in them. Clearly, Angelos, who is making $100 million this year on the Orioles, has no conscience or concern for the embarrassment of an empty stadium in a pennant run.
If he did, he’d tell Greg Bader and the ticket department to drop the ludicrous “day of game surcharge” as a first move olive branch.
But the Orioles’ leaders on the field – not just someone over there at The Warehouse with an advertising budget – have to make me want to spend my money and come and cheer for them. Someone has to make me make the immense effort to come and support the Baltimore Orioles of 2013 and beyond with my hard-earned money.
Here’s a good question for Adam Jones: where will Buck Showalter be this offseason?
Every great organization takes its cue from its leader. And as great as Showalter has been at rallying the troops and leading these men into baseball games all summer, he hasn’t exactly been a “man about town” as an ambassador of season ticket sales during the off-season the past two years. And truth is, he knows better because he “sold” baseball in Arizona as the Vice President of Everything with the Diamondbacks.
And no one is more charming or “big league” than Buck Showalter. I’m a big fan of Buck. He’s done a great job getting the team winning again but he’s hardly been a reason that people have purchased tickets.
The fans also realize this as well: by any statistical measurement, what we’re seeing is a fluke for the 2012 Baltimore Orioles. A fluke we’re enjoying, but a fluke. The Orioles have scored 548 runs and surrendered 592. They’re also 72-58 and would be in the playoffs if the tournament started today.
It’s not our job at WNST to “recruit” paying customers for Mr. Angelos. He’s done everything he can do to end my career, my business and wreck the city’s already shaky sports psyche. And at WNST.net & AM 1570 — the leading sports media conversation vehicle by any current measurement on the web — we talk about the Baltimore Orioles about six to eight hours per day. Even now with the Ravens beginning another purple campaign, the Orioles are relevant and interesting enough to discuss and watch on TV every night.
But for some reason, as a community, we’re not all that interested in coming downtown and participating in 2012 Orioles Magic as paying customers. That much is obvious.
It’s eerily reminiscent of the Baltimore Colts ownership and quick demise. The Colts won the Super Bowl in January 1971. They stunk for three seasons but by 1975 they were relevant, fun and winning and fans were so pissed at Bob Irsay about the way he ran Johnny Unitas out of town that they wouldn’t even fill Memorial Stadium during the 1976 & 1977 seasons when Bert Jones and the Sack Pack were amongst the best teams in the NFL. They stunk again from 1978 until March 28, 1984 when Irsay brought the Mayflower vans and moved the team to Indianapolis.
The Orioles aren’t moving anywhere except deeper into the pockets of Baltimore sports fans via our cable television bill and more MASN money. Angelos is printing so much money that he’ll be giving Adam Jones $85.5 million whether we show up or not. And by the time Jones gets to the final year of his deal, it’ll be time for Manny Machado or Zach Britton or Dylan Bundy to get $100 million of Angelos’ money. Oh, and the beers will be $10 at the ballpark and the seats will be $40 by then.
And someone should tell Adam Jones that the seats behind him are $35.25 next weekend when the Yankees come to town. That’s a bleacher seat. That’s too rich for most people and the empty seats are the result.
The Orioles have reaped what they have sown in the community. And the Ravens have earned the hearts, minds, wallets and spirit of the Baltimore sports fans. It’s interesting to read Adam Jones’ comments in regard to the local love for the color purple and that no Grand Prix traffic mess would keep Ravens fans away.
He’s probably right about that.
As I wrote two weeks ago, I’m starting to believe that Orioles fans and Ravens fans are by and largely two different core fan bases throughout the world.
But don’t blame me. I’m the only guy in Baltimore running a full orange bus to New York on Saturday to support the Orioles vs. the Yankees and eagerly awaiting