Rest In Peace, Peter Angelos

Peter Angelos, the majority owner of the Baltimore Orioles, died over the weekend at the age of 94.  To say he was a polarizing figure would be an understatement.  Many fans saw him as miserly and unwilling to spend to put a winner on the field.  Other owners saw him as some sort of kook as he “sided with the union” during the strike/lockout in the mid-90s refusing even to consider fielding replacement players.  At one time, he was considered to be a sufficiently serious political force in Maryland to make a run for Governor.  And Jim Palmer tweeted:

“… Kept the O’s in Baltimore.  And did so much for so many without much fanfare.  Always treated so well by Mr. A …”

Rest in peace, Peter Angelos.

When the NCAA Tournament began last week, UConn was the betting favorite to win it all with odds of +600.  After the first two rounds, here are the money line odds at FanDuel for teams to cut down the nets on April 8th:

  1. UConn = +210
  2. Houston = +550
  3. Purdue = +600
  4. Arizona = +850
  5. Tennessee = +1200
  6. UNC = +1300

The shift in the odds definitely reflects the dominance that UConn has shown in its two wins so far; the Huskies won in a rout in its games against Stetson and Northwestern.  Houston has been impressive too; the current odds are down from +750 before the Tournament began; those were the odds that “Mattress Mac” got for his $1M bet on Houston to win it all.

My Final Four predictions have not fared so well.

  • Auburn lost in its first game to Yale as a 14.5-point favorite with money line odds of minus-900.
  • Baylor dominated Colgate in the Round of 64 but lost yesterday to Clemson by 8 points.

My other two predictions – – Duke and Tennessee – – remain alive …

The most impressive stretch of basketball I have seen so far in the tournament has to be Gonzaga’s performance at the start of the second half of its win over Kansas.  The Jayhawks led 44-43 at halftime; the game looked as if it would go down to the final minutes as a nail-biter.  Then Gonzaga put on a 15-0 run at the start of the second half and did not miss a 3-point attempt until there were less than two minutes left in the game.  Wow…

Regarding Zach Edey – – Purdue’s gigantic center – – he is the 2024 version of an observation made long ago by Wilt Chamberlain.  Lots of people dismissed Chamberlain as simply a winner in the genetic lottery and not a skilled basketball player; some folks feel the same way about Edey these days.  Chamberlain explained that sentiment like this:

“Nobody roots for Goliath.”

Let me say this next thing carefully.  There were some embarrassing performances by some teams that clearly did not belong in this tournament against this level of competition.  I understand the goal of “inclusivity”, and the “Cinderella stories” that emerge every few years are heartwarming; but when one stops pulling on the heartstrings, several teams showed they had no business participating here.

Kentucky had an embarrassing loss in the Round of 64 to Oakland.  But the Kentucky “embarrassment” had a different flavor to it.  The Wildcats were not shown up to be clearly inferior talents in their loss – – but they were the highest seeded team to be eliminated in the first round of the tournament and lost to a team that it should have beaten at least 9 times out of 10.  John Calipari and Kentucky have been among the most prominent of the schools that feature “one-and-done players” who choose to go play college basketball only because the NBA is not open to them until a year after they graduate from high school.  Well, this is the second time in three years that Kentucky has been “one-and-done” in the tournament; in 2022 they were bounced in the first game then by St. Peter’s.

Illinois looks like a good team that could provide a meaningful challenge to Iowa St. in their Sweet 16 game – – or maybe Illinois is merely slightly above average with its apparent strengths not much more than a mirage after beating two marginal opponents.  Neither Moorhead St. nor Duquesne falls in the category of a team that clearly did not belong in the tournament to begin with.  At the same time, neither Moorhead St. nor Duquesne offered any evidence that they were going to make it to the Sweet 16 without the intervention of a Fairy Godmother.

Finally, I’ll close today with these words from Dave Barry:

“Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



4 thoughts on “Rest In Peace, Peter Angelos”

  1. Peter Angelos’ siding with the union becomes understandable when including information about how he became wealthy enough to afford the purchase of the Orioles. He was a schnook of a plaintiff’s attorney in the 70s, representing the pipe fitters union in Maryland when the asbestos litigation exploded. His fortune was made by being the right lawyer in the right place at the right time. His relationship with the union workers and his good foresight led to wealth, prosperity, and the O’s

  2. Jack – RE the NCAA men’s bball tourney.

    I’m curious what you or others might think regarding the refereeing in the tournament…that is, it seems to me that someone has basically instructed the refs to “let ’em play”! Why do I think this?

    Well, the GCU/Alabama game and the Houston/A&M game…just to sight two…resembled rugby at times rather than basketball. I’m not complaining, but just wondering because across the board there seems to be an awful lot of contact and collisions with few fouls being called.

    Any thoughts?

    1. Gary/UNC in El Paso:

      I agree that the Grand Canyon/Alabama game was loosely called; I did not have a similar reaction to the Houston/Texas A&M game. That second game just seemed to meto be one where the ball went up and down the court without any significant resistance from either team’s “defense”.

  3. A quick follow-up thought…I realize many players fouled out of the Houston/A&M game…I tuned in late in the second half…so maybe this game was something of an exception…but I still think that there is quite a lot of banging and bumping with no calls.

Comments are closed.