On common ground, Orioles and Nationals have complicated relationship – The Sun
Oh, the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles have a complicated relationship? That’s the fault of MLB commissioner Bud Selig, Peter Angelos and his franchise. Selig coddled Angelos when he didn’t have to:
When the Nationals, after 36 seasons as the Montreal Expos, arrived in Washington for the 2005 season, MLB said the team’s operating territory would be defined in the Major League Baseball Constitution, the occasionally amended governing agreement among the 30 clubs. At the time of the Nationals’ move, the document defined the Orioles’ territory as the city of Baltimore and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Howard and Harford. It did not include Washington, even though the Orioles then had a retail store there.
That’s right — I can’t get a Sun at a local newspaper box cluster or watch Baltimore television stations. D.C. and Baltimore simply aren’t the same market.
Selig handed over the supermajority of the Nats TV rights to Angelos, who doesn’t believe Baltimore fans are good enough to support a team. Two cowards, one fearing a lawsuit, the other regional competition, punished Washington fans and the District of Columbia who made a significant investment in Nationals Park. Most Washingtonians couldn’t even watch every Nats game until September 2006. MASN’s coverage is still not very good. Angelos and the Orioles are still fighting MLB and the Nats over TV rights compensation for the next 5 year cycle. Since the Orioles are contractually bound to receive the same amount of MASN revenue, Angelos is actually fighting reinvesting into the team. Don’t the Oriole-fanboys and Angelos apologists (is there a difference?) realize that the owner doesn’t want to invest into his own team?
If Angelos hadn’t been such a crybaby, there could a better situation for all involved, but his desire to hurt Washington more than help Baltimore prevented that from happening. I’d be completely indifferent to the Orioles for the most part if he had not kept me from watching my team and demanded a subsidy from it. Otherwise, I’d be going to see the Nats and New York Yankees in Baltimore annually. This is why I have called on all Washingtoinans to boycott the Orioles for years and will continue to do so.
There is no timetable for this bad situation getting resolved, but Selig and Angelos won’t be in power forever, right? I think the 2018 battle is going to be the most important battle.