What is it about the Orioles and spring training? They've been trying unsuccessfully to get a decent spring training arrangement for nearly 20 years, while just about every other major league team has been lavished with a luxurious new site -- and, in some cases, are already on to another new facility.
The latest setback came on Wednesday when the Sarasota County Commissioners voted against increasing a local tourist development tax to pay for a new stadium for the Orioles. They want instead to take the much cheaper route of upgrading the existing downtown ballpark and training complex.
Sarasota would have anted up to get the Red Sox, but the Orioles obviously don't have the same cache. Now, they're caught between two localities that seem to be backing away from them. Vero Beach officials cut off negotiations the other day and have imposed a 30-day cooling off period to consider offers from non-MLB entities for the use of the Dodgertown complex.
Once again, it appears the O's have overplayed their hand, assuming they had enough leverage to squeeze whatever they wanted out of one of the cities that recently lost its major league tenant. They may be able to go back to Vero Beach next month and resume negotiations, but it appears they may be doomed to a lesser deal than they could have gotten if they were more decisive.
Remember, this is the same organization that passed over the two-team facility in Jupiter that now houses the Cardinals and Marlins. The O's also had a shot at the Disney complex that houses the Braves and even a site near Fort Myers that pre-dates the Angelos ownership.
It would be funny if it wasn't such a sad statement on the chronic inability of the Orioles upper management team to make a deal that is agreeable to all parties. Not that it should be much of a surprise after all these years.