Damned if you…damned if you don’t

April 12, 2007 | Drew Forrester

I certainly had an interesting morning at WNST.

I spent a lot of time discussing last night’s 4-1 Orioles loss, their 3-6 start and the 13,000 attendance figure from Wednesday night’s home game with the Tigers.

In summary, I defended the team for the 3-6 start, citing the absence of Hernandez and Payton and the silent bats as reasons NOT to panic, and pointing out that the pitching – starters and relief corps – has been very good so far.  The baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint.  I don’t expect the bats to be this bad all year – and when they come to life, they’ll win 8 of 10 and everyone will be saying, “here we come.”  My point?…it’s early.  Let’s wait until mid-May at least – and let’s wait for Hernandez and Payton to play and see how they contribute – before we get ready to jump off the upper deck.

As for last night’s crowd.  Sure, it was bad.  They announced 13,000 and anyone in the place knows it was more like 7,000-8,000 actual bodies in seats.  But, are you surprised?  I mean, seriously, are you surprised?  They sold out opening day, had a decent Tuesday night crowd of 18,000 on a chilly, not-really-a-baseball-night kind of evening and then, of course, last night they had “family and friends” in the stands.  They had 9,959 in Pittsburgh Wednesday evening…on a cold, damp, chilly night in Western, PA.

I guess everyone expected me to crucify them for having 8,000 human beings in the stadium last night, but I’m telling you, that’s where they’re at as a franchise.  And guess what?  They know it too.  As one of their execs told me on Tuesday night, “we know they’ll be no one here on Wednesday night.  We’re prepared for it.”

The end-point of this whole thing?  I got a bunch of e-mails early in the show from being asking, “Where’s Drew today?”…”are you the same guy who I’ve been listening to?”…”come on dude, don’t get soft on them now.”

It has nothing to do with “being soft”.  It has everything to do with being truthful.  That’s all I’ve been doing with the Orioles.  People out there think I’m “too hard” on them when I critique things they do and now, today, when I tell everyone to take a deep breath and wait out this early season hitting funk, I get the “where’s Drew?” e-mails.

The truth of the matter is this…when they do something that deserves to be criticized, I criticize them.  When they do something that deserves praise, I praise them.  I know I’m fair to the Orioles.  I watch, I observe, I analyze and I talk about it.  They get what they get from me.  When it’s good, they get good.  When it’s bad, they get bad.  Today, they got good from me.  Tomorrow, if they deserve bad from me, that’s what they’ll get.

That’s how I operate today and that’s how I’ll always operate.

Have a great Thursday.

By the way, we’re up to nearly $1,500 collected for Eagles For Erinn so far…if you made a pledge, please send it to me as soon as  you can so I can place the order for the Eagle sculpture.