Schedule-gate 2013: We’re not all going to get everything we want

March 20, 2013 | Glenn Clark

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.


5 Comments For This Post

  1. PghSteve Says:

    Another thing – the NFL has known since January 20th that there was a 50% chance the Ravens could be hosting the opening game on September 5th. Did they wait almost 2 months to try to work this out? Seems to me that work on finding a compromise should have been started on the Monday morning of January 21st, and maybe it was. Do you know when the NFL started to work out a deal?

    (Edit from Glenn: It was roughly around then, yes. But the MLB schedule was already set even at that point.)

  2. Jason Manelli Says:

    The Ravens should just play the opener away on Thursday. It would be a fitting tribute to a team that did their best work ‘away’ in their playoff run. Hell, play the game in Denver if you want, and remind those pansies how Ravens Nation rolls. Sh*t happens. I’m a season ticket holder for the Ravens and have been since 1996 – the stadium will be rocking for the home opener and I’ll be there. Like you wrote Glenn, we’re not all going to get what we want and sh*t does happen. Whats more disturbing then us not opening at home, is that the Ravens are peeing on the O’s even though they are the ones asking for a big and difficult favor.

    (Edit from Glenn: In agreement with everything except the notion the Ravens are “peeing” on the Orioles. They’re negotiating…with a lot of cash. The Orioles would stand to benefit financially if they chose to help, but if they believe playing the game Thursday is better for their team, they don’t have to help either. There’s public perception that’s “peeing” on the Orioles…I’m trying to separate those things.)

  3. kevinb Says:

    glenn,i appreciate everything you and drew have to say.the precedent has already been set by the orioles about moving things around.if the ravens have to go on the road and we miss our big reward for winning the superbowl all the good will the orioles cultivated from last years success will be soiled. dont think we all havent forgotten about 15 years of pure i think the nfl is too big for its britches?absolutely.but as mel brooks said “its good to be the king”.the orioles have had 6 weeks to fix this.most of us think they are holding out for some sort of settlement. thats fine.we all know who we are dealing with in mr angelos.if the stadium authority needs to step in so be it.this is a football town and no matter whos fault it is the orioles and specifically mr angelos are gonna be pilloried.-keep up the good work.

  4. Justin Says:

    Glenn, simple solution to avoid this mishap in my opinion. If there are two professional teams that share a stadium/parking/etc, then make that an open date for the baseball team every year a home series falls on that date. There is enough shuffling done to the baseball schdules that this could have been avoided. However, the issue now is that no matter what, unless the Orioles give up a competetive edge and move the game to daytime, in which the white sox agree and the ravens can keep the home opener, the fans and the city of Baltimore are going to lose out on what could have been a great experience and showcase of the city. Orioles are not at fault here, MLB and the NFL, are at fault for failing to forsee the possibility of this occurance. There cant be that many citys that share facilites that this fix would affect. great article and kudos on the research.

  5. matt Says:

    drews on one side. nestor on the other. and you said it on page 1, youre in the middle.

    (Edit from Glenn: It’s not quite as much “in the middle” as it is that I want the Maryland Stadium Authority to get involved to make sure what’s done here is what’s best for the taxpayers of the state of Maryland considering the two buildings are publicly funded.)

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