We’re a city loaded with Orioles apologists. They range from dyed-in-the-wool fans to members of the media to callers on sports talk radio. They’re everywhere.
Bryce (or, perhaps, Brice…not sure how he spells it) in Park Heights is the apologist equivalent of an Eagle Scout. He has every apologist skill award and merit badge an apologist scout could have. Bryce calls The Morning Reaction a couple of times a month, mostly when the Orioles make a move that he deems to be worthy of attention and compliment. He’ll usually break off into some sort of delirious discussion about how things are “turning the corner” and how Andy MacPhail is “proving everyone wrong” and any other foolishness I’ll allow him to vomit in his 5-7 minutes on the air.
Some who have heard him on the air think his routine is a gag, or, as we call it in the business, “schtick”. I don’t think so. I think Bryce really calls in as Bryce…the Orioles fan.
Monday, he tried to throw a curveball past me when he called the show and demanded that I apologize to Andy MacPhail for the manner in which I’ve criticized the Orioles head honcho over the last 44 months.
On the air, I quickly brushed it aside and moved on with the remainder of the show. ”Apologize to MacPhail? For what?” I asked. ”For demanding that he try and win games for the fans?”
Afterwards, though, I gave Bryce’s demand-for-an-apology more thought.
Apologize to Andy MacPhail?
Apologize to the Orioles?
I gave the concept its due. I thought about it. For about 20 seconds or so.
Answer: No chance in hell.
In fact, I think MacPhail and the Orioles owe ME an apology. Me and the rest of the folks in Baltimore who have hung around long enough to witness this Decade of Despair are owed an apology from the ballclub, although I can’t imagine one is forthcoming anytime soon.
Back to Bryce’s theory…should I apologize to the Orioles and to Andy MacPhail?
That’s a big, fat, orange-feathered NO. All I’ve ever done with regard to the Orioles is demand excellence from them, the same way I do with the Ravens. Believe me, if the Ravens put together 13 straight years of 4-12 football (which, by equivalent, is about what the Orioles have done since 1998), we’d be foaming at the mouth and holding “Free The Ravens” events at M&T Bank Stadium.
I owe the Orioles nothing.
I’ve merely watched what they’ve done and responded in kind with my thoughts and opinions. And when you finish in last place nearly every year since Clinton was the President, it’s easy to find things to criticize them about.
Yes, I could have done what most of the media in town has done since 1998. I could have either ignored them, blamed the woes in Baltimore on the American League East, or offered a tepid wave of support by simply saying “it will get better one of these days, you’ll see.”
I could have done that.
But I didn’t. And I didn’t because I never really saw how that was doing anyone any good. What good has it done for the media to (continued…)