Tonight in Texas: Orioles owe WNST a “thank you”

April 13, 2009 | Drew Forrester

Tonight at 8:05 pm EDT, the Baltimore Orioles will play their first away game of 2009 in Arlington, Texas.

And for the first time since 1973, you’ll actually know where the O’s play their home games just by looking at their road jersey.

For the first time 36 years, BALTIMORE will appear on the front of their away shirt.

On behalf of everyone at WNST, I’ll gladly issue a stock “you’re welcome” to all of you who appreciated our efforts over the last 5 years or so to get the team to make the change.

It was a little bit like the scenario that plays out in Anywhere, USA when the wife asks the husband to paint the living room a new color.  “It’ll look great,” she says.  “Plus, when we get the carpet and furniture, it will match perfectly.”  Even though the husband knows she’s right – the living room hasn’t had a new coat of paint in 13 years – it’s more about the wife actually being right than it is the task of getting the paint, laying down the plastic tarp and doing the job over a spring weekend.  He’d rather not give in.  Not now, anyway.

Consider WNST the nagging wife and the O’s the lazy husband.

They knew we were right all along when we kept imploring them to put the word BALTIMORE on the front of the jersey.  They were well aware that their marketing efforts were better used focusing on Baltimore and the surrounding suburbs.  And – they knew this, believe me – ultimately, as soon as they made the change, folks were going to say, “what took you so long, anyway?”

The Orioles haven’t been very good at giving in.  Even when it’s the right thing to do, or the smart thing to do, even.  It took them nearly a decade to hire a competent general manager.

When it comes to making a decision, it’s “their way” or the highway, mostly.

A couple of years ago, the O’s actually filed the paperwork necessary to change the road uniforms for the 2008 season.  After a little bird-on-a-tree told me so – and I reported it…happily – the O’s suddenly decided NOT to make the alteration after all.

That’s how they roll.  Better for the team to be right (even if they aren’t) than for the fans to be happy.

It’s my paint-the-living room theory in full color.

Tonight, though, the fans get their way.

When the Birds trot out on the field this evening to take on the Texas Rangers (it’s on TV somewhere in town…who knows what channel…but it’s on, nonethless), you’ll know they’re from BALTIMORE because it will say so on their jersey.

I don’t know what my reaction will be when I see it…but I’m looking forward to finding out.

Funny enough, our relationship with the team has been decimated in part because of our quest to have BALTIMORE on the front of the away jersey.

The team doesn’t treat us very well anymore…and one of the reasons why is that we led the charge to have the club actually embrace Baltimore and the fan base here instead of catering to people in Fairfax, Lancaster, Smyrna and Cumberland.

It’s a great day in Baltimore sports history.

We’re proud here at WNST.

The Orioles actually listened to us for once.  They actually admitted we – little old WNST – were right about something.

It wasn’t easy.  They didn’t like doing it.

But they’ve come clean and done the right thing.

That fresh coat of paint never looked so good.

You’re welcome, O’s.

Glad we could help.