To Free, or not to Free The Birds?

September 16, 2008 |

Nestor’s blog got me thinking (which is usually a bad thing) about FTB3, and honestly, I’m on the fence about the event. I’m making a list of pros and cons. If you’d like to add to the list, drop some suggestions in the comment box.
Let’s end on a positive note and start with the cons:
Have we become so apathetic that we’ve lost the will to continue to attend games?
And I mean attend games for any reason, whether it’s a FTB event or Nick Markakis t-shirt night. If Drew and Glenn’s poll is any indication, it seems to be about a 50/50 split between those that attend games and those that don’t go for a number of reasons. Some of the reasons I’ve heard today (and I’m paraphrasing here so I’m sorry if I misquote any of you):
-“I work hard for my money and could spend it on better things.”
-“I will never go to a game as long as Angelos is the owner.”
-“I don’t like the way I’ve been treated at the stadium in the past.”
It seems that some of you, no matter if the Orioles are winning or losing, simply won’t attend the games because the franchise has made you feel disconnected. I can’t blame you, even though I’m in the 50% that still loves going to baseball games no matter who’s playing. Camden Yards used to attract 3.5 million fans per season…now they probably won’t reach 2 million, even with all of the Yankees and Sox fans that flood our city and make a mockery of our “home games” against big division rivals. The proof is in the pudding.
Potential lack of appropriate resources to organize a successful event
To quote Nestor’s blog: “There should be one (a FTB event)…but I honestly don’t have time or energy to organize one at this point…” With the re-launch of the website coming any day now, who can blame him?
Personally, I don’t think the timing is right.

I think if we’re talking about this 3-4 weeks ago, before football season started, FTB3 would be able to draw more supporters. This city is purple crazy, and the last thing on anyone’s mind is the Orioles.

Maybe the Orioles are heading in the right direction and a FTB event isn’t necessary.
I don’t totally agree with this statement, because I think an event would let the organization know that we’re still not happy, but I think there is some good logic behind this idea. To quote ravenmaniac: “I went to the first FTB. It made sense. Why not? Because, they have McPhail [sic] and they have a plan. They are revamping their minor leagues and have a ton of prospects that they didn’t have 2 yrs ago. They put Baltimore back on the road jersey, they are embracing the Ravens, they are working on their marketing. What would be the point? This isn’t going to turn around over night.”
Now for the pros:
FTB3 would contribute to the local downtown businesses that are floundering as much as the Orioles.
Whether FTB3 would attract 50 or 500 people is irrelevant. There would be more people downtown who wouldn’t normally be there and they would be contributing to the local economy and helping out fellow Baltimorians.
We’re 22 games out of first place…things have improved, but they aren’t what they should be.
I’m pretty sure that one’s self-explanatory. If we make ourselves heard, maybe we can light a fire under the people down at the Warehouse to do some more good things in the offseason…we’ve certainly influenced them before…I don’t care what they tell you…
Let the Orioles know that we want fair, complete media coverage from ALL local outlets.
The Orioles continue to be unprofessional in the way they treat every local media outlet that isn’t on the payroll.  ‘NST is certainly not the only outlet getting shafted, but since I’m closer to the situation here than anywhere else, I can only formulate my opinion off of what I see here. For Greg Bader to tell Drew that “we would prefer that WNST not talk about the Orioles at all” is reprehensible on many fronts. People have the right to chose who they want to listen to, and if you happen to not like Anita Marks, who are you going to get Orioles coverage from in the afternoon?
We get to go down to the ballpark, try and have some fun despite the bad baseball, hang out, talk sports, drink beer, eat unhealthy food, etc…
Most of us can remember a time when it was fun to go down to the Yard. For the record, I went to about 12 baseball games this year, and even though the Orioles stunk for most of those games, I always make it a point to have fun at the ballpark. And every now and again, I see some really fun games…I saw Luke Scott’s walk-off homer that capped an 11-10 comeback win over Detroit. I really felt the Oriole magic in the air that night. I briefly forgot about all of the bad things about the franchise and was able to truly enjoy myself at the Yard. On average, I attend about one game like that a year. Who knows? Maybe we can inject some Orioles magic into OPACY.
Talk to you later.