Angelos calls reporting on Thrift 'irresponsible'

November 03, 1994

Orioles owner Peter Angelos, displeased by The Sun's coverage of the hiring of farm director Syd Thrift, attacked columnist Ken Rosenthal and the newspaper's reporting yesterday, issuing a press release that derided "moronic media malevolence."

Though Angelos never mentioned Rosenthal by name, the owner was referring to a Tuesday column, which criticized Joe Foss, the club's vice chairman of business and finance, for interfering in baseball matters in making the hire and said that some club officials fear "Thrift's train-wreck personality."

Another article in Tuesday's Sun raised the possibility that Thrift, a former major-league general manager, might have ambitions beyond the farm director's job, perhaps threatening the status of GM Roland Hemond and assistant GM Frank Robinson.

Some excerpts from Angelos' two-page, double-spaced press release:

"The recent selection of Syd Thrift as Director of Player Development has given rise to uninformed, unfounded, and, in my judgment, malevolent speculation on the part of certain members of the press as to Mr. Thrift's role in the Orioles organization. To suggest that Mr. Thrift is going to usurp the role of the General Manager or Assistant General Manager is both irresponsible and juvenile. . . .

"I wish to reiterate my frequently expressed confidence in Roland Hemond and to state yet again my great personal regard for him. With Roland and Frank Robinson we have an appropriate and properly structured baseball front office operation which I am certain will serve the Orioles well. . . . It is indeed unfortunate that Mr. Thrift has been subjected to a measure of sniping and character attack by certain irresponsible writers whose commitment to factual discussion and objective analysis are truly suspect. . . .

"How can a responsible newspaper allow one of its so-called columnists, who is nothing more than a character assassin and name caller, to write such vitriolic nonsense, hiding behind unnamed 'club officials' for his cover. . . .

"The brickbats thrown at [Foss] were absolutely misdirected and offensive in the extreme. Those particular comments represent the caterwaulings of an insolent twit whose journalistic fulminations vilify and randomly splatter written bile upon those with whom, in his distorted state of mind, he disagrees."

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