BALTIMORE (AP) — Orioles chairman John Angelos said emphatically that the team will not leave Baltimore, then reacted contentiously when a reporter asked for more clarity on the future of the team's ownership.
“Fear not, the Orioles will be here,” he said.
Angelos appeared with Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott at Camden Yards on Monday to announce a $5 million commitment to the CollegeBound Foundation, which empowers students of Baltimore schools to pursue a college degree or other post-secondary option. As part of the initiative, the Orioles will provide paid internships to former Baltimore City students and current College Completion Program scholars.
It was a rare occasion in which reporters had a chance to ask Angelos questions, and the first one was about the team's lease. Angelos said last year in a memo to team staff that he looked forward to signing a new lease committing the team to remaining in Baltimore.
On Monday, he said he wanted to talk mostly about what was happening in the community, but he was clear about the team's home.
“The Orioles are going to be here for the long term," Angelos said. "We have been here, and I’ve said many times publicly, unsolicited, unprompted, we’re never going anywhere.”
The next question, from a different reporter, was about the future of Angelos' own involvement with the team over the next several years.
“It's really not important at all in the grand scheme of things to people that are clear-thinking and who mean well and have a perspective, to, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, while we're talking about putting kids that don't have a shot in hell of anything because of where they were born, through college, to be talking about those kinds of things,” Angelos said. “So I'm going to object to that question today, in this forum, before the mayor of Baltimore and all of these people."
“I find that to be highly inappropriate, and I think that your focus is completely out of touch and has no perspective whatsoever on what real-world people face and what the real pillar and role of an organization like the Orioles and Ravens ought to be,” Angelos added.
Angelos was sued last year by his brother Lou, who claimed John Angelos seized control of the Orioles at his expense. The reporter did not reference that lawsuit when asking Angelos about his future relationship with the team.
“You can find any garden-variety, high-value sports team or involvement, you're always going to have some controversy, but I've been very outspoken; I'm very transparent,” Angelos said. “In fact, I would invite you and all your colleagues — next week, not on Martin Luther King Day — you can come back in this building, you can meet me in this office. I'll take you down to the third floor, and I'll show you the financials of the Orioles. I'll show you the governance of the Orioles. I'll show you everything you want to know, and I'll put all your questions. But today, on MLK Day, I'm not answering any of those questions.”
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