Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Ex Lion Tamer

Negotiations with Peter Angelos are continuing. Jayson Stark has a run-down of what he's supposedly being offered.
  • Baseball is willing to guarantee that the Orioles will earn a still-to-be-negotiated minimum in annual revenues. If their revenues fall below that figure, MLB would make up the difference.
  • Baseball also is willing to guarantee a minimum franchise value for the Orioles. So if Angelos attempts to sell the team and can't find a buyer willing to pay that amount, MLB also would make up that difference.

    Beyond those measures, baseball will help establish a new regional sports network in the Baltimore-Washington area that would enable the Orioles to continue to televise games in Washington and its Virginia suburbs.

  • Let's go backwards:

    I love the regional sports network idea. I wouldn't call myself an Orioles fan, but I would call myself a baseball fan. The more games I have to choose from, the better. Plus, I wouldn't want to lose the pleasure of hearing Buck Martinez; he sounds like the noise I'd imagine a gut-punched drunk clown would make.

    Minimum franchise value?
    Hey, if Angelos sells, we all win. Washingtonians, Baltimoreans, mammals, everyone.

    Minimum annual revenues - there's a bad idea. I always figured that there were two ways Angelos could respond to baseball in the capital. He could recognize that there was some competition and actually try to make the Orioles competitive, or he could grab an excuse to cry poor and stop trying. It sounds like MLB is trying to give him an incentive to do the latter. He could field an O's team starring a washed-up catcher with bad knees and one last shot at glory, a wild pitcher just out of the California Penal League, and a superstitious slugger with concerns that his bats are afraid of curveballs. They could lose 100 games, and he'd still turn a tidy profit. It'd be 2001 all over again ("Come see CAL RIPKEN and a bunch of AAA no-hopers! Orioles Magic!").

    Anyway, it seems like a very sweet deal for a very undeserving man. Reports are that the announcement is made Thursday (33 years to the day after the last Nats game), so he'd better take it while it's still there.

    A couple other things you should check out:
    • Neil deMause of Field of Schemes takes a look at DC's finance plan over on Baseball Prospectus. 80% public, 20% private.
    • The mayor has started making the case. I like that he's making a big deal out of free tickets for inner-city children. The next time you hear someone complain about the plan, just say "Why do you hate inner-city children?!" Say it loud.
    • The Brewers got sold. You don't care, of course, and neither do I, except that the article points out that approval of a new owner usually takes 6-12 months. That ain't good news.
    • The William World News has a whole lot more.
    We should start hearing leaks and whatnot tomorrow. If we don't hear that Angelos has caved, I might start to get a little worried. If I may quote Wire, stay glued to your TV sets.

    UPDATE: Cub reporter Hal Bodley files a report confirming the Thursday (or Wednesday!) announcement and containing this tidbit:
    Two baseball executives told USA TODAY on Tuesday that Selig will make his announcement even if an agreement with Angelos isn't complete.
    It's up to you, Pete. You can come out of this a rich(er) man or you can hope some BS nuisance lawsuits achieve the impossible.

    1 comment:

    Bijan C. Bayne said...

    I wouldn't worry about the 6-12 months it usually takes the MLB Nostra to approve a new member. The Brew Crew isn't relocating, nor are they refurbishing a ballpark- the owners don't have that time luxury in D.C.'s case.

    After dragging their feet on this issue, steroid testing, labor issues, and race in the front office, some courageous (new)members of the House and Senate should really take MLB to task on their anti-trust exemption.

    BCB