Don’t support Peter Angelo$

Tonight, round 2 of the “Battle of the Beltway(s)” starts up again, this time in Baltimore. A number of Washingtonians are expected to be in attendance at Camden Yards this weekend, including the Nats Fan Club, which was featured in an article in today’s Sun. While the allure of supporting our home team on the road not too far from home is strong, I can not condone it. Why? Peter Angelo$.

Angelo$, the owner of the hapless Orioles, has spent the last several years making life difficult for fans of D.C. baseball, even though many supported his franchise for years. Back then he talked out of both sides of his mouth, insisting that he needed D.C area fans to be competitive and then saying “there are no baseball fans in Washington D.C. that is a fiction?” “Which one is it Petey?” I wondered.

When it became apparent his tactics of intimidation and doublespeak against Washington would not stop the Montreal Expos from moving here, Angelo$ switched to the role of the obstructionist. Publicly he denounced the decision and we can only imagine what went on behind closed doors. It was widely believed that he was prepared to sue to keep MLB from moving a team to our town without major compensation. He was also the only MLB owner to vote against the Expos relocation to Washington.

As the inaugural Nats season drew closer, Angelo$’ negotiations with MLB on compensation for “infringing on his territory” carried on and on, well into spring training. In the end he was able to squeeze out 90% of the Nationals TV rights, an unprecedented move that will keep the Nationals from controlling one of the most vital revenue sources available to a team. It is widely believed that Angelo$ was threatening to sue MLB in order to get such a large subsidy. Following his victory over MLB, Angelo$ announced that he was forming his own regional sports network (MASN) to carry Nationals games. At the time, MASN was not available to any cable system and would only be picked up by DirecTV and RCN during the first season. Subpar production of Nats games, the only responsibility of the channel, was the rule. Thomas Boswell of The Post called Angelo$ maneuvers an attempt at crib death.

Other systems have since made the channel part of their lineups, depsite no programming other than Nats games, but it is still unavailable on the region’s #1 cable system, Comcast. While the lack of Nats broadcasts for most viewers is partially Comcast’s fault, the blame has to go to the top – Angelo$.

These bully tactics have not only hurt the Nationals franchise, but the District of Columbia as well. Televised games are a major part of marketing a team. Regular broadcasts available to the maximum number of viewers keeps a team in the public’s mind and results in larger ticket sales, which in term means more revenue for the city. Angelo$ is not only weakening our team, but weakening the city’s investment in them.

Throughout the process, Angelo$ has been incredibly arrogant, accusing Comcast of being a monopolist when that is clearly his own intention with MASN, which will take over Orioles games next season. Perhaps worst of all is that his sense of entitlement from the Nationals is actually a vote of no confidence for Baltimore fans (those that he has not chased away with a decade of his poor stewardship) because he is telling them they are not good enough to support a MLB franchise.

Had Angelo$ approached the situation with pragmatism he could have avoided a tremendous amount of ill-will in Washington and Baltimore. Instead, he choose to take the low road of a scorched earth policy that may be backfiring. Orioles attendance has been poor and polls indicate that Angelo$ is the reason Baltimore fans are not showing up.

So after reading all of these things about the Orioles owner, do you think it is good idea to send more D.C. money to him? Do you want to reward his bad behavior by purchasing tickets, food and drink? I don’t think so. We cannot vote to get the Nats on TV, but we can vote with our pocketbooks. Don’t subsidize Peter Angelo$ this weekend or any other time, no matter who is playing his team.

4 Comments so far

  1. Mik (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

    Suddenly I feel rather dirty for trekking up to see the Sox games.

  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2006 @ 2:00 pm

    Counterpoint is available for heading up to Baltimore, too.

  3. Eric B (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2006 @ 4:51 pm

    Mik, your penance for going to the Sox game was missing Wednesday’s Sox-Nats game due to the whole MASN/Comacast thang.

    …unless, of course, you get MASN…

  4. Mik (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2006 @ 7:40 pm

    MASN?? Is that like NESN, but not? Hmmm…..I’ve not been paying much attention to my beloved sox since I’ve lived more than a quick T-ride from Fenway, it’s true – but I did managed to attend several games, surrounded by Massholes up at Camden Yards.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.