Here’s why there’s nothing wrong with fans being tough on Tex

April 07, 2009 | Drew Forrester

This whole story of “Baltimore was bush league in their treatment of Teixeira on Monday” is a bunch of baloney.

National media members are saying the folks at Camden Yards were too hard on Teixeira yesterday.  ”Rude”, “over the top” and “out of line” are words and phrases being tossed around.

Boo-freakin’-hoo.

First of all, and MOST importantly, the Orioles never really even made a luke-warm play for the guy.  What the hell was he supposed to do, take their lousy $130 million offer and sign off on it right away?  Of course not.  Wait, you say the O’s offered him $150 million?  Uh, not quite.  In fact, a week or so ago Peter Angelos all but admitted the team didn’t make a pitch for the Severna Park native when he said, “when we feel like we’re close to contending again, then we’ll make a big splash in free agency.”

But, that’s seriously not the point.  None of it matters now.  What they offered, why he didn’t sign with the O’s and what he felt about the Yankees all along doesn’t matter anymore.  

Teixeira took the big payday and landed in New York, where virtually all of the mega-stars wind up anchoring their yacht.

I didn’t blame him then and I don’t blame him now.  

And, I don’t blame Baltimore baseball fans for treating him with disdain in Monday’s opener. 

I love it, actually.

The people who love baseball in our city need an outlet to distribute their passion and pent up energy and if Teixeira is the source, so be it.  

It’s a shame most of the fans in the stadium yesterday haven’t released that energy in the direction of the O’s front office over the last half-dozen years.  If they had, perhaps times would be better in Baltimore and we wouldn’t have watched this terrible product with more and more empty seats since the early part of the decade.  

Yesterday, the people with tickets proved once again they have the loudest voice of all.  It was encouraging to see them lash out at Teixeira.  It was healthy.  It didn’t really bother Tex…what the hell does he care?  He has his $180 million. 

I’m not sure why the national media thinks what happened yesterday is such a bad thing.  It’s freakin’ sports.  Players on the other teams get razzed from time to time.

As long as no one made any threats on the man, booing the other team’s star player is hardly worth getting worked up over.

And, honestly, it was good to see the people of Baltimore get worked up about it.

Over the last few years, Baltimore has put baseball on its “NOT to do” list.  Except for Free The Birds, the city’s way of getting worked up about the mismanagement of the Orioles has been to simply stop going to the games.  

Yesterday, they came — and stayed — and reveled in Teixeira’s horrible afternoon.  Even from the cozy confines of the press box, where cheering and jeering are not allowed, I gave an “under-the-table” fist pump every time Tex made an out and the crowd roared.  Unlike most of the people crammed into the press box yesterday, I’ve purchased tickets to home games (over 350 or so) over the last 30 years.  I was a kid in 1981 who went to 42 home games at Memorial Stadium.  Had I not been carrying on my professional duties yesterday, I would have certainly been heckling Teixeira.  Last May, Nestor, Bob Haynie and I sat right next to the Red Sox dugout and we chided Alex Cora and Kevin Youkilis all afternoon.  It was a good release of frustration and the O’s won.

Just like yesterday.

People showed up in orange, had a great day, the home team won, and the other team’s best player (who just happens to be from Baltimore) wet himself with the game on the line.

Had those same fans delivered a loud, thundering message to the O’s management in 2004 or 2006, the team might be a lot better in 2009.  

That’s what we’ve been doing at WNST over the last couple of years.  We got tired of seeing the team get run into the ground and decided “enough is enough”.  We’ve been the city’s loudest (and, mostly, ONLY) dissenting voice against the organization and even though it’s cost us friends, fans and other benefits (*cough* press credentials *cough*), we’ve clearly been delivering a loud, thundering message of own in recent years.  Some of you respect it, some of you don’t.  But we haven’t been sitting around on our rear-ends pandering to the club, trying to hoodwink people into thinking it’s going to get better by osmosis and accepting the fact that the team is lousy and the crowds are hovering around 15,000 a game.  We did something about it.

Alas, most of the people in Baltimore have stopped caring and the empty seats have become the loudest message from the diminishing band of faithful fans.

Yesterday, though, everyone cared.  It was personal on Monday.   

And, no matter what any national writer or media member thinks, that was a GOOD thing, not a bad thing.

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