Mr. Angelos bought the team more than 20 years ago for a record $173 million. Forbes recently valued the team at being worth just over $1 billion. He is personally ranked among our nation's billionaires. There is no doubt that the team has been a financial success. However, he has been reluctant to pull the trigger in recent years to put his team in a position to be a contender over the long run.
The cliche that "you have to spend money to make money" is certainly true in Major League Baseball. The teams that consistently draw well at the gate know they have to build from both within and outside their organizations and are willing to spend what's needed to do that.
Winning breeds more income. During Mr. Angelos' tenure as owner his teams consistently drew more than 3 million fans from 1992 through 2001, topping out at 3.7 million in 1997. That was the second straight year the O's went to the American League championship series.
Then the losing started — and continued for 14 straight seasons. Attendance bottomed out at 1.7 million in 2010. The last three years have seen the winning return and the fans as well.
If Mr. Angelos really wants to win a World Series and be a contender for years to come, now is the time for him to open his checkbook wide. He owes it to the millions of fans who have regarded his as the caretaker of "their" team.
Sign the important players (Chris Davis, Darren O'Day, etc.) and add additional help from outside and it will certainly make it easier to re-sign the Manny Machados and Jonathan Schoops when they become free agents. If a player can get equal money from more than one team, he's certainly going to factor in the chances of getting a World Series ring when decision time arrives.
There was nothing better than sitting at Camden Yards last October among the sea of orange as the O's won the division and advanced to the ALCS. The electricity was in the air. People smiled and laughed and wore their colors proudly. Those same people and their successors are looking to Mr. Angelos to make that possible for many years to come, and they are hoping he is up to that challenge.
Dave Leonard, Ellicott City