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


I have never understood people who blow it — that is, people who appear to enjoy great success and have many reasons to be happy but fritter away their bliss on irrational choices and petty grievances.

I have never understood the guy who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, then used it to dig himself into a hole.

Or, to deploy a baseball metaphor — because I’m addressing the Angelos family feud today — consider the guy who was born on third base and thought he hit a triple, and even then, takes too big of a lead off the bag and gets picked off. He blew it!

I’m not saying you should never take risks. A lot of people are financially successful because they do exactly that. I’m just baffled by people who, through hard work or privilege, attain a certain status — wealth, career accomplishments, 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 on Earth are the Angelos brothers, John and Lou, having an ugly fight in public when the Baltimore Orioles, owned by their 93-year-old father, could be on the cusp of a new era of success?

And why would you want to sell the team when there’s a possibility you could be sitting large in the owner’s box during the World Series in the not too distant future? Where’s the joy?

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

I know: You can pick your friends, but not family, and feuds break out between siblings all the time, born in rivalries that go back to the earliest years. There’s a library full of scholarly work and fine literature devoted to that deep, dark subject.

But life is precious and shorter than we think. To continue your journey while feuding with a brother or sister, not speaking to them — that’s 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, lads, if this goes on, you’re going to hate how you feel for the rest of your lives.

A sibling feud does not have to fester. There’s a thing called mediation, and though it’s been tried in the Angelos feud before, it should be tried again.

John and Lou could agree to call, say, attorney and master negotiator Ron Shapiro and try to work things out. Once a sports agent, Shapiro represented Cal Ripken and other Hall of Famers. He’s written books on how, in business or life, opposing parties can get to win-win. One of his titles is, “Bullies, Tyrants and Impossible People: How to Beat Them Without Joining Them.”

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

Of course, to break the impasse, one of the Angelos fratelli needs to offer detente, end this cold war and push the reset button.

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

I don’t know who’s telling the truth, though I admit a bias in believing the mom. But I’ll say this to Lou: You’re not winning the public relations battle so far; you might want to consider asking 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: Could you please work this out in a yurt somewhere?

And as for my question about selling 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 values the Orioles organization at $1.37 billion — you’d want to let some other 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. Don’t they take pride in having hired sharp baseball executives to rebuild the organization?

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

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

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



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