Orioles leadership is committed to keeping the team in Baltimore, chairman and CEO John Angelos said in a statement Monday, after a lawsuit filed by his brother mentioned the potential move of the team.
“I want to assure our Orioles players and coaches, our dedicated front office senior leadership team and staff, and our devoted fans, trusted partners, elected, civic, and nonprofit leaders, and our entire community, that the Orioles will never leave,” he said.
His statement comes as the fate of Orioles ownership is headed to court after Louis Angelos, the son of owner Peter Angelos, filed the lawsuit against John and their mother, Georgia, accusing John of taking control of the team against their father’s wishes as his health declined. Louis maintains that John did so by manipulating their mother, who is now 80, as he sought complete control.
According to the suit, Georgia determined that it was in the trust’s best interest to sell the team, and that John “misled her into believing that he is working to accomplish this goal” but actually has “done everything in his power to stall and, ultimately, thwart plans to sell the club.” That allegedly includes torpedoing “interest expressed by one highly credible group of buyers.”
The suit also says John could move the team.
“John intends to maintain absolute control over the Orioles — to manage, to sell, or, if he chooses, to move to Tennessee (where he has a home and where his wife’s career is headquartered) — without having to answer to anyone,” the complaint reads.
In a statement Monday, John said he has “taken significant steps” to ensure the Orioles remain in Baltimore.
“My mother was born and raised in northeast Baltimore, attended city public schools at Eastern High School, and has worked with my father their entire lives to help the city, including by restoring the club to local ownership and preventing its relocation,” he said. “For them, as for me, the Orioles will forever play at Oriole Park, and at no time ever have we contemplated anything different.”
Peter, now 92, bought the team for $173 million in 1993, then a record price for any sports team. Forbes valued the Orioles at $1.375 billion in March — it was the only MLB club to decline in value last year.
(Photo: Tommy Gilligan / USA Today)