Last night, the Orioles finished up their series against the Boston Red Sox on national television. Wei-Yin Chen pitched seven innings of shutout baseball on the way to a 6-0 victory over the Sox. The entire country got to watch the pitchers shut down the defending champions for the second time in three days. The Orioles allowed one run in the series and, had the birds been able to hit during the second game, could have easily swept the Sox.
After this past game, the question rises about how often the birds play on national television. It seems like every time the Orioles make an appearance on ESPN or FOX that they are playing either the Red Sox or the Yankees, which is slightly ridiculous. The Orioles are scheduled to make 12 national appearances over the course of the 2014 season, five of which will not be against Boston or New York. Three of these five games will be against the division opponent Rays, who were expected to be much better than they are showing to be. In other words, the Orioles will appear nationally in two games they do not play divisional foes. Only the FOX corporation (once against Oakland on FOX, once against St. Louis on Fox Sports 1.
It seems like the national media, especially ESPN, does not respect the Orioles as much as they should. It’s nice to see the birds once again playing in the national spotlight, but it would be nice to see them playing games outside the AL East. Over the past two years, the Orioles have a winning record against Boston and have played very well against New York. If this is the case, then why do the Orioles continue to play these two teams almost exclusively? It doesn’t make sense at all.
Over the past two and a half seasons, the birds have worked to throw away all memories of the terrible play that lasted over a decade. The birds have done their jobs, so why is the national media not responding by giving them playing time to the rest of the country? The Orioles finally have made appearances on ESPN, even hosting games in the national spotlight, but this little reintroduction is not enough. The national media does not respect the Orioles. That seems like the only logical explanation. Why else would the Orioles play the majority of their nationally televised games within their division?
The Orioles have proven time and time again that they are able to play outside of their own division and do it well. While the respect seems to be returning slowly, it isn’t coming back fast enough. It’s a shame to see this, especially from a team that just allowed one run over an entire series against the defending World Series champions.