It was Lucchino who beefed up the team's minor league system and its scouting department. The Orioles drafted wisely in recent years and acquired, at little initial cost, key players such as outfielder Mike Devereaux, pitcher Alan Mills and catcher Chris Hoiles. Some observers question whether Angelos will pay the same kind of attention to player development. Angelos says he will.
Angelos insists he has the time to be both a good lawyer and an effective owner. "Once the critical phase of improving the team is completed," he says, "it should operate with minimum involvement on my part. There's a belief that I'm going to be engrossed in this. I'm not going to do that."
Around baseball the swift, big-money moves by Angelos could be interpreted as reckless, coming at a time when 18 of the 28 teams are supposedly losing money. But acting commissioner Bud Selig says, "The Orioles know their budget. We assume they know what they're doing. They have a huge revenue base." However, a baseball executive says, "There have been raised eyebrows among owners. There's always a concern when a new owner immediately becomes a big player in free agency."
Warning: Angelos isn't done playing. His payroll has already jumped to between $35 million and $40 million for '94, but the Orioles are still in the hunt for another starting pitcher, possibly the Houston Astros' Pete Harnisch, a former Oriole. "If a need arises, you must follow through," says Angelos. "You can't say, 'That's it. I gave you a budget. I don't want to hear any more.' That's what was happening here before."
"When he says he's going to get another pitcher, it's just a matter of time," says Palmeiro. "He wants a winner."
That's what Angelos says too. He says he isn't in this for the money or the attention (and, no, he isn't going to run for governor, despite Schaefer's encouragement). His primary motivation is to bring a championship to his people, the people of Baltimore. If it happens, Oriole fans will be using their bodies to spell out A-N-G-E-L-O-S.