Roberts and Trembley have a right to be mad…

August 12, 2007 | Drew Forrester

Now…it’s starting to get good.

For once, WNST isn’t being called on the carpet for being “the bad guy” or the “sh*t stirrer”.

Last night, Brian Roberts and manager Dave Trembley broke out their straws and did ALL the stirring necessary.

And guess what?  They both have a right to be mad.

The problem?  Their post-game tirades following Friday’s game with the Red Sox were directed at the wrong people.

I agree with Roberts.  Having all those Boston fans invade OPACY is “getting old”.  You’re right about that, BRob.  But if you think that’s the people of BALTIMORE’S fault, you’re mistaken, bro.  That’s YOUR EMPLOYER’S fault.

And for Dave Trembley to say, “shame on those people that left early”…well, hold on a second there skipper while I get myself ready to respond to that.

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Are you kidding me, Dave?  Your team (the one you inherited) has dropped about a dozen or so games precisely like the one you nearly squandered on Friday night before Eric Gagne and his 87mph fast ball gift wrapped the O’s a shocking win.  Do you realize that?  The people who left early did so because they’ve seen that act so many times this year they’ve got all the lines memorized.

“Shame on those people that left early?”

How about this, Dave?  “Thanks to the 25,000 Orioles fans who DID show up tonight, otherwise there would have been 25,000 Boston fans in the place and about 6,000 O’s supporters.”

Hey Dave, ponder this:

Shame on the Orioles for putting the fans through 10 straight losing seasons.  Shame on the Orioles for not signing Vlad Guerrero a few years back.  Shame on the O’s for hiring Lee Mazzilli.  Shame on the O’s for not having Baltimore on the road jerseys.  Shame on the O’s for not honoring the ’66 World Series team.  Shame on the O’s for signing Deivi Cruz, Rick Hellling, Omar Daal, David Segui and passing them off to the fans as “players who are going to help us win.”

Shall I go on?

I feel bad for Roberts, actually, because he’s one of the few guys on the team who will be out somewhere in the city tomorrow morning having a coffee and a bagel…he’ll have to see all those Boston fans wandering around the Inner Harbor again before they take over the ballpark one more time.  Roberts is a guy who puts his best effort out there every night and I’m sure it pisses him off to no end to see Wily Mo Pena get a freakin’ standing ovation after his key 8th inning hit on Friday night.

But Roberts has ZERO business being angry with the fans who didn’t show up on Friday and allowed the Red Sox faithful to turn the place into Fenway Park South.  I’ve never heard Brian complain on a Tuesday night in May when 9,000 are in OPACY to watch the O’s and Blue Jays, for example.  I get it now…it’s better to have 35,000 empty seats and NONE of the other team’s fans in the park than to have NO EMPTY SEATS and 25,000 of the other team’s fans on hand?  OK…I might buy that players-only-logic, since Brian gets his however-many-millions no matter what the crowds are in Baltimore.

But for Roberts and Trembley to call out the fans last night…wow…talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

I’ve got a suggestion for Trembley and Roberts.  Go to the powers-that-be in The Warehouse on Monday and ask THEM when the crowds are going to start coming back to the ballpark.

Don’t ask the fans when THEY are coming back.  Ask the team when they’re going to try and re-connect with the city.

I’ve got an idea for you, BRob.  Ask Communications Director Greg Bader if you can stop by the WNST studios sometime in the next week or so and do a couple of hours of radio with me, Haynie, Long or Popovec.  Tell Greg you’d like to take some calls from “the fans” and see if you can figure out for yourself why people aren’t coming.  Go ahead, ask Greg Bader that question.

As for Trembley, I’d ask your front office execs which #2 free-agent pitcher they’re going to fetch for you in the off-season.  I’d start quizzing them NOW…”hey guys, we need a couple of big bats in the off-season…who we going after?”  You’ve been in baseball a long time, Dave…stop by the marketing offices or poke your head in the lunch room while John Angelos is having his chicken salad sandwich and ask – nicely of course – “hey, gang, how come we eschew what is basically a long-time baseball tradition and don’t have BALTIMORE on our road jerseys?”.  You’ll get a bunch of big marketing buzz words like “branding” and “regionalization” and “awareness” – none of which will make any sense to you since you’re “just” a baseball guy and you know the word “BALTIMORE” has to be on the front of the team’s road uniforms, just like the rest of us know it as well.

I’m here to say that what happened on Friday night is good.

For a long time now, a lot of people in town have been openly critical of the club’s marketing, PR and ticketing efforts and most of those folks (I’m one of them) have been labeled, “self-promoters”, “publicity-stunt seekers”, “fair weather fans” and “negative”.

For once, the people ON THE FIELD are starting to see what’s wrong OFF THE FIELD.

When I say things are wrong off the field, I’m just being “negative”.  When Roberts or Trembley notice the same things I notice, they’re lauded for their honesty.

It doesn’t matter how it happens, but the organization has to figure out that they either MUST get this franchise fixed – and that goes for ON and OFF the field – or they’ll have no one in the ballpark in 2-3 years.

Once the in-fighting begins among your own, you know the problem has reached new heights.

I laughed like hell when I heard Roberts and Trembley speak after Friday’s game.

Finally, some new voices — singing the same old tune.

Music to my ears…

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