Baltimore Orioles: Villains and illusions


The Dan Duquette saga this off season for the Baltimore Orioles has been one of the stranger stories I think I’ve seen. In saying that, I’m reminded of the voice-over in The Day Begins, heard on the Moody Blue’s Days of Future Passed album:

"“…red is gray, and yellow white; but we decide which is right. And which is an illusion?”"

One can certainly argue that there’s an illusion being created in this situation, and that illusion is that the Orioles are the ones in the wrong. How often since this thing has begun last month have we heard something to the effect of it’s a professional courtesy to allow your people to interview for a job that would be a promotion? (And I would remind you that it’s probably only a promotion on paper; the jobs themselves are similar in truth.) Thus the O’s and owner Peter Angelos are being marketed as the villains.

And there are lots of people who are buying into that very concept. Justifiably so I suppose, when the league office (led by the outgoing and incoming commissioner) and it’s mouthpieces are leading the public down that path. One thing that we’ve heard increasingly is that MLB is now involved. And it seems that they’re involved in an attempt to “help the Orioles work out a fair deal with Toronto.” Take that at face value, but also notice that it’s in quotes.

Photo: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

However it’s ironic that the camp which is arguing for professional courtesy not only didn’t abide by the rules and thus tampered with the property of another team, but is also now being backed by the long arm of the law. Peter Angelos hasn’t been popular in MLB since he backed the players in the 1994 strike. The fact that ten years later he took the league and the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals to the woodshed and got the MASN deal certainly didn’t help. And now of course he’s in court once again defending the contract that he was awarded.

Combine that with the stance the league is taking on the Duquette situation and with the fact that Baltimore didn’t get the 2016 all-star game (after it appeared destined to be there), and tell me what you think. Heck, immediately after San Diego formally won the game, the league office released a statement saying that Baltimore hadn’t properly completed the paperwork or something to that effect – a story that was immediately refuted by the Orioles.

If you buy into the notion that the league is always correct, then yes I suppose that it’s fair to say that Angelos should be allowing Duquette to go as a professional courtesy. Neverminding of course that there was nothing (and I mean literally NOTHING) that Toronto did in this situation which was according to protocol or in accordance with the rules. Heck, they broke the rules big time. However the illusion of MLB on their side purifies their cause.

But in reality anyone who scratches just below the surface can probably see that in fact the illusion at had is in fact that red is looking like gray, and yellow white. That of course is a metaphor ; in reality, the Orioles are the victims who are being spun into the villains – that is, by the real villains. And also bear in mind that this isn’t something that happened overnight. Toronto pressed and pressed through the national media – who is now reporting that there’s a level of discomfort within the Orioles’ front office.

Well, naturally there’s a level of discomfort. The more Angelos and the O’s are being spun into villains, it looks more and more like they truly are villains. So the drama is something that’s intentionally been caused by the Toronto camp, with MLB behind them.The goal appears to be to convince the Orioles that they have no alternative but to release Duquette from his contract so as to get him for next-to-nothing, if not nothing at all.

So ultimately, what’s being done to the Orioles is a total miscarriage of justice. I’m aware of the fact that these comments come off as homerish, and anyone who reads my column on a daily basis knows that I try very hard not to come off that way. However keep in mind that a writer or announcer who shamelessly cheerleads could be called a blind homer.But in this case there’s a difference between that and between seeing how the lines of justice are being purposely blurred so as to create an illusion.