Are the Orioles for sale?

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Peter Angelos is probably going to live forever — such is the way of trial lawyers, bad baseball owners and the very, very rich — so really, the only hope that Orioles fans have for that franchise to turn around one day is if Angelos decides to sell.

And there are rumors that he’s doing just that:

The big rumor swirling around Baltimore is that Peter Angelos is quietly shopping the Orioles. Eric Bickel of 106.7 The Fan in D.C. disclosed the news Tuesday morning on The Sports Junkies.

“It’s my understanding that the Baltimore Orioles are quietly for sale,” Bickel told listeners.  ”Peter Angelos is actively selling the team at least privately to some people around him.”

But don’t get too excited. The rumor also holds that Angelos wants to retain his interest in MASN and the TV rights to the Orioles, selling just the team.

Which makes zero sense as TV rights are a tremendous source of income for an owner. Who would want that kind of a deal? It’d be like buying a movie theater but not taking over the concession stand. Like buying a video store and not taking over the adult section.*  There’s just no economic coherence to it.

But at least this rumor gives Orioles fans a chance to at least pretend that Angelos may be gone soon. And that’s not nothing.

*Do video stores still exist? I sort of think they don’t. Anyone?

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.

Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.

Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.

As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.