I had held off on posting about this, because I was pretty sure all along this was how it was going to end; with Mark Teixeira never playing in Oriole Park at Camden Yards as a member of the home team.
The Great Peter Angelos has once again hoodwinked the city of Baltimore and it’s baseball fans, by going through the charade of pretending to try to bring Tex “home” while all along knowing full well that the offer they had put on the table was nothing more than the proverbial bone to appease the dwindling fan base. Sure, the 5000 or so orange-glasses wearing fools that still buy O’s season tickets will continue to tow the company line of “trust in the plan of MacPhail.” You’ll hear that sentiment echoed time and again by the media outlets in town who are nothing more than Peter’s pawns, but I, along with most everyone who has ever donned a cartoon bird proudly, have had just about enough.
Teixiera was too good to be true. The Severna Park kid with the sweet swing and slick glove who could instantly become the face of the franchise and put butts in the seats again. The Cal Ripken for the next generation.
A pipe dream, and nothing more.
With Angelos at the helm, the O’s are but a shadow of the team Mark cheered for growing up anyway, a barely recognizable imposter to the great tradition of Orioles baseball. Sure, he dreamed of playing for the O’s as a kid. But not Pete’s O’s.
I’m not even sure who to be angrier with.
Peter the Great, for never even seriously trying to lure Tex home? By most accounts, the Orioles’ initial offer to Teixeira was in the 7-year-140-million range. Now though, its coming out that the offer was more like $125 million. For a free agent that was expected all along to command near $200 million, offering just over half seems like a pretty laughable tactic. And then, to NOT ONCE upgrade the offer as more and more teams entered the bidding? The question becomes: Does Pete really think WE are this stupid to think they were ever serious, or, is HE really that stupid to think Tex would give a “home town discount” of such ludicrous proportions? And of course, there is his famous promise that the money from his precious sports network (MASN) would be used to compete for free agents with the likes of Boston and New York. Three years later, that promise is still showing just how empty anything from a lawyer’s mouth really is.
Or should the anger be directed at Tex? For using his home team (and it’s fans) as nothing more than leverage. For paying lip service all these years, saying things like, “Baltimore is somewhere we would have to look very seriously at in the future.” For signing, of all places, with the NEW YORK YANKEES! Mark, Mark, Mark. I’d say I’m looking forward to hearing you lustily booed by your home town, but we all know that Skank fans outnumber O’s fans at Oriole park 10-to-1 these days. Hell, come to think of it, Mark gets the best of both worlds. He gets to play on a team that is actually committed to winning, AND gets to hear cheers when he plays in the ballpark he spent so many summer nights at as a kid. So what if the cheers are coming from the visiting team’s fans? Can you really blame the guy?
Or how about MLB itself, for allowing such a mockery to come of it’s attempts at parity? This “luxury tax” is really doing the job, isn’t it Commissioner? The Yankees now have the Top 4 highest paid baseball players in the league on their roster at the same time (Jeter, GayRod, Tex, Sabathia). The retched excess being shown by the Skanks, especially during these tough economic times, is truly vomit-worthy. Speaking of, I’m hoping that the Steinbrenner’s money is actually wrapped up in the Madoff scandal, but they’re just too stupid to have realized it yet. Defenders of MLB will point to the fact that the Yanks haven’t won a World Series since 2000, and didn’t even make the playoffs last year. While true, that misses the point. The fact that one club is paying individual players what some pay their entire rosters is just flat wrong.
Ugh. It’s Christmas time, and bringing Mark home could have, along with the Ravens potentially clinching an improbable playoff spot, could have made this one of the most memorable weeks in Baltimore sports history. Instead, we are just reminded of how much more competent the guys in purple are at their jobs than the guys in orange are at theirs.