Anti-Baltimore Orioles bias in MLB?


I was fascinated to see this tweet from ESPN’s Buster Olney come across my twitter feed on Friday. If Olney is correct (and there’s no reason to doubt a source like him), that’s a very interesting piece of information. Why would MLB want Dan Duquette to go to Toronto?

On another front, one of the things that was discussed on yesterday’s Wall to Wall Baseball program on MASN was Chris Davis’ PED suspension. The details of how things occurred, when they occurred, etc, are still nebulous. However we do know that he had a waiver for Adderall in 2013, and will again in 2015. It stands to reason that perhaps he didn’t apply, forgot to do so, or something along those lines in 2014. However the more sinister theory is that he was denied that waiver. Again, nothing is known about that – yet. Thus no theory can be taken off the table.

So am I saying that there’s some sort of anti-Orioles bias in MLB – or anywhere else? I really don’t know. But specifically, those two aforementioned incidents could possibly raise questions. I’ve never been a conspiracy theorist per se, however there do appear to be some strange things going on. The question however would have to be, why is there a bias against the Orioles in MLB (if in fact there is)?

Mandatory Credit: David Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Peter Angelos isn’t the most popular guy in Baltimore to say the least, however that’s probably two-fold in the league offices. First off (and yes I recognize that this goes back a ways), Angelos stood on the side of the players union during the 1994 players strike – which didn’t sit well with the league. However he also gave them a tough time when they wanted to relocate the Montreal Expos to Washington, and of course he took the league to the matresses in getting the MASN deal that was struck.

In continuing with that sentiment, MASN (Angelos by extension), the Washington Nationals, and MLB are now in court again regarding the MASN fees dispute. While I won’t go into the details of that here, MASN/Angelos has won a few legal victories after what came across as a shady arbitration process. So…am I saying that the league is trying to make things tougher for the Orioles, or even attempting to sabatoge them?

No, that’s not what I”m suggesting – not in the absence of hard evidence, at least. But in using the bully pulpit that’s afforded me on Birds Watcher, what I have done is show that there’s good reason for people in the league office to dislike Peter Angelos, and by extension the Orioles. That in no way means that there’s a conspiracy to piecemeal the O’s back to the dregs of the league, but it shows that resentment could possibly be there in the higher eschelons of the league office.

But in fairness, I’ll give you the other side as well. MLB wants to export it’s product internationally just like every other sport. Toronto is a regional team in the sense that they’re Canada’s one and only team. So having a strong team in Toronto would benefit the league in that ratings in Canada would be high.

There have also been rumblings over the past couple of years that Montreal could see another team one day. MLB has been supportive of that, however they can’t disregard the fact that the Expos fell flat on their faces for some time. So would having a strong executive like Duquette building a strong product potentially derail a team going to Montreal (in a passive-aggressive manner)?

Again, nothing can be taken off the table. However it struck me as odd that MLB would desire an executive to move from one team to another. Furthermore, the timing of Chris Davis’ suspension almost seems pre-conveived in the sense that it came at a point when the Orioles were in a stretch run.

Again please don’t misread what I’m saying; none of this means there’s an anti-Orioles bias anywhere. It’s all just very curious. It’s easy to say that the league hates this or that team. But let’s just say that in this world it seems that some people get a pass on things, and others do not.