Orioles: The Jekyll and Hyde of Baltimore

January 22, 2010 | Tom Clayton

This is going to seem like two different blogs from two different people but honestly that is the way the Orioles seem to make me feel lately. They can do something mind bogglingly stupid and amazingly compassionate over the course of one week.

In the lexicon of all time horrible PR moves, the Orioles raising walkup ticket prices may be at the top of the charts. I honestly wonder how this meeting went when the Orioles made this moronic decision.

Oriole Exec #1: “We haven’t had a winning season in well over a decade and our games have been routinely outdrawn by high school basketball games, what should we do?”

Orioles Exec #2: “How about raising the ticket prices for fans that decide to walkup and buy tickets on game day?’

Orioles Exec #1: “Perfect! Send out a press release the day before the Ravens biggest game of the season.”

I figured that a team struggling to remain relevant in its own market would at least attempt to ingratiate itself to the community not alienate 98% of it.

Another interesting part of the story is that the team has rationalized this move by claiming this is a “reward for the fans that show their commitment to the team”. I have two major issues with this idiotic statement; first of which is the use of the word “reward”. A reward by definition is something beneficial or desirable given for an action taken. How are the Orioles rewarding someone by allowing them to pay full price for their ticket? A reward also shouldn’t be a punishment to everyone that isn’t being rewarded.

The second issue I have with that statement is the inclusion of the term commitment. Orioles baseball is a past time to be enjoyed at my leisure. You make a commitment when you get married or if you choose to join the mob, I shouldn’t be forced to make a commitment to a BASEBALL TEAM!

But just six days after this awful decision the Orioles decided to show a great act of generosity that hasn’t been promoted enough.

Tomorrow at FanFest the team will be donating a portion of all admissions as well as holding silent auctions and a memorabilia sale in an effort to raise money for the Haitian community. Along with those acts the team will have numerous collection buckets around the Convention Center and will also be accepting donations mailed to Baltimore Orioles Haiti Relief, 333 West Camden Street, Baltimore, MD 21201 that are made payable to the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation, with “Haiti Relief” in the memo line. And on top of that the organization will match every donation received dollar for dollar.

FanFest really is a great event especially for children; there are a ton of cool things for them to experience and this one event can go a long way in fertilizing their love of baseball. And with the knowledge that proceeds are going to an amazing cause I implore all fans young and old to get out to the Convention Center tomorrow.

And there you have our team in a nutshell….they are the Jekyll and Hyde of Baltimore good one day a monster the next.