By Stan "the Fan" Charles
The Orioles and their oft-criticized owner Peter Angelos pulled off one of their best moves in a long, long time. The O's big cheese and Melvin Mora agreed on a three-year contract that will as Mora said "keep me an Oriole for life."
Three years may not be a lifetime, but it marks the first step in the all important new chapter of the Angelos regime. With baseball back in the nation's capitol, sagging attendance and 7 consecutive losing seasons all blowing in his face, Peter needs to start to truly get results on the field to turn on a fan base that has soured on the Camden yards experience.
The key for Mora was the inclusion of a no-trade clause in his contract. This contract locks up Mora, Tejada, Hernandez & Gibbons for at least three years.
Next up for Mike Flanagan, Jim Duquette and Mr. A would be to sign Brian Roberts to a similar deal. His injuries have probably made both sides a bit more cautious about the financial issues involved in a 3-4 year deal.
Mora who could have opted for free agency after the season and promised no negotiations once the season began, seemed to soften on that stance after a face-to-face meeting with Mr. A on the eve of the season.
The Orioles, who need all the wins they can get, scored a big win with this signing. And this may even give cause to believe that, with the ultimate pay-off from MASN being in sight, Mr. A will again begin to flex his & the O's financial muscles.
Posted May 19, 2006