Orioles to Nashville?!? Consider the Source

Lots of people are starting to lose their minds over a column in the Baltimore Post-Examiner from none other than Michael Olesker.

In the column, Olesker writes that the Orioles might be for sale and might be headed to Nashville:

These summer nights are bleak at Oriole Park, as witness Saturday night’s 23-to-2 loss to Houston. But the future’s a deeper concern. Reliable sources say we might be headed toward the end of the Angelos era.

These sources say principle owner Peter Angelos’ family has held extensive discussions about selling the team they’ve controlled for the past quarter-century. The same sources say Angelos’ sons, John and Lou, lean toward a sale.

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There are complications. At 90, Peter Angelos’ health is fragile, and he’s no longer active in Orioles’ matters or his law office. His sons have assumed their father’s old responsibilities.

In Peter Angelos’ absence, though, principle ownership of the club would go to his wife, Georgia, who is reported these days to be consumed with caring for her husband.

If the family were to sell, that means another complication: Would they sell to local investors, or to out-of-town owners who might move the team? The lease on Oriole Park, which helps tie the team to Baltimore, ends in 2021.

One rumor has the family retaining ownership but the club moving to Nashville, where John Angelos and his wife have one of their homes. That rumor takes on legitimacy mainly because of sinking attendance at Oriole Park.

But knowledgeable sources say the family would much rather sell – and keep the club in Baltimore, if a local buyer can be found.

The spelling and grammar issues are present in the original.

Yes, the story makes for a rather sensationalist story. Yes, it generated a serious story for the Baltimore Business Journal. Yes, it’s not the first time that there was a wild-rumor that the Orioles would be leaving town. Yes there are plausible reasons why people might think that Major League Baseball might want the Orioles out of town, as I detailed in a piece for Camden Chat earlier this year.

But let’s take a step back here.

The writer of this column was, as I mentioned earlier, Michael Olesker. Let’s remember that Olesker was a former syndicated columnist for the Baltimore Sun. Olesker was shown the door there for plagiarizing stories from others and was also accused by elected officials of making up quotes. We were covering Olesker’s transgressions here over a decade ago. Since then, Olesker has found no work at any major news outlet; he wrote for the Examiner before they folded, and now plies his trade for the Post-Examiner, a site that frankly does not get a lot of news penetration.

The point I’m trying to make here is this: Olesker’s story about a potential Orioles move to Nashville sounds sensation and plausible. But we need to acknowledge that based on his track record Michael Olesker should not be given the benefit of the doubt. The lack of named sources and the use of nothing but speculative talk does little to provide any proof that such a move would even be considered.

Bottom line: Michael Olesker does not have the credibility to be believed.

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