Dan Rodricks: Can we please enjoy the rest of the Orioles season without the Angelos family soap opera?

I’ve never understood people who ruin it – that is, people who seem to be very successful and have many reasons to be happy, but squander their happiness on irrational choices and petty grievances.

I’ve never understood the man who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and then used it to dig himself into a hole.

Or, to use a baseball metaphor – because today I’m talking about the Angelos family feud – think of the guy who was born on third base and thought he hit a triple, and even then he takes one too big lead the bag and get picked up. He blew it!

I’m not saying you should never take risks. Many people are financially successful because they do just that. I am amazed at people who through hard work or privilege achieve a certain status – wealth, career achievements, the high opinion of their peers – and then lose one or all of those things because they let anger, greed or vanity consume them.

Why are the Angelos brothers, John and Lou, having an ugly brawl in public when the Baltimore Orioles, owned by their 93-year-old father, could be on the brink of a new era of success?

And why would you want to sell the team when there’s a possibility you’ll be big in the owner’s box at the World Series in the not-too-distant future? Where is the joy?

Let me say that I have no personal experience with any of these guys. I only know what I’ve read in The Sun’s reporting, based on Baltimore County Circuit Court documents, and what a few insiders have shared. I’ve heard enough—and experienced enough of life—to say this: Lou and John’s breakup is the worst. That’s why people use the term “tragic” to describe the escalating lawsuits.

I know: You can choose your friends, but not family, and sibling feuds are constantly arising, born of rivalry dating back to the earliest years. There is a library of scholarly work and fine literature devoted to that deep, dark subject.

But life is precious and shorter than we think. Continuing your journey while arguing with a sibling and not talking to them – that is a terrible burden to carry through life.

There are those of us who have lost a beloved sibling – not to a feud, but to death – and look at the Angelos brothers and say, guys, if this continues, you’re going to hate how you feel for the rest of your life.

A quarrel between siblings does not have to fester. There is such a thing as mediation, and although it has been tried before in the Angelos feud, it should be tried again.

John and Lou could arrange to call, say, attorney and chief negotiator Ron Shapiro and try to work things out. Shapiro was once a sports agent, representing Cal Ripken and other Hall of Famers. He has written books on how, in business or in life, counterparties can win. One of his titles is “Bullies, Tyrants, and Impossible People: How to Defeat Them Without Joining Them.”

Shapiro is definitely qualified to end the Angelos feud. When he’s not available, there are others to help: Oprah maybe, or Gordon Ramsay!

Of course, to break the deadlock, one of the Angelos fratelli has to provide relaxation, end this cold war and hit the reset button.

Georgia Angelos, wife of Peter and mother of Lou and John, has come on John’s side in all of this, making Lou look like the villain and instigator.

I don’t know who is telling the truth, although I admit a bias by believing the mother. But I’ll say this to Lou: you’re not winning the public relations battle so far; you might consider applying for peace talks.

And then, on behalf of the many Baltimoreans who want to enjoy the 2022 Orioles without this soap opera, I ask all three parties: Can you please work this out in a yurt somewhere?

And as for my question about the sale of the team, it’s none of my business what the wife and sons of Peter Angelos decide to do, but for the life of me I can’t understand why besides getting top dollar – Forbes appreciates the $1.37 billion Orioles organization — you’d want to let another owner have all the future fun.

Don’t the Angeloses like owning a Major League team? It’s a very small club of Americans who ever get to do that. Aren’t they proud that they hired sharp baseball managers to rebuild the organization?

I understand from one of the unfortunate lawsuits that it is Peter Angelos’ wish that the Orioles “be sold at his death so that Georgia could enjoy the great wealth they had amassed together.” But doesn’t Mrs. Angelos already enjoy great wealth? What is she going to do, fly to Venus?

George Steinbrenner’s family managed to retain ownership and control of the New York Yankees after his death in 2010. Why can’t the Angelos brothers do that here?

They have the opportunity to be great men in Baltimore, real civic leaders. To continue the feud, ending with the sale of the franchise, just as the team could be entering an era of winning seasons and playoffs — that’s what I call blowing it up.

()

Leave a Comment