As a lifelong Baltimore fan, I considered the Red Wings a selling point for Rochester when I made my final college choice. It saddened me to see them change their long-standing affiliation practically upon my arrival. However, what saddens me more is to see CT publish an article, ostensibly about the Wings, which actually spends half its length laying out a totally ignorant account of the Orioles’ five-year struggle. Staff writer David Swilder’s erroneous claims begin as early as his second paragraph, with his statement that “it’s been all downhill in Baltimore” since the ’96 campaign. This argument ignores the fact that the O’s actually had a better season the next year, when they led the American League wire-to-wire. In fact, it was not the Indians who “cancelled [the Birds’] World Series hopes” in 1997, but the American League umpires still seeking retribution against Roberto Alomar, who, the previous season, had hocked a loogie in the face of ump John Hirschbeck during an argument. Actually, the Orioles’ problems began right after that ALCS with Peter Angelos’ firing of manager Davey Johnson, which Swidler overlooks entirely. His claim that “[Albert] Belle put up solid seasons” with the O’s is another crock. Belle underachieved his entire stay in Charm City, and was a divisive element in the clubhouse. In fact, he received an MVP vote in 2001 for leaving. You’re not “controversial” if nobody likes you. Furthermore, Swidler misrepresents Mike Mussina’s motives for leaving the Birds. The Moose very much wanted to remain in Baltimore, but Angelos refused to pay him the money he deserved, which he’d locked up in Belle. Everything Swidler writes about the Wings is true, and they were right to jump ship. But why did he decide to turn a good, if short, piece, into a poor one by adding a column and a half of tripe? The Orioles’ woes could have been summed up in two words: Peter Angelos.
-Gordon Arsenoff, ’06