Chris Nelson

'04 draft woes opened door for O's, Olson

Here's one for Orioles fans who think their beloved franchise is cursed. The big league debut of left-handed starter Garrett Olson Wednesday brings to mind the inner workings of the 2004 draft, and how a disaster was remedied the next year.

Former Orioles scouting director Tony DeMacio was about to select Georgia high school shortstop Chris Nelson with the eighth overall pick in 2004. Owner Peter Angelos stepped in and required the club to take Rice University pitcher Wade Townsend instead. When the team failed to sign Townsend and he returned to school, terminating the club's negotiating rights, Angelos was hammered for meddling. But this might have a happy ending.

The...

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