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January 22, 2014 at 12:23 am ET
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Change For a Thousand? My Dinner With Peter

Me: Hello. I’m meeting someone. Reservation under “Angelos?”

Maitre d': Certainly, sir. Right this way.

Peter Angelos: Greetings! Greetings, young Smitty! Welcome! Please, sit down!

Me: Thanks, Mr. Angelos. Pleasure to meet you.

Angelos: The pleasure’s all mine, son, I’m sure! What’re you drinking?

Me: Let’s see … a Maker’s Mark? Neat please?

Angelos: Garçon, he’ll have an Old Crow and water.

Me: Oh. Well, sure.

Angelos: And I’ll have another of these … what do you call them? Olde English 800s?

Waiter, rolling his eyes: Very good, sir.

Angelos: Look at this menu! My god, man! Have you ever seen such a spread? Anything striking your fancy, Smitty?

Me: Hmm. Well, I think I’ll have the prime rib. Can’t go wrong there.

Angelos: Hmm. Prime rib, huh? Did you see this nice sirloin flank thing?

Me: Oh. Um … yes. That looks … good?

Angelos: Damn right it does. What’re we, made of money?

Me: Well, I’m not. But I thought you …

Angelos: Oh don’t get me wrong, Smitty. I’ve done just fine for myself. All that asbestos money has made me untold millions. But I don’t go throwing around cash like I’m some kind of rap star. Like I’m Puffy Dog Daddy or something.

Me: Well, no. But y’know, I thought …

Angelos: You thought! You thought wrong, young man. I don’t spend money just to spend it. Why get a Maker’s Mark when there’s nothing wrong with an Old Crow?

Me: Well, there’s nothing wrong with it, exactly. But Maker’s Mark is better.

Angelos: Better, how? Just because it costs more?

Me: Not necessarily. It costs more because it’s better. Take Masahiro Tanaka, for example. Everybody wanted him and the Yankees got him because they paid him.

Angelos: Rubes! That con artist swindled them out of $155 million! You mark my word! They’ll be wearing a barrel before the ink on that contract is dry!

Me: He was 24 and 0 in Japan last year! And he’s only 26!

Angelos: Then YOU pay him!

Me: But … I didn’t buy a baseball team! You did!

Angelos: Pssh! And some investment it was.

Me: The Orioles are worth more than a billion dollars! You paid $170-some million for them 20 years ago! What else do you want?

Angelos: What do I want? I want championships!

Me: But you cheap out when it comes time to sign players. The Yankees, Boston, even Toronto understands that talent isn’t free.

Angelos: You wait, Smitty. You’ll see. We’re gonna bring up that whole Norfolk Tides roster and they’ll bring Baltimore the pennant it so richly deserves.

Me: Check, please!

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