The Kickoff

September 30, 2006

Rally allows fans to voice frustration

Thank you for your coverage of the Sept. 21 "Free the Birds" rally. As a lifelong Orioles fan from Virginia, I believe a protest such as this was empowering to O's fans who otherwise feel helpless as the team suffers through yet another losing season.

I was particularly disappointed by the comments of Orioles owner Peter Angelos in a story by Jeff Barker ["O's fans speak - with their feet] on Sept. 22. Faced with a highly visible protest that questions his operation of this ballclub, Angelos decided to place the blame on others - particularly Sun columnist Rick Maese and radio personality Nestor Aparicio when he said, "For [Maese] to incite this fool, this demagogue, I was shocked to see that ... from a respectable newspaper."

Mr. Angelos is a successful attorney, and he gave a lawyer's response by projecting blame on others.

For the record, neither Aparicio nor Maese has the ability to quash trades and free-agent signings, nor does either have the authority to run off successful managers, legendary broadcasters or thousands of once-loyal fans. The only common denominator during these lean times is Mr. Angelos. For him, this appears to be an inconvenient truth.

Alfred Biddlecomb

Fairfax, Va.

Angelos' comments showed his arrogance

After reading the news regarding the most recent exhibition of fan frustration with the Orioles, I was struck once again with the astonishing level of arrogance demonstrated by Peter Angelos. Mr. Angelos seems to believe that his whining and excuses carry weight with fans. They do not.

He claims that anyone supporting such protests just doesn't understand the complexities of running a modern sports franchise, and that the Orioles face some unique challenges. All of this is true. All of this is besides the point! Orioles fans don't really care about such things. They care about winning! They don't need to know the details of trading deadlines and free-agent contracts to determine when a team is broken.

While other teams with lesser financial resources have grown more competitive, the Orioles have become a laughingstock. Is it a coincidence that the Orioles have set a club record for on-field incompetence while owned by Angelos? I think not!

Yet Mr. Angelos continues to offer the same old excuses, the same old assertions of a desire to win and the same old results. The Orioles will never have another golden era until one of two things happen. Either Mr. Angelos sells the team or he learns that he is an attorney, not a baseball executive.

Donald S. Smith


Winning team worth high ticket prices

John Eisenberg wrote in The Sun last Saturday that Orioles owner Peter Angelos thinks it's a benefit that he has kept ticket prices down by not spending big money on big players.

That's ridiculous reasoning. What difference does it make if the ticket is cheap if there is nothing to see?

It's like saying, "Go see the local diva because it's cheaper than going to see Barbra Streisand."

The Yankees and Red Sox don't seem to have any trouble selling tickets despite the high prices.

Alice Anderson


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