June 13: John Angelos released a statement this morning that totally rejects the idea of ever moving the Orioles and pushes back against numerous allegations made by his brother (Twitter link):
“…My mother was born and raised in Northeast Baltimore, attended the city’s public schools at Eastern High School, and worked her entire life with my father to help the city, including restoring the club to the local property and preventing its relocation. For them, as for me, the Orioles will always play in Oriole Park, and at no time did we consider anything else.
Since being named President and CEO per my parents’ expressed wishes and elected as Team Control Person by all 30 Major League clubs, I have taken significant steps to ensure may the future of our beloved franchise remain in Charm City. Just two months ago, we celebrated the Maryland General Assembly passing a bill promising to invest $1.2 billion in the reinvestment and reinvention of the Camden Yards sports complex, which includes Oriole Park, ensuring the team will continue to play right here in downtown Baltimore for generations to come. Maryland is committed to keeping our team in this great state, and I’m also committed to keeping the Orioles at the heart of our state. …
I want to assure our Orioles players and coaches, our dedicated front office management team and staff, our dedicated fans, our trusted partners, our elected, civic and nonprofit leaders and our entire community, that the Orioles will never leave. ”
June 12: The Baltimore Orioles’ hands at the levers are battling, according to a report by Tim Prudente and Justin Fenton of The Baltimore Banner. The play provides details of a trial in which Louis Angelos is suing his brother John Angelos. The pair are sons of 92-year-old Peter Angelos, who was the lead investor in a group that bought the franchise in 1993. Louis’ lawsuit alleges Peter intended for his two sons and Georgia, wife of Peter and mother of John and Louis, to share control of the team, but that John has since taken steps to take control of the club against his father’s wishes.
According to the lawsuit, Peter collapsed in 2017 due to failure of his aortic valve. It appears that in the following years estate plans were drawn up, with Peter establishing a trust with his wife and two sons as co-trustees to manage the family assets. Lou Angelos alleges that John has since tried to take over the reins against his brother’s wishes. “John intends to maintain absolute control over the Orioles – to manage, sell or, if he chooses, move to Tennessee (where he has a home and where his wife’s career is) – without having to answer to no one,” the complaint reads.
Among Lou Angelos’ allegations, Georgia’s priority is to sell the team, with an adviser trying to set up a sale in 2020. According to the lawsuit, John stepped in and rescinded that deal. Lou also accuses John of firing, or demanding that others fire, key front office employees, including Brady Anderson. After his playing days, Anderson served in Baltimore’s front office, eventually becoming vice president of baseball operations. However, he left the organization in 2019.
By November 2020, the other owners of Major League Baseball had approved John Angelos to take over as the O’s “control person”, in light of Peter’s declining health. As noted at the end of the article, this franchise is worth around $1.375 billion, according to Forbes. Prudente and Fenton also point out that earlier this year, the Maryland State Legislature passed an initiative committing $1.2 billion to upgrades to Oriole Park as well as the Ravens’ M&T Bank stadium in Utah. hope to prevent the two franchises from leaving the state. The club’s lease at Camden Yards runs until 2023, and the team have the option to extend the lease for another five seasons next February.
Of course, none of Lou Angelos’ allegations were substantiated in court. It is possible that the dispute will be settled or dismissed before even appearing before a jury. Still, it’s worth noting that one of baseball’s 30 franchises seems mired in turmoil at the top level, and there’s plenty to watch over the next few months.
The Orioles did not comment on the matter. The article contains many details not covered here, and interested readers are encouraged to read it thoroughly in order to get the full story.