Why Orioles GM Mike Elias penned an open letter to fans

Matt Weyrich
·2 min read

O's GM explains why he addressed club's future in letter to fans originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Orioles aren’t going anywhere, according to General Manager Mike Elias.

And they'll continue to be owned by the Angelos family despite recent reports speculating on a potential future sale.

Elias penned an open letter to Orioles fans Monday, declaring his intention to “amplify the vision” that Chairman & CEO John Angelos laid out for the organization in 2019. Despite a recent report by The Baltimore Sun that prospective buyers are lining up bids to buy the team from the Angelos family (especially if Peter Angelos, who has been in poor health, passes away), Elias hoped to project stability out of a franchise that’s hoping to finish off its rebuild in the near future.

“With aspects of uncertainty that float around out there about our franchise from time to time, we thought it was the right time for the fans to hear from me, to know the level of commitment that exists across all corners of our organization to reviving winning baseball in Baltimore and downtown Baltimore [and] getting back to the point where we’re bringing 75 million fans through the city as has been done here over the last 25 years or so,” Elias said during a Zoom press conference Monday.

Peter Angelos bought the team in 1993. The Orioles have since made five playoff appearances under his watch, thrice reaching the ALCS. 

The Orioles went 54-108 in Elias’ first season, drawing 1,307,807 fans in 2019 to set their lowest single-season home attendance total since 1966. They got off to a 12-8 start this year before a few rough stretches resulted in their fourth-straight season with a losing record. Even though fans weren’t allowed in stadiums this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Elias felt the frustration of missing out on the playoffs and attempted to alleviate some concern that they weren’t on track.

“It’s very personal to me,” Elias said of the Orioles’ mission to rebuild. “We want this to work, there’s a lot of hard work going into this. I see a lot of great signs with what’s going on on our farm system, on our major-league team, with the people that we have here building towards this effort and just with the talent that we have in the organization and that’s coming in the organization. But it’s a tough division and a tough business. The Rays were in the World Series last year and the Yankees came close and the Jays were in the playoffs and we’re going to have a fight on our hands but we’re going to get there.”