(Still) Better than the Monday paper (on a Tuesday): Apologizing to the Orioles…

February 08, 2011 | Drew Forrester

overlook the transgressions of 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2009?  Answer me that.  What good has it done in the long run for the media to play sorority-girl-inebriated and allow the Orioles to have their way with them since this all went to hell in a hand basket 10 years ago?

We know what the media’s decade-long-back-rub of the Orioles HASN’T done, that’s for damn sure.  It hasn’t helped them get any better.

Not holding the club’s feet to the fire has enabled the O’s to just keep-on-keeping-on, as if nothing ever went wrong in the first place.

Unless keeping their press pass and staying in good stead with the Orioles was really important – and to some members of the press, that IS important, for sure – then I don’t see the benefit of just letting the team off the hook for the way they’ve run the franchise into the ground.

You can bet your rear-end the media in Philadelphia or Boston or New York would never allow for something like this to happen — where one of the sports franchises goes downhill at a shocking rate — without a full-scale “WTF?!” from writers, broadcasters and analysts.

I can absolutely admit that my loud and long criticism of the Orioles has hurt my relationship with them.  In fact, I have no relationship with the organization because I was “too hard on them” as one ex-staffer told me two years ago.

Only in Baltimore, with what amounts to nothing more than corruption and unprofessionalism, would a member of the media – accredited by every other league in the nation and every team in the region – be treated the way I’ve been treated — all due to the fact that I was “too hard on the team”.  I’d love to see the powers-that-be in the Warehouse and try and pull that stunt with the folks at Newsday or the Boston Globe.  Good freakin’ luck.  But because it’s Baltimore and because nearly every single member of the media is afraid of the team’s front office, the Orioles get away with anything they want to do.  Anything…including charging $15.00 for autographs.  The only other person in town willing to attach his/her name to something critical about that idiotic adult-autograph policy was Kevin Cowherd of The Sun.  Good for him.

Bryce wants me to apologize to them.  That’s a real kick in the nuts.  Apologize to the Orioles for pointing out their mistakes and demanding they repair their relationship with the baseball community…

They wrecked their franchise, I urged them to stop doing that.

They started charging people more money for tickets on the day of the game, I told them it was wrong to do that.

They stopped communicating with the media, I said it was silly to do that.

They don’t market their players the right way, I called them out on that.

Andy MacPhail and Peter Angelos don’t accept questions from the media, I think that’s the bush-league and said so.

They charged people $15 for four autographs last month, I said that was asinine.

They haven’t had a winning record since 1997, I said losing like that isn’t healthy for the franchise or the city you represent.

Businesses all over Baltimore have been negatively affected by the mammoth drop-off in attendance and when I said the team should be more aware of things like that, I was the freak show who wasn’t allowed in the press box.

Today, still, I stand by all of that.

But none of this — not one smidgen of any of my criticism — gets in the way of my belief that this off-season, for the first time in the Andy MacPhail era, the club actually looks like they might (continued…)