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SBD/March 19, 2013/Franchises
MLB Unwilling To Move Up Orioles Game For Thursday Night Ravens Home Opener
Published March 19, 2013
WHO BLINKS FIRST: Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti said that the team has "offered to compensate their baseball neighbors for any lost revenue." However, in Baltimore, Jeff Zrebiec in a front-page piece cites a source as saying that the Orioles' "reticence to move the game to earlier in the day is a baseball issue, not a financial one." Orioles officials "don't think they could get the required approval from the White Sox, the league and the players' association to change the game time." Feeney said, "It doesn't just involve the Orioles. There is another team." Bisciotti said, “In fairness to Major League Baseball and the Angeloses, we’re trying to dump a pretty big problem on them and we’re asking them to make a lot of concessions that will benefit us and potentially harm them though it doesn’t necessarily harm them." He added, "The bottom line is if they wanted to do it, they would find a way to do it. From the Ravens and the NFL standpoint, we’ll do whatever we have to do in order to keep that tradition" (Baltimore SUN, 3/19). CBSSPORTS.com's Clark Judge noted Orioles Owner Peter Angelos would "have to sign off on the move, and there are two things you should know about the guy: 1) He takes his time making decisions, and 2) he's stubborn." A source said, "I know Peter Angelos, and he'll dig in like a tick's head in a dog. So there's no use in appealing to public opinion, because it won't work." Angelos has the "leverage here, and so does" MLB. Neither "has to budge." But the NFL "does, and it's trying." A source said that MLB is "willing to take the hit on this one, though it's Angelos who is unmoved" (CBSSPORTS.com, 3/18).
TIME TO TAKE CHARGE: ESPN's Trey Wingo noted that if fans can "read through the tea leaves" with Goodell's comments, he was “saying, ‘Well, I’ve called the Orioles twice. It’s on you guys!' That’s him saying, ‘Hey, we’re reaching out. You guys haven’t responded.’" Wingo: "He’s putting the squeeze on them a little bit.” ESPN's Tedy Bruschi said, "I hope ... they can work it out because that’s such a special night for the world champion.” Wingo: "It’s an event, and with all due respect to baseball and the Orioles, you play 81 home games in baseball. You only get eight in the regular season in the NFL, and you want this one to be at home to kickoff the season” (“NFL Live,” ESPN, 3/18). YAHOO SPORTS' Michael Silver wrote, "With all due (dis)respect to the displaced national pastime, it's time for the Sheriff of Park Avenue to walk all over Selig." Something is "going to have to give." And that "something -- sorry, baseball fans -- is not going to be America's most popular spectator sport." Goodell to his credit was "relatively polite when questioned about the conundrum." But if Selig "won't play ball, here are three words of advice for Goodell: Make it happen." Silver: "Does Selig seriously think he's going to win this battle against the NFL?" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/18).