O’s should let fans in for free this weekend

October 01, 2009 | Drew Forrester

The Orioles will take the field tomorrow at OPACY and start a 3-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays that will bring the 2009 season to a thankful close.

To say this has been a disaster in the last month would be doing a disservice to real disasters like Hurricane Katrina.   This hasn’t been a disaster like THAT — but it’s been a massive collapse that will certainly be tough for the team to wordsmith themselves out of in the upcoming off-season.

But — there IS something the Orioles could do this weekend to let the people in Baltimore know how much they appreciate the “support” (to whatever degree you can count 12,000 people a game as “support”) in this lost season of 2009.

They should let EVERYONE in the stadium free this weekend. 

EVERYONE.

Sure, there are folks who have already purchased tickets for one of the three home games this year.  That’s easy to fix.  As they walk in — with a PAID ticket — you give them a free voucher for a seat to any home game in 2010 that isn’t a “premium date” such as Yankees, Red Sox or weekends.  

What’s one free weeknight ticket in 2010 going to hurt?  Nothing.  And no one.

What’s letting folks in for free this weekend do?  A lot of good will, that’s what.

The people in Baltimore deserve some recognition from the team and letting folks in for free Friday, Saturday or Sunday would go a long way in showing the diehards some love.

Let’s be honest, if they DO let everyone free this weekend, it’s not like they’re going to have to turn people away at the gates.

Hell, on Sunday, they could let you pitch to a batter in the game itself and they still couldn’t pry 20,000 people away from the Ravens-Patriots game on TV.  

So — and this isn’t a low blow, it’s just a fact — they’d be opening the gates to ANYONE who comes in this weekend and they’d probably attract another 5,000 people, max.  

Why not do it?

If they had — and that’s IF they had — a decent relationship with all the media in town, the O’s could get the word out late this afternoon and despite Friday Football Fever in Baltimore, you can bet the local radio, TV and newspaper folks would gladly toss out free mentions all day Friday about the “classy gesture” the O’s are making this weekend.

There’s NO good reason at all why the team wouldn’t do this.

None.

The fans deserve better.  They’ve deserved better for a while now.

This is a team getting ready to land at 100-loss-airport…and the least the club could do would be to hand out some free peanuts and soft drinks on the flight.

Come on Orioles — do the right thing this weekend.

Open the gates.  

Let everyone in.

Show your appreciation.

It costs nothing to be nice.

And if the baseball team is smart, it shouldn’t cost anything to go to a game this weekend.

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