Baltimore Orioles: The Music City Malarky

The rumors are swirling about a potential relocation for the Orioles from Baltimore to Nashville, but that’s all just a bunch of malarky. Right?

From Matthew Pyne:

Orioles fans are enduring yet another miserable season with a team headed to another 100+ losses and attendance at the ballpark dwindling. Whether it be the national media scourging them for “tanking” or balls bouncing off outfielder’s heads, things could not possibly get worse, right?


A local report emerged suggesting the Orioles brass could turn their eyes toward Nashville in a possible team move. One contributing factor to support the theory includes the fact that Orioles owner John Angelos owns a home in Nashville. This rumor has since been refuted by multiple outlets citing various issues with both selling the club and/or moving the Orioles to a new city, one of which includes the fact that the long and arduous MASN dispute with the O’s and Nationals is still ongoing.

No owner in their right mind would purchase a team still in litigation. Another issue specifically with Nashville is the actual location. The Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds both have television stakes in Nashville and would certainly vote down any measure to move a team into one of their markets (75% league approval is required for relocation). Earlier in the year, Las Vegas was also rumored to be a potential relocation option, but that too was discredited. Unfortunately for the Orioles, the timing isn’t great.

Their lease at Oriole Park at Camden Yards is up in 2021 and deep in the thralls of a rebuild. They’re also not exactly on MLB’s good side. Their litigation with the Nationals has caused many to speculate if MLB is withholding the All-Star game from Camden Yards as some sort of retribution.

From Vasilios Nikolaou:

Even with all of these “facts” present, the rumor is just that: a rumor. It is all pure speculation at this point. Certain broadcast groups are pushing this non-story to further their own credibility with the author of the rumored article, Michael Olesker, who has ties to the executive chairman of one of the broadcast groups, going so far as to cite him in his article. If that doesn’t make someone do a double-take, then nothing will.

A local Baltimore news station pushed this story in the form of a minute-and-a-half long package, finding people that “looked” credible enough, knowing that the very ground they stood on was shaky at best.

It’s no secret that this specific group has been making purchases of RSNs (Regional Sports Networks) recently. The last one came as recently as May 3, when Disney sold 21 of the RSNs to this group for $10.6 billion. All of the RSNs are labeled as Fox Sports subsidiaries, but the most intriguing one is, you guessed it, Fox Sports Tennessee. 

The whole story seems manufactured. There is an agenda being pushed and people don’t know about it. The MLB won’t let Oriole Park, a renowned and frequently mimicked ballpark, sit and collect dust, and they certainly would be hesitant about moving one of baseball’s most historic and storied franchises.

If the rumor ever gains any traction, then color me surprised, but I won’t for one second believe this malarky.

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