Churchill’s words douse the flames from our enemies

September 20, 2007 | Drew Forrester

“You have enemies?  Good.  That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

Of all the great quotes from Winston Churchill, that’s one of his best.

Free The Birds2 is four nights away and the lemmings are out in full force around town trying to expose Monday night’s get-together as a “PR Stunt”, an “ego trip”, and a “waste of time.”  You can read it all yourself at Orioles Hangout.com or on the Sun’s web-site…those are two places where a lot of the anti-WNST crowd peddle their wares (or is it:  sell their souls?) and sling their jealous-jelly in the general direction of 1570.

There is no doubt, none at all, that we have created a chasm at WNST over the last few years as it relates to listeners and their affections for the Baltimore Orioles.  It’s sort of like “the great divide”.  You’re on one side, or the other.  Above all else, when the sh*t dries up on the wall, the 10th straight losing season is in the books, the attendance is DOWN, again, and the franchise hasn’t delivered one morsel on it’s promise to “make it better”, this one truth rings out:  You’re either on WNST’s side, or you’re not.  And if you’re on WNST’s side, you’re with us in the trenches.  And, if you’re against us, you’ll go out of your way to dig your heels in the sand and defend YOUR position, even if it means stretching the truth (Howie…are you out there?  Hello?  Howie?).  Our enemies at Orioles Hangout despise us so much they’ll “DIP” (no pun intended there, Dipper) to any length to spread venom, even if it means lying.

It really has come down to something that simple.  We’ve actually become the Orioles.

In this town, right now, you’re either WITH the Orioles, or against the Orioles.  Few of you are in between.  And even fewer of you are in the seats.

And, right now, in this town – as it relates to the Orioles – you’re either WITH us at WNST, or you’re AGAINST us.

Have you ever stared into the mirror and thought, “my God, I look just like my Uncle Felix?”.

Well, we looked into the mirror at WNST and guess what?  We’ve become the Orioles.

You’re either WITH us…or AGAINST us.

“You have enemies?  Good.  That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

We’ve been standing up to the Orioles for several years now.  A lot of you out there appreciate that.  Some of you don’t.  The franchise has once again this season failed to deliver on their annual December promise to “make it better”, but they just assume most of you will forget about all of that once September rolls around and the NFL starts.  Sometime this December, one of the talking heads will speak to the team’s flagship station and to The Sun and say something closely resembling this:  “We feel like we’ve addressed a lot of the needs we had after last season and we’re excited about several of the players who are returning from injuries in 2007 and we really believe we might be on the verge of bringing exciting baseball back to Baltimore.”

With that, another season of baseball will beckon and it will be up to WNST to once again monitor the progress – or lack thereof – and then go about our daily routine of reporting on the good and the bad of Orioles baseball, 2008.  The cycle will no doubt continue a year from now – the team will most likely be somewhere around 70-83 this time in September, ’08 and our enemies will again be pissing on us for being “too negative” or “never talking about the good stuff, only the bad”.

The faithful..the die-hards…they’re dwindling with each passing 4th place finish.  But you have to hand it to them.  They come back for more every year.  They take it all in every off-season, parade around Eutaw St. with a tent pitched in their jeans on opening day, then fail to see the harsh realities in August when the club’s attendance has dropped once again and the performance ON THE FIELD has alternated between acceptable, dismal and bush-league, depending on what month you’re in and which four players are no longer trying hard because the Manager has hurt their feelings.

There hasn’t been a meaningful baseball game played at OPACY in September since 1997.

The team’s attendance on weeknights looks more suited to a Hershey Bears vs. Baltimore Clippers game, circa 1975.

On the field, the team allowed Texas to score two late touchdowns a month ago to lose 30-3.  They’re going to finish up the season with a 10-30 mark (give or take a game or two either way) in their last 40 games.

And, somehow, WNST is the enemy in all of this.

Oddly enough, though, WNST didn’t fire Davey Johnson in 1997.

And we didn’t sign Javy Lopez for $24 million in 2004.

And as far as I know, WNST didn’t order the word “BALTIMORE” removed from the team’s logo in 1995.

And I’m fairly certain we didn’t make the decision to NOT retire Elrod’s #44 a couple of years back.

And I know for damn sure no one at WNST was on the pitching staff this year.

And last April, when the club could have authorized a change to the team’s road jerseys in 2008 and had “BALTIMORE” proudly displayed on the front for the first time since 1973, the idea was nixed by the club’s marketing wizards who think the “region” would be offended by such a direct connection to Baltimore proper.  Psst…get closer…I don’t want to say this too loud (“wnst didn’t nix the road jerseys change — the orioles did…”)

Yet, in the fantasy land that some fans live in, we’ve either CAPITALIZED on the Orioles struggles or we’ve somehow MADE THEM BIGGER than they really are.

Or, and this is the one the sycophants shout with all the volume their voice can muster, “WNST doesn’t really care about the Orioles…they’re just doing all of this for attention.”

No, we’re doing this because we’re right.

The club hasn’t won in 10 years.  We want a winner.  Are we right or wrong for wanting a winner?  We’re right?  Thanks.

The club’s attendance – announced – will likely finish the year around 23,000 a game…actual butts-in-seats (people who actually have enough interest to go on any given night) is probably more like 16,000 a game.  More people need to go to the games.  It helps the team (generate more revenue), it helps the players (big crowds add excitement) and it helps the community (more revenue for hotels, restaurants, bars, etc.).  More people need to attend the games.  Are we right or wrong?  Right again?  Really?  OK, let’s move on.

It’s good for the city of Baltimore to have a successful baseball franchise.  It adds to the city’s charisma and charm, it brings people together who WANT to feel good about the place they call home and it certainly creates a great amount of civic pride to hear a national TV announcer say, “You’re looking LIVE at downtown Baltimore, where this evening the Ravens are taking on the (insert team here) in a pivotal AFC showdown.”  Oops, Freudian slip there.  I meant to write, “you’re looking LIVE at downtown Baltimore, where this evening the Orioles are taking on the (insert team here) in a pivotal American League East showdown.”  A successful baseball franchise is GOOD for everyone.  Are we right?  Or wrong?  We’re right?  Damn, the third time IS the charm.  We’re 3-for-3.

At this point, I’ll ask all of you one final question.  Answer this as honestly as you can.

Do you think we’re fools at WNST?  Dumb-ass, vindictive, mean, nasty, arrogant, self-promoting fools?

Answer honestly.  Do you think we’re fools?  (OK…go ahead, scroll down).

“The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”  Winston Churchill.

See you all on Monday night at the ballpark.

It’s our final chance to remind the crew at the Warehouse that they promised us it would get better.

And…well…we’re still waiting.

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