But in this particular interest, there is an interesting question that needs to be posed. If we’re discussing a state-owned (and operated) property, why SHOULD one particular entity get preferential treatment over the other? Why shouldn’t individual date disputes be forced to agreed to between the involved parties with an arbitrator set to make a final decision should no agreement be possible?
Why now would the Orioles cry foul over the need to move a game date, when in 2008 the O’s, Oakland Athletics, Major League Baseball and MLBPA had no issue working out an agreement to play a day/night doubleheader to avoid such conflict?
Isn’t what’s best for the state of Maryland (who owns and operates the stadiums) to host an event that will be seen by 25 million people across the country with greater economic benefit based around the event?
I bring these questions up not because I have any desire to “blame” the Orioles and Major League Baseball. This isn’t their fault. I would like to think the parties involved would have previously entered into an agreement that would allow for such considerations to be made when a baseball schedule was made, but it wasn’t. A Ravens source did inform me that the Ravens will always reach out to the Orioles when looking to schedule events-but the source with knowledge of the lease agreement told me that the football team essentially “has” to.
I can’t fathom how an agreement related to a publicly funded sports complex would allow for such concessions to not be made by both sides. If Major League Baseball wants to set a schedule first, how in the world does the NFL not have the ability to say “wait a second, that Thursday night COULD be an issue if this team wins the Super Bowl.”
Instead, the taxpayers of the state of Maryland are simply allowing the MSA to let the Orioles call shotgun at all times and get the front seat. Because of that, we find ourselves in this very precarious situation.
If there’s “blame” to be given, it isn’t to the Orioles or Major League Baseball. It isn’t to the Ravens or the National Football League.
Instead, the blame is to be given to a Stadium Authority set up to protect the best interests of the tax-paying citizens that appears to have failed in this instance.
But blame solves nothing. Instead, it’s the willingness for compromise.
That compromise won’t involve playing the football game on Wednesday. It might not involve Major League Baseball budging on the Thursday night home game. It won’t be because one side or the other was guilty of “bullying”, it will be because the two sides were unable to “negotiate” such an agreement.
(The “bullying” conversation probably deserved more of this column than I allotted. The notion that the Ravens/NFL are guilty of bullying is preposterous. The parties are OFFERING MONEY, in fact large sums of money, to make the Orioles, Chicago White Sox and Major League Baseball whole in the process. That’s not “bullying”. When you got a Wet Willy in 4th grade, the 6th grader that did it to you didn’t offer you $200 to do it. Personally I once told former NFL OL Russ Tucker that if he wanted to punch me in the face, he could. Not because he was “bullying” me, but because he said he would offer me money in exchange. We never worked out the logistics of all of that.)
But could the compromise involve the state of Maryland stepping in to say “hey wait a second! We own all of this! Why wouldn’t we be more involved?” It would have to happen quickly as the NFL is approaching a deadline for handling the logistics of the opener.
Of course, they’ll want to make sure they call “shotgun!” before they get involved.