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Angelos Beats Retreat from Downtown D.C.

Hardly anybody ever beats Peter Angelos. The boss of Baltimore, the Asbestos King, is accustomed to getting his way, whether in politics, sports or the law. Angelos has beaten down Washington baseball fans at nearly every turn in the long battle over bringing the sport back to the nation's capital. Of course, Angelos occasionally fails on his own--look at how he has gutted the once-proud baseball franchise in Baltimore.

But now, the very same Washington baseball fans who Angelos famously said do not exist have chased Angelos from town. When the lease expires on the Orioles' store in downtown Washington at the end of this year, the Orioles will go away--finally. The Orioles finally concluded that their store on Farragut Square was simply "no longer viable."

"I don't know if we should have an office in D.C. competing with the Nationals," Angelos told the Post's Jorge Arangure.

Nationals fans are thrilled by the sudden raising of the white flag. "It's as if the British, after losing the revolution, had kept a royal office open in downtown Boston," Colin Mills, president of the Nats Fan Club, told the Baltimore Sun.

What should happen now is for the Nats to open a downtown store in the District, as well as in some suburban locations, and--hey, why not in downtown Baltimore, too? Team president Stan Kasten has said for some time that the Nats will consider opening ticket and souvenir sales locations in the D.C. area at some point, but apparently nothing is imminent.

For at least a couple of years now, the O's store in D.C. has been little more than a symbol of Angelos' arrogant claim to Washington as part of his territory. I staked out the place for a few days earlier this summer and found that hardly anyone actually goes there to shop. But they did have excellent air conditioning.

Anyway, Angelos, as ever, gets the last laugh--he still controls the Nationals' TV coverage and his MASN channel, starting next spring, will carry both O's and Nats games. I can't wait to see how he manages to relegate the Nats to second-class status on his sports channel; already, the channel is chockablock with Baltimore sports talk during the hours when no game is airing.

But for now, Nats fans have at least something to gloat about.

By Marc Fisher |  September 19, 2006; 7:19 AM ET
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Comments

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A team store would most likely be a money pit considering how easily people can buy and print tickets directly online. Merchandise is available in many stores, and again you can what you want online as well.

Posted by: BDTLRVA | September 19, 2006 8:26 AM

I don't disagree with that assessment, but there is value in the Nats having a presence downtown that exceeds the value of merchandise sold.

As far as the O's are concerned, how did that walk-out go this past weekend?

Posted by: Rudy and Blitz | September 19, 2006 8:53 AM

According to today's Post item about this, Angelos is now talking about a joint Nats/O's store.

Which actually makes some sense. Even if it is a year late.

Posted by: tallbear | September 19, 2006 9:30 AM

After years of bad faith from Angelo$, I hope the Nats braintrust takes great caution in doing any more business with him. Remember, he tried to keep baseball from ever coming here and put a lot of energy into crippling it. I hope his bad behavior is not rewarded with partnerships.

Posted by: WFY | September 19, 2006 9:57 AM

The Brits DO have an office in Boston.

Worse they have a big honking presence right here in our capital city on Massachusetts (no coincidence, I think) Avenue.

Our foreign masters are not as subtle as they think. Up the Republic!

Posted by: bostonian | September 19, 2006 9:58 AM

I approve this blog.

Posted by: Ronald Reagan | September 19, 2006 10:24 AM

hey Rudy and Blitz...the walkout is scheduled for Thursday the 21st, not this past weekend.

Posted by: RL | September 19, 2006 10:52 AM

The most sense would be a store that covers all the local teams. I can't imagine that all those Redskins stores in the malls get much business in the offseason.

To Rudy and Blitz, you're probably referring to the protest that is supposed to take place this Thursday, a 4:00 makeup game vs. Detroit that few people will go to anyway. It seems to be primarily a stunt for a Baltimore radio station.

Posted by: Cosmo | September 19, 2006 10:56 AM

I find it quite sad that this story glosses over something more notable: the Os and Nats are and will remain cellar dwellers. Only after Angelos leaves the Os will they and the Nats no longer remain MLB's armpits. There's plent to do in B'more and DC than watch these sorry baseball teams.

Posted by: Not a baseball fan | September 19, 2006 11:23 AM

If we can get past the toxic personality of Angelos and the things he has done to prevent -- and then injure -- Washington baseball, we would realize that it is very much in our own interest to have the Orioles and Nationals competing here for fans.

We should encourage the Orioles store to stay, and equally encourage a Nationals store to open up right across Farragut Square! Eventually Angelos will be gone, and it will be nice to go back to rooting for the O's, and ocassionally going up to see them, even if the Nats have become our number-one team.

Besides, competition should keep both teams on their toes, and competing for fans both by fielding quality teams and by treating people decently. Give them each a territorial monopoly and they'll behave like, well, monopolists.

Posted by: Meridian | September 19, 2006 12:18 PM

The Nats are missing a huge opportunity if they don't move into that space. Before the O's store sucked, when it was across the square, it was very busy, and I know it would be busier for the Nats. It would also be great to have a place to buy Nats stuff.

Posted by: tadcranky | September 19, 2006 12:19 PM

The Caps preseason opener is tomorrow (Wednesday) and Ovechkin is on the cover of NHL 07! How about some respect for a Washington-area pro team that won't finish dead last in its division?

Posted by: athea | September 19, 2006 12:28 PM

the new stadium is a money pit.

Posted by: money pit | September 19, 2006 12:43 PM

How does it hurt you that the Orioles run a store in downtown DC? I doubt Nats fans care one way or another about the store, it just means if they happen to want to buy Orioles paraphernalia they'll have to do it in a less convenient manner.

Posted by: mart | September 19, 2006 12:58 PM

Well hey, now that the hot weather is gone, who needs it? Great air conditioning was about the only thing that place had in the plus column.

Posted by: Miles | September 19, 2006 2:10 PM

"The Caps preseason opener is tomorrow (Wednesday) and Ovechkin is on the cover of NHL 07! How about some respect for a Washington-area pro team that won't finish dead last in its division?"

No one gives a damn about hockey - it is a dead sport.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2006 2:20 PM

The Orioles should keep their store open in DC. They play American League baseball in Baltimore which is quite different from the National League ball played by the Nats here in DC. There are teams that will visit Baltimore that won't come to DC but once every three years during interleague play. And in some cases they don't come here at all. The Red Sox and Yankees go to Baltimore for a couple series every year. Only the Yankees came to DC this year in interleague play. The Nats went to Boston to play the Red Sox.

I say let the O's Store stay. When Angelos drops dead and the Orioles return to the Oriole Way there will be long suffering O's fans from the DC area that will go to Camden Yards for games again.

Posted by: Keith | September 19, 2006 2:26 PM

Fisher: Let it go, dude. We've got our team, already. Why wasting your blogspace on this?

Posted by: sheesh | September 19, 2006 4:00 PM

As a D.C. native, I love my N.Y. Yankees. lol

Posted by: Yankee Fan | September 19, 2006 6:49 PM

Well done!
My homepage | Please visit

Posted by: Felix | September 21, 2006 2:00 AM

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