With a record of 15-36 and a winning percentage of .294, Baltimore stands alone as the poorest performing team in the majors. The Orioles have had 12 straight losing seasons; they haven’t been to postseason play since 1997. 

Yet, the most curious issue surrounding this franchise is the absence of its longtime star, Cal Ripken, Jr. This is not to suggest that Ripken has the magic elixir to remedy the many problems of the Orioles (pitching being paramount) but most clubs enjoy having former stars associated with the team.

Orioles owner Peter Angelos is not in that category. For reasons unknown, Ripken is not on his list of favorites. An absurd story urfaced in the spring that Angelos was reluctant to hire Ripken for fear that the Hall of Famer would be given too much  credit if the team turned around. Tell us how that would be a bad thing?

Making this even stranger is the fact that Ripken owns the Orioles’ Class A affiliate in of Aberdeen, Md.

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Ripken holds the record for having played in 2,632 consecutive games. He retired after the 2001 season, so in a manner of speaking he will have missed the last 1,458 games by season’s end. If ownership’s attitude doesn’t change, Ripken might one day top his record for games played by games missed.