Orioles managing partner Peter G. Angelos took in today’s home exhibition opener in the renovated Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla., and spent a few minutes chatting with WBAL-AM announcers Joe Angel and Fred Manfra during the top of the eighth inning during broadcast of the game.
“We always like the club in the beginning of the season,” Angelos said, referring to the O’s victory in their Grapefruit League opener Monday and a 12-6 lead over Tampa Bay on Tuesday. “Hopefully, this will be a time when that love affair will continue all the way to October.”
Angelos was extremely satisfied with the multimillion-dollar renovation that has remade Ed Smith Stadium, the team’s spring home for the past two exhibition seasons.
“It really fits Sarasota, and that was the primary goal of the architects. ... It’s a very substantial compliment,” he said.
Asked about the way Orioles fans stumped for the team to sign free agent designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero, Angelos said he hoped Guerrero realizes how highly he is regarded.
“I hope (Guerrero) realizes that,” Angelos said. “I’m sure he does. Orioles fans are not that easily persuaded. There seems to be a sense that he’s the guy, he’s the spark plug.”
Angelos said that he had no plans to address the Orioles, preferring to leave that task to manager Buck Showalter and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail. But Angelos expressed a hope that MacPhail’s roster additions will halt a string of 13 consecutive sub-.500 seasons.
“I hope this year is going to be different,” Angelos said. “Many more nights where we will be pleased and happy and delighted.”