Monday, January 28, 2008

What's the big holdup in the Seattle/Baltimore trade?

ESPN’s Jayson Stark is reporting that the big holdup in the Seattle/Baltimore trade is none other than O’s owner Peter G. Angelos.


If this is true, Orioles fans should report immediately to the Warehouse with sticks and torches.

Andy MacPhail accepted the Orioles’ top baseball job last summer with the assurance that Angelos - famous for his habit of vetoing trades - would butt out. Angelos’s name wasn’t mentioned when MacPhail dealt Miguel Tejada last month. But then, it’s possible Angelos was ready to dump Miggy, his attitude and his steroid cloud. But it is rumored that Angelos veto a trade to the Cubs.

The Bedard deal is ready to go - the M’s are even saying it’s already happened. But Stark writes that his sources tell him Angelos still needs to bless every deal and that the owner won’t be able to give it a good look until tomorrow.

The only - and I mean the only - hope that Orioles fans have allowed themselves in recent years was the hope that Angelos had finally seen the error of his ways. We hoped that Angelos could look at the long list of ex-Baltimore baseball people — Larry Luccino, Frank Wren, Pat Gillick … hell, even Theo Epstein was an intern here — and ask himself if, y’know, maybe he might be the problem.

Back in 1996, when the Birds had a good-but-not-great team, GM Gillick attempted to trade David Wells and Bobby Bonilla for prospects. Angelos vetoed the deals and the Orioles won the wild card. Since then, Angelos has appeared convinced that he’s the Smartest Baseball Man in America.

Well, he ain’t. For 10 straight seasons, the O’s have stunk.

But fans were given to believe that, after all these years, Angelos now finally understands that he needs to leave the baseball stuff to the right guys. If it turns out that Angelos vetoes the Bedard deal, those same fans will have every reason to think the situation is hopeless. And hopeless fans aren’t good.

Hey, maybe Stark’s wrong. Maybe this has nothing to do with Angelos. Maybe MacPhail’s just being poker-faced.