It’s time for the Orioles to stop catering to out-of-towners

April 28, 2011 | Drew Forrester

I flipped out a little bit this morning.

Actually…I flipped out last night when I got THIS text from listener/friend-of-the-show Chris:

“Drew, they’re updating the Bruins/Montreal game here at OPACY for all the Sox fans that are here.”

I didn’t believe him.  I sent a reply that basically said, “C’mon man…don’t try pulling that one on me.”

He shot back, “I’m serious.  They’re giving updates of the game on the scoreboard.  Seriously.”

Enough is enough.

I won’t go ballistic again like I did this morning.  You can hear it HERE if you want to listen to me go off the deep end about the Orioles and their obvious and consistent efforts to appease both New York and Boston sports fans whenever they visit the cozy confines of Camden Yards.

Like I said at the outset of today’s “Cheap Shot”, I’ve been bleeding black and orange more than usual this spring, because I’ve said since January I think the team is improving and they have a reasonable chance to at least reach .500 this year and show a little progress in the win/loss column.

I’m on board.

But I’m not on board with catering to those out-of-town creeps.

Selling Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano shirts IN BALTIMORE?

Are you kidding me?

Putting the Bruins score up on the scoreboard to keep the masses up-to-date with how the Boston hockey team is faring?

Really?

We’ve sunk to that level in Baltimore?

Yeah, yeah, I know “it’s nothing new”.  Yeah, yeah, I know we’ve been catering to them for a long time.  Yes, I’m quite aware that the main reason they charge “premium game prices” is to extort money from those goofs in Beantown and the Bronx.

I get it.

But I’m tired of it.

And you know what, I guaran-friggin-tee you the players are tired of it too.

It’s time to “Baltimore up”.

I don’t really care what they think in Boston or New York, frankly.

Stop selling “their” gear in Baltimore.

That’s a start.

The Orioles need to take this issue seriously.  And please understand, because given the situation in Los Angeles earlier this month, it bears repeating and stressing.  I’m NOT saying for us – as fans and human beings – to be disrespectful to opposing fans who buy a ticket and enter the ballpark.  No, no, no.  I’m not saying that at all.  What I’m saying is that the ballclub should stop bowing down to them and making them feel “at home” when they come to Baltimore to root for their team.

You’d never see the Ravens sell a Hines Ward jersey in Baltimore and gobs of those miscreant Steelers fans slither their way into M&T Bank Stadium every year.

This is about the Orioles making a stand, not the fan base making a stand.

And if Major League Baseball tries to pull rank and questions them on why the merchandise sales are lower, they need only tell the truth.  ”We got tired of seeing half the stadium prance around the place in a Dustin Pedroia shirt, acting like their poop doesn’t stink.  In Baltimore.  In our stadium.  Making it difficult for OUR players to perform to their highest level.”

We all know the dirty little secret here.  Hell, I’m a dummy and I can figure this out.  Those 18 home games that bring in New Yorkers and Boston-folk are the Orioles meal ticket.  Tickets go through the roof, revenue is generated and, for one of the few homestands in the season, a large profit is turned.

But, as you’ve seen with the two crowds in the Red Sox series thus far (18k, 16k, approx), they’ve chased so many Orioles fans away by giving the Boston people back rubs over the years that the ONLY people brave enough to go to Yankees or Red Sox games are THEIR fans.

Something has to give.

A decision has to be made.

When those two teams come to town, treat them like you would if they were the Rangers or the Mariners or the A’s.

They’re just a baseball team.

With a different uniform.

And stop pretending like we – Baltimore people with a brain – don’t know what’s going on, because we do.

We know the truth.

And we also know this:  They’d NEVER, EVER do anything for us in New York or Boston.

And that’s even more reason to stop french-kissing THEIR fans in Baltimore.

They all have cell phones.  Let them find out the hockey score the way most of us do, by going to our phone.

They all have the internet.  Let them buy their David Ortiz or Mariano Rivera t-shirt on-line.

Enough is enough.

And by the way, as a 2011 season ticket holder, I have even more of a reason to be angry about what happened during this recent homestand where the Orioles again laid down the red carpet for the out-of-towners.

As a Baltimorean, I’m offended.

And so were the 33,000 who didn’t show up last night.

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