Williams and Jacobs, we don't worry that he is going to move the team year-after-year. He did help stop the 1994 player strike, sign some good free agents, and gave us a couple of playoff years.

However, everyone must realize that on a national scale - most baseball fans think Peter stinks. That is why he is ranked as the worst owner in MLB. He is thought of as an owner that thinks he knows how to be a General Manager. He is the Daniel Snyder of MLB. He has tried to be another Steinbrenner but with less success. While his fans and former players here can defend him all they want, it will be very difficult to change his reputation throughout the rest of the country.

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