Feel the Oriole Magic happen circa 2008

April 07, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

It was definitely a “friends and family” gathering at Oriole Park at Camden Yards today, as about 4,000 showed up to witness what would be another fine chapter in how the 2008 season is getting off to a fun start if you love baseball.

The Orioles fell behind early. Daniel Cabrera continues to be an enigma. Brian Roberts is a joy to watch play the game. The bullpen did its job once again in flawless fashion. And today’s hero was the offseason’s goat, as Aubrey Huff continued to try to “hit his way” into Baltimore’s collective heart with a solo homer in the eighth to sweep Seattle in four straight.

With a stadium that was less than 10% full today, he’s got a lot more slugging to do to win back Baltimore.

It’s easy to lay off of Huff when he’s doing his job. He did it today. But what he did in November still should be properly addressed by him within the community if he expects to stop getting booed at home.

For me, having respect for the community is more important than him hitting late-inning home runs, but that’s just me.

It was cold today, no doubt, but the games have moved at a pace this week that is fun to watch and the baby Birds have given us a reason to plan the rest of our week around watching them go to Texas and Tampa Bay.

They’ve won five in a row. They’ve managed amazing, cardiac victories every time they’ve come to the ballpark this week. And they’ve done it all in the cold in a VERY cold, sterile ballpark that’s been virtually empty and devoid of energy until the late inning heroics.

When they took the field at 3:05 today, there might’ve not been 2,000 people in the seats. That has to suck if you’re a player in the major leagues.

Daniel Cabrera is just a painful project to watch, as he goes deep into counts, can’t keep his composure once he inevitably makes a mistake and today he committed the worst kind of sin on the diamond – he fell asleep holding the ball with his back to home plate as a run scored.

He stinks, and longterm, I have no idea how they expect to win with him.

I got a ticket on the street for $10 (a $48 seat in Sect. 54). I stayed two innings in Sect. 386 and I moved into the lower bowl watched the game with my great friend Allen McCallum, who actually ate a ticket and showed up in the second inning to keep me company.

I have never personally seen the ballpark more empty than it was today. It was literally like a Montreal Expos game. Every heckler in the stadium could be heard at full volume (including me!).

But I had fun. The Orioles won. They’re in first place, and making it as interesting as they can make it a week into the season (even if no one seems to notice or care).

We’re going to continue to encourage people to come down to the ballpark and see the team play on the cheap and use some of the “many unused” tickets.

Hooters was empty before the game today. The Wharf Rat was empty last week.

But we will continue to try to encourage folks to support the downtown business community before and after games.

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